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So what music do you listen to then?
It’s usually one of the first things people ask, sadly often followed by, ‘Do you like…’ and the name of a random metal band or Marilyn Manson, to which the answer ‘No’ seems to do nothing but confuse and you’re forced to say that you like The Cure as some kind of meeting point between the underground culture you’re a part of and the media led music industry of today. Sad really, but I wouldn’t have it any other way, I like being a part of something small, something almost intimate, and for me the worst years of goth was when it went mainstream, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
For years goth was an underground scene born from the ashes of punk as part of the whole ‘post punk’ era, often labelled as ”Ëœpositive punk’. That’s when I got into it, the punk scene 1979/ 1980 was starting to fade away as I knew it, the new generation of bands didn’t interest me, the likes of The Exploited or Angelic Upstarts often pulled a high percentage of skinheads in, and once you’d had a good kick in from that bunch they were the last people you wanted to spend too long near. I found myself preferring the more ”Ëœtuneful’ bands, maybe I grew up a little, but that’s debatable, I was still only 19 after all.
I can date my earliest interest in the scene from the first time I saw Bauhaus perform “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” on Top of the Pops, then still a programme that gave you a small chance of seeing at least one ”Ëœalternative’ act each week. This was 1979, the year when things started to change for me, and this new movement started to take shape. There are arguments that will undoubtedly rage for years as to when goth began, but for me 1979 will always be where I chart my beginnings. It was the year that as well as seeing The Damned release “Love Song” and “Smash It Up” also saw a shift for me to the likes of Echo and the Bunnymen, The Psychedelic Furs, The Cure, Joy Division, and a darker edged form of rebellion. A more subtle twist to the bands I’d previously listen to.
25 years ago, before its popularity at the end of the late eighties it still carried with it that spark of rebellion from its punk roots, and in some respect that was still evident into the start of the nineties, I know plenty of people from those early days that stood up against poll tax for example. These days that rebellious streak is not so evident, today’s generation have all but forgotten that we were once like that, and what you wear is almost more important that what you think.
Sadly the ”Ëœidea’ of goth seems lost; the music in the nineties was largely dire, possibly due to the scenes popularity at the end of the eighties bringing in a lot of people without those punk roots, who brought with them their own set of influences which largely diluted things. These days its deemed acceptable to play bands like Rammstein in a lot of goth clubs, something that never would have happened 25 years ago, can you imagine what would have happened if a goth DJ played, say, Iron Maiden in 1985, they have been lynched, and yet we tolerate the equivalent of that these days, and worse. Don’t start me on EBM.
It’s high time the scene looked back and reinvented itself again; the opportunities are there in the newer post punk style bands breaking through, and with the assistance of some of the deathrock bands and a small handful of goth rock bands we can make the scene great again, bring back the tribalism that made it special.  Of course there will be casualties, but hey, this is war. Its time to reclaim the name of goth, and make it great again.
Who’s with me?

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  1. EBM sadly went the same way as Goth – now called cyberpunk or some other such garbage; Early EBM certainly did fit with ‘Goth’ and was played in the venues/clubs. Tracks like Nitzer Ebb ‘Murderous’ was an EBM/Goth classic.

  2. Actually, while “goth music” as you know it may be dead, the “idea” of goth DOES live on. Google “witch house” or drag/haunted house and you’ll find young electronic producers and artists co-opting the aesthetics, mood, and occasionally even the sounds of goth. While some are getting hyped (like Creep, who have collab’d with Romy of the xx, themselves semi-neo-goths), they’re almost universally hated by the rest of the dance music scene – occupying a similar position I imagine you and your peers held vs. punk, post-punk, indie etc. Goth is dead, long live goth.

  3. Living in the States, I too became alive when I heard the early goth and deathrock bands. It was a welcome sound that filled a music void. I’m happy to say that the will to fight is still with me and I’m with you all the way.

  4. i cant stand goth music, does tha mean i’m not a goth? neither have i ever been the moody depressed sit in a dark room all day goth either. its about so much more than music .i was actually glad that rammstein,rob zombie,nine inch nails etc penetrated in to goth clubs.
    goth was never about the music for me. i just say just be who you are and forget lables. every ‘scene’ gets diluted over time, goths gone from goth to vampires, steampunkers etc etc.
    far sadder is when goth scenes cant live together with each other and have to have factions within the same city.

  5. For me Goth died in about 1986, the bands like Bauhaus, Sisters, the Mission, Killing Joke etc became totally mainstream and weren’t as good as they had been before. Death Cult became The Cult and were a rock band. Play Dead, Sex Gang Children, Chatshow, Lavolta Lakota, Skeletal Family had all split up or never released a good record again.
    The events of 1985, Miners Strike, Gargreave and the Battle of Beanfield changed the music order. Some of the Goths had become travellers more hippies than punks. New Model Army and The Levellers replaced the Goth bands.
    The Smiths, C86, Indie and the rise of Madchester moved me away from Goth not because I didn’t have the capacity to like all kinds of music but because Goth music of the late 80’s was awful.

  6. Wow – you sound like a bitter old man who cannot accept change. Movements, be it music fashion or ideals, are constantly evolving. Nothing ever stays true to its origins. You can hang on to antiquated ideals or help them evolve. The choice is yours really.

    I’ve been in the Goth/Industrial scene since the mid-eighties and yes, things have changed. After a while all of the “dark” bands started sounding the same with no differentiation – which made it all go vanilla. At least EBM, industrial and “riveted” music took goth ideals and applied to new forms of music. James is right, goth ideals do live on – just not in your stunted view of the scene.

  7. Martin, I agree totally. I’ve always loved music, back in 1975/1976 I got into KISS and it was downhill from there. When I discovered goth, it was 1986/1987. The Sisters, Mission and Nephilim had released major albums, and my band at the time became so enamored with the sound of goth rock guitars and drum machines that we switched from death metal to goth and never looked back. And so it went, from the disintegration of the original Mission and Nephilim to the advent of Rosetta Stone and Children on Stun, true goth rock was available to those who wanted to hear it, but then things went horribly wrong. While early NIN and Nitzer Ebb might have played (somewhat) well with “Vision Thing”-era Sisters on the dance floor, electronic music mutated into something else…something sinister. Club goers started wearing gas masks (presumably because their music was toxic), and these new “musicians” traded their unused guitars to purchase new inventions, like the “home computer,” to write their “songs.” But there IS hope for those who yearn for simpler times, but they must seek it out. The new guitar goth is out there, seeping through the floorboards and attics into the world-wide web. It is indeed a time of war. The alien invasion has become sluggish from dancing with heavy boots. It should be mentioned that a small sector of aliens passed through a time portal and arrived dressed as Jules Verne’s bastard children (i.e., Steampunk), but their presence is nothing of concern, as their inventions will soon rust and be forgotten. Rise up, ye of little faith and less money! Find the new goth rock champions and spread the word. We are alive!

  8. I don’t think it’s dead, just evolving. I admit I prefer not to play the likes of Rammstein or Manson when DJ’ing, but if it’s requested I usually give in. I feel there is a place for EBM/Electronic music though, the influences were there at the start of Goth, the New Romantics came and went, but many of them came over to the ‘dark side’. They and the music they listened to has been assimilated by the Goth scene.

    I guess I was an early starter, like you seeing Bauhaus perform Bela Lugosi’s Dead on TotP was like a slap in the face – it got your attention and made you prick up your ears. I’ve always been complicated when it comes to music – The Sky’s Gone Out shared my album case with the likes of Siouxsie, Toyah, Adam and the Ants, Kraftwerk, The Cure, The Cult and The Human League. Today I’m still as complicated. I’m part of the sub-sub-culture of the Baldy-Goth now though…

  9. Personally as someone who comes from the same era as Martin I am glad to see how Goth has survived and evolved into a many headed beast. Certainly I may not want to spend my time listening to an evening of EBM, Cyber or Industrial but neither could I willingly spend an evening simply playing homage to Eldritch and Hussey…the former who in my opinion takes more from the scene now than he has ever put in.
    The beauty of the scene in 2010 is that there is room for everyone. We should celebrate the diversity in our scene rather than having a circular debate of “what is and what isn’t Goth”. Acting together is how we will survive against a hostile world that does not and is largly unwilling to understand us. So long live all those that give a space so we can be who we are and away from those that would hate us, would fight with us….Goths, Deathrockers, EBM, Cyber, Industrial…we have more in common than we have that separates us.

  10. The funny thing I have found is when I was getting into “goth” it wasn’t even “goth ” yet back then it was deathrock or as you put it post-punk.,I’m not sure when the term goth started being used as it sort of just happened.Also where i lived goth was a sub group of the punk scene as our city was too small to support separate scenes at that time.

  11. Oddly enough, while I did listen (and still do) groups like The Cure, Bauhaus, and The Sisters of Mercy, my musical predilections align more with movie scores and classical rather than punk, post-punk, or any other forms of ‘goth’ music. I’ve always like classical and I am tired of having to defend my gothinticity to someone based entirely on my musical tastes. What I enjoy musically is not completely indicative of a ‘goth status.’

    But that is just *MY* .02 worth.

  12. I’m all for diversity in the scene. In my day I.e when I went clubbing in the early nighties, the general music scene was horrific with madchester taking over everywhere including indie clubs, but luckily a small couple of uni clubs kept going and all the goths, geeks, punks, crusties, rockabillies, phsycobillies and hippies even hung out together. I had friends from all the above groups and we had a ball! We all enjoyed each other music taste to some extent but we all had our own favourites. Now I still like quite a wide selection of music but goth is by far my favourite, and I think always will be. Why would you want to pin yourself down to only one type of music?

  13. Goth needs to re-invent itself, and that takes musicians, artists, fashion designers, and people to give a damn. I love the diversity that the scene has currently, but the scene does need more talented goth rock and deathrock bands that do …not all blend together. Lets all face the truth, 95% of the new goth bands that come out sounds like a rip off from the 80’s, not influenced by it. I think looking forward is what needs to be the change, not looing backward. Deathrock just needs to be re-invented for 2011, not 1985, it has already been done. Just my opinion in all of this, being newer blood in all of this.

