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Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | SELF

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2010
Duo Rock Noise




"UMFM TOP 101 OF 2015"

Top List for 2014
Rank Artist Album Label
1 Vampires Every Kind Of Light EP Independent wpg.
2 Comeback Kid Die Knowing Victory / Distort wpg.
3 Dub Rifles No Town, No Country: 1981 - 1984 Sundowning Sound Recordings wpg.
4 Futurekids Say Goodnight To The Machines Independent wpg.
5 The New Pornographers Brill Bruisers Last Gang Records cdn.
6 Kieran West & His Buffalo Band Riverwood Avenue EP Independent wpg.
7 The Reverend Rambler The Reverend Rambler Golden Oak Recording Co. wpg.
8 Kevin Drew Darlings Arts & Crafts cdn.
9 Pink Mountaintops Get Back Outside / Jagjaguwar cdn.
10 The Zags Stop The World Independent wpg.
11 Blunderspublik Kittens & Shit: Homage to '90s Winnipeg Sfeericle wpg.
12 The Mariachi Ghost The Mariachi Ghost Independent wpg.
13 JD & The Sunshine Band JD & The Sunshine Band Transistor 66 wpg.
14 The Pack A.D. Do Not Engage Nettwerk cdn.
15 Del Barber Prairieography True North Records wpg.
16 Dirty Catfish Brass Band Brass Riot Independent wpg.
17 The Other Brothers Everything Can Change Independent wpg.
18 Birdapres & Grey Jay If And Only If Marathon of Dope wpg.
19 Christine Fellows Burning Daylight You've Changed Records wpg.
20 Chad Vangaalen Shrink Dust Flemish Eye cdn.
21 Couer De Pirate Trauma Dare To Care Records cdn.
22 Zeus Classic Zeus Arts & Crafts cdn.
23 Beefdonut Famous For Quality Independent wpg.
24 The Wooden Sky Let's Be Ready Chelsea Records cdn.
25 Fucked Up Glass Boys Arts & Crafts cdn.
26 Library Voices For John EP Prairie Shag Recordings cdn.
27 Timber Timbre Hot Dreams Arts & Crafts cdn.
28 Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings Give The People What They Want Daptone
29 Surprise Party Heart Of Love Shake! wpg.
30 Vikings Vikings Woven Records wpg.
31 Sights & Sounds Silver Door Distort wpg.
32 The Men Tomorrow's Hits Sacred Bones wpg.
33 Slow Leaves Beauty Is So Common Independent wpg.
34 Mac DeMarco Salad Days Captured Tracks cdn.
35 Bry Webb Free Will Idee Fixe cdn.
36 The Souljazz Orchestra Inner Fire Strut cdn.
37 Big Trouble In Little China Sweet Delerium Eat Em Up Records wpg.
38 Various Transmissions From UMFM 101.5 2014 UMFM wpg.
39 Sunparlour Players The Living Proof Independent cdn.
40 Kindest Cuts Kindest Cuts Dub Ditch Picnic wpg.
41 BADBADNOTGOOD III Arts & Crafts cdn.
42 Dog Day Fade Out Fundog cdn.
43 St. Vincent St. Vincent Loma Vista / Republic
44 Kalle Mattson Someday, The Moon Will Be Gold Parliament of Trees cdn.
45 Greg Rekus Punkoustic Independent wpg.
46 The Heavyweights Brass Band Brasstronomical Lula World Records cdn.
47 Dinosaur Feathers Control Ernest Jenning Record Co.
48 The Jezabels The Brink Dine Alone Records
49 Death From Above 1979 The Physical World Last Gang Records cdn.
50 The Fugitives Everything Will Happen Light Organ Records cdn.
51 Tokyo Police Club Forcefield Dine Alone Records cdn.
52 Warpaint Warpaint Rough Trade
53 Greg Arcade In... Leaving Home Golden Oak Recording Co. wpg.
54 Thus Owls Turning Rocks Secret City Records cdn.
55 Oh Susanna Namedropper Sonic Unyon cdn.
56 The Crooked Brothers Thank You I'm Sorry Independent wpg.
57 Various I'll Hang With God, But Not Today Dub Ditch Picnic wpg.
58 Various Beach Station Blues III Real Love Winnipeg wpg.
59 Elephant Stone The Three Poisons Hidden Pony cdn.
60 The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer A Real Fine Mess Tonic cdn.
61 Box Of Wolves Let's Start Again EP Electronic Rumous wpg.
62 Cloud Nothings Here And Nowhere Else Carpark
63 Cousins The Halls of Wickwire Hand Drawn Dracula cdn.
64 Alvvays Alvvays Polyvinyl cdn.
65 FKA twigs LP1 Young Turks
66 Greek Riots Cavalier EP Independent wpg.
67 Sons Of York Forever Potential Independent wpg.
68 The Happy Unfortunate Cosmos Independent wpg.
69 PS I Love You For Those Who Stay Paper Bag Records cdn.
70 Jess Reimer The Nightjar & The Garden Maple Music wpg.
71 Monomyth Saturnalia Regalia Mint Records cdn.
72 Owen Pallett In Conflict Secret City Records cdn.
73 Angel Olsen Burn Your Fire For No Witness Jagjaguwar
74 Basia Bulat Tall Tall Shadow Secret City Records cdn.
75 The Bamboos Fever In The Road Nettwerk
76 The Rural Alberta Advantage Mended With Gold Paper Bag Records cdn.
77 John The Conqueror The Good Life Alive Naturalsounds
78 Caribou Our Love Merge cdn.
79 Shooting Guns Wolfcop: OST Sundowning Sound Recordings cdn.
80 Mode Moderne Occult Delight Light Organ Records cdn.
81 Mozart's Sister Being Paper Bag Records cdn.
82 Pine Tarts Wolves Named The Moon Bow Records cdn.
83 Rich Aucoin Ephemeral Bonsound cdn.
84 Sloan Commonwealth Yep Roc cdn.
85 Alfa Harmattan Head In The Sand wpg.
86 Shakey Graves And The War Came Dualtone
87 Last Ditch On The Left Last Ditch On The Left 2sH Records wpg.
88 Immigrant Union Anyway Headness Australia
89 Sleepy Sun Maui Tears Dine Alone Records
90 Reigning Sound Shattered Merge
91 Sylvan Esso Sylvan Esso Partisan Records
92 Neil Young Live At The Cellar Door Reprise
93 Reuben & The Dark Funeral Sky Arts & Crafts cdn.
94 Xiu Xiu Angel Guts: Red Classroom Polyvinyl
95 Michael Feuerstack & Associates Singer Songer Forward Music Group cdn.
96 Naysa Troubled Heart EP Independent wpg.
97 Kelis Food Ninja Tune
98 London Grammar If You Wait Sony / Columbia
99 Blackie & The Rodeo Kings South File Under: Music cdn.
100 Dead Ranch Antler Royal No List Records wpg.
101 Flying Lotus You're Dead! Warp -

"VAMPIRES: Every Kind of Light EP: Cassette"

Vampires wrench out a racket which hits the ethereal/atmospheric heights of Juno, the creepy yowling of David Thomas, the jagged guitar counterpoint of the Measure [S.A.], and the anthemic release of Hot Water Music, all without sounding like anyone but themselves. All this despite being a two-piece: guitarist David Dobbs has chops enough to pull off all of the above idioms and drummer Matthew Powers is aptly named. These guys slay. Release of the issue for me (and in an issue full of strong competition). Oh jeez, I’m gushing. You know what? Who cares? They rule. More, please! –Michael T. Fournier ( - Razorcake Magazine

"Amazing Out-Of-Town Bands – VAMPIRES"

Winnipeg is a LONNNNGGG ways from Philadelphia, however, the ominous, catchy riffed VAMPIRES has curated a sound that is undeniably noteworthy from such a distance! Not one song on this EP is devoid of hook laden song structures that will keep your interest the entire time. This two piece provides a dichotomous calm before the storm that is highly contrasted by the sheer grit of their fuzzed out, distorted and grunge rock qualities! All the while, highly relatable lyrics will capture your interest and not let go until “Every Kind of Light” EP is compete! Everything about this band is what I look for to encapsulate an “Amazing Out-Of-Town Band” and as of 2015 these guys have set the bar REALLY FUCKING HIGH already!

