The other day I mentioned on here about how Killstar has fired all of their design team. Well, that was only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what is happening within the company right now. Yesterday I received a detailed email from my source about all of the insane crap going on inside the company and how it is affecting their bottom line. I’m usually not easily shocked when it comes to tales of workplace drama, but this is different.
That American private equity firm Bertram Capital didn’t outright purchase Killstar, like I had previously stated on another post. Instead they bought a majority stake in the company when the original owner, Tequila Star, wanted capital to expand and bring the company up to scratch. To say that she made a bad financial choice would be the understatement of the century. She chose a company who have no knowledge of alternative subcultures and it really shows.
Tequila Star stepped down as CEO of the company when Bertram Capital came into the picture, and they placed their own person into that role. They also brought in new heads of merchandising, products, etc.. This was done to restructure the company so that it functioned better. This is what the company needed; structure that worked more efficiently so that things could be run more smoothly. However, that is not what has happened.
Since the takeover the company has been struggling. Why? Because they are running it just like any other business, thinking that the same tactics would work for it that they have previously used elsewhere. In the autumn of 2021 they brought in a new head of product, and it became obvious very soon that she was overwhelmed by the role and had no clue as to what she was doing. Instead of listening to the employees and the fans of the brand as to what was wanted and what would work they ignored all of the advice and pushed for collaborations. Remember that horrid Avril Lavigne line of products that came out that everybody, including myself, made fun of? That was her idea.
That alone proved that they hadn’t a clue about punk, goth, emo,etc… subcultures. The fact that they thought that Avril Lavigne was in line with what fans of the brand wanted speaks volumes. They tried bragging about how well the line sold but it was very obvious that they couldn’t move the pieces because they looked like crap. The recent really ugly Dario Argento line is yet another example. I love Argento’s films but I wouldn’t wear that crap even if somebody promised me £100 to do so.
Then on top of all of this they put the head of design, who had been with the company for over five years, on garden leave and then outright fired her. They didn’t replace her until the Spring of 2022, and the guy they chose had no knowledge or interest in alternative designs. He was totally unfit for the role and was gone after a few months. They then brought in somebody else whom they also let go after only a few months.
During all of this they brought in people to try to structure the design team. Predictably these people had no knowledge or respect for alternative styles and subcultures. They created a very hostile work environment; so much so that some of the people within the product and design teams quit.
What happened next? Tequila Star came out of hiding and is now CEO once more. So, basically she fucked around and found out. I don’t pity her at all because she made some very badly informed financial decisions. Even I know about how private equity firms work and how detrimental they can be to the running of a company. The head of products was fired this past April and has not been replaced. My source thinks that Star has been working directly with the designers since she came back. However, things must not be going too well since the entire design team has been suddenly let go.
So, basically Star is trying to bring the company back from the brink of financial disaster but it really is too little too late. The reputation of the brand has been in the sewer since Bertram Capital came into the picture. Line after line of badly designed cheaply made clothing has been pumped out and it shows. Most of the newer pieces are the same silhouettes as older pieces with just new graphic designs being thrown up onto them. There is no originality taking place which is pretty telling. Also, their homeware range is now mostly brought in from suppliers and is not designed in house.
My source has some theories as to what is going to happen next with the company. Apparently they have lines designed for up to this Autumn, so my source thinks that they cut the entire design team in order to appear more solvent when they try to sell the company to a new buyer. This makes some sense and could indeed be what is happening. Another theory is that they will just hire freelance graphic designers and slap new designs onto the same old silhouettes. Lastly, they might just bring in everything from outside suppliers.
Apparently Killstar is making way less money this year than they did last year so it may be too late for Star to steer the company in the right direction. The only people that I feel sorry for in this entire situation are the alternative people who worked for the company and were shafted.
This entire situation is what happens when you let a private equity firm run an alternative focused company; you lose credibility with you core customers who no longer want anything to do with you and your inauthentic ways.
What a clusterfuck of an event. A lot of people flew in just for this event and will be flying back out today. They should have announced this last night. Remember, large corporations really don’t give a fuck if you miss your favourite band.
I’m back from the dead! I just needed some away from the internet time and I am doing much better. Hooray! I was going to finish this post a week ago but I caught a head cold and had absolutely no energy. I’m just about over it and feel, much, much better. Off we go!
