2005 was the breakout year for the Birthday Massacre. That was the year they signed two label deals, one with Repo Records in Europe and the other with Metropolis Records, the perfect label home for their dark vampire rock.
The band first surfaced in 2000 in Ontario as Imagica. Two years later they released Nothing and Nowhere, had undergone a name change to the Birthday Massacre (from one of their earlier songs,) and had refined their act into a combination of bad-dream visuals with elements of metal, electronica, post-punk, and goth.
But Chibi, who fronts the band with Rainbow and Michael Falcore on guitars, drummer Rhim, keyboardist Owen, and Nate Manor on bass stops short of throwing in with the whole goth thing. "Well, we all dye our hair black," she says. "Talk about stereotyping." Chibi laughs, says she prefers no label at all. "If you say you're a goth band, half the people stop listening to you. They just tune out."
OC Weekly: That band name-
Chibi: It kind of works well for the music that we're making. Sort of contrasty, you know? Birthday, and massacre. Light, and dark. Cute, and evil.
How has TBM changed from the beginning to now?
When I listen back to our old demos and our early albums I feel like I don't sing the same way any more. I'm more confident. I'm a shy person. I wasn't able to record vocals when there were people in the [same] room.
If you have stage fright, it doesn't show.
I hate being in front of groups of people. That's behind the whole concept of my stage name being Chibi. I'm almost like a character. I feel sick to my stomach before a show, and then I'll have to flip a switch and become this character that is comfortable being in front of people.
So, who is Chibi?
Oh God, I used to be into Japanese anime and there was a character named Chibi Moon from the Sailor Moon cartoon. I named my cat after her. So, I was like, I'll just steal my cat's name.
How do you and TBM deal with pre-show jitters?
We put on music to get pumped up while we're putting on our outfits and our makeup. And sometimes a drink or two. That often helps.
Who were you a musical fan of growing up?
When I started getting into music on my own, my favorite bands of all time were Faith No More, Concrete Blond, Deftones, Type O Negative, Pantera, a lot of different stuff.
As the lyricist, are there common themes that recur in your songwriting?
We never wanted the lyrics to read like a diary, like, you broke my heart and I'm sad. [Laughs.] We always try to use imagery and metaphors. The human experience, right?
Birthday Massacre videos are a lot like little mini-horror flicks.
We grew up with '80s horror movies like Legend and Labyrinth and Nightmare on Elm Street, Hellraiser. We're all really into those.
You must have some strange fan stories from the road...
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I've met people on tour who said, 'I was upset, I was gonna kill myself and you, like, I love you, and you have saved me, and I have a portrait of you tattooed on my neck.'
An image of your face, tattooed on a person's neck?
It's very flattering. I love seeing tattoos like that cause it's hilarious and it shows commitment to the band but I think when they are dead and in their coffin, my face is gonna be in there with them. That's kinda weird.