They’re in the works to release a music video in the next couple of days as well as, recording their follow up to “Every Kind of Light!” Definitely go and pick up your copy of “Every Kind of Light” on cassette on their bandcamp as there are only 150 of these bad boys in existence! Follow them on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube accounts and be sure to let them know that we want them to make a stop in our town when they tour again! So, check out “Every Kind of Light” below and real stoked on VAMPIRES! - Radio Static Philadelphia


Harkening from the dirtiest of the dirt, VAMPIRES hits like Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh, all at once a punch in the gut that drops you to your knees in some Midwestern parking lot and the hand that helps you back up then offers you an Old Milwaukee. Their latest EP, the deftly-named Every Kind of Light, continues the noise-rock duo’s tradition of distorted, omnipresent guitars (is there really just one? there’s really just one) matched by distorted yet vulnerable vocals and thrashing, basement-punk drums that work together to rattle your cassette player — this is young-adult winter desperation music.

The EP’s opening track, “Not Waiting ‘till Fall,” is soft and fragile, fading in to light drums and clean picked guitar, but these misconceptions are quickly dropped as the distortion is turned on. Like the song itself, the lyrics speak of a decaying city, and days of eternal waiting and eternal lost chances. Then the song shifts to soaring major chords, giving hope to those trapped, only to fall back into an angrier series of riffs that cut short all hopes of escape.

This sentiment of no escape is echoed throughout the EP. In the instrumental track “Riff Rise,” no vocals come to emancipate the heavy, rhythmic guitar that churns in endless circles with the drums. It’s as if someone’s running, but to where they cannot tell. “Winnipeg Song” leaves where “Not Waiting ‘till Fall” left off, pained lamentations about the city and the people that live there, and the only person worth talking to – who isn’t around anymore.

The EP’s final track, “There’s No Kissing Anymore,” takes the distortion to a new level and ambles on, like a lumbering drunk, shouting at strangers, angry at the world, a final cry for vindication that gets crushed with sleep and a hangover. And, like that final vindication, the song and EP end on a last shaky guitar note that finally slips away into oblivion.

So if that’s the kind of thing you’re into, check this album out.

Written by: Paris Spence-Lang - the Permanent Rain Press

"DIY noise duo Vampires boils caramel inside a cello"

CALGARY — Winnipeg noise-rockers, Vampires, released their anticipated Every Kind of Light EP at the end of May this year. Since their beginnings in 2009, they have gone through a slew of members — Matthew Powers and David Dobbs now make up the duo. Known for their dynamic live acts, the type familiar to local show frequenters, the two will be bringing their energy on tour to the prairies this fall. Having steered away from building an online presence, Vampires’ reputation swelled through organic means. Regardless of this DIY mentality, the four-song, lo-fi cassette has brought them impressive reception not only locally, but throughout Canada and beyond as well. Having recorded Every Kind of Light live, the shows are expected to be just as loud, rowdy and greasy as their sprawl of fans are thirsting for.

BeatRoute: How has the new EP been received? Was the reception something you expected?

Matthew Powers: It’s been received really well, I think. We felt the songs came out strong and we’re definitely surprised by the amount of support we’ve gotten. It’s very lo-fi and raw sounding, so it’s refreshing to see people excited about that sound again.

David Dobbs: You can’t please everybody, but we seem to inspiring some interesting responses. I never expected a four song tape cassette would bring CBC, Global TV and national news papers calling. Unexpected, yes.

BeatRoute: How would you describe your sound?

MP: A duo that sounds like a quartet. Or, noise rock.

DD: Like a crushed can of golden caramel sauce inside of a loud, beat-up cello.

BeatRoute: VAMPIRES doesn’t have as much of an Internet presence as most bands today (Twitter, Instagram). How do you think this affected your process of success?

MP: I don’t think it has affected us too much. It was a purposeful decision, it kept us a mystery up until we were ready to show people something. It may have kept us out of the industry’s eyes for a while, but I think it built a buzz with the people who enjoyed the music because you had to have a copy of the (self-titled debut) album or one of the DIY EPs the band put out at shows.

BeatRoute: What are some pros and cons of being in a band from Winnipeg? What is the music scene like there right now?

MP: It’s a great scene with a ton of incredible bands, all genres. We’re having a bit of a venue shortage these days, so it’s nice to see a lot of DIY venues popping up in alternative spaces and musty basements to fill the void some of our closed clubs that left.

DD: I had a great talk with Ryan Spencer of Jamaican Queens last year about northern bands, how we get these great, supergroup-type bands, because the musicians in them are the ones who can’t stop making music. After three or four bands, you start to align with other musicians who want to keep writing songs and not just be a summer bar band or whatever. The winter allows a type of deep space hibernation — imagine that every year, every winter. Winnipeg has some amazing artists of every type.

BeatRoute: You focus on accomplishing things on your own. What was the process of recording the EP like?

MP: It was really fun, for me at least. Dobbs got really dehydrated while mixing in the boiling hot control room and got really sick. Otherwise, it went well. Dobbs, as a show host, was familiar with the UMFM studios where we recorded, so it went quickly. We recorded it all live-off-the-floor in two days and mixed it the following week. Everything you hear is one take, no overdubs, except the vocals.

BeatRoute: What does the future of VAMPIRES entail?

MP: More writing and recording. We have a whole album worth of new material to sort through and get ready to start recording this winter. We’re creative people and the switch never really turns off for either of us. Plus, keep touring as much as we can, music festivals, we’re showcasing a bit this fall — basically, we want to get our music and live show out to anyone who will listen.

DD: I want to play Sled. And I want to get a blurb in Spin magazine. Goals: set.

Catch Vampires at Bohemia (Edmonton) on October 16, at the Slice (Lethbridge) on October 17 and at the Palomino (Calgary) on October 18.

Monday 13th, October 2014 / 00:00
By Josefa Cameron - BEATROUTE AB

"Review – Every Kind Of Light EP"

Every Kind Of Light is noisey, fuzzy, unique, and just a tad bit spotty, but totally worth your time.

Aight, I’ll admit it, Huddy Bolly loves Canada. There, I said it. I think the most life changing thing that has come from starting up Huddy Bolly is that I figured out how great of an underground music scene Canada has. Vampires Like You is a band from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Which, to be honest, I don’t know a whole lot about, besides that their hockey team is getting blown the fuck out by the Ducks right now. Side note: GO WILD! However if Vampires is any indication of the Winnipeg local music scene, that place should really be on your radar. Vampires is a two-piece shoegaze band with some lo-fi tape hiss and some emo-esque melodies. The end result is a unique sound that works surprisingly well as a two-piece. There are moments on the album where I could have appreciated another guitarist doing some riffs, but for the most part, Vampires works best as a noisy, garagey two-piece. Every Kind of Light starts off with the strongest song on the album “Not Waiting ’till Fall.” Fuzzy guitars and tight playing between the drummer and the guitarist are what make this song shine. Oddly enough, I am reminded of a sped up Have a Nice Life track. The song builds and contorts itself into a stream-of-consciousness structure before ending with a catchy outro. The fourth and final track seems to be a bit of a black sheep to me. All the interesting chord progressions, catchy melodies, and gazey production seem to vanish in favor for a blues like structure. The song is almost redeemed in the last minute or so with a mind-melting bridge but I still found myself wishing for more of what made Vampires Like You so interesting to listen to. Every Kind of Light is an solid EP with a unique sound. It has its spotty moments, but overall the EP is oozing with depth and fantastic musicianship.

