The Artist's Mind
Jim Steinman on:
To me, Vienna has always been the music capital of the world. I grew up listening to opera recordings conducted by Solti, von Karajan, or Bohm with the Vienna Philharmonic - which was the greatest orchestra in the universe. My music was the Beatles and the Vienna Philharmonic.
I saw Fearless Vampire Killers in the sixties when it came out and have been a big Polanski fan since then. I loved Chinatown. Repulsion and Rosemary's Baby are easily two of the most brilliant, stylish, innovative and stunningly realized horror films ever made.
I hate making records. Theater has always been my first love. I thrive on that live response. I never write a song without first visualizing the scenery. I step into another world and find a story for every single song. That's why I have been excited about getting the chance to write music for Vampires.
I'm a big fan of horror movies, especially those about Vampires. I worked on a musical version of Nosferatu (F.W. Murnau's German silent film), which I consider the greatest vampire movie ever. In fact, I wrote Total Eclipse Of The Heart - probably my most successful song ever - as a tribute to Nosferatu. I've always thought vampires were the perfect subject for a musical or opera.
The juxtaposition of heroism and majesty followed by humor makes perfect sense to me.
On the music front, Dance Of The Vampires is something pretty eclectic - a combination of savage rock sounds and opera. It's all art, all theater, all showbusiness, all music. In the end there shouldn't be boundaries, fences, labels or limits. It should be obvious to any enlightened person that it's valid to place Salome next to West Side Story next to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. They all serve the same function, to amplify and clarify existence. They inspire and make the heart beat faster - the soul richer!
I just hate the idea that outside there's this huge bustling world and all these adults with responsibilities. I like the nighttime when I can populate a nocturnal wilderness with whatever I want. My nickname is Prince of Darkness. People often wonder if I'm a vampire myself, because I usually sleep during the day.
I think I'm obsessed with obsession and I think the dark side of love is the power to be obsessive. Love is one of the forces that can easily obsess and enslave. At any point in your life, the memory of love can re-trigger something that will enslave you. I never feel like I'm writing about the lyrical light side of love. I'm more interested in the dark whirlpool that sucks you in and you're never seen again - the Bermuda Triangle of Love. I'm totally fascinated with age and what time does to people, the fact that you have ghosts around you constantly that you can't ever escape.
When I was seven years old a fortune-teller told me that my entire life was going to be driven by a relentless, obsessive and ultimately self-destructive desire to astonish people.