ASTARI NITE: A dark wave / goth band from Miami… Mychael Ghost gives an interesting insight on the band’s dark tunes in these dark and melancholy times… by Tzina Dovve
Tzina: As l understand Astari Nite formed in Miami back in 2007. What prompted you to create this band and give it this name?
Mychael: Actually, around that time is when my friendship with Illia (other founding member of Astari Nite/ drummer) began to bloom.
I believe it was around 2013 when he and I began to enjoy one another’s poetry and belief in magick, shortly after, we released Stereo Waltz in 2014.
Perhaps that is when our bond came to be, I’m certain our documentary will claim those facts as well, someday.
As for the name, I’ve always admired it from afar, Illia simply simplified the spelling of it all to something we both found fancy.
You have had some members come and go over the years. What is the current line-up and how difficult is it to maintain a steady one?
Howard Melnick (Guitar) Danny AE (Keyboards) and, of course, Illia and I are somewhere to be found at a distance.
It took some time for the stars to align. Since the release of Midnight Conversations, our sound has evolved beautifully and will continue to do so.
Who is the main songwriter behind Astari Nite songs? Where does your inspiration derive from? What are your musical influences?
Howard, Danny and Illia tend to write the skeletal frame of the songs.
For the most part, we all dictate what the outcome will be.
However, I tell the story once my thoughts catch up from daydreaming.
Your latest release ( January 2020 ),the single; Capulet Loves Montague, is very melancholy and all about heartbreak. What inspired you to write such a dark song?
At the time of writing the song, I was listening to a bit of Mazzy Star, Annie Lennox and The Smashing Pumpkins. Their way of writing is some of the saddest poetry that I have ever laid eyes on.
I recited a few lines of the song to my 11-year-old best friend Brendan. He smiled when he heard, “Christmas trees are frozen spiders, cats are made from snow.”
He said, “Yeah, that’s cool.” So, we carried on and played Nintendo shortly after.
As I understand your upcoming album is due to be released in spring this year. What can Astari Nite fans expect from this album? Will it be along the lines of ; Capulet Loves Montague?
“Here Lies” is a peculiar set of songs that professes one’s views on the curiosity of magick and theories of love sworn to secrecy.
I was also given the chance to tell a story about cats, Christmas, paganism, wondering what it’s like to be a girl, butterflies and outer space.
The album will be released on the 8th of May, a week after Beltane.
You are also due to release a new video for; Capulet Loves Montague this month. What concept can fans expect in this video? Can you elaborate on that?
Oh yes, the video will premiere on Tuesday April 21st. In retrospect, we captured what seems to be what I tend to dream about often, though it’s a normal way of life for the close ones I walk with.
I get a little lost inside from time to time. Staying awake can get a bit tragic for my health.
As a musician, how important do you think videos are today for music fans? Do you find them a joy to make? What sparks up an idea for an Astari Nite video?
I find that the act of being in love with making videos to our songs is rather pleasing. I’m just not sure how to overcome how much it pains me to do so.
We do it for our fans, the girls and boys who dance in their bedroom playing our record.
Everything that Astari Nite does, we always take into consideration what people will think. We are someone’s favorite, and that makes us feel strange yet so special.
Perhaps it’s dreams, accepting the truth about the meaning behind the song that allows me to feel my thoughts and die a bit inside while creating/filming a video.
Sadly, your show supporting the legendary Clan of Xymox in their West Palm Beach gig was cancelled at the end of March, due to the restrictions we are all living under at the moment. Are there any plans for a rescheduled show? What are your feelings about this and the entire lockdown everyone is facing right now?
It’s been a strange season for many of us. I can only hope that these tragic times will make others / some release the importance of being kind to one another.
A simple hello said aloud and meaningful to someone is far greater than clicking a heart shaped symbol, don’t you think?
As for Xymox, maybe someday, the future does seem bright.
As l understand, your participation in the dark/alternative convention Dark Side of The Con.4 has been rescheduled for September. How did this participation come about? What are your feelings playing with so many great names on the scene?
Anytime we are invited to play a festival / Con, it gives Astari Nite a chance to catch performances of so many bands that we normally hear on the stereo or record player, in a live setting.
Hopefully with a bit of magick, DSOTC4 will take place and we will all live happily ever after.
Do Astari Nite have any other upcoming shows for 2020 when the world re-opens? Any plans for shows outside the US ?
We have several performances in line to support our “Here Lies” record.
Waiting on a breath of fresh air from the world seems more fitting than announcing events that might not happen due to the obvious tragedy.
I like to believe many people are casting spells just to make sure that event happens.
How have you seen the dark /goth /alternative scene evolve over the years? Do you believe it has changed a great deal from when you started the band? Do you believe the scene in the US is much different from the rest of the world?
Everything changes and everyone dies, though, some stay the same or it all rewinds.
I believe that being a part of this new Gothic / Post punk Revival has made Astari Nite continue down a strange yet gloomy, experimental path, it’s awkwardly refreshing.
I do feel that many are involved in it all, not just bands. I see DJs, bloggers, publications like yourself and post-punk.com, educating us all.
Communion After dark, Obscura Undead, Mark Paradise, Sherri Maus and Tom Gold, Dave Cantrell, Nick Mariano, Nayra Serrano, DJ Rippin Kittin, DJ Rio, just to name a few.
Of course, there are many more involved, like fans, friends, cats and puppies, let’s not forget anxiety.
They all make this scene odd and beautiful; I just write silly, sad music.
Anything else you would like to share with your fans? What can Astari Nite fans expect in the near future ?
Many have asked for a Pre-Order regarding “Here Lies”, Our North American label Negative Gain followed suite and did just that – https://astarinitengp.bandcamp.com
During this long holiday break, if you will, Astari Nite will begin recording our 2021 release. I guess you can say we are in the coloring stages of it all. Three or four tracks are hidden secretly, a few more to follow.
Keep being merry, kindness is the only way to be.