– Kent Bauer - Huddy Bolly

"Sounding Off: VAMPIRES - Every Kind of Light EP"

There is absolutely no room to breathe on Every Kind of Light. It’s claustrophobic in the best of ways, the kind of non-stop angular guitar nightmare that calls for vicious head-banging in a sweaty, crowded space. The spare moments offered to give you a rest come only briefly on the verses of “Winnipeg Song,” but then the chorus kicks in and it’s clear that whenever they slow things down or lower the volume they’re champing at the bit to get back to a ferocious squall. Sure, there are some quiet bits. But they only exist so VAMPIRES can catch you when you’re not looking and bring a tidal wave of noise down on your head.

Released back in late May this year, the Winnipeg duo’s second release is all kinds of dark and wonderful, providing a crisp 17 minutes of giddy chaos. If some mad scientist tried to snare the creature that Winnipeg’s sonic and artistic aesthetic has grown into, grind it to death and turn it into four songs, this is what those four songs would sound like. “Not Waiting ‘till Fall” starts out as soft, blurry melancholy, only to turn on a dime into a goliath-riff hellscape. “There’s No Kissing Anymore” offers short glimpses of classic rock swagger ripped through with the spirit of basement shows. The only weak spot might be instrumental “Riff Rise,” and it’s still perversely fun, equating to what is, essentially, the sound of two dudes playing loud and fast rock ‘n’ roll sounds, which is never really a bad thing.

Every Kind of Light sounds like Winnipeg. It’s gritty, dangerous, not afraid of being loud and not ashamed of being rough around the edges. If you want blood, VAMPIRES has got lots of it. Just be careful what you wish for.

(It should be mentioned, Every Kind of Light’s cover art was done by the immensely talented Gabrielle Funk, also from Winnipeg) -

"VAMPIRES – Every Kind of Light"

VAMPIRES strikes off into the faint horizon with the glory of an intoxicated post-rock majesty. This two-piece guitar and drum mix hails from Winnipeg, MB. “Set on bringing the noise… sometimes you’ll find us spinning near the edge of roof tops, but most of the time you’ll just hear us a mile away,” say the VAMPIRES band mates, as they released their newest EP titled Every Kind Of Light.

With far-off glimpses into the heady vocalist daze, the EP spreads its wings out into impossible truths, spoken with the grainy mind of a triumphant rhythmic break. Punk and grunge breaths emerge in flight, as in the venous pulse of their cold, piercing guitar. At once clear and direct, then distorted over a visionary bridge, the sound of VAMPIRES is the sound of an undead calling. The album is an eclectic and bold vision, absorbed by the afterglow of unreason.

This VAMPIRES album has seen impressive reception on radio, including hitting #1 on Winnnipeg’s CJUM Loud charts, among other notable rankings on CKUW. For fans of post-rock and DIY art-rock it’s certainly worth a listen, even in the midst of such fading obscurity. Like the third track “Winnipeg Song” states, “Well I know you well/And I know you know me too.” - BEATROUTE AB

"Unconsciously Screamin’"

"I almost died last night," David Dobbs says as he walks into The Uniter office. He’s wearing a hospital bracelet. Seems legit.

Singer/guitarist Dobbs, along with drummer Matthew Powers, make up Winnipeg noise rock duo Vampires. While mixing the band’s forthcoming four-song cassette, tentatively called the Every Kind of Light EP, Dobbs thinks he had a panic attack. His lips went numb, as did his arms and hands. He went to the hospital. They sent him home. Understandably, he’s still a little freaked out.

In this manic spirit, the band’s yet to be released new EP (which it cranked out over two days in mid-April at 101.5 UMFM’s studio without an outside engineer or producer) is proving to be a more difficult animal in the mixing stages.

“I treated this recording like a four track,” Dobbs says. “When I mixed all the drums, I bounced them down. Then I mixed all the guitars and I bounced them down. Then I mixed all the vocals and I bounced them down, and then I have them all together. I’m treating it like a Beatles album or a Nirvana album. In the studio you call that ‘commit recording.’ The mixing has been a daunting experience and I’ve been kicked in the teeth repeatedly. That’s why I think I had a panic attack last night.”


The story of Vampires is known to those in Winnipeg’s incestuous underground music circle, and it’s a tricky one. Dobbs formed the duo in 2009 with drummer/guitarist Josh Butcher and the pair began gigging shortly thereafter. A slew of shows followed, and according to Dobbs, “everyone seemed to want a piece,” noting that Royal Canoe’s Matt Peters and Jicah’s Jeff Bruce offered to work with the band. In early 2010 they entered engineer Jeff Patteson’s (Eagle Lake Owls, Mitten Claps) Home Street Recording Company. With a record in the can, they began mixing and doing press. They played more shows. Mixing continued. And continued. Dobbs keeps insisting that they “weren’t able to make those decisions,” though. When pressed, he doesn’t quite clarify what “decisions” he’s referring to, but he elaborates on the process.

“It wasn’t sounding like the sounds in my head, and the process was hard on both of us in the sense that we had two very opposing ideas of what a studio meant,” he says. “I think a studio is where you add a little more magic in the bag and shake it up, and Josh was under the impression that it was a temple and everything is sacred.

“It was hard on us to come to a congruent understanding of what this was supposed to be. In hindsight, making an album is never supposed to be anything, it is what it is.”

Fast forward to late 2010 when Dobbs got involved with UMFM (he currently hosts Hllll!Yh!Wpg!, Tuesdays from 8-9pm) where he learned the art of audio recording. Vampires went in with the intention of recording a pair of songs for a single, but came out with a nine-track LP.

Then another year went by. More mixing. While Butcher took a trip to Argentina, Dobbs formed Softcore with singer Lasha Mowchun and drummer Taylor Burgess (though that band ended last year, Dobbs notes there is an unreleased record ready to go). This takes us to November 2012, when Vampires released its self-titled debut proper.

A day after the album release show, Butcher moved to Argentina to live with a woman he met there.

“How are you gonna stop your best friend from falling in love with someone?” Dobbs asks. “I have no idea who this Argentinian woman is, so I just have to trust him and he just leaves. So that’s where Vampires ended and started, all in one week. We dropped our first album and its core members.”


A lot of bands break up without even putting out a record, but just as many play the “album release show/final show ever” game. Vampires seemed destined for this, except something happened - the disc got radio play, and not just locally.

“We had top albums,” Dobbs says. “We were charting in Quebec and Ontario. Manitoba for sure. We’re on top ten lists alongside KEN mode and Boats and Yo La Tengo and it doesn’t make any sense, because we didn’t play one show in 2013, from January to December. Not one.”

While all this was happening, Dobbs’ friends were encouraging him to get out and play. His guard was up, though.

“I am a particular study in the sense that I do have the sound in my head, the vision quest, so to speak,” he offers. “It takes a while for people to come into my inner circles. I have many outers, but my defence mechanisms are to be extroverted and aloof, whereas really I’m focused and shy on the inside. So no one came along that I felt nice about or confident about. I just know from Winnipeg experience that it’s not what I’m looking for. So time passes.”

One day, while searching for new music on, he came across a group called Midnight Review Presents: an aggressive, DIY project that spoke to him. After exchanging messages with the band, a mutual admiration was discovered.

“I was kinda floored, who the hell is this band that knows my band?” Dobbs says. “There was lots of integrity behind it and I’ve always been more into the music than the production value so it hit a really good chord, whoever this is doesn’t care as much they just wanna put it out.”

It turns out that Matthew Powers (SitDownTracy, HCE) was looking for a drummer for the live incarnation for what is basically his solo home-recording project.

“At the time I was really skirting Vampires,” Dobbs notes. “No one’s capable or willing in that way, and I need to make myself happy so I’m gonna join his band. Turns out, not only is he the guitarist in this band that I’m drumming in, but he’s a really good drummer. He puts the idea in my head of drumming in Vamps and I’m like ‘no fucking way’ because if it capsizes or fails or if we don’t like each other after six months … I was conscious of the idea of all eggs in one basket. So I was really aware, even though I knew he was a top pick.”

