According to colorful frontman Dahvie Vanity, the "electronica/power pop" band Blood On The Dance Floor began as a joke. Now, with the success of two albums, EPs, and several singles, one of which reached number 23 on the electronic songs chart on iTunes, you could say the joke's on them.
October 5th marked the release of Blood On The Dance Floor's third album, appropriately titled Epic. According to Vanity, "I wanted people to see who I really am. Each song is a piece of me."
Dahvie Vanity is anything but ordinary. "You don't meet people like me everyday, who live in their own little Halloween world," jokes Vanity. He has always desired to surpass the ordinary, and he believes that the new album does just that.
Though Epic, created by Vanity and Jayy Von Monroe, succeeds two others, Vanity refers to it as an "introduction," written as a way for the band to better connect with their fans, through lyrics and melodies that expose a little more about themselves as artists. Their first two albums, Let's Start A Riot and It's Hard To Be A Diamond In A Rhinestone World, were meant to wake people up, explained Vanity. "We were trying to catch people's attentions, trying to build the hype." Their success in achieving these goals presented them with the opportunity to create something more vulnerable, something riskier.
They write to entertain but they also write music to get a point across. Their song "Bitches Get Stitches" has become an anthem for kids who get picked on for being themselves, and "Success is the Best Revenge" encourages listeners to stand strong and not give in to the negativity of others. The message behind Blood On The Dance Floor's music is one of confidence. Be who you are, make music that means something to you, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. And this new album shouts that message loud and clear.
Though it's clear that that Blood On The Dance Floor puts great emphasis on honoring their own beliefs and propensity for what many may view as provocative, they seem to have found a successful compromise between putting out music both for themselves and for their fans.
And speaking of their relationship with their fans, Vanity explained that they want to be accessible-they want people to know them. Blood On The Dance Floor successfully uses social media to promote their music and connect with fans. Like many bands starting out, they saw Myspace as a way to get their music heard, and they have continued to use the site to promote new releases and tours, and write blog posts to those following the band. Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr have also proven effective tools in keeping fans updated. Vanity commented that they try to use these forums as opportunities to give fans a true look at the people behind the band, with behind-the-scenes type videos, quick updates, and blog entries posted regularly.
Blood On The Dance Floor started using TuneCore because they wanted their music to be available on iTunes. According to Vanity, their digital success, coupled with too many instances of seeing fellow musicians hurt by record labels has made him want to continue to work independently. I asked Vanity if he had any advice for other emerging TuneCore artists, and he stressed the importance of exposure. "Sign up to every distribution store," he urged. "Get the music out everywhere."
The success of Blood On The Dance Floor continues to surprise Dahvie Vanity. "We never targeted a fan base, we didn't anticipate it would ever get this big." And Vanity never lets himself forget he is living out the dream he had as a child. Blood On The Dance Floor is currently on tour, bringing their energetic and outspoken messages and music to those fans around the country lucky enough to score a seat. This tour, like their album, will no doubt be epic.