Worst Studios Presents: Are you a vampire or a slayer?
Author: Willa Rudolph
On 8/30/23 at Pianos, vampires and slayers alike gathered for a meeting of the minds at VAMPIRE VS. SLAYER, a show put on by Tina Tarighian and Maria Galebach of Worst Studios, an immersive visualizer studio. The show featured bands Gun, Sofia Zarzuela, The Xenoangel Experiment, and DJ’s ITG.URL and Odiii.
The Buffy the Vampire Slayer themed event required attendees to pick a side and come dressed accordingly. Visuals projected behind the bands were created by Worst Studios–”video collages with code and video editing software that go with the theme and music of the night to complement and enhance the performers,” Tarighian explains.
Tarighian and Galebach both studied computer science at Wellesley College, and co-founded Worst Studios during peak COVID. “Since then, we’ve done tons of gigs for different artists/performers, crafting their live visuals! Now, we’ve been recently awarded an artist-in-residency with Pianos, which is a little different than what we’re used to. With these events, we bring the visuals, the talent, and the party.”
Gun opened the show, with their punk rock/rap noise that provokes moshing and head banging. I spoke with bassist Adam Targove, who has been in Gun for about 3 months, after being a fan and friend for two years before joining. His favorite part about playing with them is the crowd moshing and the energy the music evokes. When asked whether he is a vampire or a slayer, he tells The Deli, “I’ll go with slayer; there’s enough bloodsucking vampires lurking around.” Lead singer of Gun, Stavros Lari, however, says, “I am a vampire, through and through, I suck blood, I’m scared of garlic, yadda yadda.”
Targove’s “favorite thing about the NYC DIY scene is that it evolves. The scene and the city itself has changed drastically over the years. The influx of transplants has definitely changed the atmosphere. The scene is like a living thing that grows and contracts and changes form but ultimately will live forever. I respect the people who move to this beautiful city to pursue their art, and we all get to work together to build a safe and inclusive music scene that we all want to be a part of. It’s the best place in the world, I love it a little too much,” he muses.
Gun debuted a new song, their first love song, which has a more pop-punk sound than any of their other tracks. It’s called “Lovingly,” where the lyrics describe “pining after someone… strongly. It’s about longing for a lover’s body after not seeing them for far too long,” Stav explains. “With help from our bassist [Adam Targove], here are some of my fav lyrics we came up with:
“Thinking back to summer when we’d drink / and tell me it didn’t mean a thing
When your words fell on my ears / ‘I want you’ whispered ever clear
Take me now while our legs are intertwined / I wanna know what you do when your hands aren’t tied
Take me home, tie ourselves in a delicate lie”
“You’re so dignified
When you walk, I think I know what your thoughts are like
What you see in your eyes
And how you want me to defile”
“We’ve dabbled a little bit into pop punk with songs like “Vixen” and “Evermore” before. I think it’s a “finding my voice” kinda thing, like our sound is still a work in progress. People point out that the songs are different from the rest but I have always viewed them as like, pop nu-metal-like Flyleaf or Evanescence. I think a lot of the stuff we’ve been writing recently melds the two worlds a little more effectively, but I’m still proud of “Lovingly” quite a bit—I think it has one of the best melodies I’ve ever written. I want it to come out next month, but maybe early October, we’re just finalizing some of the vocals at this point,” says Lari.
Have you ever wondered how sexy your crush would look covered in blood? No, me neither, me neither… Anyway, Sofia Zarzuela took the stage doused in fake blood, which only enhanced her already existing aesthetic and vibe, as she commanded the crowd once again.
Ms. Zarzuela is “a slayer, through and through. Faith when she was bad or Kendra’s two episodes…never Buffy,” she clarifies. “The music I have out right now is so at odds with the music I actually write. I just recorded an album at Holy Fang Studios that I’m finishing up. I’ll put out the first single when the weather gets a little colder! It’s too hot for grunge songs right now.”
Next, experimental band The Xenoangel Experiment silently ascended the stage. Half music, half performance art, half of Worst Studios sat on stage, topless with her back to the audience–Tina, having a background in “fine arts and augmented reality,” had an ASMR video of someone getting their back scratched projected onto her bare back.
“It was overlaid with some other creepy weird videos and code.” The Xenoangel Experiment’s electric cellist, Jane, played behind Tina, creating an incredible composition of action. Tina explains, “[We] genuinely fell in love with her old music, and invited her to play at our last event. We were totally shocked by their insane noise cult. We knew we needed them back for the vampire event, and I knew I wanted to be on stage with them.” And with no rest for the wicked or the their adversaries allowed, ITG.URL and Odiii kept the audience’s dark hearts beating as one with DJ sets that truly slayed.
Tarighian’s favorite thing about the NYC DIY Music Scene is “the freaks! I love when talented people just let loose and perform some serious debauchery. Also, I love some of the crafty venues I’ve been to.”
If you’re interested in attending the next Worst Studios event, they’ll “be doing the live visuals for the FCUKERS performance at Market Hotel in September and preparing for a tour with another artist! October 11th is our tentative next party at Pianos!!”