As the title of this post states I am starting work on yet another jacket. When I go onto the ‘high street’ of my town I always browse the New Look store’s clearance section. I always come out with something because I live in a very conservative area. Anything too ‘out there’ for the local normies goes on clearance, and the prices are cheaper than the local thrift stores. It’s a win win for me because it means I don’t have to pay a lot of money to find a piece of clothing to do some fun DIY type work on. I would say that the quality of their stock is better than Shein, so if you are a weirdo with a budget in the UK you ought to head over there.
Since it is a black and white striped jacket people will assume that I am going to ‘Beetlejuice’ it. I think that type of look is very overplayed and I am not a big Tim Burton fan. Because of all of this I am not allowing any green on this jacket. The patches that I will be using will be mostly black & white. There will be some purple, red, blue,etc…but no green. When it comes to DIY battle jackets you should always put what YOU love on it; not what others tell you that you should have on it.
So far the only work I have done to it is place some purple studs right beneath the pocket openings. Since it is an unlined summer type blazer I might not place any more studs on it. When you stud a piece of clothing you make it heavier so that would go against the purpose of this blazer; a lighter summer type garment. I may feel differently down the road but that is my headspace right now.
I am waiting for a bunch of patches to arrive. This is going to be a ‘spooky’ jacket: horror films, TV shows, sayings and maybe some bands. When more get here I will show them to you all because they are peachy-keen! Okay, I’m going to cheat and share one below that is defitely going on it. It is a thing of beauty!
This is one of the first times I have heard a musician in the pop-punk/metal-core/alternative music sphere actually majorly call out sexual predators who go after underage fans. It is a dirty ‘secret’ that has been going on in alternative circles for literally decades. It happens in punk, goth, metal and every single alternative type music genre you can think of. Predatory musicians who want to screw underage girls, and boys, get away with it way too often because their music is deemed too ‘important’, or their music connections are deemed too ‘important’. Nobody should be deemed untouchable, or ‘too important’, when it comes to calling this shit out.
This is a brilliant song and video and I stand with her.
Killing Joke is back with a very cool politically driven song and video. It is very good and if this is a preview as to what their new album is going to sound like then we are all in for a treat. It hearkens back to their punk roots which is very exciting!
Welcome to part four in my series about the very problematic history of Madi Danger’s now defunct goth Discord server. If you have not read 1-3 of this series yet I would suggest doing so because they show a clear pattern of behaviour. Links to those earlier posts will be at the bottom of this article. Again, I am showing these screenshots in the order in which I found them. None of them have been left out. Just a warning, this and the next article in this series are composed of just conversations that took place that prove that what C has been saying is true. Again, there will be racist white nationalist flags planted all over the place
This looks like yet another conversation that has started between C and Madi, one of which that C had previously talked about in their story. Yet again C tries to explain why they, and others, do not feel safe in the community because of J’s lack of action against G. J apparently made some excuses such as ‘I don’t know anything about you’ trope. Why the hell does J even need to know the background of anybody; if the members say that a moderator had repeatedly said and done racist type things to them they should be 100% believed, especially when they have some receipts to prove it. Madi says something that makes absolutely no sense so let us continue on.
That above message that you cannot see the entirety of? It is of G saying that they are not a racist white nationalist. EDIT: Madi has kindly shared all of G’s statement and it is at the bottom of this article. :EDIT That is way too little way to late for C’s comfort and for mine as well. G was asked over, and over, and over again by C if they had racist white nationalism type views and G repeatedly refused to answer. There is no backing up and retroactively saving yourself from this sort of situation. If a leftist, such as myself, was asked if they had racist white nationalistic type views the resounding answer would be a huge no. Also, more than likely, a leftist would explain why racist white nationalism is wrong. Unfortunately, it really feels like we are dealing with people here who reside on the other side of the aisle.
C explains why they do not feel safe in the server; they personally know people who have been doxxed and one that was a victim of a hate crime. C was not being overly sensitive in this situation, they had an absolute right to not feel safe in that community. They were just beginning to make YouTube videos about mainly goth type topics, but C also wanted to include videos about trans issues since they themselves are trans. They had wanted to link it to the server, but because of all of the unanswered questions about racist white nationalism in the community they took it down. I do not blame them one bit.
