Earlier this week, post-hardcore obsessed London upstarts Fearless Vampire Killers announced they're releasing their own social network called The Obsidian Bond. It raised a lot of questions in the RS office - questions like "Huh?", "Wait, what?" and "Seriously, WTFmate?" Thankfully, the band's frontman Kier Kemp has been on hand to clear up the details...
So, Kier. You announced this week that Fearless Vampire Killers will be starting their own social network. That's mental. Where and when did the idea for this originally come about?
"It originally came from us trying to think of a place that we could put all the extra stuff we do. We record a lot of podcasts and write a lot of stories and other bits like that, you see? So I was thinking about hosting a new series of podcasts online and having people subscribe... then I thought why stop at podcasts? Lets create an FVK treasure trove! Then our guitarist Barrone got involved. He's our resident computer nerd. Before we knew it, BOOM. He'd started creating this thing."
The name - The Obsidian Bond. What's that about?
"Well we wanted something classy, that sounded like a members club and also encompassed our darker nature. After a long pub session that name seemed to fit!"
Is it a free service?
"No. There is a small subscription fee to cover costs of us running the site and creating the content. As well as the social network side we've spent the last three months filming loads of exclusive content for it. Documentaries, acoustic videos... It's like the ultimate catalogue for any discerning fan."
What exactly will people be able to do on it?
"Like other social networks you'll have a profile, be able to upload pictures to galleries, make status updates, leave comments for friends, that sort of thing. On top of that we've also built in a gaming aspect. So the more you interact with people around you, the more XP you'll earn. You can go up ranks and even buy things from a shop with an in-house currency!"
How would you describe it to someone who simply can't get their head round it? From the screenshot it looks to have a similar interface to Facebook, or an internet forum.
"To an outsider I would say it's like Goff Facebook meets old-school Myspace meets World of Warcraft."
You've said on your website that it's going to be a place for Fearless Vampire Killers fans to interact without fear of reprimand or mockery. Is that something that's an issue for a lot of your fans?
"Unfortunately yes. Despite rock music aiming to be about 'alternative culture' there's a large number of people that just can't accept other peoples' tastes. They're small minded and dull and just clog up the internet with their drivel. I wouldn't ever encourage our fans to hide, quite to the contrary, get out there and kick arse! However, at least within the Obsidian Bond they know that everyone else there shares a common interest - just like people might come together in a needlework forum!"
I imagine you've been using it behind-the-scenes a fair bit already. Having had some time to play with it yourselves, what do think is going to be the most exciting part of it for your fans?
"For me personally it's the game aspect of it all. Earning credits, gaining XP and being able to express yourself through how you choose to display your profile!"
Are you surprised that no other bands have really tried this properly before?
"Frankly yes! However I understand why... It's a SHIT LOAD OF WORK!"
You're going to be releasing your new album via The Obsidian Bond on July 17. How is that going to work? And how much longer will people not a part of the network have to wait to hear it?
"We're going to be streaming it one track a week. So one goes up the other comes down. Each track will have a story and you'll see the artwork develop. We thought it would be cool to see the album unfold as a story. Outside of the network we're going to be doing all the normal things and more. So we have a new single coming very soon for everyone to hear - trailers, videos, the works! The full album will be here in the autumn along with loads of extra stuff that wasn't streamed previously."
How long has it taken to get together, and how much have the band been involved in the building / design of The Obsidian Bond?
"The initial idea came to us in March this year and we would have been working on it constantly until release. So that's what, four solid months? Then it's going to be continually updated, so the work will never end! It's very much been a group edit. Me and Barrone have been handling the technical side, Laurence writing, Drew editing and Luke shooting lots of video. It's our baby!"
Once the album's out, what happens to The Obsidian Bond? Does it die a quick internet death, or is this a project that you're going to continue with and expand?
"I hope not! The album is a nice little extra. We've worked really hard to make this thing fun to use and full of interesting stuff. It's more of a social activity than anything else. That's how we see it."
What are your ambitions for The Obsidian Bond outside of promoting your new album? Are you looking to take on the mighty Facebook at some point down the line?!
"Ha! Well.... you never know. We've built this very much with our own fanbase in mind at the moment. They're the ones we want to look after. However, if it really takes off then you never know who might want in! We're optimistic."
Well that's that cleared up, then! Get involved with Fearless Vampire Killers and The Obsidian Bond over at www.fearlessvampirekillers.com.