One of the best things about writing for RVL is being able to “chat” with so many extraordinary and fascinating people, people who have led a full and rich life and who have drank deeply of the reality of the modern vampire life. Our guest this evening is no exception; from the heady days of the mid-nineties in New Orleans to the northern metropolis of Chicago she has made a name for herself as a promoter, band booking manager and marketer for the Vampire community and subculture for the last 20 years. She is, by her own admission, a “budding journalist in all things dark, vampy and rockin’ when it comes to bands I love.”
In her bio she writes,
” My partner in crime, Dark Artist Chad Savage of Sinister Visions inc., is busy designing dark websites and materials for the Halloween industry while I lurk in the dark meeting all kinds of Children of the Night, promoting and planning the next gig I’ll attend in between an artist husband, a daughter, three dogs, travel, writing and guitar sessions.”
Ladies and gentlemen, it gives Real Vampire Life great pleasure to present a “Chatting with Vampires Special Edition” with the renowned Lady A, a.k.a. Alex Savage.
RVL: Good evening Lady A, it’s wonderful to be able to spend this time with you, thank you for joining us.
Lady A: Thank you for the interview. I’m usually the one asking all the questions!
RVL: Okay, first things first and to put our audience out of their misery, so to speak, do you identify as a modern living vampire?
Lady A: The term “modern living vampire” can mean many things. I don’t subscribe to any philosophy, religion, dogma or anything else pertaining to the esoteric idea of the vampire. I’ve been in these circles before books were written on how to be a vampire. I am my own vampire and do not subscribe to any ideology.
RVL: You make mention, in your website bio, of the early days in New Orleans, what is your fondest memory of that period?
Lady A: Probably when I lived there for a couple of years starting in 1995. The vampire scene was at its peak and the city was alive in a way I’ve never seen since. Living there really gave you the ability to really absorb the culture. I had been traveling to New Orleans since 1991 and was fortunate to end up living there. I will always cherish those crazy times and everything I learned about myself as a result
RVL: Having traveled as extensively as you have, and moved in the circles that you have, what’s special about life in Chicago to you?
Lady A: I lived in Chicago for 10 years of my adult life. I am originally from San Diego, California, but Chicago was the longest time I spent in one place as an adult living on my own. The city itself is a true metropolis and full of culture. I got married there, had my daughter there, survived cancer there and created a reputation for myself there. Chicago will always be the place where the best and worst of my life occurred. I live outside the city now, but go back often for gigs, events, business and to see friends. It’s a hard city to live in. It’s expensive, constricted with traffic, brutal in the winter and quite conservative when it comes to vampires.
RVL: You are associated with many of the highest profile live “vampire” events around today, why do you believe that Chicago hasn’t opened their arms to real vampires and their sub-culture in the way many other major cities have?
Lady A: As I mentioned above, Chicago is rather conservative and very practical in nature. Outside of drink and live music, the people of Chicago in general aren’t big into fantasy. There are long running events that sort of have the exclusive for the goth and vampire scene. I tried for over a year to start a vampire scene there. Interest was there, but the numbers weren’t. There used to be a bigger scene back in the nineties but many of those pioneers moved to NYC or New Orleans. It had its time and then it was gone. I’ve done a couple of yearly Halloween parties there that seem to do much better. There is so much citywide competition for events, that you have to have that built in audience or choose your timing wisely. I don’t like to step on the toes of established events, so I decided to expand my horizons instead
RVL: What would you consider to be your biggest challenge at present?
Lady A: Doing what I’m doing now. I’ve been working on branching out into music journalism and the like over the last few months. I’ve always loved music and one of the reasons I got into the vampire party business was to book bands and enjoy the music. Since way back in the goth days, I’ve loved to dance and paint my life with a backdrop of my own inner musical score. Putting myself out there in an entirely different capacity with my reputation being referenced is a bit daunting, but par for the course. It’s exciting and terrifying at the same time, but I get to do what I love so it’s worth it.
RVL: Being a promoter and, by your own admission a, “budding journalist in all things dark, vampy and rockin’ when it comes to bands I love.” How would you define “vampire music”?
Lady A: I think vampire music can really be any musical style or genre that evokes mystery, power and love with a profound sense of melancholy.
RVL: Who is, or who are, your favourite “dark” band/s?
Lady A: HIM, My Dying Bride, Opeth, Diminished 7, Gary Numan, Depeche Mode to name a few. Classic goth acts like The Cure, Sisters of Mercy, Type O Negative, Joy Division, and Siouxsie and the Banshees also qualify.
RVL: With everything you have going on what does Lady A do to relax?
Lady A: I don’t relax that often. There is always something fluttering in my brain and sometimes it is very difficult to turn it off. The best thing would be hanging out with my friends when they’re not gigging or “on”. Just drinks and jokes and a killer jukebox at a dive bar helps me wind down. On the more artistic side, I write poetry when I need to purge my inner demons so to speak. My work will soon be published in eBook form and in print in the New Year
RVL: What plans for growth and expansion are in the works for Lady A’s Vampire Social Club?
Lady A: I’ve spent years hosting parties in New Orleans and now it’s time to branch out to new vampires and music enthusiasts. I am currently involved in the conception and organization of the Austin Vampire Ball in October of 2013 with published author, Gabrielle Faust and the Vampire Court of Austin’s Logan South and Daley Catherine. I will also host some of my own events in the year to come along with doing more music interviews and reviews for my website www.vampiresocialclub.net. I want my site to be more about the arts and how all mediums of art are fundamental food for vampires and artistic people in general. As mentioned above, I will also be publishing my works of poetry. I don’t want to make any solid definite plans about too many things. I find I function best when I let the road take me where it wants to.
RVL: Do you see a lack of offline “community” and cohesiveness between real vampires in the central North American states and what do you think can be done to counter this?
Lady A: There is a lack of communication there. I think people in the Midwest are just a horse of a different color from the rest of the USA. People here are blue collar, hard working and practical. Backlash from family and religious institutions is severe here. People like their anonymity and see vampirism as more of a fetish and something to be kept secret than in other parts of the country. I hope to do more events here to give those children of the night a safe haven to be who they are. If they come out, then there will be more. These events don’t pay for themselves, so people have to come, get involved and give their patronage. Only time will tell.
RVL: Can you imagine a time when Lady A will “chuck it all in” and go off and be a gardening hermit and sandcastle sculptor or something?
Lady A: *Laughs* During heavy bouts of vampire politics and drama, I have pondered throwing in the towel on occasion. But in a sense, it is like the mafia…every time I try to get out, they pull me back in. I live in a late Victorian farmhouse in Indiana. When it gets to be too much and it’s time to go to ground, I will happily retire and write poetry for the rest of the romantics left in the world. It’s better to burn out than fade away
RVL: Thank you for sharing this time with us Lady A, we are privileged to have been able to get a glimpse into your world.
Lady A: Thank you for asking great questions, my pleasure!
If it is true that we, the real vampire sub-culture, live in our own sweet and nurturing darkness then it is obvious that Alex Savage is, and has been for many years, one of our ‘guiding lights’.
With her poetic works soon to be published online and in print in the New Year, and her involvement with the Austin Vampire Ball in October of 2013 with author Gabrielle Faust and the Vampire Court of Austin’s Logan South and Daley Catherine, Alex will, as usual, be in the thick of things and we look forward with anticipation to seeing what other events she will be hosting and what goodies she has in store for us at the Vampire Social Club.
© Lady A (Alex Savage) & RVL 2012
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