Dobbs auditioned numerous drummers, including Powers.

“I even came out and jammed with you once and you just never called me back about it,” Powers relays to Dobbs. “You were like ‘meh.’”

After solidifying a new Vampires line-up with longtime friend Arthur Anthony (The Girth) Dobbs started booking shows.

“I contacted (local music festival) Big Fun on the last day of their submissions and said ‘I got the band back together, let’s do this!’ And they were like ‘If you have a band, we have a show for you.’”

(When we relay to Dobbs that not everybody gets such special treatment, that Big Fun is a festival that artists apply to and isn’t curated, he offers that “maybe it wasn’t like that, but it felt like that.”)

But just as quickly as Anthony joined Vampires, he quit. This forced Dobbs to revisit the possibility of being in two bands with the same guy.

“When (Matthew and I) talk about music, we’re walkin’ on the same street, just on different sides,” he says.


Every band in 2014 has at least a Facebook page, if not a Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr or out of date MySpace they can’t login to anymore. Vampires are working on it.

“I shot myself in the foot not having those set up,” Dobbs says. “In the five years I’ve had this going I could’ve had at least 600 likes and that would’ve gotten us shows booked in New York or whatever. So my plan to combat that is to personally contact every single person that showed interest in the past.”

It’s that type of DIY mentality (which includes handmade CD-Rs handed out at shows) that has kept the band’s charm going strong for so long. But the “industry ideas” (management, contacts) tend to creep in at this point.

“The idea of having a manager or a PR campaign, it’s boring,” Dobbs says.”Vampires has been purely grassroutes up until now. We’ve done really well spending no money for people to make us do well.

“There’s no reason for that. It’s working fine. My goals have been succeeded.”

We point out that the band recently purchased a membership to Manitoba Music, the province’s not-for-profit music industry association.

“The opportunity of riding on the album, being in a new position, it makes sense to plant more seeds,” Dobbs says. After bringing up such local success stories as Royal Canoe and KEN mode, neither of which have compromised their sounds or images to succeed, Dobbs and Powers relate.

“I think that’s their work ethic being put into the industry,” Dobbs says. “They could put that work ethic into anything else and I think it would pay off. They’re able to do it in a way because they want that. I think everyone wants that level of success. To be continually touring, to be able to play shows.”


“I got, I dunno, sent to a Rip/Torn (literary journal) launch,” Dobbs says. “It’s an intense magazine. (R/T co-founder) Gabrielle Funk’s there and she has her artwork there. I was really into her brushstrokes. There’s a certain kinetic pallet to it. I was really impressed, like if Van Gogh opened up his pallet and did real life fiction.”

“When David asked me to design the album cover, he stressed that he wanted the experience to be a collaboration that was mutually beneficial as opposed to something more one-sided,” Funk says. “The band gave me freedom to develop a piece for them that was inspired by their music and our personal interactions. It has been a totally ideal job for me because I have had a chance to get to know some inspiring local people who are pursuing their musical goals and create a piece of artwork that is developing very organically, and therefore is more meaningful to me as an artist.”

Dobbs says that the cassette insert will fold out, forming a square, and notes it could also be used as a poster. “The format of a square is the best, but printing vinyl and a CD doesn’t make sense to me right now.”

Funk states that the piece is darker than what she’d normally produce.

“When I heard Vampires’ music for the first time I was on an extremely crowded bus going to work on a wintery day,” she says. “The music transported me to a place not unlike the crowded bus, except much better - a local venue, in the dark, with a beer in my hand, surrounded by friends. Their sound is familiar and fiery and it immediately inspired me to start on a piece of work that I have been wanting to do for almost a year.”

The cassette features the tentatively-titled tunes “Winnipeg Song”, “There Is No Kissing Anymore”, “Waiting” and “Riff Rise”. The set also has a tentative title, the Every Kind of Light EP.

“I don’t know how I came up with it, but it seems so inclusive and metaphorical and really big,” Dobbs says. “So I typed it into the Internet and it’s a goddamn Trews album. On this particular Trews album, there’s a song called ‘I Know You’re Right.’ When you bought a computer that has Windows Vista or 7, they give you this sample pack, with Beethoven, Joan Jett, The Trews and a Flo Rida song.”

(Dobbs later relays via Facebook, “It was the Posies, not the Trews”.)

Clearly embedded in his consciousness, Dobbs is, at press time, still conflicted with the title. “I really like memes and I like the idea of viral attitudes implanted in your brain,” he says. “The idea that there are literally millions of people that bought Windows Vista and they have, in one shape or way, read the sentence ‘every kind of light’ and they had Windows Media Player and deleted or played that Trews song...

“I used to do graffiti. I would spray paint a square with the idea that people would walk by, and whether they recognize it or not, their whole life has changed. That’s where this motif comes from. Whether they acknowledge it or not, they’ve already seen this, and that’s a staying power you can’t buy. But you can buy Windows Vista.”

Whether the title works out or not, Dobbs is feeling the pressure of following up his band’s debut.

“When you have another album coming out you can’t go down,” he says. “You have to go lateral or up so I’m really nervous.”

“Quality is quality, though,” Powers says. “I think quality song-wise is all that really matters.”

“It feels like with Matt there’s an opportunity to go back to basics in that mature way the original band couldn’t do and didn’t understand what that was,” Dobbs says. One is beginning to get the feeling that he wouldn’t feel the pressure if the community wasn’t building him up.

“We had boyish dreams of being great and everyone said ‘you’re doing great.’ Okay, I’ve met my dream. Do I get to be a rockstar and just ride the coattails? Or do I use this as a vessel to experience life somehow? Being popular because your music in your hometown is, it feels really nice. After a while, I don’t wanna say it bored me, but that sort of sentimentality did.

“Over the weekend my ego was huge,” the songwriter continues. “I went to a loft party and Jesse Warkentin (Mahogany Frog) is like, building me up in front of this (Perfect 10 type) model woman, saying ‘Dave plays so good,’ and I’m sitting there going ‘I wouldn’t be in this if it wasn’t for you. There’s no way you’re allowed to say these things when I’m around. Say them when I’m not around because I don’t believe you.’

“So with people like Matt it’s easier to put that shit aside and share this music with way more than just your friends. But once this material drops, everyone in Winnipeg is gonna know exactly what I’m thinking and they’re gonna leverage that in some way the next time we hang out.” - the UNITER

"REVIEWS - Every Kind Of Light EP"

VAMPIRES – Every Kind of Light EP (Self Released)

Thanks to Stephanie Meyer and her horrendous interpretation of Vampires, the mere sight of the word now makes me cringe and bury my head. I thought this was going to be some kind of grind core/goth/industrial parade of crap like something they’d play at a fetish ball or something, but I was actually pleasantly surprised. The first two songs are a bit on the dark side, but it kind of reminds me of Gish era Smashing Pumpkins with a bit noisier/chaotic production. Loud, heavy guitar hooks rule over vocals that willingly submit to its supremacy. The third song “Winnipeg Song,” which is where the band is from, begins with a Death Cab for Cutie inspired riff before it starts to kick into a higher gear. Good, solid release that kept my interest though all four songs of the EP. ~ Jay Castro - Audio Ammunition

"VAMPIRES Every Kind of Light EP"

This one plays at my love of ‘90s noise-pop (think anything Lou Barlow did or Sub Pop released) and comes from local longhairs David Dobbs (vox/guitar) and Matthew Powers (drums). It’s the first release from this incarnation of Winnipeg duo VAMPIRES and it’s a heavy little offering. Opener “Not Waiting ‘till Fall” kisses you deadly, while instrumental “Riff Rise” is just that. “Winnipeg Song” cleans up Dobbs’ usually distorted vocals, the rawness coming through nicely and meeting the loud/quiet/loud of the instrumentation. Closer “There’s No Kissing Anymore” is a fuzzed-out dirge for the masses that sticks in your ear holes long after you’ve left it. It’s dirty yet catchy, rough yet focused - what Ladyhawk could have made post-Shots instead of No Can Do. - the UNITER