  14. I once found myself enthralled by goth culture. Its sounds where mesmerizing and its patrons ensnaring. These days however, it has become something old, gaudy, even fake. This saddens me greatly. It has become this never changing club in which its entire purpose is to make sure that nobody within it and nothing about it ever changes. Most of the goths i know, (myself included), have moved on to bigger better things. If it wasn’t the ever increasing quality of EDM,(Electronic Dance Music), world wide that made people leave the goth scene or the innovations made in fashion made outside it, then it was out of sheer boredom. I remember when just the allure of the pale, reclusive, black haired girl sitting in the back of your English class was enough to make you want to be a goth. Now shes not only usually the ugliest girl in class but a bit crazy as well. It was once something dark, beautiful and even mysterious. These days it has become a world for old school goths and emo or steam punk posers. I’m sorry but steam punk is cos-play and that being a celebration of the new is in itself not goth by nature. We need to move into the new but never forget the old. I myself, being an EDM producer, am trying to bring the beauty and darkness that i remember from before into the aggressive and powerful world of Dubstep. Now i understand why most goths might not be into my new,(Gothstep or Gop as i call it)sound do to its electronic/synthetic sound. But get real. This is the wrold we live in. Computers have become everything and almost every culture and every genre of music have hopped on the proverbial band wagon. Do we really want to be left behind? Now to take a step back for one second i must point out that we must be careful not to take ourselves into the world of bad taste, as Amanda Palmer was so kind as to demonstrate with her new track (Map of Tasmania). Not only was the humor poorly executed but that track itself, (though claiming to be pop-punk) is the worst execution of trip hop and dubstep Ive ever heard. Now you need to understand how diverse my love for music is and that i myself am and always will be a fan of her work. I still cant bring myself to enjoy that uninspired peace of garbage. In conclusion I leave you with a message, no not a message a call. A call to all of us a goths to wake up our sense of cool and take back the dark world that is so rightfully ours. I love You all Le’ Avi

  15. As with most things, I blame the Americans. The exact moment when goth was at its lowest ebb in the UK (mid-90s, Britpop years) was the exact moment Americans caught up with it en masse, and – typically – they turned it into a boneheaded, crass travesty involving Evanescence, Hot Topic clothing and lots of very bad heavy metal. (In my day, there was a wide abyss between goth and metal – we goths looked down on smelly metallers! – but the Americans made the two indistinguishable.) The end result was that, by the time British youth was in the mood for a goth revival, all the bands were basically metal bands with a bit of make-up on. (I actually really like Marilyn Manson, by the way, but he’s the smart cherry on top of a cretinous cake.)

  16. As an elder Goth. (I’m talking born in the 1950’s.) I was Goth before there was a scene. And I’ve seen the scene go up and down, ebb and flow.

    Times change and with it there will always be a Goth contingent. Goth is not new. But there will always be new people coming to it. And bringing a new look or sound with them.

    There will be lean years with little to excite, then a flood of things just right.

    Hang in there and you will find I am right. Time will tell.

  17. I agree with Mr Price.
    Christian Death were one American band who seemed to ‘get it’ early on (but only with Roz AND Valor). Then again, ‘Catastrophe Ballet’ sounded European to me and I somehow convinced myself that they were German, until someone pointed out they were from t’other side of the Atlantic.
    Astbury and Eldritch were responsible for hippyfying it all and paving the way for the unholy union with smelly metal and geekdom and fucking beards.
    It was never about social awkwardness, self-harming, occultism, shooting your classmates and all that garbage, either. It was hedonism. Dressing up, going out, getting pissed and hopefully, getting laid. The Addams Family, Plan Nine from Outer Space, Bowie, T-Rex, Schlock Horror, German Expressionism, etc etc. There never was a label for this thing of ours, either, although I was always fond of the German – ‘Grufties’. I lost interest after Death Cult dropped the ‘Death’ and the frigging Mission (hippies) crawled out of the wreckage of the original Sisters. I was just a CureHead after that.

    • Well put. Being suicidal is not Goth, being rude and offensive is not Goth, sitting in the dark room alone because you have no friends is not Goth, taking out your angst on little kids is not Goth, and cutting yourself is not Goth:-) Finding joy and even humour in things that people usually try to avoid talking about, not being afraid of things and emotions that are, sadly, generally considered “inappropriate” and unnecessary, being sincere in expressing yourself and your imagination, and seeing life as a curious complexity and more than a series of positive or negative notions is Goth to me. And never, never taking yourself too seriously helps. It usually leads to horrible consequences to think yourself a true vampire, a queen of darkness or an evil overlord..hahaha.

  18. Simon Price blames the Americans for most things. Me, I tend to blame Margaret Thatcher and Fields Of The Nephilim. One or the other of ’em is usually at the bottom of any given ghastliness, I find.

    Personally, I’ve always regarded the Nephs as a frightful bunch of reactionaries who invaded our cool post-punk world and let the hippies in. One minute it was all spiky and edgy and creative and forward-looking, next minute it’s gone all mystical-schmystical and bands were backtracking to ropey old pre-punk influences quicker than you could dye a kaftan black. It was a small step from there to the full metal straitjacket.

    But having said all that, I don’t necessarily think that musical differences are the biggest bugbear goth has today. I think a more pertinent problem is that many denizens of the present-day goth scene are in it simply for the social whirl. Goth has become a social scene, not a music scene. Music doesn’t really figure. As a disgruntled goth guitarist once said to me: “Most people go to gigs to see the bands. Goths go to gigs to see their mates.” There’s a lot of truth in that.

    • It was The Mission who put the hippy in Goth. Severina. I say no more! The Nephs put the heroine chic into Goth with thier homage to cowboy/black magic/B movies and a stage ambiance archtiypal to live performance art. That said I like Ministry (US Goth) as much as The Sisters or Alien Sex Fiend. Cradle of Filth lead the gothic vibes in the nineties. The last decade has rebranded the franchise and I now even find the “goth” vibrations in adverts. Good music is good music what ever the “purists” allege!

  19. Don’t want to sound pedantic, although it will, but you can’t have seen Bela Lugosis Dead on TOTP in 1979. It was only a very minor release at the time and just about made it onto Peelys show. So I think your memory is playing tricks on you. As for your comment about playing Iron Maiden in a goth club in 1985…what would have been so bad about that? It’s all music, all of it so don’t be so hung up on labels. If you like it, that’s all that is required.

  20. speaking as a slightly younger goth (i came out in 1989) i found all i had ever wanted from music, creativity, culture and rebellion in the early goth scene, even though my knowledge of it was largely second hand every single moment of it was an inspiration to me. To cut a long story short you can never recapture those moments of youth and self discovery,once its done its done. when i look at the many sub cultured world of goth now all i can hope is that the same level passionate self discovery is there. Without this real passion any scene will become stale and worthless. it really doesnt matter what you dance to or what clothes you wear its your journey into becoming who you were truly ment to be that really counts, as long as we dont forget this the scene will survive and goth will continue to exist in whatever form we decide to make it in.

  21. about The Cure…
    I never used to think that the Goth tag applied to them (or me for that matter). It’s a silly word really. I remember ‘gothic punk’ sounding quite cool. Anyway, The Cure – not Goth – a lazy and unrepresentative tag for them -once upon a time, maybe. Now?
    It’s been quite depressing to see Robert’s cynical, reductive, revisionist pandering to the new demographic. I always thought he’d just chuck it in when he knew the time was right. That completely arbitrary ‘dark trilogy’ thing, the fact that he referred to it as a ‘dark trilogy’, Ross fucking Robinson, aligning the Cure with garbage like Blink 182 and Korn etc etc.
    That MTV Icons thing they did with Manson was fucking awful.

  22. im with Si on this one,Goth as such wasnt really called that back then.it was irony itself to me.The Cramps,etc were a huge laugh, the fun was knowing it and enjoying it. i regularly got chucked out of places for my appearance but that was good. Conflict stayed at my house in Leeds and were great, polite,respectful, but knew their onions politically. it was about “look at the system we live in… it sucks,” where does that happen now? im waiting for my son to come home with a new genre i couldnt/wouldnt understand. please let that happen.

    • maybe there was no such thing as Goth? it was not definable really. Just unconnected bands in darkish clothes operating out of the tail end of punk. An audience in what was ussually the only club in any city worth going to and a playlist that went from Cramps to the Fall to Sisters Of mercy to Southern Death Cult to UK Decay to early Ants to Crass to Dead Kennedys to the Cure. All youth culture gets commodified and becomes a set of rules- easier to sell that way…

      maybe your son will challenge you with black metal, dubstep, grime?? maybe you embrace those genres as well!!!

  23. I may not be “Elder Goth” but I am no spring chicken. I have been into the goth culture since 1984. At the ripe age of 12. Music changes and evolves just like anything else. While I agree there is nothing like the old days… To commit to only one genre and denounce all other sub-genres is being just as closed minded and stereotypical as the society we all strove to break away from.

  24. I have to say that I think the future of the Goth scene is looking back at the past, and I mean the music from before Goth. Early Blues like Howlin Wolf, Elmore James, Screamin Jay, the dark teenage melodramas, and twangy grungy rockabilly/country of the 50’s and early 60’s… the tripped out underground psychedelia of the late 60’s (way too many bands to mention), the early 70’s wave of Doom Metal (Budgie, Sabbath, Bloodrock, etc), and even some early Prog-Rock and of course Glam and Proto-Punk. But then we can go even further back and listen to the dark sounds of the Big Band and Cabaret era’s. Dark music has been with us for hundreds of years, it’s just sad to me that so many self proclaimed “Goths” limit themselves to this rather small space of time, from the late 70’s to mid 90’s. Even the Goth that like new stuff rarely venture back and explore the roots of what they listen to. Post-Punk was the ultimate melting pot of everything. From Funk and Reggae, to Psychedelia, Noise/No Wave, and everything between. goth was simply one of many offshoots of Post-Punk. Don’t get me wrong I love Goth music, like good old fashioned doom and gloom, but I also ove listening to what Goths were writing before they were called Goths.

  25. I totally agreed with Martin! Goth is dead in the 90’s, Well the real ones still around..The other ones leave for another buzz trip, Another sub-culture to exploit, Another fashion to fellow…The new generation (not all) is so brainwashed by the mainstream, Medias and Clubs..its insane! Ready to consume what ever!Never question them self or the “product”…

    cant believe how ignorant and rediculos are some comments…

    “Wow – you sound like a bitter old man who cannot accept change”
    If i fellow your “logic” i can go tomorow change all your house, burn it to the ground, change your car, change your job to something awful and you wil be happy?what? its change no ;) Martin is a TRUE one who is really passionate about the Sub-culture he love so much and that since long time ago!, He dont like to see what he like turning into shit normal , same for me!

    “Being closed minded”

    The real closed minded are the ones who refuse to do some research, Get some knowledge and get a clues about what they claim to like…and deny the true fact.

    “To commit to only one genre and denounce all other sub-genres is being just as closed minded and stereotypical as the society we all strove to break away from”

    Think you got it all wrong…he dont bash other sub-cultures, His the first to stand up and defend dicrimination against all kind of sub-culture… he just speack true, thats being closed minded? lol

    “Goths, Deathrockers, EBM, Cyber, Industrial…we have more in common than we have that separates us”

    Goth and deathrockers have ZERO in commun with EBM, Cyber…

    The 2 Grow up on totally diferents roots!

    “Goth” Positve Punk / Post Punk is born late 70’s from the ashes of UK punk with bands like UK Decay, Sex Gang Childrens, Part 1, The Southern Death Cult, Blood & Roses, Actifed, Ritual, In Excelsis, Theatre of Hate, Twisted Nerve and more etc etc…when punk become to much what ever and mainstream (like goth now..)

