*This is part of the Epicenter Festival Spotlight segment where we help you get to know some of the non-headlining bands performing at the festival. This week we introduce you to Dead Girls Academy!*
In 2016, when the curtains closed on Vampires Everywhere, Michael Orlando sought out other avenues for his new musical vision. “I’ve had the name DEAD GIRLS ACADEMY on the tip of my tongue for a few years” admits Orlando. He then formed the post-hardcore/alternative/pop punk metal outfit with the name that had been on the tip of his tongue for years; Dead Girls Academy. He removed the spooky occult shock-rock themes and look that Vampires Everywhere! was known for, and his new band leaned closer to the post-hardcore, punk side of the spectrum, while retaining Orlando’s dark and dramatic aesthetic. Orlando adds “I’ve always been on the darker side of things in rock & roll, and the name fits the sound and overall image. Split personalities, fake friends, hangers-on, social-climbing and attention-hunting whores are all ingredients I wanted to exploit with this project. I called together Ronnie [Radke] (Falling In Reverse) and our friend Elvis Baskette (Slash, Sevendust) and we started arranging songs and melodies. Living in Hollywood, there are so many fucked up things I’ve seen, the stories in my head, I could write six novels about them all. But that’s what breeds the creative juice and you will believe me once you hear Dead Girls Academy.” His previous band had a theme and brought a dark element to the stage and his vocals also invoked darkness, with a gravely growl and ferocious screams. However; with Dead Girls Academy he has turned his vocals completely around and its much more of a pop punk sound now. You still get those dark story telling lyrics that he is known for but with a more melodic approach.
“When Ronnie and I sat down to write “I’ll Find A Way,” we were pretty adamant on stating truths. We wanted lyrics that would hit home and tell this story about conquering your inner demons. The voices in your head are pushing one way, and your heart is pushing the other – riding the line between right and wrong. I’m hoping this story, this song will give hope. The cure to happiness is inside us and we must not give up without a fight.”
Their first single, “I’ll Find a Way,” arrived in 2017, and they wasted no time getting on the road as they began supporting Falling In Reverse, Motionless In White and Issues around the same time. The band quickly caught the attention of Victory Records and were signed in mere days. Before the 2018 Warped Tour kicked off, Dead Girls Academy released the singles “No Way Out” and “Everything” from their debut, ‘Alchemy’ which released June 15, 2018. The band performs at the Epicenter Festival on Saturday May 11th. You can get your tickets for the festival here.
We also recently interviewed lead vocalist Michael Orlando during the bands UK tour. The frontman talks about his obsession with Marilyn Manson, working with Ronnie Radke and even talks about various Danny Wimmer Festivals and how they have become iconic. You can see the full conversation between Michael and our UK correspondent Janson Bulpin below.