Vampires are a Winnipeg duo made up of David Dobbs & Matthew Powers who are taking noisy rock balladry to the next level. Have a listen to Winnipeg Song one track that is high in genuine emotion with memorable lyrics, solid melodies and outstanding vocals. This track is part of Every Kind of Light an EP that is available to stream and to purchase directly from Bandcamp. Have at it! - Diamond Deposits

"Vampires – Every Kind of Light"

These Winnipeg dudes released their self-titled debut in 2012 and it straight up kicked ass. Now we are treated to the awesomeness that is the four song EP Every Kind of Light. The EP opens with some nice post-rock airy guitar followed by a crushing blow of crunchy guitars and relentless drumming on “Not Waiting ‘Till Fall.” The catchy shoegaze elements and full on noise are present in spades on epic instrumental track “Riff Rise” and in the distorted album closer “There’s No Kissing Anymore.” The highlight of the album for me is “Winnipeg Song,” musically it is broken into these slower segments that erupt into Vampires signature distortion soaked sound, and then back into the cooing vocals and slow rock, and on top of it add some captivating lyrics. The instrumental track and the shifty “Winnipeg Song” really make for a great and diverse listen, yet somehow the EP flows really nicely yet at no point is the listener left idle. An excellent teaser by a great local band, look for them live August 6th at the WECC! (Independent, Scott Wolfe - Stylus Magazine

"Vampires – Every Kind of Light EP (review)"

Vampires are a Canadian band from America’s hat, Canadia.
What a flog. Anyway, this is Winnipeg-based Vampires’ recently-released EP, Every Kind of Light EP. It’s an EP. Oh deer.

They’re a funny mix of things. They’ll start, as they do on the first track, ‘Not Waiting ’til Fall’, with an airy, dreamy intro before launching into some pummelling American rawk n’ rawllll. It’s all dirty guitars and shredded vocal chords.

‘Riff Rise’ has some great riffs (who could’ve guessed) but I kinda wish that they’d done a bit more with it. It’s a cool jam, but it’d do better as a song.

They switch gears on track three, which has a bit of a Kings of Leon hillbilly thing going on at the start, before the fuzz and the heavy drums kick in again at the end. ‘Winnipeg Song’ they call it. Northern Rock?

Vampires wisely save the best for last. ‘There’s No Kissing Anymore’ is a dirty blues rock stripper pole thing that I guess could foreseeably make women dance, even if they don’t want to be kissed anymore. This song reminds me (a tiny bit) of a Melbourne band called White Summer.

Solid. Very good drumming throughout.

If you like: Royal Blood.

Best track: ‘There’s No Kissing Anymore’ -

"VAMPIRES "Every Kind of Light" (self-released)"

A heavy dose of angsty dramatic riffage, a heavy dose of angsty wailing, working to coax a cathartic experience out of being kinda depressive and disillusioned with the kids you hang out with. Doing so with skill and understanding of the forms of their aesthetic.

They throw some tiny goofy fun goth vibes in there which I would love to hear some more of, but it sounds a lot more like they want to stick to that emo-post-punk form than they want to let the goofy fun vampire goth boys out to run around.

If you're down with that dark-emo-riff-rock and with the mid 20-oughts and with autumn and you would perhaps describe yourself as tormented, this is probably for y'all. A presumptuous arrogant bastard like myself however, I just have a hard time sincerely getting down with that whole thing. But you know, hey, do what you like!

- - Devin Brown - Cassette Gods

"Weird Canada New Canadiana Vampires - Vampires"

From the mapped-out Manitoba of Taylor Burgess:

Deep into the driving dizzy riffage of Vampires, you may need to step outside their acid lounge for a smoke break, or a breath of unscuzzed air. That is, if you can elbow your way past your fellow deadhead dregs who are screaming their post-punk, post-pubescent, post-party paranoia to the tune of “Cops are calling you from their homes!” But the Dionysus of their lone discus has done found you again — duped you into such fits you could eagerly dig up your grave. But at the end of the day (and the dawn of the next), Vampires have burned their hearts to their sleeves, taken their trips to the sand, and spread their ashes to the coast. One grand gesture after the next.
- Weird Canada

"Guitarist Interview with David Dobbs"

Name: David Dobbs
Bands: Vampires

QRD – What was your first guitar & what happened to it?

David – First guitar was a rental Fender Squire Tele, super rusty & missing the “ashtray”. It kinda looked like my Dad went into the rental section & was like, “Hmm, this one looks like the one Bruce Springsteen used!”
I had that guitar for 8 months until my I went to L.A. for Christmas & my uncle bought me my actual very first guitar, it was an Ibanez RG220 with a Floyd Rose bridge & dual humbuckers. It probably was the thing that got me into DH’s because that’s what I use now. It wound up in a pawnshop so I could buy a ticket out to Toronto to live with my girlfriend at the time.

QRD – What’s your typical set-up from guitar to effects to amplifier?

David – Right now I run a Fender Black Top Strat with stock Dual Plate Humbuckers, into effects: Ibanez BS10 (1980s Japanese), Boss FZ, Ibanez DL10 (1980s Japanese), Boss ODB-3, MXR M-108 EQ, running into a Peavey Century 120w Bass Head (1976), into a Traynor 2x15 cab (1972). I also sometimes run a second head & cab using a clean channel with some light reverb to bring up the mid-highs.

QRD – What’s the most important part of your rig - guitar, amplifier, or effects?

David – Right now, all of it! I spent about 2 years buying/selling all sorts of combinations of things to get the sound in my head out in the real world. I think my Peavey bass head & my BS10 bass stack would be the essentials though. The rest I could tweak & get close.

QRD – What’s your main amplifier & why?

David – I use a Peavey Century 120w Bass Head from 1976, I was at a house show a few years back & they had this Peavey P.A. set up as the guitar amp & the natural crunch that came out of it blew me away, I spent the next 6 months searching for anything that came close. When I found the 120 at a pawnshop I snatched it up & went on some forums, turns out they were better guitar heads than bass! Simple minds think alike I guess.

QRD – What’s your main guitar & what are the features that make it such?

David – I used a 1987 Japanese Fender Strat forever because it had this great neck & had dual humbuckers. I used fat jazz heavy strings with a lot of high gain effects, so they really helped smooth everything out. I looked around for 3 years trying to find something similar, & Fender doesn’t make dual humbucker Strats apparently... until 2014, when they reissued the same guitar pretty much, but instead of calling it a Fender Contemporary they called it a Fender Black Top, I bought that on site. Rosewood neck.

QRD – If you had a signature pedal, what would it be & what would some of its features be?

David – High gain distortion with top boost, possibly a fuzz octave switch, & a POG switch built in. Dreams do come true!

QRD – How many guitars do you own?

David – 5, Ibanez Acoustic Electric, Granata Les Paul style rip off, Asher full body electric, Fender Squire Strat, Fender Contemporary Strat, & Fender Black Top Strat.

QRD – What do you wish guitar cases had that they usually don’t?

David – Interchangeable foam pieces to accommodate different guitar shapes!

QRD – How thoroughly do you research or test a piece of equipment before buying it?

David – I usually buy things based on other bands I like & online forums. Then I buy it, test it all out, & sell it if I don’t like it. Or buy an EQ pedal & tweak it till it “works”.

QRD – Do you change your rig around often?

David – I used to every month, every show, but then I started getting comfy with the sounds I was trying to produce & had set “goals” I wanted to achieve, everything works towards those goals now.

QRD – Are you after one particular guitar tone & locking into it, or do you like to change your tone around a lot?