    Deathrock is born early 80’s from the ashes of La Hard-core punk with band like 45 Grave, Christian Death, The Plaques, Voodoo Church, Super Heroines, Burning Image and more etc….

    EBM and Cyber are born from early techno! Rave! Modern “Industrial” It is derived from completely different roots

    99% of the clubs write Goth or Deathrock on them flyers but NEVER play it!If i go to a punk evening i expect to hear some punk not some contry!if i go to a metal evening i expect to hear some metal not some rap! why do “goths” those day dont mind to go at the clubs and hear ebm?…make no sense…

    Goth was and still the sub-culture the most bashed, Ruined..and the worst is we let that happen again and again and when someone fannaly stand up, We get calling name like “old and bitter” and “elitist” …such bullshit

    If goth turn into shit its because you let that happen, Its because no one stand up like Martin do..


  26. lol whatever d00d I’ll take witchhouse/Gucci Goth over….eh whatever it is you’re talking about….80s worship is so boring…..the best music is always from RIGHT NOW.

  27. An interesting piece Martin and I would like to make a few comments if I may?

    “I can date my earliest interest in the scene from the first time I saw Bauhaus perform “Bela Lugosi\’s Dead” on Top of the Pops, then still a programme that gave you a small chance of seeing at least one \’alternative\’ act each week. This was 1979,”

    I’m sorry Martin but as somebody has already pointed out in the comments to your post that it’s impossible that you saw Bauhaus perform Bel Lugosi on Top Of The Pops in 1979 and here’s why, Bela never sold enough copies to feature on Top Of The Pops (one had to be usually in the top 40 or sometimes the top 50 to warrent an appearance on Top Of The Pops. Bauhaus only performed three times on TOTP Ziggy Stardust 1982, Lagartija Nick 1982 and She’s In Parties 1983. Their performance of Bela Lugosi for Riverside February 1982 was the first and only time that the song was performed on UK TV. The only other times that Bela has featured on UK has been when The Hunger has been shown and also when TOTP 2 featured their Bela Riverside (1982) performance on their Halloween show from 2006 or there abouts. This episode also featured SATN doing Spellbound and the Rattles performing the Witch (later covered by Rosetta.)

    Here’s a list of Bauhaus’s appearances on TV from the 1980”s

    Riverside 2-82 Kick In The Eye/Bela Lugosi
    Oxford Road Show 1982 Passion Of Lovers/Lagartija Nick/Anton Artaud
    Whistle Test 1982 Spy In The Cab/Ziggy Stardust
    TOTP Ziggy Stardust 1982/Lagartija Nick 1982/She’s In Parties 1983
    Riverside 1983 which featured Peter dancing to Hollow Hills and also featured Jimmy Pursey dancing in another performance.
    Maxell Advert 1982 featuring Peter
    BBC2 Schools where the whole band featured albeit briefly in the recording studio 1982, a clip that I sadly lost when my old Betamax video recorder packed in.

    They also featured on local New York Cable TV New York Bandstand 1982 Kick In The Eye, Stigmata Martyr and the hilarious interview too. Their only other 80’s performance on TV was for Italian TV in 1982 when they performed a gig and Peter was interviewed.

    Therefore it’s impossible that anybody saw Bauhaus on any TV station prior to 1982.

    “Sadly the \’idea\’ of goth seems lost; the music in the nineties was largely dire, possibly due to the scenes popularity at the end of the eighties bringing in a lot of people without those punk roots, who brought with them their own set of influences which largely diluted things.”

    I disagree with much of this in that 90’s had a brilliant scene which was vibrant and which had many, many exciting bands from all over the world who were releasing lots of brilliant material, bands that were inovative and diverse, that went out and toured in the UK, Europe and America, it was full of brilliant people who were Goths both veterans and newcomers. Goth related Festivals were commonplace WGT, Whitby, Convergence, Necromantic etc, there were many clubs here in the UK Visitation, The Banshee, Scream, Le Phono, The Attic, Mercat, Midian, Graveyard etc that were putting on regular Goth nights which played in the main Goth and what is now termed Post Punk as well as other music too, venues that put on live bands. We had a brilliant network of fanzines, distributors, organizers such as BARV, Necroscope, Lowlife, Nightbreed, Resurrection, Nemesis, bands that had information services, bands that provided demo tapes, the 90’s was much more like the 1980’s scene than now because many original Goths were still part of the scene and were active too, the 90’s Goth scene was a continuation of the original scene yes it evolved and changed but it still had many direct links to the original scene. The scene now is obviously much more Internet based and is therefore less like it was in the 90’s and even less like it was in the 1970’s, 80’s. The Interenet has it’s good and bad points it’s good that music, video and information regarding the previous scenes is available but much of what is written about the past scenes is not very accurate and paints a picture that can have a tendency to be somewhat innacurate. I loved bein a Goth in the 70’s/80’s/90’s yes it did start to get a bit crap in regards to the fact that many so called Goth nights played in essence EBM/Spooky/Metal/80’s Synthpop/80’s Pop/Industrial however other clubs still played Goth as they still do. I see no difference in a Goth friendly club playing some Industrial, Metal, EBM as well as Goth as another Goth friendly club playing 80’s Pop, NDW, Minimal, 00’s Dark Indie, 80’s Synthpop, Coldwave, Deathrock, Horror Punk, Psychobilly. It’s a basic fact that most if not all clubs are essentially multi genre in aspect. Yes MM, VNV, Combichrist aren’t Goth, but then again neither are The Killers, Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs, The Horrors, Cardiacs, Xray Spex, The Petshop Boys, DAF, Duran Duran etc all that can be heard in many clubs that don’t play EBM/Industrial etc.

    “It\’s high time the scene looked back and reinvented itself again; the opportunities are there in the newer post punk style bands breaking through, and with the assistance of some of the deathrock bands and a small handful of goth rock bands we can make the scene great again.”

    One can’t look back at the early scene and try and reinvent it with the elements that you speak of, why? because none of these elements are anything like the original scene. We had an Alternative scene that was diverse and original. Deathrock was never part of the British Goth scene, the only American band that actually enjoyed significant popularity and had any influence on the original UK Alternative/Goth scene was the Cramps and they were never Deathrock. What you are suggesting is the creation of a contemporary Alternative scene which would be a hybridization of some Goth bands, some New Deathrock bands and many new Post Punk? bands. So it seems that you are trying to create a contemporary Dark Indie/Post Punk? scene that incorporates some Goth nad New Deathrock and not a reinvented Goth scene. I can’t see it working to be honest, New Deathrock seems to be in decline judging with the reports of infighting and the emergence of the Hipsters (many who were former New Daethrockers.) I know very few Goths that like New Deathrock bands and even fewer who like contemporary Indie bands either. One cannot create a new Goth scene if the proportion of Goth within it is very small, all you are doing is creating a contemporary Post Punk? scene that has a bit of Deathrock and even less Goth, therefore it won’t be any different to a scene that has lots of Metal or Electronic music and a little Goth thrown in.

  28. Can goth be seen as an interperative uniform? I’m a little too young to have been around during the first or possibly seocnd incartion of Goth. For me it holds my own set of out looks to upon the world and upon myself… and incase anyone wants to have a prod at me… just because I’m under the age of 90 doesn’t mean I class Marilyn Manson, Cradle of Filth or anything EBM as Goth.

    I find it interesting how some band commonly interperated as Goth and have a lot of Goth followers tend to say “We’re not Goth” or “it was just a phase we went through”. I think this has led to me to feeling a little flounder as what is Goth musically. My conclusion is, Goth like a painting, it takes more than just one colours(shade ;-P) to make it. In fact a whole range of things but subtle and expressive are required.

    I wouldn’t think Goth is dead, just maybe a little misunderstood and possibly a victim of the times and the finances a nieche market can bring.

    Can I also ask, if Bela Lagusi’s Dead was on TOTP2, isn’t the requirment to have orginally on TOTP? Albeit I have seen the Hunger video on TOTP2. Not that I am saying it wa sone way or the other, remember, I was not around then!

  29. I agree with what Martin has said about the ‘clothing’ aspect these days…for some godforsaken reason that seems to be what defines you, yet the friends I know who were into the ideals of the times long before I was, tell of stories were you made your own clothing, and you made your own style to what suited you!

    As far as the musical angle goes, the main issue is, and has boon for the last decade or two now, gaining acceptance in society as a culture thats not to be feared. Plus record labels push bands into area they may not wish to be within but end up doing so to keep the deal right. Unless of course you do and Andrew Eldritch did and leave the said record company and keep on gigging to raise funds to survive.

    The power play within society is one sole evil…money, you can’t live with or without it.

    Goth itself hasn’t died, we’re just going through the typical cycle of the 5 year turn about.

  30. No there isn’t a requirement for a clip to have been on Top Of The Pops in order for it to be featured on Top Of The Pops 2, many songs have been featured on there that have never been featured on Top Of The Pops for example Joy Division’s performance od on Something Else has been featured on there and it was dedicated to David Vine. other performances featured have been The New York Dolls, The Clash and David Bowie’s, Eoxy Music performances on The Old Grey Whistle Test have al featured on TOTP 2. I doubt very much that the Hunger clip would have been on TOTP2 because it’s not suitable (sexual and violent content) and also because of the fact that the BBC would feature archive footage from it’s own shows rather than a clip from a X Rated film especially a clip that hardly features the band performing the song. You also have to remember that The Hunger wasn’t completed and released until 1983 four years after Martin clearly staed he saw Bauhaus perform Bela Lugosi on Top Of The Pops in 1979. The basic fact is that Bauhaus didn’t perform on Top Of The Pops until Ziggy Startdust in 1982 so as I and at least one other person has correctly stated in their response to Martin’s post nobody could have seen Bauhaus performing Bela Lugosi on Top Of The Pops or any other TV show in 1979, 1980, 1981. Their one and only dedicated UKTV performance of Bela Lugosi was for Riverside in February 1982.

  31. I think half the problem is catogorising music, there is too many genres to get your head around! even in one subculture such as goth.

  32. Oh please. this is just nostalgia….take of the rose-tinted glasses, the subculture of Goth in its original form was just about dressing up and going to clubs. All the affectations of romance and literary snobbishness came later, and by then it was as good as dead anyway. YAWN.

  33. The following passage is taken directly from “Bauhaus, Beneath The Mask” written by Andrew J. Brookbank and was published by Nemo, PO Box 847, London SW18 1XA 1997.

    February 1982 “Bauhaus make their British TV debut on the BBC2’s arts programme “Riverside”. They mime to a new mix of “Kick In The Eye” and “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”. Beggars Banquet release this new version as a single, billing it as “Searching For Satori EP”.

  34. There are actually a couple bands with goth/post punk roots..
    There’s quite a bit of “New-Deathrock”
    but I’m not really into that.
    There are two bands that are recent that come to mind..
    The Horrors (UK)
    who have kind of a post punk and goth sound, mixed with other things.
    and Beryl Beloved(US, Colorado), I’m sure most of you know of them, but if you don’t, look them up.
    You’ll like them.
    Pinky promise.

