The Artist's Mind

Jim Steinman on Dance Of The Vampires:

Jim Steinman, 1996

Richard Wagner was my introduction to musical theatre. Theater exposed me to all types of music including, of course, many different operas. In the sixties I was a big fan of Rock and Roll, but often I'd visit the Metropolitan opera. I can still remember seeing "Tristan and Isolde" directed by Karl Böhm, the American debut of The Who's "Tommy" and the Harold Prince productions of Sondheim's "Follies" and "Sweeney Todd".

I never write a song without first visualizing the scenery. I step into another world and find a character and story for every single song. That's why I have been excited about getting the chance to write the music for "Vampires". I saw the film in the sixties and have been a big Polanski fan since then.

I once worked on music for Murnau's famous "Nosferatu" and have always known that vampires would make an ideal subject for an opera or a musical. In fact I wrote "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" - probably my most successful song ever - as a tribute to "Nosferatu". That's why I had to include a new version of it in "Dance Of The Vampires," totally rewritten as a duet with German lyrics.

On the music front, "Dance Of The Vampires" is something pretty eclectic, a combination of savage rock sounds and opera.

I should also mention that people often wonder if I'm a vampire myself, because I usually sleep during the day. My nickname is P.O.D., which stands for Prince Of Darkness.