David – With VAMPIRES, it’s a locked in tone. 2 years worth of trying & experimenting. I used to buy pedals all the time & then I went through what I call my “clean phase” where I tried to get all the effects just out of the guitar & a 2 channel amp. In other bands I tend to have certain tones & effects for certain songs or parts. But with Vamp it’s all locked in & how I want it to sound the whole time. I was into Wes Motgomery at that time & was very interested in what could be done with just simple settings. Those jazz masters knew things that seem to be forgotten.

QRD – What are some guitars, amps, & pedals you particularly lust after?

David – Miles & miles...the quest is never over.

QRD – What do you think are some important features to be on a person’s first guitar that aren’t always there?

David – A good neck can make or break your playing style, so I would recommend playing different necks & bodies to see how you feel about them. Less is more in way. One tone knob instead of three, 3-way selector instead of 5, etc.

QRD – Why do you think a guitar fits you more so than other instruments?

David – I think it’s because you can really play, like dance around & be yourself, in ways that maybe a stationary instrument may not allow. I’ve never seen a flute player thrashing around & maybe there’s a reason for that...

QRD – Do you think guitar should be people’s first instrument as often as it is?

David – Piano. All the way. It’s the orchestra in your home.

QRD – Who are the guitarists that most influenced your playing & sound?

David – I was afraid you’d ask this! There have been a few over the years ha-ha...Growing up before I played guitar I thought Slash from G’n’R was the coolest guitar player on the planet. His top hat & long hair just screamed cool to me. When I started to play I really got into the tones that Stephen Carpenter from Deftones was creating, high & washy...before all those cool indie bands started to do the same things. John Cummings from Mogwai probably really started my interest in using the guitar to fill in sounds & textures that weren’t in my scope though. Mogwai was that first band outside the box for me. Wes Montgomery showed me what real guitar tone sounded like, so I was into him for a while. But lately I’ve been drawing a lot of influence from Nick Zinner in Yeah Yeah Yeahs, they are like a two-piece sometimes but it’s his compositions I’m really into. My cousins boyfriend out in L.A. would put me in front of Yngwie Malmsteen videos on repeat while he smoked pot with his friends. Maybe that influenced something. Maybe. I think it’s cool what he did FOR guitars, not WITH guitars. Oh geez, & Jeff Beck. What he does with guitars is just amazing. Tones for daze.

QRD – Do you think people anthropomorphizing guitars is natural or silly (e.g. naming guitars)?

David – Ha-ha. I’ve done it. My Ibanez RG220, I named it Scarlet. But that was the first & last guitar I’ve named. They are already named! Squire, Blacktop, etc.

QRD – What type of pick do you use & why?

David – Brain’s Cat Tongue picks are simply the best for me. I sweat because we move around so much & those picks just hold into my skin like a cat tongue! .76 or .83 gauge.

QRD – What gauge strings do you use & why?

David – Jazz Heavy with wound G string. Usually 12-54 or 13-56 gauge.

QRD – How often do you change strings?

David – A week or so before a show. I don’t like too fresh, but I can’t stand dead sounding.

QRD – Which do you feel is more proficient, your strumming hand or fretting hand & how does that effect your style?

David – Hmm, good question. I think my strumming hand is better & it probably effects my playing style because I am used to creating a very full sound, so a lot of interchanging strums.

QRD – Do you set-up your guitar yourself or send it to a guitar tech (or not set it up at all) & why?

David – All me. Cost & I have a hang up on musicians who don’t know their own gear. I call them “plug & play” musicians. I’ve lost thousands of dollars worth of gear from people who just thing you can plug any head into any cab. I don’t let anyone use my gear unless they can hold a conversation about what sort of ohms & impedance they usually use.

QRD – What tunings do you use & why?

David – Standard. Sometimes a half-step down. Mostly because it’s so versatile & if you bust a string, a back up guitar usually comes in the form of standard.

QRD – Playing what other instrument do you think can most help someone’s guitar playing?

David – Drums. When you have to share the tempo, a lot of bad habits start to show themselves & unless you’re making an album all by yourself, you’re probably going to have to share the tempo with someone else ha-ha.

QRD – What’s a type of guitar playing you wish you could do that you can’t?

David – Fancy licks. But our songs don’t need them, so I’m cool without them. It’s just nice to wow people & shut up & naysayers in the room. I had this one friend who couldn’t’ write an original song worth his life, but could play all Van Halen & Clapton riffs...people thought he was so good. Perspective.

QRD – What’s a guitar goal you’ve never accomplished?

David – Playing in front of sold out crowd of people I’ve never met.

QRD – Did you ever take guitar lessons & if so, what did you learn from them?

David – I went to formal lessons for one year when I was 13 in my first year. But really wanted to just play my own things & not scales. I then when to this teacher down the street & he said to “bring me a tape of songs you want to learn”. I was hooked from then on. He would just play drums along with me & we’d jam basically. My parents never knew what was going on with those lessons, but we’re happy I was learning songs.

QRD – What’s something someone would have to do to emulate your style?

David – Listen to a lot of different music! Learn to play rhythm & lead at the same time.

QRD – How often do you adjust your tone knob?

David – Because I move around so much I usually just leave everything turned up all the way on the guitar, so I don’t have to worry about settings being messed with while I’m thrashing around. But I roll off some treble tone for certain intro or solos even. Texture.

QRD – What do you see as the difference between lead guitar & rhythm guitar players?

David – 2-3db of mid-treble?

QRD – Where can people hear your best guitar work?

David –, but to be honest that would be me in my basement after a few beers or after some truly terrible news in life & not caring what comes out & just flying of the walls. It may change half way through a bar, but you’ll know I’m feeling it on purpose. A lot my playing is directed through an almost therapeutic relationship with the songs we write. I’ll be like, “This is my Interpol riff, or this is my just dumped riff, or wishing I more money riff.”

QRD – Anything else?

David – Less is more! -


Download of the Week: Vampires —- Not Waiting ‘till Fall

SET to release a much-anticipated four-song EP this weekend — a followup to their critically acclaimed debut — local noise-rock duo Vampires recorded Every Kind of Light during a whirlwind session at UMFM 101.5’s recording studio. Singer/guitarist David Dobbs and drummer Matthew Powers are ramping up activity in the band again, hoping to kick-start the momentum they had coming off their first record. They’ll play a release show Saturday, May 31, at Dead Lobster, along with the Party Dress and the Zags. Admission is $8 at the door or $15 with a cassette and download card for the EP. - Winnipeg Free Press

"Vampires- Tales From CKUW (2011)"

Here's another installment in the Tales From CKUW series, which features live recordings specially selected by Kent Davies of CKUW 95.9 FM.

This time it's local two-piece Vampires from a Fundrive episode of Peg City Groove last year. This is one of those local bands everyone had been telling me about for ages, but due to my curmudgeonliness (totally not a word), I hadn't actually caught live. I should have listened to everyone. This stuff is pretty great.

Kent sez:
They’re real nice fellows. They’re real nice fellows. David Dobbs and Josh Butcher. The devastating duo of destruction known as Vampires played live in the studio for the "I’m a Real Nice Fellow" Fundrive special in February 2011.

The sweaty death-pop act led the show off with an amazing cover of the theme song to "I’m a Real Nice Fellow" by Canadian art-noise gods the Nihilist Spasm Band.

Former news director/art-freak connoisseur Geoffrey Young took the helm for the first track spouting off the brilliant satirist lyrics of NSB as the Vampires created a whirlwind of noise and sound effects.

The theme was followed by a short set by the Vampires which included perhaps their best-known number “Fire Riot.”

The first time I met David and Josh was following an interview in 2009. They kidnapped me, gave me some whiskey and led me to their jam space where they drunkenly serenaded me while I passed out on their couch. I’ve been going to their shows steadily ever since. Every show they have these DIY singles of their songs made from burnt discs, old jewel cases and cut up magazines. And they do so many shows that I have 4 foot pile of them.

After about 100 gigs they finally released an album, which oddly enough I don’t have.

I should get it. You should too.

Download the whole thing.
Download cover.
Stream it:

Other live recordings in the Tales From CKUW series: Ultra Mega, High Five Drive, Evil Survives, JR Hill.