  35. This is what I don’t get. The whole argument that ‘goth is changing’ but in reality what people say its changed into has not evolved from what goth used to be. If you’re going to do that then why not simply start something new?

    In the case of EBM it does have a line that can be traced to its origins in early industrial so you could say its still industrial only evolved. Old school industrialists won’t agree but at least the line of evolution is there. But the stuff people say is ‘new goth’ has no realtion to what goth (as a music genre) started out as.

    Gothic metal is metal.
    Industrial/EBM/aggrotech is industrial.
    Shock rock is alternative rock.

    So why are they suddenly goth?

  36. The problem is that the people who say that Goth isn’t like it used to be were never part of the original British Goth scene in the first place either through the fact that they were too young, not born at the time, not part of the Goth scene or were 1000’s of miles away st the time. How can one even try to recreate something that one was never a part of and never wxperienced first hand? I think the main problem is that the Internet paints a very, very false impression of Goth by people who never experienced it first hand. Goth today is nothing like it was in the 80’s or 90’s when it was a Goth scene. Goth was a product of Punk yes, but it was the bands that were influenced by Glam that had the greatest influence, Goth was never political or apolitical t was never Subhumans, never Clash, Never Clash, it was darkness and glamour it was about dressing up and having fun and nothing to do with with the crap ofen spoute on the Internet, to understand Goth in the 80’s one hd to actually b a part of Goth in the 80’s an to be honest 99.9% of the crap I read on the Internet in regards to 80’s Goth just makes me realise how many people out there are utter bulshitters. I would love to have a chat about 80’s, 90’s, 00’s Goth with anybody who cares to chat.

  37. One will only truly know the era they were a part of and the location they were in at the time. Things always look better than they were in retrospect. We will never have what was again – its been and gone. We can have something good now but it will be different. The music is still there to be enjoyed.
    As for new bands like anything some are good and some are bad. I like The Horrors too.

  38. OK, so it wasnt Top of the Pops, but I know it was ’79, as I bought the 12″ of Bela shortly afterwards and remember taking it to a party to celebrate the end of the decade.

  39. Bauhaus didn’t perform on UKTV until February 1982 when they mimed to Kick In The Eye and Bela Lugosi’ Dead on BBC2’s Riverside. Therefore if as you say seeing them perform Bela Lugosi’s Dead on TV inspired you to go out and buy the 12″ (there wasn’t a 7″) then this would have been in February 1982 and not in 1979 as stated. Therefore your introduction to Bauhaus and Goth would have been three years after you stated, so i’m afraid you are mistaken. I’m afraid that the facts speak for themselves Martin there is no way that anybody would have seen Bauhaus perform on UKTV prior to their TV debut on Riverside in February 1982.

  40. I like yourself got into Goth by default, I was a Punk in 1976 and progressively got into the usual bands such as The Damned, Pistols, Clash, Banshees, Stranglers, Adverts, Generation X etc as well as many others such as Magazine, Wire, The Skids, PIL etc. My involvement with what would be eventually termed Goth stemmed from my interest in bands such as the Banshees, Joy Division, Killing Joke, Bauhaus and later bands such as Theatre Of Hate, UK Decay, The Virgin Prunes, The Cure, Danse Society, and then bands such as SOM, SGC, March Violets, Play Dead etc. This interest started in about 1978 and has continued to the present day. I still liked many bands that cannot really be termed Goth such as Crass, 999, The Lurkers, Anti Pasti, Chron Gen, The Cramps, The Only Ones, Toyah well into the 1980’s and still considered myself in essence a Punk up to 1982, however in retrospect I think that one could have classified me as a Goth (image and band preference) from about 1979 even though I never used the term itself to describe myself or what I was interested in until at least 1984.

    I noticed that you clearly claim that seeing Bauhaus perform “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” on “Top Of The Pops” in 1979 started your interest in Goth. I find this quite remarkable when one takes into consideration the fact that Bauhaus first UK TV appearance was on BBC2’s Riverside in February 1982 when they did indeed perform “Kick In The Eye” and “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.” I can’t see how anybody could make such a fundamental mistake as this especially when they have been into the scene as long as you say you have been. I also can’t understand why The Damned’s release of “Love Song” and “Smash It Up” should have had such a profound effect on you in a possible Goth context. These two songs are pure Punk and have no recognizable Gothic overtones and surely “Plan 9 From Outer Space” would have been more Goth related.

    I don’t quite understand your association between Goth bands and rebellion. Very few Goth friendly bands (apart from Joy Division, UK Decay, Killing Joke) were very much concerned with politics or social issues or rebellion unless it was one centred on lipstick and eyeliner. Yes there were many Alternative bands around at the time that were politically and socially minded (Mekons, Membranes, Three Johns, Redskins, New Model Army, Actified etc) however one couldn’t call these remotely Gothic even if some Goths like myself liked some or all of them. I often see references where people say that the music and bands was the most important element within the early Goth scene, yes it was important however the image and style created by Goths was just as important too, it’s what defined them as Goths as much as the music and the bands, even more so when one considers the fact that many so called Goth bands have denied being Goth. Goth was then and still is part of the “Alternative Culture.” It was one genre amongst many others present at that time (Psychobilly, New Romantic, Futurist, Industrial, Independent bands etc.) Many so called Goths liked many non Goth bands such as The Smiths, Gang Of Four, Echo & The Bunnymen, Altered Images, U2, Big Country, The Alarm, Visage, Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, Einsturzende Neubauten, Psychic TV, Test Department, Soft Cell etc. However what defined them as Goths was their image coupled with bands that became identified as Goth bands. I also find it interesting to note that one of Goth’s major influences i.e. 1970’s Glam is often overlooked or forgotten. Yes the Goth bands emerged from Punk but one of their most important influences both musically and image wise were Glam bands and artists. The Banshees, Bauhaus, Joy Division, Alien Sex Fiend, Sex Gang Children, Specimen were heavily influenced by Glam many of which covered tracks recorded by Glam related artists (Bauhaus Telegram Sam, Ziggy Stardust, Third Uncle, Banshees 20th Century Boy etc) A band such as Specimen had an image that was heavily influenced by Glam. I think what you are describing is possibly the Alternative scene in general of which Goth was only one aspect of rather than Goth itself.

    What surprises me is how you say that Goth music in the 1990’s was “largely dire”, which bands were you listening to at this time? The 1990’s Goth scene was noticeable for its huge number of bands that were highly varied and diverse in musical style and image. I saw many bands during the 1990’s at gigs and festivals all over the UK and I bought a huge amount of CDs and demos and other merchandise from bands such as Garden Of Delight, Love Like Blood, Corpus Delicti, Sunshine Blind, Faith And The Muse, Spiritual Bats, Darc Entries, Rosetta Stone, Gotterdamerung, Children On Stun, Die Laughing, 13 Candles, The Marionettes, Nosferatu, Suspiria and many, many more. I don’t know what type of scene that you participated in the 1990’s but it seems like it was nothing like the scene that I and many 1000’s of others enjoyed week in week out year after year. Are there any 90’s Goth bands that you liked or any memorable gigs?

    As for the idea of Goth being lost one could actually ask did this retrospective often Internet based view of Goth actually exist? What did Goth mean to you? How did you dress? Where did you shop? Which bands did you see? Did you buy fanzines etc? What was being a Goth mean to you personally? Goth to me and everybody else I knew was about dressing up and having a great time that’s what made it so much fun, there weren’t any rules about being a Goth there wasn’t even a common denominator in regards to how Goth bands should sound or act. The main thing was feeling part of a scene, a scene that was based on fun and creativity, a scene that was varied and diverse, a scene that evolved quite naturally into something quite different from it’s inception in the late 1970’s to the present day. A scene has to evolve in order for it to survive it’s this what has allowed Punk to last 35 years and Goth 30 years. It’s not just the Goth scene that’s nothing like it was in 1979 but also the Punk scene, Metal scene, Industrial etc. It’s natural especially when what was essentially a British phenonomen is adopted and adapted by other cultures, the Alternative (New Wave, Coldwave, Neue Deutsche Welle) scenes in Europe were very much different to the Goth scene in the UK as was the American New Wave/Alternative scene in the USA, which in it’s turn was different to the Californian Deathrock scene,. yes it’s true that many Bands involved in the British Goth/Alternative scenes enjoyed popularity elsewhere and some such as The Cure, The Banshees, March Violets, Xmal, SOM, Sex Gang Children, Bauhaus played in the USA and featured in many clubs there too. British bands also did well in Europe and bands like The Cure, Banshees, Killing Joke achieved and enjoyed great popularity in Europe. It’s a basic fact scenes and genres change when introduced elsewhere so it’s therefore not surprising that what is termed Goth changed into many different forms and guises, it’s natural because new ideas and movements are initially adopted and adapted by the Alternative cultures that have already become established within each region of You say that the worst years for you was when Goth went mainstream, was it when The Banshees were charting in the late 70’s, Killing Joke, Theatre Of Hate, Bauhaus, The Cure charting in the early 80s?

    You bemoan the fact that lots of non-Goth bands are played at Goth friendly clubs now days, however this was always true especially in the 1980’s when it was called Alternative many bands such as Einsturzende, Cocteau Twins, PIL, Only Ones, Echo And The Bunnymen, Sex Pistols, Fad Gadget, The Chameleons, Vision, Toyah, Cabaret Voltaire, Foetus etc were played as well as more recognizable Goth bands or Goth friendly bands. The Batcave started out as a club that played Glam, Punk and other styles of music as well as Goth. Is there any difference between someone liking Goth bands plus EBM, Spooky and somebody who likes Goth, 80’s Synthpop, Minimal, Indie, Neue Deutsche Welle, Deathrock? Is it down to the fact that some DJ’s have their own preferences in regards to playing non-Goth tracks at their clubs and disagree and criticize other DJ’s who choose to play their favourite non-Goth tracks too? The truth is that the chance of one or two genre themed nights succeeding is extremely low and that’s why we have these clubs that try and cater for as many different potential punters as possible obviously with variations. I have not visited any club or seen any clubs set list that relies upon one, two or three genres, one thing that I do notice is that there’s a lack of clubs that play much Goth material from the late 80’s, 90’s and the present day, what we do get are clubs that often play the same bands or even same songs two or more times in a night, where what are ostensibly supposed to be Goth themed nights playing much that is not Goth and often willing to play non Goth bands that can be contemporary Indie bands, 80’s Pop bands, Synthpop, EBM, Metal but won’t play depending on their preference either SOM, The Cult, Mission, FOTN or on the other side of the scale SGC, ASF, V Prunes, Bauhaus etc.

