(left: Dahvie Vanity right: Jayy Von Monroe Photos by: Gerald Wilmot)
Blood On The Dance Floor are gearing up for a busy year. On Tuesday, they released a single, “The Right To Love!” while a new single, “Unforgiven,” is due March 6–and their long-awaited new album, Evolution, is out in June. Two weeks ago, BOTDF principles Dahvie Vanity and Jayy Von Monroe took a break from recording to bring AP up to date with their music. Vanity is particularly optimistic–and excited about–the messages Evolution will convey. “If we have the power of hundreds and thousands of people listening to us, we’re going to make it,” he says. “Our voice will be heard—it’s going to be an evolution of the mind. It’s going to be a love evolution—that is the whole point of our album. That is why we’re creating this music we’re creating.”
I know you guys have been in the studio for a while, so where are you at with recording?
Dahvie Vanity: It’s a blessing. We’re actually at the end of the road. We are finishing up the last songs for the new album, [including] “You Are The Heart”; we finish that song this weekend. We’ve got 14 tracks completed. We actually have some extra tracks, too, that we have completed, like three extra tracks. And then we did two acoustic songs for the new album, so we’ve got a lot completed. It was a six-month process. We’ve been at this since Warped Tour 2011. Before we went into Warped Tour, we started writing Evolution. It’s been quite a journey—a very exciting, life-changing journey.
Life-changing in what way?
DV: Well, we learned a lot through this album about ourselves. We’ve reached this peak in our abilities to create songs. It’s almost as if we rediscovered ourselves through past recordings and discoveries that we made along the journey of music. One of the exciting things that we discovered on this album is the force of love. We really went into the law of love and we really went into deep philosophy. We studied a lot of great philosophers, like Albert Einstein, Gandhi, Isaac Newton, Aristotle. We really just kind of went deep into that with the new album; we applied the law of love to every single song we created. Also, Jayy, his main influence on the album was the energy of negativity. So, he kind of went into this whole “believe in yourself” philosophy. It’s almost as if we both took two different paths.
Jayy Von Monroe: It’s kind of like finding your center, just because Dahvie and I are different, but at the same time we’re the same. He’s kind of the better side of me, and I’m the darker side of him. It’s like yin and yang—the light has no power without fear of the dark and the dark cannot exist without casted shadow from the light. It balances itself out completely, and I think we’ve found our perfect center. That’s been a real big eye-opener for this album.
DV: Simplified—basically, I am the yin and he is the yang.
Those create really interesting balances and contrasts. It’s friction that can create some really interesting creative things, I bet.
JM: Yeah, it makes relatable stories for both parties.
DV: It’s almost as if there’s two point of views on the album. We actually did something different that we normally don’t do. Our past records, we’d go in the studio and we’d come up with an idea. This time, we actually broke down stories and spent months writing it. Actually, we were originally creating a movie between good and evil. It just kind of transformed into the law of love and the law of negativity. We just did the whole yin and yang thing. An interesting fact about it is—we wrote this for our new album:
“Darkness is the tool with which we use to gauge light. We all have to acknowledge that this darkness exists. All have to remember our past in order to move forward from where we were to where we want to be. We’re all slayers of darkness; we’re all carriers of light capable of both leading the way to brighter and more beautiful life. Love, happiness, peace, unity, contentment, self-acceptance, strength, resilience, and optimism are all the things that we strive for and all the things that are possible to achieve once we realize that darkness can be overcome if we choose these things in a constant viral state. It takes just one person to light the way for others to start the chain of hope—purveyors of love, peace, unity and happiness. Hold your enemies closer so that you may always know how to triumph over them and always keep your dreams alive inside your heart. Together, we must stand up for something or we will fall for anything. One love.”
That’s what we wrote for the album, but that kind of goes with our whole new philosophy that we’re writing through our music now, which is the force of love and the force of hate.
These lyrical themes—how do they influence the music you guys are making? The sonic textures?
DV: They influence us in a sense of writing the messages to every song—so, for instance, when we wrote the song that Jayy wrote, “Loveotomy”—you want to explain how you wrote “Loveotomy”? Like, how did we embody the force of hate and love into each song? How did we create the music we created?
JM: Honestly, that’s just from life experience for me. That was, like, a troubled time I went through, and I felt the pain of it and wanted to write a song about it so people could relate to it and maybe relieve themselves of that pain. That’s pretty much all that “Loveotomy” comes from for me. It’s not as negative as it seems. It’s positive in the end because, well, I’m still alive and I got over it. [Laughs.] That’s the upper side.
DV: It’s kind of like believing in yourself.
JM: If you can’t have faith in yourself, then who else do you have to believe in?
DV: It’s kind of like when I wrote the song “Love Conquers All,” I wrote how distance kind of makes the heart fonder, but no matter if darkness tries to prevail or come in, you have to know that love is the strongest force—it’s an immeasurable force. As long as you stay righteous and good and you believe in that force, you can do anything you put your mind to.
That’s true. I think a lot of kids and fans of music need to hear that stuff, especially today. It seems like there’s a lot of negativity and a lot of people trying to cut people down. Rolling Stone just ran this really heartbreaking, amazing story about bullying in a Minneapolis school district. It was so heartbreaking reading about all these kids who were bullied for being who they were.
DV: We’ve got a song that we wrote called “Rise And Shine” which is featuring Deuce who was in a band called Hollywood Undead. “Rise And Shine” is going to be the most powerful song about believing in yourself. It’s a song that I wrote when I was in seventh grade and I was bullied. Every time I play this song, I start getting really sensitive. There’s tears forming up in my eyes, because it takes me to a really dark place. But by the end of the song the clouds are lifted—you have to realize you can erase the darkness if you stand up for yourself. We’re trying to encourage that to our fans. With the force of love and compassion and believing in yourself, you can rise up and conquer anything you set your mind to.
We’re trying to give salvation for people through this album. Evolution is the change of the mind. It’s a love revolution that’s needed in our society. A lot of my influences personally were from Bright Eyes, Bob Marley, the Beatles. I took a lot of their teachings and philosophies [and a lot of of teachings from] past great philosophers like Aristotle and Newton. All of these people believed in the law of love, and they were people just like you and me. And they just took their message and applied it to their creations. We’re creators as well of today through music—and what we’re trying to do is create our message of love to give hope to motivate people to reach their dreams. Because if we don’t help our kids of the future now, we’re going to have a really scary future for America. We’re just trying to save the world. That is our message right now.