July 4, 2016 was a sad day for fans of FVK when the band announced their impending split following co-frontman Kier Kemp’s departure. You can read their statement in full here. Throughout the band’s eight year career, they built a fanbase with their alternate styles, which grew alongside the band, into a small, tight-knit community. They were a band who led the way in terms of building strong relationships with fans, regularly going out of their way to make time for and further create a community. Below, I recount some of my experiences of the band and what they did for fans (you can check out just how good they were live here.).
I remember the day clearly, October 3 2014 at Cardiff students union’s Great Hall. It was the first date of the UK leg of Black Veil Brides’ Black Mass tour and from the opening bars of Bite Down on my Winchester started, I was instantly hooked on FVK. I’d never seen a band who had managed to effortlessly combine two frontmen and keep the crowd interested and excited when only in a support slot.
After the show, I went home and looked them up, on first look, their music videos were elaborate and dark, telling stories and as I delved further into the band’s world, did I realise just how special this quintet were. Concept records are tied in with brilliant novels by co-frontman Laurence Beveridge and the music videos told the stories of the chapters of the songs, allowing the listener to get lost in a completely different world.
While the band’s music has seen them garner success including UK and European runs with Black Veil Brides in both 2014 and 2015, and again with Escape the Fate in 2016, several successful headlining UK tours, slots at Download festival in 2013 and 2015 and a mainland Europe headline tour, they have inspired thousands of youngsters to embrace their creative side, whether it be through music, writing, art or any other form and have created a strong community.
As someone who gets seriously anxious around meeting new people, my first time attending an FVK headline show in early 2015, I went alone, however, it was by doing this that I realised just how great the community FVK had created was, where everyone looked out for each other and made you feel welcome as a Lost Heart. It was here that I met some people who I would now, just a year later, call some of my closest friends. The same sentiment is echoed constantly throughout the band’s Facebook groups and their social network the Obsidian Bond. Creating the social network in itself is testament to the quintet with how much they value their fans, choosing to find a way to interact with them as much as possible, even going to the lengths to create a website where fans could go without the fear of being ridiculed for their various interests, gender, sexuality etc and allow them to build friendships.
You can check out our interview with Drew and Kier from the band’s Christmas show in Swansea last December here.
Since the news of the impending split, Lost Hearts from all over the world have taken to social media to share their photos and memories of the band. We asked some of the Lost Hearts to send us their messages and have chosen a few below;
Their music has always been here for me in the hardest times, plus they promote such positivity throughout the fan base which has helped me make new friends with similar interests who are here to support me and other fans when we need it x – Shannon Howden
They’re just such lovely human beings…as far as I’m concerned meeting Laurence literally saved my life. Maybe I wouldn’t be dead yet but my life expectancy has dramatically improved 😉 So much of my art over the past 3.5 years has been FVK inspired, including the piece I finished yesterday (utter crap, but finally completed). For all my heart is broken right now I wouldn’t swap these years for anything. Absolutely priceless. – Heggie Speller
Back in 2012, they played at my music festival that I put on as part of my GCSE coursework. They helped me put the event on by being on hand if I needed to ask for advice on the problems that I couldn’t find the solution for. They understood that I didn’t have any budget to put the event on and agreed to play the event for free as it was a charity event. I owe a lot of the success of that event to them x – Gina Allan
90% of my friends I have met through FVK. Without them I couldn’t be whom I am today. They helped build my confidence and be more positive. Shane got me back into my art, Luke got me into drumming, Laurence helped me through my literature exams, kier and drew both helped me see the funny side of things. Each member helped me in ways I would had never imagined. I love those guys no matter what they choose to do, I’ll be right by their side till the day I die x – Kelly Tron
I’ve been a huge fan and supporter of Fearless Vampire Killers for just over 3 years. Thank you to everyone that I’ve met through FVK. I love all of you and I consider you all my friends, and my family. You’re all amazing and I just can’t believe what’s happened. I’ll never forget these wonderful, inspirational and phenomenally artistic lads. They’ll always be special to me as they’ve helped me through an awful lot. Meeting them, hugging them, singing along with them until my voice gives out will forever be some of my favourite things. Their gigs were my favourite place to be, and I didn’t care how much my ears would ring afterwards. It was worth every moment. I’ve met some of my dearest friends through them, and for that I am eternally thankful. Once a Lost Heart, always a Lost Heart – Nic Lawton
I have made some amazing friends because of this awesome band. Their music has helped me through dome difficult times and going to their gigs has made me one of the most happy people in the world, especially because I was able to meet a band so down to earth and lovely as they were. – Yasmin Fellows
As you can see, the band had a very positive influence on their fans throughout their time together, including creating a platform for friendships across the globe. We all wish them all the best in their future projects.