    I don’t agree with you about re-inventing Goth, Goth is already here, there’s no need to create a non-Goth hybrid that relies heavily on contemporary Indie bands, with a few New Deathrock bands and a small dash of contemporary Goth bands and try and clam that this is exactly how it should be and how it was in the beginning because it wasn’t, British Goth started with bands such as The Banshees, Bauhaus, Joy Division, Killing Joke incorporating dark themes and clothing within their music and image, their fans took it one step forward and created the Goth scene, this grew as new bands and fans became identified with what is now termed Goth, the popularity of this new scene, genre waxed and waned but never disappeared just evolved thanks to natural wastage (bands splitting, changing direction, people leaving joining the scene, music technology and format changing, being introduced and evolving and transforming elsewhere. Music and fashion are like Languages they change over time and distances but still retains elements of it’s original form.

    In conclusion one would say that it’s pointless trying to create something that belonged to a society and a culture that no longer exists especially when one tries to re-create it by using elements that have been imported from elsewhere. One possible solution would be for DJ’s and fans of Goth music to actually look at Goth as something that has lasted 31 years and is still alive today rather than just concentrating on one specific period or a few selective bands and add these bands to non-Goth genres such as EBM, Industrial, New Deathrock, Darkwave, Indie. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see if nights played not just bands from the late 70’s and early 80’s but also Goth bands from the mid to late 80’s, the 90’s and the present day, and some Industrial, New Deathrock, 80’s Synthpop, Neue Deutsche Welle, Deathrock, Punk, Synthpop, Coldwave, Wave, New Wave, Indie in various amounts depending upon the DJ’s and their audience’s preference. Maybe that may work who knows?

  41. wow! Now this is excellent written Paul. I would love to learn more about these facts.And I would like to hear your opinion and answers to Pauls questions Martin.

  42. Yes I agree its a good piece to. I would like to see Martins answers to all the questions given to him by all the people who have made the effort to comment.

  43. Thank you for posting this Martin, I can only say that it’s brilliant piece of Gothic Fantasy fiction coupled with subtle Alternative Comedy and I haven’t stopped laughing since I read it. Have you any other classic pieces of Fantasy fiction?

    I also was introduced to the wickedly wonderful world of Goth when I saw The Sisters Of Mercy play Damage Done on The Two Ronnies back in early 1981 and my interest increased when I saw The Specimen play on the Royal Variety Performance in late 1981 I wonder if you saw them too or was it just my fertile imagination.

    In the words of the immortal David Jay Haskins “Thank you Mr President……”

    Keep up the good work honey lol.

  44. Would you say that the following two contradict themselves?

    “I can date my earliest interest in the scene from the first time I saw Bauhaus perform “Bela Lugosi\’s Dead” on Top of the Pops, then still a programme that gave you a small chance of seeing at least one \’alternative\’ act each week. This was 1979, the year when things started to change for me, and this new movement started to take shape. There are arguments that will undoubtedly rage for years as to when goth began, but for me 1979 will always be where I chart my beginnings. It was the year that as well as seeing The Damned release “Love Song” and “Smash It Up” also saw a shift for me to the likes of Echo and the Bunnymen, The Psychedelic Furs, The Cure, Joy Division, and a darker edged form of rebellion. A more subtle twist to the bands I\’d previously listen to.”

    compare this with your blurb on insanitorium and elsewhere (httpss://gothspace.com/martinoldgoth)


    “Martin, a disillusioned ex-punk, turned to the darkside in 1982 & found he preferred it.
    Working as a doorman, part time DJ and promoter in Romfords’ Rezz club from 1985 taught him
    all he needed to know about avoiding ‘proper’ work and a life on the alternative side of things beckoned.

    Through to March 1988 when the club turned into a poncy wine bar he booked some of the scenes
    finest bands for mere peanuts. 1988 also saw a move to the Ilford area for a series of club nights
    which are still talked about today by some very influencial people
    (well… Sexbat and Charlie Mouse still remember them).

    “The Playground” was followed by “Asphyxia” and finally “Berzerka” which moved in 1991 when the venue
    closed and he moved to Colchester, taking the name”Berzerka” with him for a long running series of nights
    at different venues around the town, including one on a boat!

    1996 saw the launch of “Death by Misadventure” and in 1998 he DJ’d at the Whitby Goth Weekend with
    his alcoholic partner in crime Grinny. Since 1999 he’s worked with fellow reprobate Jamie,
    firstly in pubs and then in a proper venue.

    Since then he’s DJ’d all over the UK, at the Whitby Goth Weekend (four times in total) , been to
    LA to DJ (Bar Sinister twice, Funeral, Underground Live, Release The Bats and The Wolfpak),
    he’s also DJ’d at the Wave Gotik Treffen in Leipzig, Germany, and more recently at the
    25th Anniversary Batcave reunion show…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    Martin is also the one responsible for the ‘glowstick’ slogan as he hates EBM… and feels that if you
    like Nightwish, Lacuna Coil, Him, Evanescence, Within Temptation etc.. then you’re into metal, not goth.
    Trust him, he knows what goth is, he’s lived through it!”

    Which one is true Martin?

    EBM, glowsticks, industrial, metal, operatic nonsense and Andrew Eldritch” (httpss://gothspace.com/martinoldgoth)

    Does that include Industrial bands such as your old band Sin-Die-Cult who I saw supporting All Living Fear and James Rays Gangwar who i saw at the Underworld back in 1996? They did not sound or look very Goth to me.

  45. Dancing is good as Anaherz rightly stated “Goth in its original form was just about dressing up and going to clubs.” Goth was nothing to do with Politics, however it was and still is very important for people no matter how they view it as is keeping to the facts of what really happened and not presenting oneself as some fictional legendary Gothic hero who contradicts himself.

  46. I see that rigid old fart Aiden is claiming that dissent=EBM-HEADS WANNA TEAR DOWN OUR GOTH HERO but I don’t like EBM at all. I just dont like this bullshit nostalgia that wallows in re-invented histories. “Oh blah blah blah goth goth goth, kids today dont get it nobody understand actually you CAN dance to it etc.” Aren’t you like 60, dude? Grow up already. Get over it. It’s 2011, not 1980.

  47. i’ll be a relatively young old-curmudgeon then.. music is brown bread. end-of. i mean come on, look how its progress in terms of invention got tore up in the latter half of the 20th century and has stalled for at least a decade now. the 21st century thus far – unless you’re particularly young and everything’s new to you and the latest has to be the best in your demanding social environment, kids don’t delve into the archive it took me til beyond my mid 20s to finally do it

    give me any underground from 78-85 i’ll filter it to my taste, and i do mean underground total obscurities of EP’s n what not – was a lot of fun searching that stuff over the past few years on the soulseek in particular and i am much wiser for it. was a creative time that made such leaps and bounds it couldn’t last forever besides almost anything is going to sound too saccharine today due to improvements in technology mainly. hard to recreate that 80s sound, and on top of it be original – thats what i like anyhow and now all the media marketing and fewer avenues to explore/invent?! screw it. is there even an underground anymore?!

    i’m only 32, and i can tell its all played out. ‘prog’ metal? get over yourselves, voivod had been there for instance and done that 20-25yr ago. be grateful for the amazing legacy thats there to explore, because its all been done and i don’t believe in revivals, leave that there in the era it happened -darkwave gothpunk deathrock synthpunk etc etc .. have fun with the 21st century folks. i’ve seen nor heard nothing new so far in it considering the startlingly original material in the halycon days, those kids had a blank canvas and a wanderlust and i envy you older folk who actually grew up in it. this decade thus far is just a taster of what’s not to come. retrospect, retrospect appreciate what all the freaks laid down already, because theres not muchness left ahead imo. lucky us, its all been done so get busy and pan for gold.

    .. of course do what you like but thats my opinion. sincerely.

    • having said that.. what Aleister’s name links to sounds pretty damn sweet :D maybe there is a pulse, after all. sounds straight out of the archives.

  48. Why the bickering over what goth is or isn’t? Martin simply had a different experience from you. There seems to be a variety of uneducated and inexperienced folks on this thread.
    Metal and goth in the 80’s were very different. You couldn’t play Iron Maiden in a goth club, because it was typical of metalheads in the era to want to beat down the makeup wearing freaky goths in the street. Where this has changed a bit, goths still as a whole do not mix goth with metal.
    EBM has been sullying our goth clubs since the mid- late 90’s. We can’t really blame anyone but ourselves though, as we went along with it to a certain extent. I’m guilty- I too continued to attend clubs that advertised a goth night and yet only played 1 or 2 goth songs and the rest of the night i sat at the bar drinking while bad techno beat my head in.
    I really started going less and less. Do we blame ourselves? The promoters? The dj’s? WHO?
    The whole point of the article is a discussion on where goth stands today- and arguing semantics and quoting wikipedia (of all things, really) is a waste of time.
    I agree that goth wanes from time to time. We hate it when there isn’t enough action, but we also hate it when we are too popular and attract the tourists. You can’t please a goth.
    It’s funny that an idiot here has blamed the current state of goth confusion on Americans as a whole. Are you serious? Obviously, you have never been to an American goth club. lol @ you.
    Personally, I blame the mass popular confusion of what goth is and isn’t on mass media and pop culture. The internet, which has the ability to bring like minded folks together also has the ability to breed korn-goths. These uneducated 2 year olds see someone is black lipstick and head to hot topic to buy a korn tshirt and some huge tacky tripp pants. they then go online and spew inaccuracies all over the internet about how goth icp is.
    instant gratification and lack of mystery are a problem, as is the over-simplifying of goth fashion and music.
    I’m sorry, but where are the pretty and morbid goth gowns or yesteryear? they don’t exist much due to the bizarre sexualization of the goth culture, by unwitting bdsm tourists.
    You can make a larger profit off a cheap and tiny mini cheerleader skirt. Was anyone else disgusted by ‘cybergoth’? how about ‘steampunk’? Now we have gothabilly! oh how stupid this looks too. Sailor Jerry tattoos and shitty music.
    Remember what it used to be like, or maybe what you always wanted goth to be in your area. Work towards making it that way, and stop arguing about stupid semantics.

  49. This is a interesting article, Martin. I’m a goth myself and I find that Goth music that has its punk roots into it has died in 90s, but in my opinion I think Goth isn’t dead, but evolving into what it wasn’t originally started out as. I’m sure one day it’ll return back to its roots hopefully. The goth subculture originally in the 80s was about gothing/dressing up for the local goth club at night while drinking snakebite & black and listening to the old school music that invented goth such as Bauhaus, meeting other goths and dancing to the dance floor to sonorous rhythms punctuating a melody in a minor key.

  50. Thanks Daniel, if you’re from thatq era then you might want to check out bands like Scarlets Remains, Christ Vs Warhol or DFnag on Fir, all really close in sound to those early punk/goth crossover years. For me these are the bands moving the scene forward now, by ironically taking it back to the beginning!

