Don't Be Fooled By the Black Clothes, Astari Nite Is Having the Time of Its Life

Much like musicians of the post-punk era they idolize, the musicians in Astari Nite are romantics in black.

“We really love what we do. We have a lot of passion and we're super humbled doing what we do. If you enjoy what you're doing there's really no room for anything to be negative,” says lead singer Mychael Ghost in regards to the particularly fruitful period that his band is currently experiencing.

Astari Nite released its latest album, Until the End of the Moon, back in May but the group already completed its follow-up EP, scheduled for a February or March release, and has began working on another full-length album, expected to be released in December 2017.

It's a prolific time for the band to say the least, and the group is single-handedly meeting the demand for Miami’s dark, new wave sound. “There's a lot of people out there that enjoy the sound that we're influenced by — Depeche Mode, New Order, the Cure — all that '80s nostalgia music, so when they hear a band like Astari Nite it's kind of refreshing to them.

“I think about and I listen to the music that's down here in South Florida. You have a lot of rock 'n’ roll and punk music and surfer rock kind of stuff — but nobody plays what we're playing, which to me is kind of cool.”

Astari Nite views its unique place within the scene as a blessing and welcomes any unconventional performance opportunities. Next month the band will play a headlining set at the Bloodlust Fetish Party at Fort Lauderdale’s Fetish Factory, which will hopefully be as odd as it sounds. “Fetish Factory is the world's largest fetish scene movement. They have people that fly from all over the world to come to their events so it's kind of unheard of for a band to play this type of event.”
If this was 1984, Astari Nite might’ve been all over radio and MTV (back when it still had the words “Music Television” written underneath its logo), but in the age of the internet the band has found a way to connect to its fans in a less lucrative but much more meaningful way. A peek at Astari Nite's Instagram offers Regrams of customized fan T-shirts and even multiple examples of Astari Nite tattoos fans’ have eagerly gotten carved into their bodies, with heartfelt captions and responses from the band.

Astari Nite's empathetic gratitude toward its fans’ gestures stems from, well, being fans themselves. The group has had the opportunity to meet and play as a supporting act for some of its own musical heroes, including Peter Murphy of Bauhaus and Andy Rourke of the Smiths.

Last year, after flying back from Leipzig, Germany, from the Wave Gotik Treffen Festival — a new wave, goth, post-punk festival with 20,000 attendees — the band received a call from the Psychedelic Furs asking them to open at their South Florida show. “So literally a day after we landed back here in the States, we found ourselves playing Culture Room with the Psychedelic Furs. Picture going away on vacation, having the best trip with your family or something, and then you come back and the vacation continues.”

Ghost’s voice gleams as he remembers culling advice personally from the Furs. “We got to hang out with them and have drinks and just talk. I remember the one thing that the singer said to me was, ‘Always stay humble. Stay true to yourself. Make sure that you speak to everyone. Everyone that's out in the crowd — talk to them, shake their hand, meet them, hug them. Let them know how you feel about them.’ Things like that I can just hold on to. It can't be broken — just kind words from other people that you admire. It's really something else.”

Astari Nite. 10 p.m. Sunday, September 4, at The Bar at 1306, 1306 N Miami Ave., Miami; Tickets cost $15 at the door.
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Celia Almeida is the digital editor of American Way and the former arts and music editor of Miami New Times. Her writing has been featured in Venice, Paper, and Billboard; and she co-hosts Too Much Love on Jolt Radio.
Contact: Celia Almeida