Interview: Mychael of Astari Nite on travel, loss, and upcoming releases
By DJ Azy of Obscura Undead
Astari Nite is a local Florida band which has established themselves as a unique act within the indie/dark alternative scene, incorporating elements of classic post-punk and goth, and adding a twist of dark imagery, intrinsic lyrics dealing with love and loss which makes them stand out from the growing sea of new darkwave artists.
They will be performing at this year’s Absolution Fest presented by Communion After Dark, so we caught up with frontman Mychael to ask about his inspirations, personal philosophies, and upcoming projects.
So queue up their latest album “Midnight Conversations”, released on Cleopatra last July, and enjoy!
Astari Nite tends to play shows local to Florida and the East Coast, or play mini-tours or festivals overseas. Do you have any desire to tour more extensively? What draws you back home?
Our parents forbid us from playing shows on school nights. I’ve acquired a fear that our automobile will turn into a pumpkin once the clock strikes twelve. Honestly if I may, performing in foreign lands such as Scotland, Manchester, London, Leipzig, Hannover, Hamburg, France, my nightmares and the North Pole has been such a gift / experience and are farther from home than a map lets on.
This has helped with my anxiety a great deal, I feel a little bit braver at times. The places we travel to are the places we want to vacation at, so we do for a moment or two. Home is a strange word, mentally I try to never leave because it tears me apart deep inside.
What’s been your favorite thing you’ve eaten on your trips abroad?
Crème brûlée in London and Pizza in New York City. For the record, I can’t adapt to the fascination of In-N-Out Burger. I felt used and cheap after my attempt to fall for it in LA.
On the surface, Miami is all fast cars and bright colors. It seems an unlikely place to find a darkwave band. But underneath, there is a long and sometimes tragic culture of magick. Your latest music video for Sunday Queen off your latest album “Midnight Conversations” deals with themes of ritual and witchcraft. Do you take inspiration in the history of magick and witchcraft in south Florida?
Such a touchy subject some might say. I am heavily inspired by the people that I believe in. The subjects that they study have shed light on my curiosity. My friends are the witches, Santa Claus is a woman and Killstar clothing does not give you a Ph. D in witchcraft.
We’ve seen you live numerous times in Florida and one thing we’re always struck by is how much compassionate energy you give to complete strangers. You are also a vocal supporter of random acts of kindness and suicide awareness. What motivates you to commit so much of yourself to the well being of your fans, the people who inevitably walk in and out of your life, and those who will never reciprocate?
It is hard for me to think that Astari Nite has fans. Certain words do not make sense to me. We are all people that die in the end. While living, I think that it is important to be equal, to show one another support / kindness so we can all find courage and continue to do what it is that we love. Some may come and go, though we will always be the same.
In your personal image, you almost always appear “blinded”. We rarely see your eyes, but you always give a sense of seeing beyond just simple watching. Is this meant to be a visual representation of personal loss and isolation?
I have been mourning as of recent, perhaps our catalog of photographs has not been too discreet. Pretty coincidental, I’m left to believe.
You’re in the process of recording your next music video. Can you give us any hints as to what it will be like or about?
Reflections of one’s self come to mind. The video is for a track titled “As If you were Dead.” People tend to think that loneliness is so tragic and sad. It’s quite beautiful and silly to say the least. I can’t imagine a world of everyone holding hands, can you?
Is there anything you’re listening to at the moment that you absolutely love and want to share?
A song titled "Hōkago Distraction" (Afterschool Distraction) is the ending theme for a television anime that I am obsessed with called Hi Score Girl, the track is written by Etsuko Yakushimaru.
Is there anyone you’ll be performing with at Absolution Fest that you’re especially excited to see or share the stage with?
These types of festivals can be rather heart breaking since you might perform on a different date than the band you would like to see and or admire. Regarding the Saturday night line-up, we are very pleased and look forward to spectating and meeting the many in attendance. Tom Shear (Assemblage 23) produced our current catalog so to catch up with a few of his songs that have inspired me will be surreal. From what I understand, that evening we will also perform several new tracks that we anticipate the release of.
Fun Bonus Question because Maus and I kind of obsess over your hair. We know it’s inspired by Aimee Mann’s style in the 80s, but it has a will of its own. What will be your final form?
I like to think that my final form will be “Dead.” Perhaps then I can put my crimping iron to rest in peace as well.
Thank you Mychael, and see you soon!
Locally, you can catch Astari Nite in concert on July 19th opening for Turkish darkwave band She Past Away, presented by Communion After Dark and Endoxa Booking. Check out the event information here.
They will also be performing the second day at the very first Absolution Fest here in Tampa on October 5th, 2019. This event is also put on by Communion After Dark and Endoxa Booking! The line up includes many of the best modern post-punk and darkwave bands in North America. Check out the line up at on the Absolution Fest website and buy tickets! It’s going to be a good time.