C’s paragraph continues here; their explanation of why they do not feel safe because of all of the red flags that have been planted throughout this entire ordeal. Again, C deserves a lot of praise in this situation because they will not lie down and take this crap. Madi Dearest responds by saying that C shouldn’t share any personal information in the community if they do not feel safe. Her excuse? That it is a large server that she keeps open for anybody to find out information about goth. Since she and the other moderators refused to make rules against bigotry you can easily come up with your own concludion. As I have stated previously in this series there has been a long held tradition in both the punk and goth communities of punching racist white nationalists and banning them from both online and ‘real world’ spaces. From what I witnessed over thirty years ago the punks, and Sharps(skinheads against racial prejudice), did a lot of the heavy lifting, but since that time the goth community has stepped forward and has been more actively involved in pushing racist white nationalists out. As a reminder J, Madi’s now husband, had previously stated that politics don’t belong in the goth subculture and that their inclusion would ruin the ‘scene’. Spoken just like somebody who doesn’t know what the hell they are talking about. If Madi is going to put herself forward as some sort of fountain of knowledge about the goth subculture she, and those mods, should actually learn about the truth of the subculture instead of making shit up as they go along. Again, I find all of this disturbing as hell since her audience tends to skew younger. People are putting their trust in the hands of others who in no way deserve it.
C then starts talking about their experience of also being into punk music and being a member of the punk community. This gets me teary because I have also always loved punk music along with goth music. Over thirty years ago I would go to punk shows and alternative clubs during the same week. I was not alone because a good amount of people back then got into what would become the goth subculture in the San Francisco Bay Area through also liking punk music. Just like C I learned all about racist dog-whistles and crypto-fascists through listening to bands like the Dead Kennedys and from attending shows. C is right, all of the behaviours that Madi, her husband, and those two other moderators are showing would not be tolerated in the punk community. In fact there would be a concerted effort to push them out, I guarantee it. By the way Madi claims to love 70’s-80’s punk music and she has even made a Spotify playlist including songs from the Dead Kennedys and the Subhumans, which tells me that she is not actually ‘listening ‘ to the music. This type of thing happens pretty frequently. It’s like when right wing morons claiming that punk music has become too ‘woke’ and that politics don’t belong in punk. Gee…that sounds familiar doesn’t it?
C goes on about the paradox of intolerance; that if a group of people accept everybody, including the intolerant, eventually the group will be destroyed and taken over by the intolerant. Do you want people such as Madi and her husband holding power in alternative subcultures and destroying them from the inside out? I sure as hell don’t, and they shouldn’t be allowed to freely roam online teaching baby bats what their idea of the goth subculture is all about. All of the frippery and teased hair in the world can’t hide the truth of her actions, and inactions, when it comes to all of this. C also mentions the old saying that if eleven people sit down at a table with one Nazi then there are twelve Nazis. You are the company you keep.
C again tells Madi that all they want is a place to talk about goth without having to worry about being targeted for abuse by people who are anti-trans. Their concern is totally understandable and if I were in their shoes I would feel the same way. I would never be comfortable sharing what I love if I had to worry about literal racist white nationalists wanting to hurt me. Madi, G chose not to answer that very simple question an endless amount of times. Yet you want C to feel safe now just because G finally says that they are antifascist? Seriously? Is she just that dense to think that a statement that came too little too late would just solve everything?
EDIT: That was going to be the end of the article but Madi responded with some screenshots that I supposedly purposely skipped using. In reality I had used the first photo she shared in my first article already and I did not have access to the other two because they were not in the info dump. So I will share those two with you and give my opinion as to the contents of them.
I think the person responding to G is Z from the second article but I am not sure. Z doesn’t find Varg Vikernes funny and neither do I. Varg is a vile murdering racist piece of shit that should be taken seriously and not laughed at. Condemning racists such as Varg should be the priority, rather than laughing about him. Again, how are people in a goth server supposed to know about a metal meme? Laughing about Varg like he is a drunk uncle, rather than condemning him, throws up yet another flag for me. Sorry not sorry
What the hell has G actually explained? As you have seen from the other screenshots in these articles G always evaded the questions thrown at them and repeatedly refused to answer the question as to whether or not they held racist white nationalistic views. Plus, on top of all of that G had been accused by multiple people of deleting talk of racism on the server. Oh, and G and the other mods didn’t think that a rule against bigotry would be be a good idea. Do you know who I am going to believe after reading this entire sorry mess? Not him.
That is the end of part four. Part five will be up on this blog on Tuesday the 24th and it will be the last article in this series. Thank you for reading!
You read that right, the Subhumans are raising money for a big new book about their band history. They have been around for over forty years so it is bound to be a really good read. They have already reached their goal but you can still pledge to help them out. I got the book, postcard and shirt combo.
