Bauhaus bass player David J wrote this song's lyric after bingeing on vampire movies that were showing on TV in England (this was before Netflix). He and guitarist Daniel Ash were both watching these films, and got to talking about them one day on the phone when they were setting up a rehearsal.
The next day, that conversation was in his head, and David started writing lyrics on the topic. In his Songfacts interview
, he explained: "I came up with that first line, 'White on white, translucent, black capes back on the rack.' And it was like, 'Oh, this is interesting.' It's so descriptive - it is about the vampire. It's also about the actor - it's about retiring from the part, but then he sort of plays with the idea. A vampire can never retire from being a vampire, because that's for eternity."