It would seem vampires are mortal after all, at least in the Cleveland goth scene. After a decade prowling the moody world of the region's undead, the goth quartet Lestat broke up last year, but drummer and programmer Timothy Smith will debut his new band, Ultra-Violet, Friday night at the Phantasy in Lakewood.
"The thing that was happening with Lestat -- we were kind of dead in the water for a while," Smith explains. Even after auditioning a second lead vocalist and cutting a demo for a new album, band members decided to pull the plug before they damaged a reputation that had earned them distribution through Metropolis Records and a slot on a goth compilation put out by Cleopatra. "We thought that something was missing, so we decided to put an end to it. I think the right decision was made."
Smith and Lestat vocalist/keyboard player Razz originally decided to hook up on something new, but Smith later changed his mind. "I called him and told him I wanted to pursue my own band, and we haven't talked since," Smith says. "I just thought it was the best idea that I pursue my own music, and that's when I met Chris Carmichael."
Carmichael, a local DJ known as the Heretek, fit perfectly with Smith's vision of a band relying on equal parts analog and digital industrial sounds. "You want to play the newer stuff," says Carmichael (pictured in sunglasses). "But when you're trying to pack the floor, it's the older stuff that's going to do it. It's that tension right there that we're trying to jump in the middle of."
"It was hard leaving Lestat, but in a way I'm happy," Smith says. "I wanted to get a little more aggressive, and that wasn't the direction Lestat wanted to go in. [Ultra-Violet] has a little bit of the new electro sound, but it's in the background. We wanted to go back to the roots and just do raw industrial music."