Beauty In Chaos have released their new video for the cover of the Concrete Blonde classic ‘Bloodletting (The Vampire Song)’.
A shifting of genres into another realm with the addition of saxophone courtesy of Mars Williams from The Psychedelic Furs, Michael Ciravolo does the unexpected and takes the microphone! And, you know what? It sounds great! I love it when artists take risks and grab that chance and run with it.
The video is a true family affair. Both musically and biologically. When you’re surrounded by that much talent you can’t not use it. And this shows visually and sonically. We have the full fledgling of a musical and artistic brand. that yin and yang pulling on each other to create a dominating whole. Not a conclusion. A continuance.
The song holds your hand and guides you through this. Sometimes somber. Sometimes Solemn. Sometimes singalong. Always signature. You know when to sway and when to chant. Find your queue and become the music.
Check out our other articles & exclusive featuring Beauty In Chaos HERE.
So, what was it like taking the lead singer position for the first time?
It is certainly a bit different! I am blessed with such amazing singers featured on all of our songs. This was certainly something I wanted to do at some point, and the timing with this particular song just seemed to be right. But, it won’t be something I will be making a habit of!!!
Why did you choose ‘Bloodletting’ as your next cover song and how do you approach covers so that the original is respected but the new song also is infused with ‘chaos’?
“Bloodletting” by Concrete Blonde has always been one of my favorite songs. Being born and raised in New Orleans, I think Johnette’s lyrics have painted a very accurate picture of the seedy dark side of the French Quarter and the Garden District. Tish and I had a short-lived band called Stun Gun that actually played this song at our one, and only, live show. Recently, we were in New Orleans to see my partner-in-chaos, Michael Rozon play pedal steel guitar with Jerry Cantrell. Of course, being a N.O. local, I took most of the band into the Quarter one night. On our way to the St. Louis Cathedral, we walked through a few of the dark side streets, and let’s just say… you do see and hear some odd things there. Like, I heard a saxophone wailing from a distant club and the chorus of “Bloodletting” popped into my head.
As far as the approach, I don’t think there is a right or a wrong way to record a cover song. I knew I wanted to give our version of ‘Bloodletting’ an even more of a haunted, seedy New Orleans vibe, all while staying true to Johnette’s lyrics. I think we managed to pull that off and I love the last chorus section that has almost a New Orleans ‘second line’ sound to it!
Speaking of the sax, how did you get Mars Williams from the The Psychedelic Furs to play on the song?
First of all, the Furs have always been one of my all-time favorite bands, and I absolutely love how Mars’ sax works with the guitars. Wayne (Hussey, The Mission) had introduced me to Richard Fortus, when we were pulling the pieces together for TOS 2020. I loved Richard’s guitar playing with Richard Butler’s project, Love Spit Love. It turned out that he, along with Tim Palmer, were producing the new Furs’ ‘Made Of Rain’ album and Richard was kind enough to make an introduction to Mars. I sent Mars a rough version of the song and told him I was going for a sort of New Orleans jazz meets David Lynch vibe … and he graciously agreed to add some sax and he simply fucking nailed it. To me, his saxophone playing makes the song.
You also have some of the ladies of BIC on this track…
Yeah, that is certainly a nod to the Concrete Blonde original. Michael and I wanted ‘I got the ways and means to New Orleans’ chorus sections to have a type of “gang” vocal sound. I loved that Whitney, Kat and Tish are part of this. Whitney (Tai) does some amazing high parts, while Kat (Leon) adds some incredible raspiness. Tish also adds her cool, spooky, ethereal textures on the verses.
Any other ‘covers’ in BIC’s future?
Well, now this makes two covers! Funny you should ask, as I was looking at some notes I made when we started BIC four years ago recently. I wrote sort of a 3-year BIC plan that included a “Pinups” style cover album on that list. While it is still something we might do, I am more focused right now on some new material we are writing. “Bloodletting” has satisfied my cover appetite for now, I think.
The ‘Bloodletting’ video is a bit different, as it almost as a storyline. What is the story there?
Well, as I say with every video release, we do strive to make the new video as different as possible from our previous … and I would say that “Bloodletting” is certainly the polar-opposite in multiple ways to “Afterlife”! While this video follows a very loose story-line, it is certainly meant to be campy and tongue-in-cheek. It is really a bunch of our friends having fun in a fictional club. Nothing evil or satanic, just a B-movie mix of music and vampires!
After having released the new documentary ‘Unveiled’, where do you feel that Beauty In Chaos is in it’s career?
I can honestly say Beauty In Chaos is right where I want it to be. Michael and I still have a blast making music that still seems to inspire and is able to pull amazing lyrics and performances from a growing cast of very talented singers. I take none of this for granted. I feel truly blessed for what we have managed to create over the past 4 years.
Beauty In Chaos had an unofficial live gig playing with Gene Loves Jezebel and The Mission in Mexico lately, has that spawned ideas of a full live show or shows and how did that feel getting on the stage again?