I’ve been listening to them since around 1989 and they were very instrumental, along with the Dead Kennedys, as to informing me what is really going on all around us politically and socially. They are a very important band, and if you would like to get into punk music they are an excellent place to start.
There is a recent Rolling Stone article titled The 50 Best Goth Songs Of All Time making the rounds, and my goodness are people pissed off about it. The main reason being that the author of the article is a noted historian on the goth subculture, Andi Harriman. Personally I think she is full of shit, based mainly on the fact that she writes for post-punk dot com, a very problematic website that I have covered on here before. It is run by a trust fund guy who is actively buying his way into the subculture. You are the company that you keep.
I read somewhere yesterday that dearest Andi has claimed that she was told by Rolling Stone to expand the list with famous bands that maybe weren’t goth in order to appease their audience. Instead of having standards she gave in and wrote it. I guess getting her name on the byline of a Rolling Stone article was more important than telling the truth of things. Go figure. So, come wander down this path of half-truths and outright lies with me. This is going to be fun! I will quote sections of the article and then give my response.
‘The scene was a torch passing of sorts. Murphy’s Bauhaus had helped invent goth during the early Eighties; Way had brought it to stripmalls and arenas in the 21st century. And, still, neither could answer a question that has haunted people for decades: What is goth?‘
Woman, My Chemical Romance is not a goth band. I repeat, My Chemical Romance is not a damn goth band. Just because a band dresses in black does not automatically mean that the band makes goth subculture music. It wasn’t passing a torch from Murphy to Way, it was more like Murphy spitting up in the air and his phlegm landed on Way. What is goth? A question that she sure as hell also doesn’t know how to answer.
Let’s travel back to 1983. A time when London’s Batcave club was in its infancy. There, the aesthetics of goth were cultivated—a love for horror movies and Gothic novels, a sickly pallor and a koosh ball of hair, pointy winklepickers and a mish-mash of fetish materials, and most of all, a romance with melancholy. ‘83 was also the year that vampire-thriller The Hunger, co-starring David Bowie, hit the big screens. Vampires, Bowie, Bauhaus – it was the perfect trifecta, beautifully bound in an orgy of tragic eternity.
Um…on the US West Coast during the same time there were bands doing the exact same thing. The Batcave was not the only place where goth music came into being and was born; it’s just the obvious easy answer that people repeat over and over and over….again. So much of this is repeated elsewhere that there are tons of people who weren’t even alive during the 80’s running around wearing Batcave shirts and patches right now. I was a teen in the 80’s in the San Francisco Bay Area and even though I was alive during those Batcave years I wouldn’t sport a shirt or patch of a place that I never went to. An orgy of tragic Eternity? It’s not an orgy if it is only attended by three people. Just saying.
The first batallion of dark 1970s post-punk bands fed off the energy of Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust character, an androgynous creature who didn’t quite seem human. The allure of Ziggy, mixed with the magnetism of Dracula (namely Christopher Lee, Udo Keir, and of course, Bela Lugosi) helped to assemble the essential iconography of the subculture– at once dreadful and oozing with sex appeal.
A whole lot of those bands came out of Los Angeles and not the Batcave; specifically Christian Death and 45 Grave, who both used darkly themed aesthetics in their stage performances. Alice Bag, who was in the early Los Angeles punk band The Bags with Patricia Morrison, actually goes into detail in her book Violence Girl as to how everything creatively morphed after the early punk scene there imploded due to the violence that was happening at shows. I highly recommend her book, because she was best friends with Morrison and her insight is very valuable.
And the sound? It’s atmospheric. Somewhere between a banshee scream or a bellowing, reverberated howl that could part the Red Sea, goth began as a transition point from the jaggedness of punk’s confrontational simplicity into an elegant darkness, one cloaked in sorrow and so much emotion. In order to achieve goth status, there must be as much drama as possible: the music, in true Hitchockian fashion, must be as frightening as a spiral staircase in a creaking haunted house.
Again, a whole lot of early goth bands were anything but elegant. Sex Gang Children, Virgin Prunes, Christian Death, etc…were all very confrontational and anything but elegant, but that was the appeal. You could speak up about how fucked up the world was along with looking like you were mourning it. Personally, that is one of the reasons why I have always been into goth music along with punk; they can be on different sides of the same coin.