- CKUW - Kent Davies

"Will Give You the Clap"

For the past year, Vampires have been racking up bigger and bigger live shows, including the past two Element Sircuses and the always-packed Cabaret! at the Standard. When this guitar-and-drum duo plays, they navigate some sweat-drenched territory between southern rock and Interpol, whipping the crowd into head-swinging and dancing. And if that isn’t enough, Josh Butcher and David Dobbs stop in the middle of their set, trade instruments, and keep on going. After building a local following, they’ve gotten around to recording, with the help of Jeff Patteson of Home Street Recording and some new rented gear. Stylus eventually wrangled a 15-minute phone call out of David Dobbs.
Stylus: How did Vampires come together?
David Dobbs: I’ve always been in bands, and I love music like Mogwai and Do Make Say Think. Pretty much any music that makes the heart go “whoa.” I moved into the Mansion [a housing co-op on Wellington Crescent] on March 1, 2008, and four or five months later, this guy named Josh Butcher moved in too. He had just left the Absent Sound, so we started smoking weed together and listening to music; he loves Led Zeppelin and the Doors…
Stylus: What, you don’t like Zep or the Doors?
DD: I don’t discredit anyone, but tell me about the bands playing in the clubs in 1971. No one’s talking about those bands! That’s the kind of music that I want to be talking about—it’s hungry music, it needs to be fed. No one loved them just because they sold a bunch of records.
Stylus: All right, all right, so back to Vampires.
DD: So yeah, Josh and I were talking about stuff. Around Christmas time, ’08, I took a flight to L.A. seeing local venues and local bands, like the Smell and the Mae Shi. Try think of the word shameless, but with no connotation of the word “shame”—it was just happening so fast, it was take it or leave it, it was nothing I’d ever seen before. And I was like to Josh, I have this will and this desire just to be free. We approach this band open hearts. There’s nothing really to call us, no genre, which is kind of the beauty.
Stylus: What kind of show are you trying to put on? What are you trying to do with your music?
DD: Well I guess I’ll tell it the way it was told to us after one of our friends saw us play—he said it’s like we bypass influence and go straight for the good stuff. I don’t know what we’re doing but, in some kind of cliché way, we’re trying to involve people in things that they’re involved in.
Stylus: Why wouldn’t they know that they’re already involved in it?
DD: Because it’s been forgotten and put aside.
Stylus: How do you mean?
DD: I’ve seen so many people pay rent for their little spot by the stage and then just sit there and watch the show. I remember shows where everyone was running around—and it was about where you were for six hours, just having a blast. I like to put on shows where the band is fodder for the night. I really get off on seeing people dance to a band. In L.A., they had this thing that I call “the clap,” and they would do in the alleyway, they would do it in between bands, people would clap anywhere they wanted. It was awesome, because anyone can clap, and we can do it all together, if there’s some group understanding.
Stylus: So it was like a slow clap?
DD: They did it in a number of different ways. Someone might be coming in from having a smoke, they would clap, and then it would spark five people to clap in return. I thought, “There’s a revolution happening here. I gotta bring this back to my home town.” I felt a bit of duty. - STYLUS INTERVIEW -Taylor Benjamin Burgess

"They're on a Roll"

There's plenty of opportunities to meet Vampires - your new favourite local band - thanks to a slew of upcoming gigs
Don Beat

"We're from Winnipeg. If you haven't heard us before, it bypasses influence and goes straight for the good stuff," says guitarist/vocalist David Dobbs from the post-garage noise-rock duo Vampires.

"We're trying to unleash something that would not have been there," he continues. "Maybe it's the inner child, who knows? If we're doing it right, we're sweating within the first two songs. We really just like to see people dance."

Vampires have been beatin' bloody body-bitin' boogie for "about a year and a half," Dobbs informs. Drummer Josh Butcher (ex-Absent Sound) and Dobbs (Twin, ex-Black Albino, The Entertainment) have struck a few much-needed chords in that time with local listeners. The duo is filling a void left asunder when two-piece Jed - which played noise rawk-influenced garage bop fer jilted, jolted and jabbed lovers - last appeared onstage to terrorize, dumbfound and amaze audiences some half-lifetime ago.

Vampires are fun live. Butcher and Dobbs like to swap instruments when they play, and they both do vocals. A colourful photo array of Vampires appears on the front cover of the latest Uniter - yet there is no story or interview with them within. All this unusual stuff points to some kind of driving dada force surrounding the core of these guys - the rest is a toe-busting mix of simple barbecue rock and some kind of blended Chicago-heavy downer vibe, retooled unknowingly for good times.

Who can argue with that? Welcome to the dance party, Vampires. Thank you for not being a pretentious generic copy of the usual!

"We're playing the Lo Pub on Sunday, March 14 with Wax Mannequin and The Burning Hell (both from Ontario)," Dobbs says. "The show is co-organized by myself, with Kent Davies and Geof from CKUW. We'll probably go on first - the night is about those other groups - and then we'll all try to raise proceeds to send relief workers to Haiti."

Dobbs also says the Sunday show will be the first time Vampires play Lo Pub. Hit vampireslikeyou at MySpace for more in-flow.

Dobbs says Vampires have also been busy recording their first non-self-engineered release with Jeff Peterson at Home Street Recordings.

"Josh and I are going over some of it right now," Dobbs says. "Fridge Buzz, Fire Riot - we're making notes for some of the songs right now. We're hoping to make them awesome and we're hoping to mix them right. We did it all in one week and now we're mixing it.

"I think we're going to put it out ourselves on CD and cassette," Dobbs adds before detailing the dates for some upcoming Vampires shows fer U streetbeaters - cuz, after all, they're on a bit of a roll.

"We've been averaging a gig and a half a month for the last year," Dobbs says with a laugh. "We're playing with Brothers and Soft Cops at the Albert on March 18, and we're opening for the Lullaby Arkestra - they're from Ontario, too - on April 9 at the Albert. Then we're playing the Rainbow Trout Music Festival on Aug. 20 to 22. We're playing sometime on those dates."

Got some news to bleat? No attachment treat! Keep it textly sweet! Fire tips to Don at Street Beat! - Winnipeg Free Press - Uptown Mag - Don Beat

"Two guys, one amp"

Vampires take a minimalist approach to their impossible-to-categorize music

“We’re trying to stay away from any kind of music categorizing,” says adventurous drummer/guitarist/vocalist/visual artist Josh Butcher (ex-Absent Sound) about Vampires, the slam-bang bashing duo he’s in with his stage-bittin’ poet pal in bloody arms, guitarist/drummer Dave Dobbs.

“We don’t want to nail it down. We’re very blunt about that. Depending on the order of the set, all the songs will sound different. We won’t lock it. That’s what moves us through it. It’s what makes it so much fun for us, and fun is the main thing — two friends having fun.

“There’s definitely an element of Dadaism to this band without pinning it down,” Butcher says.

If you haven’t seen Vampires — and you should go see ’em — here are some of the uplifting remarks Butcher made about how they might sound (without nailing it or locking it down, of course!):

“Two guys, lots of sweat, and fun with one amp — fuzzy, sweet riffs and rolling beats, and we swap instruments. That’s a big part of it. It’s a fun band. That’s duplicated times two. It’s wide open. We both sing, we both write lyrics. It’s intensity,” Butcher says.

Call it whatchyoo wanna — Vampires is messing around a lot lately. With themselves, with their sweaty rockin’ music, with their whatchamacallit marketing — hey, wait a stake-driving midnight minute! Marketing?

“We recorded an EP which is a very honest representation of the sweaty work that we’ve been doing,” Butcher says. “We’re not sure how to release it. Now that we have an EP to release, we have to think about all the permutations.

“Dobbs and I have been trying to zero in on what is important to us, and we’re trying to not let things fog it up. The more we play, the
more people see us, the happier we are — just working away at it.

