LST IN HLYWD is an international sensation: a dark blend of pop punk and a classic feel fused with modern technology creating a whole new sound. Damian Rose (Lead Vocals/Lead Guitar), Lana (Bass), Catherine Carter (Guitar), and Chris King (Drums) make up this powerhouse bringing rock to a whole new generation in their own style.
Hi guys! It’s a pleasure to have you here on SoundVille and we're honored to have the opportunity to speak with you. Since LST IN HLYWD has coined the term “VAMP” Rock, if each band member had to represent a classic vampire or modern vampire, who would you choose and what's the reason behind your choice?
Damian Rose - I would probably have to choose Michael Emerson from The Lost Boys. I have always loved 80’s aesthetics so it’s really a perfect pairing for me!
Lana: I would probably have to say Nadja from What We Do In The Shadows because she is both passionate and stubborn and throws herself into everything head first (for better or worse).
Catherine Carter: Katherine Pierce. I've actually had a couple people tell me that we kind of look alike, plus we share the same name!
Chris King: If I was a vampire I think I would be Edward Cullen, I honestly couldn't decide on a vampire so I did a test online!
Your new single 'HOWL AT THE MOON' has a very catchy chorus, I love this song! So, what was the inspiration behind the lyrics?
Damian Rose wrote HOWL AT THE MOON after watching Tim Burton’s Wednesday. “I have always loved Tim Burton and when I found out that he directed an entire TV show for Netflix I immediately started to binge watch the show. The lyrics came pretty naturally from there and I even included some of the scenes and quotes in Wednesday within the song itself,” Rose explains.
You're releasing your second EP this summer wich explores the themes of vampirism, eternal life and love. Which of these topics resonates with you the most and what is the reason behind it?
Damian Rose: For me the topic resonates the most is eternal life and eternal youth. I don’t like to think about death because I believe we truly don’t know what comes after life, so it would be pretty sweet to be able to just live forever young.
Lana: I’d have to say that the theme that resonates with me the most out of the three is eternal life. However more in the sense of staying young forever, so I guess more forever youth. Especially as you age, keeping that youth spirit will make life so much more enjoyable.
Chris King: I think the idea of eternal life is really interesting! Would I be able to grant eternal life to all of my friends and family too? Would I have to watch everyone grow old while I am the same age forever?
The first single from your upcoming EP is 'HOWL AT THE MOON' and there's also a track on the EP that's inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe. If you could choose any other classic horror author to write a song about, who would it be and why?
Damian Rose: It’s quite interesting how I came to write that song because everything I write comes very naturally. At the time I was getting back into some reading (I used to read a lot as a kid but I feel like school really made me hate reading and hate learning which I’m slowly starting to find my love for again). I was reading “What Moves The Dead” by T. Kingfisher which is an adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Fall Of The House Of Usher”. I also love the Vincent Price movie House Of Usher which came out in 1960 and so it just kind of made sense to write the song. In the future it probably depends what I’ll be reading or watching at the time, but I have always been interested in writing a song about an HP Lovecraft story.
Lana: I would love to do something by Stephen King. I’ve read several of his novels and one of my all time favourite movies is Misery. I think it would be a lot of fun!
If LST IN HLYWD had to play a show on Halloween, what would be your dream setlist and stage setup?
Damian Rose: Personally I would love to cover a few Misfits songs. They’re one of my favourite bands of all time. As well as some halloween classics like Highway To Hell - ACDC, Somebody’s Watching Me, Time Warp, and Bark At The Moon - Ozzy Osbourne. Stage set up would be skulls everywhere - I love theatrics so it would be very theatrical with different stage stunts.
Lana: anything and everything that could give us the best Halloween theatrics would be amazing. I love going all out with decorating so if money wasn’t an issue, it would be a whole spirit Halloween. With the setlist, id have to go with some Ozzy like Bark At The Moon, everything off the upcoming EP, MY UNDYING BRIDE from our debut ep, maybe something from Ghost, and Disturbia by Rhianna cause that’s just a Halloween staple.
