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Album: West Ryder Pauper Lunatic AsylumReleased: 2009
This song was released as a free download from Kasabian's official website between March 31 and April 3, 2009.
The song pays tribute to the late Dark Knight actor Heath Ledger through the line "Joker, see you on the other side." Vocalist Tom Meighan explained to The Sun May 22, 2009: "When Heath Ledger died, Serge had just written Vlad The Impaler so he added that line to pay respect." Guitarist Sergio Pizzorno added: "He'd just finished this amazing film and his life was over. I identified with him. I know so many people who get off their heads and then can't sleep so they have a sleeping pill. I thought 'That could have been anyone I know. It's just such a waste of a great man's life."
Pizzorno told the New Musical Express January 17, 2009: "The timing is strange and the vocals are in and out because it's a rant. I wanted that Beastie Boys, Clash feel, giving Tom a song to sing where he can rant, because that's when he's at his most genius."
Vlad Tepes, or Vlad the Impaler, was a ruler of Wallachia (present-day southern Romania) in the 15th century. He became notorious for the extremely cruel punishments that he dealt to his enemies, his favorite form of torture being impaling his victims, then mocking them. In the English speaking world, Vlad the Impaler is perhaps best known for being the inspiration for Dracula.
Pizzorno said to the NME June 13, 2009: "I knew the moment I wrote the riff it was going to be massive." he added: "I like that Tom and my voices swap over."
A video was made for this song starring English comedian Noel Fielding as a vampire slayer. Pizzorno told the NME: "Doing the video with Noel Fielding was outrageous, him running around a country house impaling people."