Article by Karina Gaytan
Photos by Jamary Bobe
In the middle of his career, Michael Orlando was a victim of a fatal bus accident that resulted in three grueling years of reconstructive surgeries and rehabilitation. Michael’s primary source of inspiration was that dream of a second chance after the curtains closed on Vampires Everywhere in 2016. With the support of his best-friend Ronnie Radke, the two set out to assemble a fiery band of like-minded rockers, and Dead Girls Academy was born. A project that would exploit split personalities, fake friends, hangers-on, and social-climbing. Bringing a fresh vibe to rock ‘n’ roll, Dead Girls Academy is taking the scene by storm. Dead Girls Academy, is a four-piece rock band straight out of Los Angeles, CA. Michael Orlando, Craig Pirtle, Zachary Christopherr, and Alex Asch, joined together to create a unique sound that will show the world what they’ve been missing.
Dead Girls Academy skillfully introduce elements of classic metal like Motley Crue and Nine Inch Nails while reinvigorating hard rock to broader listeners. Authenticity is so essential to Orlando when writing. Michael is not trying to revive anything or copy other successful artists, but he does strive to write meaningful lyrics that come from the heart as well as lyrics that represent who they are and what they stand for. When writing Orlando is influenced by his surroundings, creating lyrics from moments in his life that have either plagued him or genuinely changed his life. It’s often effortless for him to write what is on his mind, but often when feeling a bit rusty, he tries to write anything & put those words together. This process usually leads him to the mental state he would like to be in.
On June 15, 2018, Dead Girls Academy released “Alchemy” a solid debut album that placed the band onto the artistic map, accompanied by high hopes for a bright future. The name is based on its definition, ‘a magical transformation.’ Hence the jump from the previous metal band to melodic rock. “Alchemy” took eighteen months to produce and the purpose of it is for people to understand that this grew from genuine experience, that this isn’t some paint-by-numbers rock and roll nonsense. Dead Girls Academy plan to bring back that vitality of danger that’s been missing in rock & roll today. These songs express the band’s raw emotions and present the power of Dead Girls Academy’s ambition to transform into one of the world’s top rock bands today.
Before releasing “Alchemy,” Dead Girls Academy released their debut single, “No Way Out.” This single is about being stuck in a toxic relationship. It represents the kind of love that keeps getting worse, but the pain is addicting. Dead Girls Academy were able to bring this vision to life when releasing their music video for this single. When finding the meaning behind the music video, one can see it depicts how the protagonist is addicted to toxic relationships, which led to them often attracting toxic women that are easily jealous. The ‘No Way Out’ video is intended to take you on a journey through the protagonist’ mindset throughout one of these relationships. One is able to observe the leading antagonist bluntly cheat on the protagonist, verbally abuse them and torture them all around.Meanwhile, the end of the video is intended to show that immortalizing madness that was the protagonist’s life for so long.Their single “Everything” is about the social-climbing & bogus people in LA. It is able to represent the idea that you can have everything & still be miserable! This single demonstrates how it is easy to lose yourself in this city & even easier to be manipulated by people; this often results in a feeling of emptiness and a struggle to find yourself within the turbulence. Knowing that Dead Girls Academy is determined, and have what it takes to succeed within the rock scene; it is almost certain that Dead Girls Academy is a name that will be around for quite some time.