a selection of
Statements on (KALIFFORNIAN) DEATHROCK
It’s very interesting to see Deathrock growing into something more than it was in the past. I think at the time while I was in it at the beginning, we didn’t see it as a trend or something that was really labeled “Deathrock”. It was just the way we lived back then. I think it’s wonderful to see so many people around the world enjoying this lifestyle now. I find some of today’s bands just great.
SCREAMS FOR TINA
My connection with the so-called „Goth“ scene came as sort of a natural progression. I had already been going out to clubs for years… always looking for the latest trends in music. I was out seeing bands probably 4 or 5 nights a week for a long time. It started out with New Wave… went to Punk… then, New Romantic and eventually Goth. Goth, or ‚Deathrock‘, struck the biggest chord with me, though. I had heard music in the past, that I had liked, that wouldn’t be considered „Goth“, but had a lot of similar elements… dissonance, a heavy mood, and dark, thought provoking lyrics. I loved horror movies as a child and the music seemed to sort of go along the same lines, so there were several aspects to it that I immediately identified with. There was a New Romantic club in Hollywood called ‚The Veil‘, which was like a haven for trendy club goers. When the New Romantic thing started to wind down, the Goth thing started to filter in and suddenly „Goth“ and „Deathrock“ were the latest buzzwords going around town. Then, I met a guy named Tom, who was the DJ at a tiny. after hours club in Hollywood called „Seance“. He invited me there as a guest, and that became my weekly Friday night hangout until it eventually closed. It was the first real Goth club in Hollywood… playing Virgin Prunes, Princess Tiny Meat, Sex Gang Children, Bauhaus, Fad Gadget and stuff you wouldn’t hear anywhere else at the time. Five bucks to get in… (which included all the beer you could drink…) and it was open until the sun came up the next day! Screams For Tina was just forming as all this was taking place . There wasn’t really an identifiable ’scene‘ yet… it was all in the beginning stages back then.
THE DEEP EYNDE
|The idea that people need to express themselves in a darker sence will always exist, no matter how much music changes, we just need to accept the fact that it will change. Some of it might not be what we think, the fashion might not be what we are used to, but its soul comes from the same place. Viewpoints are continuously changing, but even more so, they have changed extremely since the 80’s. America has finally found itself vulnerable to the elements of the world after 911…a different viewpoint. From my perspective, the songs have become less about “me”, and more about “us”, in that we are those that need to stick together, hence “Devilchild”. It is possible that especially now, we are all we got, because America has shown it is weak and isn’t as stong as everyone thought.|
I won’t make this a political essay, but the state of our country has affected everything in some way, because there is an answer to that, a repercussion to that, a silent scream to that within every faction of art, literature, and everyday life. For any artist in America to be completely ignorant to this is a damn moron.
I started the trend of when we started headlining our own performances, we would bring our own musik to be played by the in-house DJ whether they liked it or not. To help create the mood before we went onstage. Our very first attempt was at a club called THE O.N. CLUB started by a chap named HOWARD PAAR. He was initially important to us as he let us do whatever we wanted at his club to help us form the first Deathrock alliance, to have similar personages come dressed up to his club. He gave me the opportunity to headline his club every Wednesday night for a few months allowing me to create those nights any way that I wished as he knew that my ideas and band, KOMMUNITY FK, were the brand new kick in the balls that the local scene needed. He was British so therefore HE GOT IT. We would make our own flyers advertising that we played musik by bands such as KILLING JOKE, JOY DIVISION, THROBBING GRISTLE, P.I.L., THE PASSAGE, SPECIMEN, BOWIE, MALARIA!, Les Vampyrettes, Princess Tinymeat, and other new sounding groups that weren’t being played at local clubs. At first, only 2(!) people showed up. So we played only 2 songs. Then it started to get crowded by ‚word-of-mouth.‘ We cracked it.
In my songs, especially around this time (1981-83), my lyrics were about DEATH as a romantik metaphor, about OUR kind of subculture before it really was 1 that spread, being an individual, the oncoming Apocalypse, and personal politiks. It wasn’t just about hatred like in most ‚punk‘ songs. Like in all subcultures that finally start to become exploited and opted-out, everybody starts to look exactly alike. THIS is what kills it all. Lack of originality in musik, fashion, and lifestyle.
SCREAMS FOR TINA
I never thought of Screams for Tina as Deathrock when I was guitarist 1984-1991. We were a psychedelic goth music that was atmospheric yet had punch and bite. Nowadays, I don’t get a chance to hear any new Deathrock music. No radio stations play it…At least in the 80’s we had the infamous Agent Ava at KXLU radio in LA…Underground college radio at its best..
CINEMA STRANGE / THE DEADFLY ENSEMBLE
Cinema started at a pretty stagnant time in the early/mid-nineties. We came about, partially, because it was so stagnant. Later on, Release the Bats started up, other bands started up, and people started getting creative again. More recently, it’s been more of a struggle to put the emphasis back on art. The Deadfly Ensemble is every bit about art in music and storytelling. A healthy culture needs creativity. Too much regurgitation leads to choking.
DJ Mark Splatter
|I used to sit around as a teenager daydreaming that one day there would be a scene of people interested in just the same mix of goth and punk that I was, and not just one or the other! It was (and still is) the case that you were always too goth for the punks and too punk for the goths. At least now there are people all over the world that can are interested in the same music and aesthetic! So my dreams have come true as a result of all the people that have supported the music by playing in bands, throwing the clubs and shows, publishing, promotiung and playing the records. I dont think theres much of an ideologic aspect to it. The only ideollogy I ever encountered in deathrock was a sarcastic and darkly humourous way of looking at everything else.
Well, I would say „Don’t believe the hype“ …………I know of few New UK bands or musicians in this genre who are earning a living from „Death Rock“, whereas 15 years ago, there were quite a few.
To enable bands to survive, we have to be very anti-piracy………If the labels don’t get paid, the bands don’t get paid and there is no money to pay for the Recording Studio costs and hence no more commercial releases.
Sure people can use home studios but I have never seen or heard a home studio that could record a large drumkit, loud guitars etc……Without upsetting the neighbours !!!…..Making computer music with drum machines, loops, samples & keyboards can be done, but it is simply not „Rock ’n‘ Roll“ and should be left to school children……….“If you are going to do something, do it properly or not at all“.
all interview quotes © Paul C. / Strobelight Records
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If you are around, go and try to win a copy of the new The Last Dance album „Ruins“ at „Schwarze Nacht“ Party at Dr.K’s in Schwerin (Germany). This will be your last chance to get a copy for free!
Strobelight Records is delighted to announce to have signed THE LAST DANCE for their upcoming new album ‘RUINS’. THE LAST DANCE and Strobelight Records share a long history both professional and private and we are tremendously impressed and excited by the new material these veterans of passionate and melodic dark rock have created to be […]