Think of this list as a roadmap to that sound—from B-movie horror thrills, to reanimated rock and roll rituals, to complete sacrilege, bulging with blasphemy, bondage, blood and lots of bats. It’s a history that touches on subgenres like dream pop, hard rock, synthpop, and glam, that makes pit stops in Spain and Germany, pays homage at the doorsteps of black-clad country heroes and spooky blues legends, and dives into seedy art rock grottos and DIY punk venues. So pour yourself a goblet of red wine and hold your rosaries tight. It’s gonna be a long, dark night of the soul.
A roadmap to the sound? Then why the hell would you call this list ’50 Best Goth Songs Of All Time’? It should have been titled ‘music that influenced goth bands’ instead then. She should know better than to mislead people with this article, because right now there is a ton of misinformation about it. So much so that teens, and even adults, are running around calling themselves goth without listening to any of the actual music. Instead of trying to stop this crap she is doing her part to perpetuate it. Awwww…….how peachy-keen of her!
I am now going to briefly comment on each band on that list that are in no way goth, and give my reasoning for my opinion on each.
50.Strawberry Switchblade They were basically a pop band who happened to dress in a lot of polka dots. Seriously, that’s it. Plus, Rose McDowall got all cozy with Death In June, a very problematic band. A big huge thumbs down from me.
49. AFI This one is a huge WTF. I actually used to go to the punk club Gilman in Berkeley during the same years that Havok went there before he got famous. I just remember that he had the cover of TSOL’s album Dance With Me on the back of his leather jacket. The dude does like some deathrock music, but that doesn’t mean that he actually makes deathrock music. Their sound has morphed multiple times over the years, but it has never been strictly goth.
47. She Wants RevengeMembers of this band have been accused of sexual assault. They opened a ‘goth’ club in Los Angeles and preceded to do nothing about their workers being sexually assaulted by their guests. Fuck this band up the ass with no lube. I guess our friend Andi is perfectly okay with all of this. Good to know.
45. My Chemical Romance Not a goth band folks. A band isn’t goth just because they dress in black and whine about their lives. The song she chose sounds like straight up pop punk, which is a music genre that really needs to jump off of a cliff.
44. Type O Negative This is one of the big bands that is always called goth by people who don’t know any better. Andi should know better, but apparently she thinks misinformation is okay as long as she gets the clicks. They are straight up metal and that is it.
43. Echo And The Bunnymen If I had a dollar for every single time a misinformed kid calls this band goth I would be a wealthy woman. They were never goth….at all. I actually saw them live in 1987, so I was around when they were big, and they were never called goth. The internet has been spreading this misinformed crap for the last decade. Sorry kids, just because a post-punk band made maybe one or two sad songs in the 80’s doesn’t make the band goth. Period. Thanks Andi for perpetuating this bullshit.
41. Suicide They have always been considered punk. That’s it.
38. Fad Gadget Their songs used to be played in the alternative/goth clubs I went to over 30 years ago, but that doesn’t mean the band was goth. I have always considered them to be a new wave band more than anything else.
36. Nine Inch Nails Seriously? Wahahahaha!!!! Industrial music, maybe, but definitely not a goth band. Nope, just a trust fund dude whining about how shit his life is while playing a keyboard.
33. Depeche Mode I have always loved their album Black Celebration, but is it a goth album? Synthpop definitely, but not really goth. They were an important goth gateway band for me in the 80’s, but they themselves were not a goth band. They could lead you down a road of discovery if that is where you wanted to go. A lot of people would just stop at them and not go any further, and I found such people to be boring as hell.
32. Johnny Cash I love some Johnny Cash, but was the dude goth? Nope, he was solidly a country musician who sang about dark subjects. Then again a lot of old school country bands did the same sort of thing and they don’t appear on this list. I think Andi only included him because of his Nine Inch Nails cover song, a band who is also not goth. Way to go Andi!
21. The Velvet Underground Definitely a proto-punk band, that is in no way goth.
12. Iggy Pop Again, a proto-punk band and not goth….at all. Iggy Pop’s music isn’t goth just because Ian Curtis hung himself while listening to one of his albums. I saw Iggy perform in the late 80’s and it sure as hell wasn’t a dark romantic performance; it was aggressive, energetic and punk as all hell. If he tours near you go and see him, he puts on an excellent show.
7. Joy Division They were a solid post-punk band and that is it. Ian Curtis killed himself before the subculture was even fully formed so I think sticking the music of the band into a goth box does it a disservice. Retroactively calling bands goth is just lazy and trite journalism. I wrote a whole article about how they were never a goth band. The only people who think they are goth are the kids running around who think that all sad songs must be goth. They couldn’t be more wrong.