    • I’m not from that era. I was born in 1990 and I’m just educated about the goth subculture as I research a lot online as I can (not 100% I know pretty a lot or some) which I take most elements of the important parts of the goth culture’s knowledge such as, the music and the scene, how “goth” became as a term and a subculture name (e.g a Germanic tribe at first), then the 80s it became as a approved name for positive punks (originally called before goth) because of Siouxsie Sioux and also approved for the new romantic scene, history, art, literature, fashion, inspirations like Robert Smith, band names I know etc (some, depending if I remember, I know most of them though)

    • That’s good Martin, its going back to its roots though. I’ll might check on these bands you stated, I’ll give a try to see if it has the likes of Bauhaus, The Sisters of Mercy etc. :)

  51. httpss://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQ9f1sDSsYU
    New Old Skool Goths..

    I loved the scene back in the 90s. Some brilliant bands about and I traveled about on trains to see alot of them Nosferatu, Children on Stun, Rosetta Stone, Restoration, Crystal Reign, Witching Hour….. I remember the fanzines so fondly, sending off postal orders and getting small photocopied booklets full of goth pics and gossip. It was always a small elite afair it just doesnt apeal to alot of people. A new generation have brought their own thoughts and style to the scene, thats not a bad thing but it wont be the goth other generations will remember. Its not dead though there are still old skool goth bands about and some new old school goth bands too. I must admit i miss the lack of winkle pickers and huge crimped backcombed hair tho. But some of us are still doing it and not cos were sad its just who we are now and there is any changing us even if it is out of fashion right now.

  52. Sorry, but this kind of thinking is actually exemplary of everything I think is currently wrong with the scene, and has been for some time. When I joined the scene in the late nineties, many people would go out of their way to complain, tell me just how I’d missed all the good bits, how it wasn’t the same, and it was all the fault of Marilyn Manson/the Cure/Andrew Eldritch/The Moonies/The Mission/Screaming Lord Sutch/Margaret Thatcher, or anyone else they cared to mention. What’s more, it’s exactly this brand of misery that has caused the scene in this country to diminish as it has; if enough people sit there and bitch about the state of the scene, it causes people to get bored and go and find other things. What’s more, there seems to be a clear and present danger in the ethos that if people stray from the “tried and tested” goth rock formula, you deserve to be cast into the outer darkness, and never heard from again. The sheer lack of inclination for people to experiment is killing the scene in the UK, and that’s the problem. Seriously, ever wondered why the scene, festivals and clubs are doing much better on the continent? It’s because of that willing to try new things.

    Now, hands up here, I *am* primarily an Industrial DJ, but that’s simply because I feel the industrial scene is doing more interesting things at the moment, and, what’s more, I care deeply for the goth scene, and rejoice when I do hear something interesting come out, I’m delighted to hear it, and have no interest in losing the goth rock element if our club nights. Sadly, that seems to be an increasing rarity, as many UK bands dredge up the same old formulae. With that bleak outlook, it’s no wonder people divert to industrial, steampunk, EBM, or even leave the alternative scene altogether. Goth may be dying, but we should take a long hard look at ourselves, and consider our actions, before apportioning blame.

  53. Yes I agree that there appears to be “a variety of uneducated and inexperienced folks on this thread.” The principle one appears to be one of Martin’s supporters Mike Old Bats (oh dear what language and logic is he using? It’s childlike and appalling in content and quality.) I think that most points are presented by people who are both educated and experienced enough as not to make such a terrible mistake as to claim that they miraculously saw Bauhaus perform on British TV three years before they made their debut (what a mistake to make wouldn’t you agree?) How can anybody take somebody seriously when they make such mistakes and then have the inability to defend their position? Why do you think that Martin hasn’t responded in person? How can somebody who claims to be an original Goth make such a claim especially in the light of his self style presidential address, it’s laughable and frankly damn right embarrassing for Goth if this is all the home of Goth has to offer in regards to links with the Gothic past. I think that Martin is telling huge porkies here. Maybe he may be able to respond in full and in person to his many eduucated and experienced critics on this post, if not why not?

  54. Goth is dead because people like Martin Oldgoth killed it. Revisionist history isn’t going to do anything but leave a gaping 10-15 year hole in the ‘history’ of goth. All I see anymore is endless lists of what is goth/not goth, without any explanation of why. In my experience in the 90’s, goths and metalheads mixed freely with no animosity, exchanging music and culture. Since most of the goths I knew listened to Manson, it was considered goth, and I didn’t really care if other metalheads didn’t like it. By rejecting what really happened, editing history, making lists, and stating that goth is only about the clothes and music, so-called ‘goths’ today have reduced a once great culture and social movement into nothing more than an aesthetic, an evolutionary dead end.

  55. […] have they been removed from the narrative? it’s hard to say. They were lumped into Goth, a scene which didn’t even exist when they were going and Goth never gets good press. Maybe […]

  56. Grow up a little, perhaps? This whole “Gothier than thou” attitude is ridiculous and purely based on nostalgia. Hasn’t goth really always been about meeting up with other people who enjoy the alternative/underground music that you can’t hear elsewhere? Even if the music and fashion change isn’t that underlying element the core of what is ‘goth’.

    Don’t you think it’s a good thing that it’s adaptable? By not having fixed boundaries it’s allowed the scene to thrive for three decades. According to you, goth should have died by 1990. And then what would you have done? Hell, if we didn’t stick together we’d have an even smaller population and there would be even fewer ‘Goth’ nights around.

    Is some metal goth? Is industrial goth? I don’t see why not. I actually find that the kind of elitism that you display is the worst thing about the goth scene.

  57. […] highly with their originality and brilliance and were mainstays of the post punk and the so called ‘Goth’ […]

  58. This was stupid. He circle jerked his own argument. Nothing ever existed in a vaccum especially “true goth”. Even our beloved Bauhaus is alot more punk then doom and gloom goth and has other influences. All the band that they heard of in the 3rd paragraph they probably heard because they were POPULAR at the time. Then to have the nerve or stupidity to say that it was because it came mainstream was its dead was and is a bunch of BS. Having been a dj and telling people that I DJ I was used too people assuming that I was a Hip Hop dj and then I would tell them goth/industrial. And of course I goth the NIN/Rammstein/Manson question. That when you can drop some eduction on them if they are really interested. Those types of bands are the gateway drug. Its not their fault that they didn’t get the herorin first. Some people you gotta lead up to drinking the Gothic/Industrial Kool aid.

  59. […] course there is a neo Goth atmosphere shrouding them like some kind of mist, a touch of the In The Nursery end of industrial- that […]

  60. Witch house has nothing to do with goth. All of the people Ive met in that “scene” (if you can even call it that) are fans of rap, rave , 90s dance music, shit like that. I know Bryan and Kendra from white ring are into black metal and neofolk and stuff but that’s about it, but that isn’t goth. Just because something is dark and sp00ky doesn’t automatically mean it’s goth. The guy who runs the “gucci goth” website is an idiot who goes through phases where he social climbs into one scene really deep, pisses off too many people then moves onto something else. I remember him back he was a sp00ky death rocker to avant gard european muzishun to filthy indie rock hipster with giant glasses and yellow american apparel pants to whatever he’s trying to do now.

    I actually googled this out of morbid curiosity to see whats happened with goth and I realized that yeah, it’s pretty much dead. All the kids who would be getting into marilyn manson or whatever back in the day to eventually become goth are now listening to lady gaga, and turning into fashion students who listen to witch house and crystal castles. And a good chunk of goths ( such as myself) just got tired of the same regurgitated crap over and over again and just left for greener pastures at viceland, where at least no one will judge you for wearing a tshirt and shoes that don’t have 15 f*cking straps and listening to music that wasn’t recorded before 1989.

    • Or maybe it’s more like ‘buhhh been goth for so long i’m bored’ so I tried a bunch of stuff to see what fits and finally settled on an amalgamation of both pop and goth and whatever’s ballin and now i live in berlin and put on cool shows + have the smelliest weiner in town. B) anyway, lol at this whole thread/post/the idea of taking someone called ‘Martin Oldgoth’ seriously in any way

  61. Hey Martin

    I think you’re part right. Every subculture movement lives and dies by an intuitive vibe shared and carried by the movers and the insightful.

    So you know where I’m coming from before I finish up, I’m an accidental stepchild of a warmly stunning and icy sobering pocket of the 70s and 80s.
    I was a kid in the 90s and the new millenium, but a huge part of me got adopted.
    I got along better with the older kids in middle school and even with grown-ups and one of my sk8r friends Jayce had an aunt, Tiana who was part of the original Siouxie Sioux and the Banshees fanbase.
    She used to bake ginger cookies and smoked cloves and played Switchblade Symphony, the Blackhearts, and stuff when I was over.
    I saw pictures and clippings of the Berlin Wall – Vietnam, etc. and grew up that way.

    I was maybe four and a half when I first memorized “Lenore” from Poe, just for kicks, and when I was seven Auntie Tia took me out to do a poetry read with some friends.
    Strange part was she must’ve been in a vein of oddities in the Gothic world because she and everyone were stunning, really nice and didn’t seem jaded at all. I kinda took that for what Goth was.

    I’ve lived and seen a few last whispers of Old Goth, got picked on when I first stepped out in denim jackets that in the late 90s turned out to be girls only.
    I’ve rocked live with Doro; Evanescence; all the way out to the new scene kids.

    I can say this in the heart of DC, NY and Boston: Intuitivly, Old, old Goth is dead except for a few pockets here and there.
    New Old Goth is still around; a mix of 90s Tim Burton, Bella Lugosi’s Dracula, Johnny Depp, Thuja and Emily Strange, steampunk and beautiful theatrics.
    These people aren’t responding like Old old Goth did; They’re the resonant kids of the Old old Goth, seeking not an identity as much as looking for a state of morose euphoria, to become a work of art shining with the sweet intensity of pain, the surrender to the comfortable embrace of suffering, and so on.

    Emo was the new Goth for a while – Refining the sleepy tones of high artistry of New Old Goth and the aimless chaos of Metal and responding to the assaulting stigma from Columbine, these kids became the Andy Warhol of Goth by taking up feminism, androgyny, and the “be good, no harm no foul” battle cry of Avril Lavigne and Evanescence and Suicide Girls sexualism – That they can be tattooed, pierced, geeky, rejected and still be mainstream beautiful and be as powerful as the mainstream without stepping into silence.

    Scene kids are a further evolution and the most current; the 70s,80s,90s all created enduring subcultures to the point where their artifacts of culture – clothing, fragmented philosophy, gimmicks, behavior, image, etc.- survived to overcrowded overpopulation and kids became fed up with the legitimacy culture wars (which still rage) and created an umbrella culture of the “scene kid” where you’re a scene kid regardless of your scene.

    Typically scene kids look like rainbow-spangle-kissed 90s gothics or emo types but if you look closer the pensive regard of the world and questioning the wisdom of conventional bias is still there after 40 years of time.

    These kids still carry the intuitive-emotion and pensive-lost-to-time persona perspective.

    Old goth ways and traditions are dead, but the latest trends and scenes still carry fragments of its DNA at the core of behavioral methodology despite an absence of philosophy.

