Liliac, the five-part family rock band hailing from California, is to vamp metal as the Mikaelson family is to vampires. All of the supernatural teen drama from the CW series “The Vampire Diaries” aside, the Mikaelson family are the original vampires, responsible for the creation of the entire vampire species. Similarly, Liliac is the band promoting this unique new genre of metal. 

“Vamp metal is basically a genre we created which incorporates real instruments and heavy sound, but it also has a style because the way we dress is very vampiristic,” said Samuel Cristea, Liliac’s guitarist. “It’s because our parents were born in Transylvania, Romania and even our band name, Liliac, means vampire bat in Romanian.”

Much of Liliac’s musical inspiration can be attributed to their dad, Florin, who worked as a music producer for many years. Not only did he start the band, but he got the siblings into playing music and took them to their lessons. From there, each of the members found their own inspiration by learning from bigger artists and bands. 

“One of our first bands that really got us into rock was Queen, so that’s one of our main bands and influences as well,” said Abigail, the band’s drummer.

Pooling together inspiration with their musical knowledge and prowess, Liliac forged their personal music style of vamp metal. 

“The music we write is very different and unique because it is metal, it is rock, but we sound different,” vocalist Melody said. “We sound like our own band and style so that’s why we call ourselves vamp metal.”

The instrumentation primarily consists of heavy guitars and drums, powerful vocals, keys and bass. Other characteristics of the genre include dramatic and melodic qualities as well as deep and meaningful lyrics. 

As far as their songwriting and composition process goes, everybody works together to contribute to the final product. Sam comes up with guitar riffs, Abigail with drum lines and Florin and Melody work on, well, the melodies. They all work together on the lyrics, however Melody does most of the lyrics.

Liliac wrote their most recent album “Queen of Hearts,” released in October 2020, while embarking on their 2019 Chain of Thorns North American tour, though this did pose a few challenges. Ethan and Justin were simultaneously enrolled in online school, and there was a lot of driving involved. So, throwing album composition into the mix wasn’t easy. 

“And then, you know, you get into writer’s block where I can’t think of anything,” Melody said. “Some songs came really easy, and then some songs took a while, a lot of work to break it down and get everything situated in the song.”

COVID-19 presented another challenge to the band, preventing them from performing live. 

“A big thing that [COVID-19] did was we weren’t able to do shows and it was pretty hard, but last year we were working on our ‘Queen of Hearts’ album while [COVID-19] happened and it gave us time to just stay at home, record everything, get it done and that’s when we got it done in October and we released it in October,” Abigail said.

Liliac said more vamp metal content is on the horizon. An acoustic set as well as live content from the Chain of Thorns tour will be released soon. The band, who recently moved from California to Georgia, also plans on fixing up their basement to use it as a studio, rehearsal and potential performance space.

“We’re also in the process of learning new covers, putting out new covers and new music and the hope this year of doing more shows because last year was very tough,” Abigail said. “We only did two shows last year, and we love doing shows so we’re hoping for the best and we’re hoping that we can do more shows.”

Liliac’s “Queen of Hearts” and many of their other live performances are on YouTube, contributing to the metal scene as a whole. In the words of Liliac: rock on, and rock hard!

Audio Attribution: Liliac

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Ally Urban

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