I guess there was some BIC on stage at these recent Gene Loves Jezebel shows in Mexico, with Tish, Michael Aston and myself. For a fleeting moment, we did discuss adding ‘Road To Rosario” to the set, but a last minute drummer change made that impossible. I have been very fortunate to play some amazing shows in Mexico over the past two decades with Human Drama and I really love the people there and their passion for music.
I knew these shows would be memorable. Michael Aston and I have been fortunate to play to big audiences in our careers, so these shows were even more special to see my wife get to experience it from the stage as part of the band playing bass and singing! As for BIC live, I guess I go back and forth in my head about the who, where and how. I really enjoy playing on stage, and as I have said … I would love to perform BIC somehow in the future.
What is next for Beauty In Chaos?
Ha! October has probably been one, if not the busiest month of my life! Mixing and mastering ‘Bloodletting’, setting up, filming and editing the video, along with rehearsing GLJ, a warm-up show in Long Beach and the two shows in Mexico…. with a sick pup on top of it all! I planned to at least take a bit of a break … but Michael and I are indeed back in our studio working on a new song idea.
I guess to your question, I have been thinking on releasing a few singles starting in early 2023. It just seems to be more realistic than a year plus to make a full-length EP or album. I have a few singers I have been wanting to work with in mind, and I would absolutely love to work with some of our BIC album again .
About ‘Bloodletting (The Vampire Song)’
More than just a slight sonic departure from their previous releases, this track has BIC curator Michael Ciravolo taking the lead vocal spotlighting his New Orleans drawl, front and center. Ciravolo has also enlisted saxophone extraordinaire Mars Williams from The Psychedelic Furs to add some amazing jazz inspired avant-garde vibes to this incredible song.
“I always loved this song, as Johnette’s lyrics painted an eerily realistic picture of my hometown. On a recent trip there, I found myself walking through some dark side streets in the French Quarter with my BIC producer Michael Rozon and the freaky sights and sounds had this song ringing in my head. I heard a saxophone wailing from a distant club and that inspired this cover idea. Fortunately for me, my friends Tim Palmer and Richard Fortus had just produced the latest Furs album and kindly made an introduction to Mars. I’ve always loved what he plays with one of my favorite bands and he thankfully agreed to be part of this.” adds Ciravolo. Recent BIC alumni, Whitney Tai, Kat Leon and Tish Ciravolo added their voices in a nod to the original song.
As with many of BIC’s singles, a video accompanies the release and, as usual, is very different from its predecessor. For “Bloodletting’, Vicente Cordero and Industrialism Films returned behind the camera. “Well, this one is certainly VERY different from ‘Afterlife’ ” laughs Ciravolo. “We wanted a very tongue-in-check (ir would that be fangs-in-neck?) mix of ‘Eyes Wide Shut‘‘ and ’‘Lost Boys” … focusing more on a loosely based story line than just a simple band performance with it all being in good campy fun!”
Earlier this year, Beauty In Chaos released “Behind The Veil”, their all-female-fronted full-length album, along with an accompanying behind-the-scenes documentary film “Unveiled’.
- Words and Music by Johnette Napolitano
- Performed by Beauty In Chaos
- Michael Ciravolo – lead and backing vocals, guitars, textures and bass
- Michael Rozon – bass, lap steel, drum programming
- Mars Williams – saxophone
- Derek S. Abrams – live drums
- Additional vocals by Whitney Tai, Kat Leon, Kerry Remsen, Dickie Dollars and Tish Ciravolo
- Schecter Chain Gang – hand claps and drunken howls
- Recorded, mixed and produced by Michael Rozon at SAINTinLA Studio
- Additional recording by Mars Williams and Nick Perez
- Mastered by Dale Becker and Fili Filizzola at Becker Mastering
- Artist photo by Liz Ardman
- Filmed and Directed by Vicente Cordero (Industrialism Films)
- Edited by Ryan Conlon
- Steadicam Operator – Fabian Tehrani
- Cinematographer – Alexander Falanagan
- Additional lighting by Skum Love
- Video concept by Michael Ciravolo
- Vampire Hunter – Michael Ciravolo
- Band – Tish Ciravolo (Bass), Seth Miller (guitar), Daniel Chavez Cook (drums)
- Sax Man – Jake Handler
- Club Hostess – Whitney Tai
- Tarot Card Psychic – Kiki Remsen
- Powder Queen – Tish Ciravolo
- Vampire girls –Suzy Q Williams, Lisa Mason Lee, Kellie Krueger
- Vampire: Anthony Montemarano
About Beauty In Chaos
Beauty in Chaos is the brainchild of guitarist Michael Ciravolo. The LA-based New Orleans native is also President of Schecter Guitar Research. Until launching BIC, Ciravolo was guitarist in Human Drama for 30 years and had also played live and recorded with Michael Aston’s Gene Loves Jezebel since 1998.