    I have to wonder what comes next after these guys – A costume and video projector generation where kids literally wear movies instead of tones and themes of them, and a freer attitude towards relational intimacy where there isn’t exactly a clear cut gender but rather a perfection of 60s free-form behavior?

    Hm, at 22 years old, I kind of wish I was 12 instead so I could live through that generation, but I’ve seen almost everything so far.

    I’m with you on calling back the Old old Goth – the big black shades and corduroy concert jackets and just being yourselves, it’s a nice vibe.

  62. Great article, Martin. In my humble opinion goth is not dead and has stood the test of time. Personally, I’ve gone full circle from old school goth to then being into industrial, EBM and up to the early 2000’s of power noise and European influenced extreme noise. But these days I like nothing more than to visit a traditional goth night and dance to Xmal, Bauhaus and the Banshees. None of those spin off genres would have been possible without goth, which is why it is not dead, it has mutated and spurred many other musical movements, but it still sounds fresh and exciting. Just listen to the latest Horrors album and tell me it doesn’t sounds like the Chameleons! Still influencing, but the original will always be the best

  63. I think that its true that emo has replaced Goth – it seems that young people just want the most easy-to-hand counter culture (which naturally are wuickly appropriated to no longer be counter-culture.) The goth sound of the early eighties with bands like Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy etc was brilliant and rewarding though – these days so-called youth counter cultures are sold in a way that feels superficial and disposable. Martin, you’re not wrong to yearn for those beautiful old goth atmospherics!

  64. Old Goth comes across as fake goth suffering from false memory syndrome while creating an article that revolves around a failure to realise that music changes. Listen to Salem for a 21st century Gothic sound, or Mater Suspiria Vision for the edgiest take on the darker side of industrial music. There is no past, there is only the now.

  65. […] The big, black hole left by their passing was filled by a parade of pretenders, all using the Sisters\’ template but none with the intelligence, wit and sheer spite of Eldritch. While his erstwhile band mates enjoyed their moment in the sun, he was plotting and scheming, picking his moment to return. He\’d already thwarted Hussey and Adams\’ intention to use the name The Sisterhood by putting out an album, Gift, under that moniker himself and when he did reactivate the Sisters with 1987\’s Floodland he had a tailor-made audience ready and waiting for him. For those who\’d been there since the beginning the sturm und drang of the Jim Steinman produced single This Corrosion was a step too far and they tied their flag The Mission\’s mast. But for the many, better these Sisters than no Sisters at all. […]

  66. My favourate Bauhaus song was a cover of David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust”. Bowie and his glam nihilistic ilk helped spawn the sound of eighties goth. Just like to name check my favourates then. Balaam & The Angel (went the same way as The Cult), Alien Sex Fiend who defined the sound of a key branch of the Gothic sound later archityped by EDM. Perhaps my favourites Fields Of The Nephilim and of course Joy Division should get accolades for being the defining punk/goth band. And not just because of his suicide. and of course it goes without saying the the Goth Mecca must be Leeds. As a Lancashire man that is a tough one to swallow but every scene wilts and fades….sorry went all poetic and broody then lol. Of course The Stone Roses started as a goth band so Manchester can claim 2nd place.

  67. Having been handed a leaflet at the end of the new order gig at brixton this week i would not say it is dead just very tired. the leaflet told me danse society and the march violets are both playing in london on June 2012! Anne marie is still doing skeletal and ghost dance tunes. I personally would love to see play dead reform as their guitar sound was fantastic

  68. […] its punk roots and is pushing the music in a new and compelling direction. According to to Louder Than War goth “music in the nineties was largely dire, possibly due to the scene\’s popularity at the […]

  69. While I deeply appreciate Martin’s defense of goth’s “glory years” period that consisted of the late 1970’s to the mid 1980’s, he is simply a nostalgia goth. That’s not a knock on Martin, but a rather apt description of his lifestyle and aesthetics. His choice, his life, so be it.

    I find it ludicrious that goth only sprang forth from the punk scene (which realistically, only had about 4-5 years lifespan before it flamed out). The punk scene was made up primarily of people who barely could play their instruments and had a vulgar, almost anti-intellectual mindset. It’s hard to believe that a more intellectual and classy movement such as goth was birthed by such a crass scene like punk.

    You want the TRUE roots of what eventually became goth? Look to the beatniks, the hippies, and the glams. The brought forth the intelligence, the musical chops, the eye for style, the artistic vision, and pioneered the use of dark imagery. Read Allen Ginsberg’s poem “Howl”, listen to The Doors (this is the end, my only friend, the end) and Jefferson Airplane (one pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small, and the one’s that mother give you, don’t do anything at all), look to the lyrics and imagery of Alice Cooper, Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie, and T-Rex. Now, compare that to punk. Really now! There is no comparison. As much as some old time goths would wish it weren’t so, early punk musicians WERE influenced by groups such as The Doors and Alice Cooper. Goth wasn’t inspired in a vacuum. So, let’s get rid of this silly and romantic notion that goth was purely an invention of disaffected punks. People were into dark music and lifestyles before some punks decided to dress in black and quote Poe in their lyrics. If you like goth, are inspired by goth, and are goth, then you better drop your knee jerk aversion to “hippies” and thank them instead for paving the way for goth. Popular music used to be infected with mindless lyrics such as “”I want to hold your hand” until the beatniks and hippies began performing songs with meaningful, introspective lyrics and song structures that incorporated beats and chord progressions which were more emotive.

    After reading Martin’s essay and some of the comments, it’s no wonder why many of the early bands adopted by the “goth scene” have taken great pains to distance themselves from the “goth” label. They realize that the goth scene is extremely narrow and artistically constricting which generally rejects many of the influences of these early bands/musicians. While I have identified with the overall goth movement since the early 1980s and participate in the scene, I’ve been hesitant to call myself goth *because* of the narrowness of the goth label. Quite frankly, the scene mostly rejects it’s true roots and only claims punk..and goth ain’t punk!

    • Just as well you’re here, Oldie. I knew glam was definitely one of its roots. (outrageous clothing, platform boots, lots of make up, theatricality, the sound etc) I also knew Alice Cooper (influence for dark imagery and some theatricality) I really never knew much about the beatniks and hippies influence, other than the droning voice of Jim Morrison. I learn something most of the time. I also know that the goth label seems limiting and I can admit I don’t fit in just everywhere, even I like the goth subculture as a small part of me and I don’t go to events frequently. I do think myself as mostly Alternative or simply myself as it is a broader term and less limiting.

  70. The thing to remember is that like every other genre before or since Goth mixed in with other genres to create the melting pot that is music.

    Goth is no more listening to The Cure in 1984 than Punk was wearing a safety pin in 1977. To pine for the way a sub-culture used to be is (for me) to misplace the point of subcultures in the first place.

    The idea of goth is about appreciating the darker side of music and life, and whatever genre that is the idea still continues.

    Old style goth mixed with metal and dance and punk to create loads of sub genres that carry the ideas and styles into new and exciting places.

    If the nu-metal boom had one good thing it was this, though much of the music was bad it brought together people from metal, punk, gothic and rap groups and gave them a common theme and purpose. No more did the punk kids fight the metal kids, we all appreciated each other and worked together. (At least to an extent)

    Stop pining for the return of your classic sub-culture. It will never happen, and nor should it. Always look forward, lest we get trapped in nostalgia forever.

  71. This is a very good and interesting article. I never really thought that perhaps it was the punk influence that kept goth good in the post-post-punk years of the 80s, but you are probably right. I am too young to have witnessed things as they were in the late 70s and 80s so I can only talk from my own experience and research. I was into punk for years and crust-punk, and then got quite into goth after that and there was really only a handful of bands that really appealed to me (or rather, ones that I thought were any good). That musical phase of my life ended really quickly because I ran out of bands to listen to. Thankfully I moved on and I explored different things!

    I feel that the exact type of goth music you like and are referring to is completely stuck in the 80s, everything down to the clothes fashion and I personally see a lot of it as 80s revival, though I do agree that I think it’s better than other types of goth music (but maybe that’s because I came from a punk background). This is the exact reason why I don’t really bother with it today, I don’t think much new can be made from the types of goth music I like/d.

    Personally I would like to see people go beyond identifying with scenes. There’s so much music to explore, so much amazing stuff out there that you probably won’t find if you’re too busy just clinging on to a few genres of music. I stopped doing that a while ago and now I just find out about music and the culture where it came from and try to appreciate it. There’s a good quote by Penny Rimbaud in a recent interview with the Quietus, I know he’s not talking about a goth scene but I feel it’s still appropriate:
    “People were shocked, but in a way it brought it full circle because the punk scene – for all the talk of musical acceptance and whatever – was every bit as conservative as any other kind of \’scene\’. When we started out we were clearing halls, and after \’Swansong\’ we were clearing halls again. I quite liked that.”

  72. if they played Iron Maiden that shit would have rocked, like the song Killers? no one would have cared, unless they were uptight elitist posers, oh yeah Maiden sells out 10,000+ ever night in USA in 2012 – Goth in the 80s was mysterious and new, once that newness wore off, it was doomed because 90 percent of the music wasn’t very good. In the end its the music that counts not the “scene”.

  73. Goth was new and mysterious in the 80s. Once the newness wore off though it started to become repetitive and you didn’t have a lot of great bands to champion the cause unfortunately. Was a cool time, but the computer has killed all new scenes in a lot of ways today, to much is accessible all the time and gets old so much faster that “scenes” like the goth scene don’t have a chance to truly develop like they did in the 80s when you had to spend real money to get music and even get in a car and go buy it. That took effort, and real money so scenes had real heart and passion in them. Technology has it’s downsides in a lot of ways, but music it has hurt the worst in so many ways.

  74. Very interesting points from various people. I think the jury is still out on many of the points discussed. However, to those of you that have attempted to embarass Martin I will say this: You cannot bash a person for caring. I’m not saying there is no room to argue…That’s why I enjoyed the article and discussion from the last year! However, I have met Martin personally and respect the lengths and distances he has gone in order to keep his vision of “Goth” alive, and also enjoy the scene on a global scale. Many simply draw the line of their involvement no further than their own keyboards and never see what it’s like out there………..I have a lot of respect for Martin actually doing something out in the real world.

    Anyway, Fangs On Fur is a great band, I agree Martin :) Long live Goth, The Clash, The Cure, Punk Roots, and keep up the good work!

  75. Goth, in the mainstream now is gone. It’s all about what someone chooses to dress as. It’s a fashion statement. No one seems to remember the rebel’s we are, the minds we had, we where smart! We still are. As for the music, of course nothing beats the older stuff, and never will. But, I seem to depend on my mind a lot now. My way of thinking, not my music or fashion. Yes, I still dress in my darker clothes, but sometimes I don’t. My little nephew the other day seen me in my Gothic outfit, and was like why are you dressing EMO!!!! Now, thats something I had to set him right about. No way, no form, or fashion, is Gothic sub-culture and emo the same thing!

