A Study of Gothic Subculture

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Updated 3-12-2009
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Bands Quotes

From an interview with Sean Brennan of London After Midnight featured in a zine called Darkside issue #2 of 1994 (Darkside's theme is: no vampires, no bad poetry, no make-up tips -- The zine without the cheesiness)

    "The publicity we got from Propaganda wasn't really what the band was about. We're not vampires and never said we were. That whole series of articles was meant more as tongue-in-cheek and a play on the whole scene. I'm very grateful to Propaganda, they really had faith in us and we did and still do get a tremendous amount of positive letters from those articles... Unlike other fools, I don't profess to being a vampire of blood drinker... I think the whole vampire thing is incredibly boring and we've never been a part of it..."

From an interview with Brendan Perry of Dead Can Dance featured in Propaganda issue #21 of Spring 1994 written by Rene

    "To understand why we chose the name, think of the subtle transformation of something dead into something living -- the transformation of inanimacy into animacy. Think of the processes concerning life from death, and death into life. Our music takes a similar path." -- Brendan Perry describing the very nature of the name Dead Can Dance.

    "Unfortunately, a lot of people missed the symbolism of what we were trying to convey, and simply assumed Dead Can Dance was some innocuous death-rock reference. To the contrary, our music was about giving life, not taking it...

    I realize that retailers and the media like to categorize bands and have been struggling to pigeonhole us -- from new age to gothic to classical, whatever. But we don't fit any one classification -- and that comes from the natural evolution of our sound. What we're doing is so different from most contemporary groups, that people flock to it in order to get stimulated in an entirely different way. We affect a region of the brain other bands don't. People who would ordinarily never listen to classical, listen to us. It's an opportunity to expose them to something new..."

From an interview with Johnny Indovina of Human Drama featured in Propaganda issue #21 of Spring 1994 written by Yon Von Faust and Eric Fisher

    "I think the music we're doing now is completely original, and I think that's what I'm most proud of. We probably hit it off so well with the gothic audience in particular because they're more open to artistic, passionate music. They're into stuff as diverse as Dead Can Dance and Shadow Project. We're in no way gothic, in the sense of following all the trappings of the present-day goth bands -- we're far too melodic and classical. But I can see why the gothic audience would follow us."

From an interview with Gitane Demone (formerly a member of Christian Death) featured in Propaganda issue #21 of Spring 1994 written by Mick Mercer and Jon Ryder

    "As for the bondage gear, I find wearing rubber to be really sophisticated and sexy. It creates an atmosphere, a surreal mood -- sort of what I like to do in my music. It's all about fantasy, which is why early Christian Death was so great. It helped a lot of our fans live out their fantasies vicariously. I liked the intensity of the Goth music we were creating. It was a magical time."

From an interview with Valor of Christian Death featured in Propaganda issue #19 of Fall 1992 written by Maria Blount

    "A lot of people have said that we are anti-Christian or Satanic because of what we sing about and what we've named the band. We are not in any way against the teachings of Christ. What we are against is how opportunists through the ages have used his name and his teachings to exploit and oppress others. No practitioner of a religion has the right to judge someone else, because religions themselves decree that only God can render judgment. So it's very hypocritical to judge others... The name Christian Death refers to the death of the Christian god -- Jesus himself. He died for those who believe in him. It is in no way meant to denigrate."

From an interview with Porl King of Rosetta Stone featured in Propaganda issue #19 of Fall 1992 written by Patrick Cusack

    "We wish to make gothic as accessible as possible. We write music for the dance floor and not self-indulgent glorification of serial killers or romanticize about vampires."

From an interview with Eva (now she goes by Lydia) of The Shroud featured in Propaganda issue #19 of Fall 1992 written by Paul Hart

    The band was originally conceived back in 1988 as a theatrical piece based on Anne Rices' novel Interview with the Vampire... They were a campy death rock outfit... As time went on... [they] saw the need to evolve into something more serious and less campy.

    "We wanted to express a much broader scope of ideas and feelings. As the Shroudettes, we were too confined to the whole Vampire Lestat imagery. We wanted to expand our horizons and start incorporating some of our other influences, such as Gothic and Victorian literature, the symbolism of the alchemical arts, and mysticism of the medieval Christian heresies. As a whole, we wanted to have a more mystical and medieval outlook. This took us down a more serious path to our music and performing -- one that's more concerned with content than image.

    Obsession with darkness and mysticism usually rises towards the end of every century. We saw this at the end of the 19th century with the English novelists and French poets. Because the end of this century is also the end of the millennium, this dark Gothic leaning should be even that much more pronounced in the years to come."

From an interview with members of Nosferatu featured in Propaganda issue #19 of Fall 1992 written by Michelle Duncan

    Even during its heyday of the early and mid '80's, gothic rock never received approval from the English musical establishment -- not from the major record labels, and certainly not from the press. When several of the pioneer of this genre, such as Siouxsie and the Banshees, Love and Rockets (Bauhaus), The Cult and the Cure, achieved relative commercial success, they felt the compulsion to deny any of their possible gothic roots. This seemingly validated the English press's contention that the death rock movement in England was not a viable one. Many in the scene moved on to greener pastures. Such hallowed places as the Bat Cave closed down. Death rock had met its death in the UK. Only very recently has there been any stirrings in the dark and musty tomb of the once vibrant morbid movement...

    Vlad: "The difference between English goths and American Goths is that we're not adverse to allowing heavy rock influence us. We're very much into stuff like early Alice Cooper and Black Sabbath because it's powerful and has a dark, horror imagery that we're into. There's a theatrical side to it that attracts us. I realize that in the States, you're so saturated with hard rock and metal that the Goths there would rather steer clear of any similarity to it. It's perfectly understandable. That's not the case here, however."

    How far do you think Nosferatu and the gothic movement as a whole can go?

    Vlad: "We're starting to see more and more bands form under the gothic banner. That's a definite sign that the scene is getting more healthy. For a long time, new bands were terrified at the prospect of being tagged gothic. They may have wanted to be dark and mysterious, but shied away from that label at all costs. The club situation has also improved recently. There are more clubs now that have exclusively Goth nights -- something we haven't seen in years..."

Unfortunately, I don't have the name of the one who wrote the London After Midnight interview. If anyone can assist me with that, I will add in the proper credit where it is due. E-mail me at