A Study of Gothic Subculture

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Updated 3-12-2009
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CLICK HERE TO SEE THE BIG PICTURE. I took this shot of Dave at a party.

City of Residence: West Valley City, UT

Age: 30

Length of time "in the scene": 13 years

Occupation: "Computer geek." He's worked in Packard Bell Tech Support for two and a half years.

Education: "Some college. Perhaps I'll go back." He graduated from West High School in '86. He's gone to the University of Utah and Colorado University, but he stopped going when he ran out of money. He majored in secondary education and intended to go on to teach music in junior high school.

Musical taste: "Varies widely: Marillion, David Sylvian, Bel Canto, Depeche Mode, Cure, Tears For Fears, King Crimson, most Projekt/Hyperium stuff, Mahler, Beethoven's piano sonatas, Controlled Bleeding, Terminal Sect, Scorn, Steve Roach, on and on and on and on."

Distinctions in appearance: "Incredibly boring, very laid-back, no makeup, usually casual dress (black jeans, shirt I got at a gig somewhere). Ears are pierced twice each, eyebrow pierced, tattoo on left arm. I tend to stay in the background and be unnoticeable."

Hobbies, activities, interests: "Rock climbing, hiking, drinking, writing music and fiction, talking to my cat and my ferret." He plays keyboard, guitar, bass, violin and sings now and again. He was in a band called Theater of Scars with Kevin years ago which did some experimental music. They only played about four gigs he said, the most notable was opening up for Blade Fetish.

Spiritual, philosophical, religious affiliation: "No beliefs of any organized kind. This includes atheism which is just another bullshit excuse for an organized religion. I base my morals on what I believe is right and wrong, and do what I can to make an impact on the here and now. Religious belief, of any sort, essentially amounts to belief without proof, for that matter, without any hope of proof. It's like standing at the end of a line so long, you can't see if there's a soup kitchen at the end. You just hope. If there isn't, you go hungry in the end. (Henry Rollins gets credit for the comparison I wish it were mine.) Make your own way in the world, and leave a mark doing so."

Goals, dreams: "Living. Every new day is an accomplishment for each person who reaches it. Beyond that, I'd like to travel more. I'd like a job where I not only make money but enjoy my work. I'd like to finish school." He'd like to have a job teaching music. Sometime in the winter, he said he might go to Egypt for three or four weeks. He's also interested in archeology and would like to see Mexico, Peru, and the Mayan and Inca ruins sometime in the future. He'd really like to be able to create music for a living. He mostly does ambient music, something like Steve Roach.

Do you consider yourself gothic?: "Depends on the standards used. If 'goth' describes dressing up like a vampire or bondage babe, caking on the makeup, and impressing the Confetti gang, no. I wouldn't want to be a part of it. If Goth describes an appreciation for the art, the music, the culture in general, and the people involved, along with a sharing of the general attitude, without the 'look' being a requisite... then yes. The Goth subculture, to me, describes those who share a similar attitude towards the darker side of life, acknowledging its presence without apprehension while at the same time living their lives without fear of it. Along with that goes a fairly similar taste in music, artwork, fashion, etc. In my opinion, those who focus too much on the darker side of life, and death, without acknowledging the positive, are unbalanced in more ways than one. These, however, seem to also be those who I've seen phase out, dismiss their 'gothic' years as a teenage phase, and move on as nice college yuppies."

8/1/97 last updated 11/20/98