  76. I fail to see why this even matters. In the years I have observed the ‘Goth Scene’ I have seen it ebb and flow as a tide coming then going. Inevitably it rolls right back in again. As to the origins of Goth, my dear UK friends…please don’t be so arrogant as to think you’re the only ones privileged enough to be unique and inventive with your fashions and philosophies. Bitterness over nothing, in this case, is not a trait one would find…comely.

    It is inevitable that the Scene will grow and evolve, mutate, improve and reinvent itself. Simple powers of observation will show you this, you need only to look into the annals of ancient history. Nothing stays as it is, empires rise and fall, and civilizations crumble overnight…if you think we’re exempt, you’re a fool.

    What we do with what we now know is what will determine our success as a sub-culture. Caring to much about what others think, believe, do or say about our Sub-culture and its ‘alleged direction’ is not only a complete waste of energy, but it is a distraction from living. By thinking it, sometimes we can call it into being…so stop thinking so much, and live your lives as you always have.

  77. Its interesting to note that the much-referred to ‘scene’ that spawned what would one day become known as ‘Goth’ was a hugely diverse group of very different acts & people.
    Goth was dead the moment it got labelled. & who cares about labels ?

  78. Its should not be about the music / style / attitude…. but a combo of all….
    It will come back if the right people do it…. not negative, “my life sucks”, “I need attention”…. just strong minded people with a sense of fashion and awareness….


  79. The thing that got me in the goth scene was the look and the attitude along with dark music that mainstream music could never make, first of all the look was so cool that I thought goths didn’t care what people think with black nails, studded belt and all black with a cool look and attitude with goth music but now over ten years being part of the scene I’ve seen that the goth subculture has changed for the worst because it’s not how I imagined such a dark cool looking scene would change, for example things I don’t like in the current goth scene and think don’t belong in the goth scene and I’ll say why, things like steam punk because in high school that would be joke and even outside of high school and I don’t see how would steam punk be part of goth culture there’s nothing in common, gothic lolita is one of the most stupidest ideas if would of known this was part of the goth seen I wouldn’t believe it or I would of believed it and I would never been part of the goth scene, victorian goth I was like wtf is this now? really in high school there were legit goths I’m sure of it and none were victorian goth as for cyber goth that is a change I’m willing to accept because at least the look is still dark and most of it’s music is dark which I’m a fan of because industrial music was the second best thing that happened to the goth scene with suvh bands like skinny puppy, wumpscut, ministry, kmfdm and many more through electro industrial and aggrotech. I care about this scene because of how I remembered it and not some gothic lolita bullcrap like ask yourself if there is a punk lolita in the punk scene or a metal head lolita in the metal scene? see now.People in the punk and metal scene don’t have worry about some costume wearing lolita, victorian etc in their subculture but I do and it sucks because for example wathching wave gotik treffen on youtube my family members including me see more than half of the people wearing costumes like for halloween like fairies, demons, serial killers dressed up and those are the times I’m actually ashamed to say that I’m part the goth scene when more than half of the people don’t look like goths and looks like halloween came early and I find hard to explain to people to why are those people dressing up and again that is not how remembered seen the goth culture in high school. My point of true goth is and what is real goth is that it started with post-punk then deathrock then gothic rock then darkwave then industrial/electro-industrial and the real goths are batcavers, deathrockers, goths, rivetheads and cybergoths.

  80. In my opinion, the actual deathrock bands are the “goth” of today. Anyway, i don’t care so much about genres, and I listen what i like without whatever it is…

  81. The 90s fucked up everything, between Marilyn manson and the “EBM” being spun. Really sad….

    I also have hope with the newer post punk bands

  82. Goth is prity Mitch dead I’m 15 years old and ther are no goth kids at my school except me I don’t no why pepole r emo or what ever goth I’d mutch

  83. Goth is prity Mitch dead I’m 15 years old and ther are no goth kids at my school except me I don’t no why pepole r emo or what ever goth Is much more cultured than emo and scene I hope the goth thing catches on again with more kids my age also better music and cloths

  84. To be honest, it seems to me that the inner tensions between sub-types of goth have cannibalized themselves. Rather than embrace our “many shades of grey” and maintain a united front many of us hold a particularly arrogant “gother than thou” attitude.

    For being a gathering of free thinking intellectuals we seem to be a rather unwelcoming bunch. Do we really dare be so hypocritical as to judge somebody else on what they wear and listen to?

    Let’s all agree the system sucks. Divided we fall, together we stand.

  85. although im not alive in the 80s golden years, i prefer the music and fashion of those days than today,
    im from a place where goth is heavily diluted with metal and cosplay(lolita & victorian). There are no regular clubs. Only 2 events a year, one is labeled goth(but all played metal), the other is better (industrial, goth rock and a little metal)
    ive always wonder, why do people put aside the roots of goth. well im confused with that

  86. I don’t think it’s dead unless it’s dead in you. No matter who the bands or the sounds, it’s the feel that made and can keep making it work. It just takes people who still have the right instincts to pull it out and back into the atmosphere. That hasn’t happened in awhile but doesn’t mean it can’t. Some young bands are actually doing it as we type. The atmosphere will never be dead, define what it was anyway -that made it. It can be made but not for mass consumption or ever turns into mass consumption. if it’s capable of that then it’s probably not it because most people will never want ‘that feel or atmosphere’. Maybe it’s s”something only we know”. This thread may never die either… :)

  87. Quran (4:104) – “And be not weak hearted in pursuit of the enemy; if you suffer pain, then surely they (too) suffer pain as you suffer pain…”

  88. Hands down, Apple’s app store wins by a mile. It’s a huge selection of all sorts of apps vs a rather sad selection of a handful for Zune. Microsoft has plans, especially in the realm of games, but I’m not sure I’d want to bet on the future if this aspect is important to you. The iPod is a much better choice in that case.

  89. I did not know about existence of Goth until I was 20 something, until I got into United states. I am an immigrant from Belarus, a country you probably never heard of or haven’t heard much. I have been a fan of the Beatles and Led Zeppelin as a child, and moved on to the likes of Tom Waits and Velvet Underground and Bowie. It was my ex-husband’s hobby to collect and rediscover music that was largely banned in our country until the 90s, and when we immigrated we listened to everything, everything good, from industrial to art rock to jazz, and brushed a little on Peter Murphy and Siouxsie Sioux, my ex loved it and moved on, but I stayed with it:-) forever. I guess I just got off on the stop I was waiting for my all life. I have been a Goth at heart and a Goth in looks for years and because the spirit of it, as the spirit of any youth subculture, was considered unacceptable and anti-social at the time and place where I was born , it gave me certain freedom that I couldn’t find in anything else. I do not think a lot of American or European Goths had that kind of reason for feeling so free and revel in it- no one really stopped them from being Goth, or Punk, once they reached adulthood. It also made me feel like I finally have direction as an artist. I have not gone through “normal” discovery of Goth culture, for me it was young and fresh -The Cure, Bauhaus, Siouxsie, Einsturzende Neubauten, Nick Cave, Joy Division, Sixteen Horsepower, Violent Femmes, Post-punk bands like Magazine, or the Gang of Four, I never cared about how close to Goth bands I love were because if they are GOOD and fit the spirit of Goth they are Goth enough for me. I think Goth will be alive as long as we perceive the art, the music, the literature readily, with eyes wide open like the first time we have seen “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” performed onstage. Things like “All those Lolitas, Victorian and Steampunk kids have wrong agendas and dress incorrectly” sounds awfully like” Get off my lawn” hahaha. They all are a part of the whole, and educating them on good music and their roots is our job. :-) But for the record, Marylin Manson is NOT a Goth. it’s a shame that he pretends to be one, and gives real Goths a bad rep.

  90. As someone who has been on the goth scene in the UK since 2001. I have noticed that it’s certainly declined in the last 6 years or so but it’s not dead. I think it’s returned to being more underground, like it was in the 1980 and 1990’s.

    The early 2000’s was certainly the era when you heard the most about it on the media. I think this was in part due to the success of Manson and Nu Metal bands and their fans being sometimes incorrectly labelled as “goth”. Many of these kids went down the Emo road but had they been born 10 years earlier, would probably have done goth – as we did.

    Back in the 80’s, 90’s and even early 2000’s there was less of a choice if you were not into the mainstream. Many fell into goth or later what was called “Alternative”. In the last few years, especially following the recession, borders within subcultures have become more mixed and transparent. Therefore you don’t get the numbers coming into the goth scene you had 15-20 years ago. In hindsight, Emo was to the 2000’s what goth was to the 90’s.

    I must admit I am not up on new bands and most of the clubs I go to generally play the same type of music; it is like being in a time warp. I personal prefer the music from the 90’s (Type O Negative, the 69 Eyes etc). I find the 80’s stuff has been played to death so have to be in the right nostalgic mood to hear it.

    Whist the clubs can still get busy, they are not full by goths only as they would have been years ago. In fact usually only about half are goths these days.

    I also attend Whitby Goth Weekend (WGW), although this has changed as some say it’s no longer a purely goth event outside the Spa (the official event). It’s still active and has been going 20 years.

  91. Well my two cents. I have to agree that not being in the uk at that time would make one playing tribute. But damn alot of people committed.
    Myself i am still in love with electronic/industrial. That noize is what does it for me.But i fell in love with peter murphy like alot of others. Maybe goth was about romanticism because i was pretty cynical on that subject..but that said, thanks to you fine folks i have a dirth of music to discover.
    My point is, anne rice went mainstream, theygot rid of all the clubs here in canada west of montreal by 95/98 to be replaced by condos. They said the club crawl was dangerous to locals. U no longer where driven to dizzying despair because u heard a song once and had to use very bit of brain power and initiative to find out if it was a single, from what country never mind the band and title. You have to admit no matter what genre u were into we were all costumed up prettygood. Even the new wavers and track suit rappers had a hairdo and outfit. And then came twilight, and the dark hasnt been the same since.
    But im not bitter to the new youth , that would not be fair or right its their time, i really notice a difference over here since 9/11. It seems all the progress we made by refusing to conform got lost or bulldozed over. Idk, just my 2 cents. I have to tell you tho im glad my kids arent walking around like looking we did. Lol. Our poor poor parents, ah, but they deserved it didnt they?! Cheers and thanks again for all the tunage.

  92. If anyone mistakenly thinks Goth is dead, I would strongly recommend a long, deep listen to The Mission’s “Another Fall From Grace” , released earlier this year, 2016.

    This is their best album to date, and I’ve been a fan since the Wasteland days. Don’t get me wrong, I love their early material, but this album has expanded the genre, redefined what it is by making it bigger without throwing away the fundamentals, whilst returning to their own mid-1980s sound. It’s quickly earned a place in my top three albums of all time, a real treat for the ears.

    And for any sceptics, I thoroughly recommend you go to see them live in 2017, they are truly excellent musicians.

    Goth is most definitely alive and healthy.



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