I bet you don’t too many interviews like this in the blogosphere. Today, I turn the blog over to none other than Cody Sifko, the hero of White Pickups. He’s interviewing Xan Marcelles, the vampire bassist of Carrie Clevenger’s Crooked Fang. In cases like this, it’s best to just get out of the way and let the interview proceed…
Cody Sifko: So yeah, my writer says, “Go interview this guy. He plays bass in a metal band and he's a vampire.” Whatever. What's your story?
Xan Marcelles: My story? Oh, you mean Crooked Fang. I never said I was a vampire, did I? Okay maybe. But that’s between you and me, kid. We’re not exactly a metal band either. We’re a house band that plays covers, that’s popular/previously recorded songs resung and performed by us. Basically, we’re an amplified version of karaoke.
But that’s not exactly the point to the book. I’m not sure what is. Me trying to stay secluded and mind my own business while trouble practically falls into my lap? Never really went looking for trouble. Shit just happens. A lot. It actually starts out with some punk that sends this weird vampire-zombie looking thing after me. He knows what I am and pretty much wants to sell me to Hell, as he puts it.
And then there’s this girl, getting pushed around by her boyfriend. She’s kind of sweet and I hate seeing women mistreated. You don’t hit a female, that’s just how it is.
CS: Figures. My writer has a bad habit of not paying attention. Anyway, my dad would have called that a “bar band.” I know what you mean about shit happening. I tried to learn guitar, but I suck at it. I'm lots better on a skateboard. When did you learn how to play?
XM: Eh, guitar isn’t too hard to play. I started while in school because Dad wanted me to have a constructive hobby instead of getting my ass in trouble. He bought me a bass. A right handed bass because it was big and I’m big but I’m also left-handed, so that was kind of like, figure it out or quit. I figured it out.
CS: What's the deal with Pinecliffe, Colorado? Is there anything to do out there besides drink your ass off? Any good skate parks?
XM: It’s out of the way and barely can be classified as a town, but there’s Pale Rider there, and yeah. You can do more than drink your ass off. There’s the lake, or fishing, or swimming. I think there’s a campground over in the national park nearby. Woodsy outdoorsy things. And what the hell is a skate park?
CS: What kind of songs do you play? (Let me guess. Death metal. Haha.)
XM: We play covers of songs that were popular mainly 70s-90s. Our target audience ranges from college-age to maybe around fifty. The older ones can’t stand the shit and go to Allen’s Landing, the bar across the lake.
CS: You have any videos of your band on YouTube? The Internet's down for good here, but my writer said he'd send me anything.
XM: No vids on YouTube of us since we’re a fictional band, but I do have a playlist of songs I post on Twitter as @crookedfang.
CS: How'd you turn into a vampire? Yeah, I know, you swapped blood with another vampire and all that shit. I mean, how did you hook up with a vampire and when did it happen?
XM: Brave little guy, aren’t you? Hey dude, when did you die? How was it? Fine. I’ll level with you.
In 1985, I went to a bar called Nightflier’s to have a beer. I ended up necking with one hell of a fine chick in red leather pants. She took me home. [actions redacted] I was dropped up at home. I died. I was buried. I was dug up by my new vampire sire. The rest is history.
CS: Who's after you? I guess your girlfriend's ex, yeah. Anyone else?
XM: Considering my previous reputation as a thug for my sire Zeta, I think I’m on just about every vampire’s shitlist. Feared or admired. But that’s not the point of this book either. In this one, it’s people. People that think they know about vampires. People that see me as a monster. I mean seriously…do I look like a monster to you?
CS: Huh. Hell no. So if you got one do-over, what would you use it on?
XM: Pointless to think about it. There is no reset in life.
Sure, I could say I wish I’d never stopped at Nightflier’s, but then I’d be what, fifty-three? Maybe on my second marriage, couple of kids, usual American mountain of debt. Or maybe I’d continued with my bad habits and ended up dead-dead. I guess everything happens for a reason. It is what it is.
And, that’s a wrap. Once again, that website is Crooked Fang, if you want to find out what happens to Xan.
You can find the author, Carrie Clevenger, on Twitter. And other places, of course!