6. Screamin’ Jay Hawkins Not a goth musician at all. I wouldn’t even call him proto-goth. However, I think the dude influenced the hell out of horror punk and shock rock. The Misfits even played some shows with him over forty years ago. Just because a musician uses dark theatrics doesn’t make said musician goth. That is unless you want to call both the Misfits and Alice Cooper goth.
4. David Bowie Again, yet another musician who was in no way goth but whose music influenced both punk and later goth musicians. His music is very important but it just isn’t goth, and that’s okay.
Well, that’s it folks. What lesson can we learn from this whole mess? That to some people getting an article in a mainstream music publication such as Rolling Stone is more important than actually telling the truth. Sad but true, and it is this attitude that is really hurting the subculture right now; fame at all costs, and if you have to step over people and lie to achieve it then so be it.
I have seen these questions making the rounds all over social media and I thought I would join in since my answers will be a bit different compared to a lot of the other answers I have seen. This is due to being old and also being heavily into punk music.
1. How long have I been goth? My area of the San Francisco East Bay did not start using the word until around 90-91. Some of my favourite bands in high school in the late 80’s, that are considered goth, were Specimen, Siouxsie And The Banshees, The Cure, Gene Loves Jezebel and The Cult. So I have been listening to the music since about 1986. During that time I also loved U2 and The Dead Kennedys so musically I was all over the place. I didn’t call myself a goth until about 92 because the people who used the term first in my area were the uber goobers and I did not want to be lumped in with them. They took themselves way too seriously, which I never did. I have also always had a foot in the punk subculture.
2. How was I introduced to goth? Nobody sat me down and told me what to listen to or how to dress. There was no internet, of course, and it could be kind of difficult to find out about bands. At the first high school I went to I was the only person in my friend group who listened to the music, and they thought the music was too weird. There was a Bay Area ‘modern rock’ station during that time that would play the more obscure stuff late at night and that’s how I learned about a few of them . At my second high school there were more weirdos, and some of them were quite helpful with bands. Back then the term ‘post-punk’ wasn’t used at all in my area, rather all weirdo music, except for punk of course, was called ‘alternative’ or ‘modern rock’. The term ‘alternative’ was ruined by the mainstream record labels who used it for grunge in their attempt to sell ‘weirdo’ music to the masses.
3. What gothic subgenre would you put yourself in? If you regularly read this blog then you know how much I dislike all of the ‘goth type’ crap. It originated as a joke in the 90’s, making fun of the stereotypes seen in clubs. For whatever reason a lot of younger folks, and some deluded old ones, feel the need to fit themselves into a box. I do tend to listen to a lot of deathrock music, probably more-so than any other ‘type’ but I refuse to call myself ‘deathrock’ because there is more to me than just one form of music, and I refuse to box myself in just to please others.
4. What do you believe to be the bases(basis) of the gothic subculture? First, I would love to point out how the person who wrote out these questions uses both the terms ‘goth’ and ‘gothic’. We used to always use both of the terms interchangeability way back when but now ‘gothic’ means spooky architecture, while ‘goth’ means the subculture. I think the basis of the subculture is the music more than anything else. Without the music there wouldn’t be a subculture. Period. The clothes and make-up are secondary. Anybody who calls themselves goth but who doesn’t listen to actual goth bands is more than likely a trend whore; a person who jumps from trend to trend. Since the term has been super popular in the mainstream for the last few years there are quite a few of these people floating around all wearing the same really shit Demonia boots and the same kind of outfits. I find them all boring, but it is rather entertaining when these fashion victims bitch about their Demonias falling apart within a week of wearing them.
5. What do I dislike about being goth? I know that a lot of goth women bitch about being sexually harassed by men who think all goth women are kinky, but that hasn’t happened to me at all in real life. I think it’s mainly because I look older and use a cane. There are some upsides to being diseased and middle aged. There really isn’t anything that I dislike since I am in my own bubble of existence. I am just me being me.
6. What do your parents think of it? My mom was with me when I got my first undercut in 88, so she has always been very supportive of me and has said that if she had been my age she would also be goth. I have a cool mom. My dad died back in 85. I honestly think that his death had a lot to do with me becoming a weirdo. I was already an outcast for being poor and having a dead parent so morphing into a goth/punk weirdo wasn’t a huge step for me to take. In fact just about everybody into goth/punk music back then was some sort of societal reject.
