Xan Marcelles, musician and vampire
By Nerine Dorman
Forgive me for employing a corny line here but I’m taking artistic license. It was love at first bite when I encountered Xan Marcelles. I’d seen his creator, Carrie Clevenger, post on a forum about her fiction, so I got curious, moseyed over to the blog…and that was that. I fell head over heels; irrevocably in love with the smart-mouthed 6’5” vampiric bassist.
It’s not every day, or should I rather say night, that Xan’s available for a bit of Q&A, but I dropped by Pale Rider recently, and caught him over a bottle of whiskey. In case you don’t know, Pale Rider is a small tavern just outside of Pinecliffe, Colorado, where all the locals go to have a good time. Xan plays bass in a band called Crooked Fang, which adds to the general vibe there in a big way.
As far as vampires go, Xan’s pretty chilled out. I had to ask him what makes him different from the vampires people are accustomed to in the media.
Xan says, “Nothing really. I got fangs and can’t go out in the sun. Unless you’re counting the fact that I’m a bassist. Are there a bunch of bass-playing vamps out there? That live in taverns? That are Navajo? Half? Wait, you’re supposed to be asking the questions aren’t you? You’re cute when you’re confused.”
Yeah, and it’s quite clear Xan is well aware of the fact that he has quite an effect on the fairer sex. He’s far too much fun to hang around with but I’ll let you in on a secret, he doesn’t snack on his friends. Despite his rock-n-roll image, he’s a real gentleman, and you don’t see that every night.
I had to know about others of his kind, though. He prefers the company of humans to vampires, which is kinda odd considering that we’re his food, once all is said and done.
Xan replies: “Vampires are a bunch of freaks. I mean most of them are uppity, snooty, fancy-talkers. They’re white as sheets and nuts about bedroom things. Well actually we have that in common…
“Point is, I don’t really like them and they don’t like me, which is why I decided to take my chances with the living and maybe have a little fun while I was at it. Somehow I ended up in Pinecliffe, Colorado.”
So this brings me to the wine, women and song, or in Xan’s case pretty girls and a good bottle of whiskey, with some thumping tracks on the juke. But I’m curious to know why Xan’s chosen the bass and not the guitar.
Xan says: “I know how to play both. Bass is just easier. That and I love the sound. It’s like the backbone of most songs. A song can do without it but it’s flat as a pancake if so. That and it’s a nice big size piece. With big strings. For a big guy.”
And the song? Crooked Fang is primarily a cover band. To this Xan says: “We do covers but the crowd has favorites. Serv, our lead vocalist has a great range so we can hit Bon Jovi to Danzig, Nirvana and even a weird rendition of Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash. But then again who hasn’t remade that song? It begs for interpretation.
“Every so often I get a wild hair and decide to sing the lower notes, like Type O Negative, Rammstein ― stuff like that. We get a good rise out of songs like Negative Creep, Blood and Tears, and My Own Prison. If you don’t remember, that was when Creed kind of rocked.”
Another question preys on my mind, though. How often does Xan need blood? Obviously Pinecliffe is quite a small town, so he can't leave a string of dead bodies strewn about. How does he hide his obvious taste and need for blood?
He replies: “I’m really bad about drinking at regular intervals. Usually the urge hits me and I do what I can to satisfy it. The hardest times for me are after shows, which is usually when people want to socialize. I have to go decompress somewhere relatively chill for at least thirty minutes and let the bodies in the audience cool down. Excited people make me excited, and that’s not always a good thing.”
The biggest news Xan has at the moment is the fact that his creator has just signed a contract to get his story out there so the rest of the world can read it. Carrie Clevenger recently collaborated with me on a piece that had originally been intended as a much-shorter blog post. But the muse struck and Just My Blood Type was released electronically as a free read and teaser for the first novel to introduce readers to his milieu.
Xan adds: “I guess I can say something about this now? It was kind of surprise, I don’t think even the blog gals know this one. Crooked Fang was signed by Lyrical Press, Inc. They’re a digital-first publisher in New York. Wait, is that signed? Bands get signed. Books get contracted? Help me out here…
“Yeah so the tentative publish date for Crooked Fang is late May next year. If you follow my Facebook page or my blog site you can keep up with the goings-on. You didn’t ask about the album, but I’ll go ahead and mention that there will be an album, performed by Dead Now Evil in the spirit of Crooked Fang. Unlike us, these are original songs. They’re pretty cool too. I think you cats will enjoy it.
“Just My Blood Type was me meeting Therése von Willegen, who seems to be your pen name for the bodice-ripping books you do, fictionalized. Yes I realize the irony of that statement.
“She comes to Pale Rider because her agent set us up for some weird reason and we decide to exchange questions. Well, I’m supposed to be asking her the questions, but she’s a feisty girl and decides to pop some on me too. Just My Blood Type is free and lets you cats get to know me before Crooked Fang drops. Because if you don’t like me in Just My Blood Type, you won’t like Crooked Fang.”
JUST MY BLOOD TYPE - http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/68457
Crooked Fang site: http://www.crookedfang.com/
Crooked Fang on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CrookedFang
Nerine Dorman on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nerine-Dorman-author/173330419365374