“The EP is basically the birth of the band. It captures our first songs, songs we played first at parties, and it gives a bit of a hint of where things are going.

“We recorded with our friend Jeff Patteson (Sortie Real) at Home Street Recording Company in late winter, early spring. We took a break. Now we’re mixing it. We’re toying with releasing it in August. We wish we had a firm date to give. Stay tuned, kids.”

U blood ’n’ sweat savvy street beaters can learn about all the custom nocturnal things associated with the sweet sweaty duo by checking Vampireslikeyou at MySpace.

Better yet — see Vampires play live versions of Fire rioT, Fridge Buzz, Trus or Needle Play from their upcoming five-song EP when they gig at any of these three shows: Ultra Mega’s EP-release and tour kickoff at Lo Pub on June 25, Suture double-disc release at Graffiti Gallery on June 26, and at Rudolph Rocker on June 28 with Make Out Video Tape and Walter TV (both from Vancouver).

Got some local gig news to bleat? No attachment treats! Keep it tartly sweet! Fire hot tips to Don at Street Beat! Email:

- Winnipeg Free Press - Uptown Mag - Don Beat

"Thirsty for sweat, not blood"

Local death-pop duo VAMPIRES may only come out after dark, but don’t worry, they’re just out to make you dance.

These creatures of the night aren’t thirsty for blood. Rather, they come out of hiding regularly on stages across Winnipeg with their grungy, oft-fuzzy dirty dance riffs thirsty for one thing only – sweat.

“We like to get people dancing. I feel like we’re doing our job right when we’re sweaty within the first couple of songs,” said VAMPIRES frontman David Dobbs over the phone from a courthouse in Toronto last week. But don’t worry, he’s not in trouble with the law: Dobbs is a respite aid for a prominent Manitoba lawyer.

The death-pop duo, rounded out by co-frontman Josh Butcher, started hashing out their off-tempo guitar ‘n’ drums riffs in the early days of 2009 after Dobbs caught the fever of Los Angeles’ energetic music scene.

“I went down to L.A. for Christmas in 2008 and saw a bunch of groups playing there,” recalled Dobbs, 24. “I came back with this great feeling on how to make music.”

- See VAMPIRES Thursday, March 18 at the Royal Albert
- Brothers and Softcops will also perform
- Tickets are $7 at the door
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It didn’t take long before he and Butcher played their first gig – a fast and energetic set that saw them both switch instruments halfway through the show – in the basement of their Wellington mansion under the moniker VAMPIRES.

“We just thought ‘vampires’ was a real great word that encapsulates a lot of feelings. Vampires have an unwilling centre of attention; they know how to conduct themselves,” Dobbs said. “In our present day and age, we’re all consuming to live. Sometimes we can’t see our own reflection because life gets in the way. The name is just a big word to sum up life, ironically.”

Packing equal parts meaty riffs and abrasive growl, the band’s sound and minimalistic approach to music is not only restricted to their economic setup. Since their inception, VAMPIRES has handed out home-recorded singles at all their shows, featuring custom handmade CD art. But in the spring of this year that may change. That’s when VAMPIRES hopes to release their first proper EP.

Recorded with producer Jeffrey Patteson at his studio – the Home Street Recording Company – the five-track disc will be the result of experimenting with multiple guitar amps at once and trying to capture the band’s raw, unrefined sound.

But in the meantime, the band will keep on honing their trademark live performance.

“We like to come out strong, but somewhere in the set we’re going to drop it down and make you sway back and forth,” said Dobbs. “And then we’re going to see if we can get you sweating with us.”

- The Uniter Univerity of Winnipeg - Mike Duerksen

"Vampires Dwell in Historic Mansion."

Thirsty for beer instead of blood local rock duo VAMPIRES held a fundraiser in the mansion co-op they live in with a horde of other Winnipeg artists and musicians. Even if they didn’t gather enough cash to fix up the dingy basement they impressed with their live set of energetic math pop. Shirtless and dreadlocked JOSH BUTCHER pounded the skins with precise ferocity as DAVID DOBBS made six strings sound soo meaty that there is no damn need for any more instruments.
Their screaming chant vocals made you think you knew the words and could sing along. Then halfway through the set they switched up instruments, but kept the sound and pace going. Who knew vampires could be so fun? You can see them Saturday, Oct. 24 at Mondragon with THE PEACHES and DD/MM/YYYY. - The Uniter Univerity of Winnipeg - J.P. Perron


Winnipeg noise-rock duo Vampires deliver some serious art-rock realness. Their latest release, Every Kind Of Light, is gorgeous and eclectic, showing serious cross-genre chops. With only four tracks to prove their point, Vampires knock it out of the park with the thick, building intensity of instrumental “Riff Rise” and the muted, longing ode to their hometown, “Winnipeg Song,” that ends with a glorious fuzz finale. - The Coast


Album by title and year released:

Every Kind Of Light EP 2014 (cassette only release)

1. Not Waiting 'Till Fall
2. Riff Rise
3. Winnipeg Song
4. There's No Kissing Anymore

Vampires LP 2012
1. Zipper
2. Fire Riot
3. Happy Regg
4. World Store
6.Fridge Buzz / Again
8. Mountain Steel
9. Line tree . Lion Key

Albert St. EP 2010
1.New Slaves
2.Jetsons Union
3.Ambushed Escaped

Near / To The Minute EP 2010
1.St. Louis
2.Fridge Buzz

Wild Planet [Single] 2009
1.Line Tree / Lion Key
2. Boy Wishing they Were Girls

Breakfast, [Single] 2009
2.Smashing Up The Side Of A Backlane

Howling Bitch Music EP 2008
1.Masks Attack
2.Thats`s So Surf! / Happy Regiment
3.Crumbs / Left Dead



VAMPIRES hit like a punch in the gut that drops you to your knees in some Midwestern parking lot and the hand that helps you back up then offers you an Old Milwaukee. It’s dirty yet catchy, rough yet focused, at once clear and direct, then distorted over a visionary bridge. The sound of VAMPIRES is captivating shoegaze elements and full on noise harkening from the dirtiest of the dirt... Fuzzed-out dirge for the masses that sticks in your ear holes long after you’ve left it.

**New release, Every Kind Of Light EP has made 61 appearances since it was released on May 31 2014. Charted for over 21 weeks on 8 different stations with it's highest position at #1 on both CJUM 101.5FM and CKUW 95.5FM and was named UMFM's #1 album of 2014***


-Opened for Fu Manchu at Sled Island 2015
-Headlining show at BIG FUN 2015
-Feature on SHAW TV Winnipeg 'Music Trends 2015'
-Punk/Metal Showcase for Breakout West 2014
-Sold out show at BIG FUN Festival 2014
-Feature Interview on Global TV Winnipeg
-21 Weeks on the !Earshot charts

VAMPIRES have opened for:

***Press Quotes***

"Oh jeez, I’m gushing. You know what? Who cares? They rule. More, please!" 
Razorcake Magazine

"If some mad scientist tried to snare the creature that Winnipeg’s sonic and artistic aesthetic has grown into, grind it to death and turn it into four songs, this is what those four songs would sound like."
- Make A Little Noise

"Harkening from the dirtiest of the dirt, VAMPIRES hits like Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh, all at once a punch in the gut that drops you to your knees in some Midwestern parking lot and the hand that helps you back up then offers you an Old Milwaukee."
- The Permanent Rain Press

"Catchy shoegaze elements and full on noise... captivating lyrics... at no point is the listener left idle."
- Stylus Magazine, MB

"At once clear and direct, then distorted over a visionary bridge, the sound of VAMPIRES is the sound of an undead calling. The album is an eclectic and bold vision, absorbed by the afterglow of unreason... For fans of post-rock and DIY art-rock it’s certainly worth a listen."
- Beatroute, AB

"Fuzzed-out dirge for the masses that sticks in your ear holes long after you’ve left it. It’s dirty yet catchy, rough yet focused."
- The Uniter, MB

Band Members