7. Eyebrows or no eyebrows? Eyebrows, because I look like crap with them shaved off.
8. What is my favourite band? I have a holy trinity of all time favourite bands; Samhain, Christian Death (mostly Valor) and The Dead Kennedys (Jello only). Those three groups have probably influenced me more than anything else. I actually got to tell Valor that in person the other month which was cool as hell. Uber goober Rozz fanatics may get mad at me for liking Valor’s music more than the music of Rozz but I just don’t give a shit. Seriously. Stay angry and irrational over something that happened about 40 years ago, it’s entertaining.
9. My opinion on Marilyn Manson? This question is a bit young for me since I was already in my twenties when he reared his very ugly head. I remember seeing people younger than me at the clubs in the late 90’s trying to look like him and it was hysterically funny. The fact that it came out that he is an abusive asshole didn’t come as a shock to me. In the wise words of Jello Biafra:
You ain’t hardcore ’cause you spike your hair
When a jock still lives inside your head
10. What were my baby bat days like? I didn’t really experience that because I was so all over the place musically. However, it kind of sucked being into both punk and goth bands at the same time back over 30 years ago because according to some people I was too punk for goth and too goth for punk. The punk subculture was way more welcoming to me and I actually gained the nickname Vampira because of dressing in all black and loving the Misfits, Samhain and Danzig. It was actually a bit tough being a woman into those three bands back then; they were considered ‘guy’ bands because of the violent imagery and horror content of the songs. I have always been into horror and sci-fi films and novels so I identified very heavily with those bands and they spoke to me a lot. Kids these days get into the fashion first and then the music, but back then it was the opposite. I listened to goth and punk music first and then slowly started dressing ‘dark’. Even back then I did a lot of DIY type projects so I always painted my own leather jackets and upcycled clothing. However, there was a US clothing chain called Contempo Casuals who sold a whole lot of weirdo friendly clothing. Just about every single person I knew back then had a least a few pieces of clothing by them. I had a pair of black crushed velvet leggings from there that lasted me about ten years. No joke! So the older people in the US saying that all they did was thrift is a total lie, and they know it. I even found a long multi-layer black lace skirt in a regular mall store back then.
So, that is it! I hope you had as much fun reading this as I had writing it. As you can see my experiences are a bit different since I was also into punk and got into the music first. It was a road of discovery for me, not a destination. Especially considering that the term ‘goth’ wasn’t even used in my area until after I was already listening to the music.
Going to this show was kind of like a pilgrimage for me because I had not seen the band live for about 25 years. This was due to a combination of living in places were bands generally don’t stop at and being perpetually broke. I saw them live twice in the 90’s when I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area so I at least got to see them perform before. I know how lucky I was. I currently live in the UK Channel Islands, which is far from just about everything. This means to see shows in England I have to fly into London, which isn’t exactly cheap. So for me to see a show there I have to really, really, really, etc.. be a huge fan of the band I am flying to see. Just saying this so that you know the viewpoint I am coming from; I am a huge fan of the band. I was diagnosed with MS about five years ago and I decided that I needed to see them again because I have no idea how physically screwed up I’m going to be in the future.
My husband and I were in the front of the line to get in, of course, and I met some very cool people and had some really good conversations about the band, the current state of goth music, the Dead Kennedys, Samhain and other subjects. I have forgotten their names because I suck in general at remembering such things so please do not be mad at me if you guys are reading this. You guys were awesome and it was very cool connecting with other people at a show.
The first band up was a duo named the West Wickhams who played a minimalist type of music consisting of guitar, a drum machine and some synth manipulation. I have to be honest, I am not the hugest fan of this type of goth music. However, the guitarist/singer was so earnest that they had me tapping my feet. That actually counts for a lot when you see bands live because you can instantly tell that they are really into performing their music and that they want you to go down a road of discovery with them. I hope that they keep at it and continue to do shows because their lyrics were really good.
Ghost Dance was up next and they were very energetic and looked like they were having fun. I only knew a few songs by them but they had me up from my seat and dancing, holding the railing for safety because my right ankle tends to give out on me. Anne Marie looked like she was having a great time and she interacted with the audience a bunch as evidenced by the photo above. She had some tech issues with her mic during the first song but that was sorted out and didn’t affect the performance at all. Their last song was Promised Land, which was a song that she originally performed with her earlier band Skeletal Family. I totally wasn’t expecting that so it was very cool hearing it performed live. Their performance was very good and if you have a chance to see them go for it because you will have a good time and not be disappointed.