Catherine Carter: I love set design and think it's one of the best ways for the audience to fully immerse into your "world" at live shows. We love using props and decorations in our concerts. It would be really cool to open with the stage starting off with dark storm clouds above, rumbling with thunder. Bach Fugue in D minor is playing. Then, a lightning bolt strikes out of the clouds and hits the stage, the band walks onto the stage and starts with Bittersweet. The rest is pretty explanatory.
Chris King: If we had a halloween show I would want to play in a haunted house with tons of spooky decorations and lights. It would be cool to cover songs like Zombie by The Cranberries and even try to put our own spin on songs like Thriller and Monster Mash.
Can you share any details about your upcoming tour or shows, and what fans can expect from your live performances?
When we play live we really love to make it a super fun event. We always do pictures and hang with our fans after the show. We will likely have a few shows in around the Greater Toronto Area this summer so stay tuned and if you see a show definitely come out because we won’t be playing as much as we did last summer. We also plan to have a couple all ages shows since they were in demand last tour. We’re planning to focus more on social media for the time being.
If LST IN HLYWD were turned into actual vampires, how would each band member use their vampiric abilities on stage during a performance?
Damian Rose: I would fly to the stage as a bat because I think that would just be so cool to see. I love when band’s have big entrances.
Lana: I’d have to agree with Damian. It would be pretty cool to enter flying in as a bat.
Catherine Carter: I'd use my super strength to move those damn amps!!
Chris King: I would want the ability to shapeshift into other animals. Being able to play the drums as a bat or horse would definitely turn some heads!
Your music often incorporates themes of darkness and the supernatural. What draws you to these themes, and how do they influence your songwriting?
Damian Rose: Halloween has been tied for my favourite holiday since I was a young kid. I always found myself drawn to horror and the supernatural. I’ve always found spooky things to have a really cool vibe. It definitely influences my songwriting a lot which you’ll be able to hear on our upcoming EP which we will be announcing soon!
Lana: Damian does do most of the songwriting, but I have contributed to a couple of the songs. I’ve always been big into literature (and although I don’t have as much time to read nowadays), I always love a good story. I’ve always loved horror and thrillers and making almost a deeper “lore” and connections in our songs/image I think is always super fun.
As a band, what has been your proudest moment so far and what do you hope to achieve in the future?
Damian Rose: Personally my proudest moment has been on stage in front of our fans. That connection that you get while playing to an audience is unmatched for me. Also the fact that I’ve known fans that say we’ve saved their lives and the fact that this band has also saved my life on multiple occasions that would have to be one of the best things about LST IN HLYWD. In the future I just hope to be able to continue what we’re doing and being able to reach as many people that need us as possible. When I formed LST IN HLYWD it was to be able to connect with like minded people and something within me told me that there has to be people out there that have gone through and like the same things that I do, and that’s exactly who I do it for.
Lana: I’d have to say that our proudest moment so far has been reaching over 118K+ Spotify streams on our debut ep! It’s been about half a year since its release and we couldn’t be more thrilled! We hope to be signed to a record label and touring the states in the next couple years.
Chris King: I am really proud of the way our group has been able to juggle everybody's busy schedules with being able to find time to film content and progress the band. As we move into the summer and we have more time, we are looking to play even more shows and continue to meet more of our wonderful fans!
Finally, a fun one: if you could only listen to one song for the rest of your lives, what song would it be and why?😈
Damian Rose: That’s a really tough one but I would have to say Dig Up Her Bones by the Misfits because as many times as I have heard that song before every single time it comes on I still love it.
Lana: I can’t exactly say just yet because it’s off of our upcoming EP, but I can say that it is a ballad. I think it can work for many different occasions and is just such a beautiful song.
Catherine Carter: Welcome to the Black Parade by My Chemical Romance. It'll never get old.
Chris King: It’s really difficult to choose but I think I would go with Knee Socks by the Arctic Monkeys. I have been listening to a lot of their music recently and it is by far one of my favorite songs by them!