The Birthday Massacre play the House of Blues

Digging shallow graves and chasing murderous love interests may not seem the norm to many people, but for The Birthday Massacre, it's all in a day's work.

This past weekend, the synth rock band spun their tales of whimsical, macabre fantasies at the House of Blues in Anaheim. The stop in southern California was one of many in support of the band's recent effort, "Pins and Needles," which was released in mid-September.

"Every night [of the tour] I think is really successful, and all the other bands are great as well," said Chibi, lyricist and main vocalist of The Birthday Massacre.

Chibi, along with her five other band mates make up the alternative rock ensemble. Hailing from Toronto, the band first formed in 1999 under the name Imagica, though the name was promptly changed to The Birthday Massacre. "It was more just something to do to spend time with our friends, and we were all interested in making music," Chibi said.

Though the group started more than a decade ago, actual touring across the states and around the world didn't happen until 2005. Since then, Chibi and the gang have traveled throughout the United States, Europe, Mexico, and Australia. And then there are the four albums under their belt, which have helped the rock band gain a steady fanbase.

"Over the years we've accumulated a very loyal fanbase, and we're very appreciative of them. We like to have a sense of community with the fans and the fans are very good to each other as well," Chibi said. "I like where we are. I like being able to connect with the fans and keep that sense of community."

The art and imagery surrounding The Birthday Massacre are hinted at in the band's name: Dark, violent themes juxtaposed with childlike, fantastical concepts; bloodied faces and costumes coupled with icons of bunnies, dolls, and birthday dresses, and songs with a retro feel quickly spiraling down into hard goth rock.

The band's live show is just as energetic as their music. Chibi's stage presence was large and playful, showing her appreciation and affection to the crowd with peace signs and hearts in between lyrics.

The rest of the band was just as excited: Rainbow, rhythm guitarist, played and shredded with constant, almost-maniacal glee. Keyboardist Owen shook his keyboard stand and wildly swung his keytar, switching sides with bassist Nate Manor and guitarist Michael Falcore. And though he was in the back, Rhim delivered with drums as they played songs from all of their albums.

Songs that the band performed from "Pins and Needles" were well received. ""People want to hear the new songs, and everyone seems to know it. They're singing along. It's been really good. I hope it keeps up," Chibi said.

Once their current tour in the West Coast is over, Chibi stated that the band would take a quick break for the rest of the year, before heading back out to Europe in 2011. "It's a job, and we love doing it, and there's nothing we'd rather be doing," she said.