Up next was Christian Death. Before they went on they had issues trying to set up their video on the screen that would be shown behind them. They ended up just removing the screen, which in the end didn’t really matter because their performance would have been great with or without it. I love their new album Evil Becomes Rule and they pretty much played the entire thing. The first two times I saw them there wasn’t a second guitarist so it was very cool getting to see both Maitri and Valor concentrate more on their parts within the songs. It enabled Maitri to put more emotion into singing songs such as Beautiful and it really showed off her vocals to a degree that I had never heard live before. In other words she was totally on fire during the show and she was more front and center than usual.
Valor also put on a really good performance because he got to concentrate on his singing and playing rhythm guitar instead of stretching himself too thin by playing lead guitar constantly. That is not to say that he didn’t play lead guitar at all, it just allowed him more of a choice as to what parts he wanted to perform. He has always been an excellent guitarist so I have absolutely no complaints about his playing at all. He even played some acoustic guitar which was very cool. Their other guitarist was Chuck Lenihan who also did an excellent job, along with their new drummer.
When you go to a Christian Death show you know that you are going to hear Valor railing against politicians, religion and the British royal family, and this show was no different. I actually really appreciate that side of his performance because too few musicians are using their platforms to say such things. He has always been outspoken and it is one of the reasons why I have always loved the band. It harkens back to how political punk was in the 80’s and it really shows the connection that he has always had with that music and subculture.
After they were done with playing the album they dove straight into Forgiven, This Glass House and then Sick Of Love. The audience was bouncing all over the place and there was such energy that you couldn’t help but join in. The audience was part of the reason that the show was so good. You could tell that all of them were into the music, and it was very awesome to see some teenagers in the audience also having a great time.
This next part still has me tripping out so please forgive me if I babble a bit about it and get disjointed. After Sick Of Love they left the stage for about five minutes and then came back out for an encore. I was very near the left hand side of the stage which was on the same level above the crowd. When Maitri came out she made a beeline towards me to the other side of the railing and asked if I was Megan. I responded that yes I was and she told me to come around the railing and get on stage with them. I was so surprised that I forgot my walking stick. I told her when I went around the curtain to the stage that I might fall and she said not to worry and reassured me that I would be okay. That relaxed me a bit which helped with my nervousness and it was a very sweet thing for her to say. I stood next to her while she told the crowd that I flew in from Guernsey; that I was a very supportive fan who defended them online and that I was very much appreciated for what I was doing for the band.
As you can well imagine by this point I was borderline teary but then something really astonishing happened. They announced that because of all of this I was going to get to join them in singing This Is Heresy as their encore. Holy shit! HOLY SHIT!!! I am not the greatest singer but by golly I belted my heart out! There were parts that I just let Valor sing because I previously knew that in live performances he sometimes goes off pace. However, by the last part of the song I was yelling ‘Soaked in the blood of men, not the body of Christ!’. After the end I gave them hugs, exited the stage and went to the merch area to wait for them there because they told the audience that they would come out for photos and autographs. Sure enough they did. My husband took a video on his camera of all of this, so once he figures out how to transfer it to me I will upload it in a new post.
I cannot overstate how much of a sweetheart Maitri is. She thanked me yet again, we got some more hugs in and I left her side just insanely happy knowing that I was able to make a difference as to how she is perceived as a musician.
Valor was absolutely no different. He is also a very nice and friendly person. We got to talking and I asked him if he had ever met Jello Biafra back in the early 80’s because there was a whole lot of cross pollination when it came to punk/deathrock type bands between San Francisco and Los Angeles during that time. Sure enough he told me about a car trip he took back then with Jello to San Francisco from Los Angeles. It made perfect sense since as songwriters they both write songs about pretty much the same topics. I mentioned Jello to Valor because him and Jello are the two lyricists who largely made me into who I am today; somebody who heavily questions politicians, religions and other such things. He was very grateful towards me for telling him that, which in turn meant a lot to me. The circle of life.
Without a doubt Valor and Maitri are the nicest musicians I have ever met. That is saying something because I met Henry Rollins over thirty years and he was a very cool person too. They definitely edge Rollins out to take the top spot on my list. If you have a chance to see this band live go for it because you will not be disappointed by their performance or by who they are as human beings.