Goth is many things to many people and I am not here to dictate your taste. I just want to convey stories about how a music-lover lives a life filled with exciting alternative rock. I could cite the twenty best albums ever made, the top artists, the nature of the genre, and more. I have been to vast numbers of concerts and shows and love being right there in the midst of the performance. I live for these special moments. I don’t live for the mundane. We have way too much of that. The Goth culture is way more interesting. When I am not listening to music, I am reading about the history of the genre. It is broad and diverse and is associated with various names like Gothic rock, post-punk, deathrock, and darkwave. The early bands included Siouxie & the Banshees, Bauhaus, The Damned, Specimen, Ausgang, Southern Death Cult, the Virgin Prunes, 45 Grave, Alien Sex Fiend, Gloria Mundi, The Cure, Dead Can Dance, and of course, Adam and the Ants, perhaps the most well-known group of them all. Don’t you love these names? They show the international reach of the style.
Why is Goth so misunderstood, I ask you? Sure it is dark, but that is its appeal. Fans love to be in the know about something totally underground. They love the theatrically of the performances and seeing everyone in chilly black. It can get morbid, but also romantic and poetic, and there is much religious symbolism and some supernatural mysticism. It is an amalgam of many ideas. So what if it gets melodramatic. Plus, I love the menacing makeup and scary appearance of the artists. These groups inaugurated an entirely new fashion style inspired by idols like Marilyn Manson (not actually Goth by the way). It persists to this day, although less intense as an influence.
More and more great musicians have joined the bandwagon, so to speak, extending Goth in the late eighties. It didn’t stop there. The nineties witnesses a flourishing of the Goth subculture in Europe and the U.S. More and more clubs had special “Goth nights.” The music was now a cross over with industrial sounds. In essence, it was a hybrid. At one such event, I remember that a local metal band went all out to use all sorts of random sound effects. It was magnificent. I rushed home with my friends to see if we could recreate some of them. It would be great to have a synthesizer like some bands, so we had to make do my experimenting. We looked around the house and grabbed anything metal like some pots and pans, the mixer, the toaster, and a bagless vacuum cleaner from The Vacuum Challenge. We got some unique sounds out of it for sure.
The rattle and roar of the vacuum made us laugh hysterically, but in point of fact, it actually approximated the band’s sound that inspired our recreation of their music. Would you call this music? Mmmmm.