by Zach Pliska
My band Vazum‘s new album Vampyre Villa has a variety of moods and styles which people have picked up on. It floats between deathrock, shoegaze, goth, and post-punk which is why we call ourselves a deathgaze band. We’re interested in combining the rawness of deathrock with the depth of shoegaze.
Listen to the album while reading the text.
I began recording Vampyre Villa in the Summer of 2019, which was a fun Summer for me but not very focused or productive in terms of music. I started with 4 songs; In Night, Fall Down, Lucille, and Glue. They were all recently written songs that we began playing live with a drum
machine and synth. The recording process started by making simple bed tracks and our guitarist, Zak II, overdub his parts, which ended up shaping the songs. I did a lot of experimentation with the vocal melodies, basslines, guitars, and drums, not really sure what I was going for. It took a while for these songs to come together, partly because I was distracted by other things.
In the Fall of 2019, I had a version of In Night I was happy with, so I decided to have it mastered and release it. For mastering, I went with Carl Saff out of Chicago, who I had not worked with previously, but I knew I would breathe life to the songs. I then made a music video using photos I took with Emily Sturm, who had just joined the band as our bassist.
When Emily joined, we started relying more heavily on our drum machine. I bought an MPC Live, which I immediately grasped onto, and we affectionately named Stacy 9000. This gave our sound more of an industrial feel. I played an early demo of Embers for Emily, and she liked the deathrock leaning, so we decided to go more in that direction.
When the pandemic hit in March 2020, I suddenly had zero distractions and tons of time to focus on completing the record. The remaining songs are resurrected demos, which I re-recorded and tweaked as much as I felt necessary. Emily played bass on Embers and sang on about half of the songs, which complimented my voice really well.
The majority of recording was done in April and May, and the mixing was done in June. It’s the first time I had done all the recording and mixing myself for a full album, so I learned a lot in the process. It’s also the first time I have had another person sing prominently in the band. Emily did the artwork and came up with the title, Vampyre Villa. It is inspired by a restaurant she worked at called The Villa, which she often jokingly referred to as The Villa of Sodom.