What was the very first record you bought?
I’d like to qualify this by saying that for years I begged/borrowed/stole music from my parents, who have good taste in music. But the first record I actually bought was The Best of Bananarama…
What is the most expensive record have you bought?
Probably a double 12″ LP of The Best of The Smiths. For some reason I forget it was a limited edition thing, and although it was secondhand and missing the sleeve, it was still pretty expensive.
What are your 5 very favourite bands ever?
In order of discovery:
Type O Negative
Name 5 bands that have changed your life?
See above! I had A-Ha (among others) instead of nursery rhymes as a kid, so they got me singing in the first place. Shakespear’s Sister’s video to ‘Stay’ gave me the first inklings that I might be a Goth. 😉 Type O Negative got my into making my own music with bands, and I owe some of my vocal inflections to Pete Steele. Within Temptation inspired me to love performing – they are the happiest band I know on stage, and Sharon Den Adel has the voice of a Goddess. Finally, IAMX have challenged me vocally like no other band; Chris Corner is an incredibly talented singer and I’ve learned so much from studying his technique.
Name your 3 favourite Gothic Fests?
Whitby Goth Weekend obviously, it’s the only place I get to see some of my more far flung friends, and I’ve played some of the best gigs of my life at The Spa.
I’ve just got back from my first M’era Luna, and I have to say I love the big outdoor festival format with Goth and other Alternative bands. Germany has a much wider interpretation of what can be put on at a Goth festival than here in the UK, and it makes for a glorious combination!
Dark Waters festival in Nottingham was also absolutely brilliant, and I’m really sad Dan and Ashe don’t run it any more. I’ve seen some fantastic bands there, and loved camping next to the river, just outside the venue in my van.
Name your 3 favourite gigs as a musician and as fan?
As a musician:
The second time Last July (one of my other current bands) played Whitby was awesome. Our first gig there was interrupted halfway through by a DJ plugging his American lapop into the PA and blowing the entire rig, so we were invited back for another try six months later. We had the biggest audience for an opening band at The Spa, and everyone absolutely loved us!
Pretending to be one half of Tim Chandler from Manuskript for their gig last August at SOS Fest in London. Dvae (my b/f) played keyboards and I sang. We did a cover of Hazel O’Connor’s ‘Eighth Day’ as well as Manuskript’s own set, and it was probably the most fun I’ve ever had on stage!
I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention Rhombus’ last gig at Whitby in April. We had a huge audience, and the atmosphere was electric! I don’t think I’ve ever felt so overpowered by the energy both on stage and in the crowd. I get so much joy from an enthusiastic audience. 🙂
As a fan:
The first gig I went to was Meat Loaf at Wembly Arena, and no-one has ever beaten it. Superb musicianship, gorgeous songs, an appearance by Jim Steinman, and a huge inflatable bat with laser eyes at the end – utterly bonkers and completely magical!
KMFDM at The Waterfront in Norwich. So energetic, fun and totally crowd pleasing. I don’t think I’ve ever danced so much at a gig, even my own!
Every single time I’ve seen Within Temptation. No-one in the world loves their job as much as Sharon Den Adel, and her joy is completely infectious. I can’t pick one gig out of the many times I’ve seen them; they’ve always been incredible.
Name the most 3 influential albums for you as an artist
Type O Negative’s ‘October Rust’. I can still remember the first time I heard ‘Wolfmoon’, on a compilation disc from Terrorizer magazine. It totally blew me away, and I went out immediately and bought Type O’s entire back catalogue. October Rust remains my favourite.
New Model Army’s ‘Thunder and Consolation’. NMA arrived in my life just at the point I was becoming more politically aware, and changed my whole perspective on life. I identify so strongly with Justin Sullivan’s nomad spirit, and ‘Vagabonds’ is one of my favourite songs ever.
IAMX’s ‘Kingdom of Welcome Addiction’. I found it difficult to pick an IAMX album for the answer to the question, as they’re all superb. But every song on this album is a stand-out track, it features Imogen Heap as a guest vocalist, and it has another favourite song of mine on it (‘The Great Shipwreck of Life’). Plus the music and vocals are both lush – intelligent, layered instrumentation and vocal prowess that I would sell my soul to possess.
Describe yourself with 3 adjectives
Chameleonic. Kooky. Colourful.
What is the most overrated gothic band?
Can I only pick one?? I’m actually not a fan of many of the ‘traditional’ Goth bands like Joy Division, The Sisters of Mercy or Fields of the Nephilim. I find their music dull and repetitive, their vocals and lyrics uninspiring. I’d also have to add all the bands that try to sound like these linchpins – do something new and exciting, guys!
What is the most underrated gothic band?
Again, I can only pick one?? It probably depends on what you count as ‘Gothic’. Manuskript have a very dedicated fan base, but deserve to be much bigger than they are – I think they should be representing us at Eurovision! I always loved The Screaming Banshee Aircrew and wish they had been given their due when they were still around. I could also count Last July – we appeal to a Goth audience after all… 😉
In which band would you have liked to play live?
TBH, I’ve played in a lot of the bands I always wanted to. I actually stole two of the members of Rome Burns because I wanted to play with them so much, and eventually got a chance to play with the whole band twice; once as ‘Last Rome July Burns’ at our friend Ade’s 50th birthday party, and again for Rome Burns’ last ever gig. Playing with Manuskript was also a dream come true, as I have so much love and respect for all the guys in the band, and their music is *so* awesome.
I suppose I have my eye on bigger bands now – how amazing would it be to sing with IAMX, Within Temptation or Duran Duran?? 😉
Name 3 new gothic bands that have caught your attention lately?
Pretentious, Moi? which is Tim Chandler’s other band. Beautiful music, and I love his and Rachel Iden’s voices.
Red Sun Revival – especially their newest album ‘Identities’. I love anything with violin in it!
Rob Leydon of Red Sun and Ed Tuke of The Screaming Banshee Aircrew (and Partly Faithful) have also recently got together to form a project called ‘Sanity Council’. Their début single ‘Skewered Blue’ is out now, and I absolutely love it! I can’t wait for the album, and I hope they play some live gigs too. 🙂
Gothic Rock or Post Punk and why?
Well, some say that Gothic Rock is a sub-genre of Post Punk, so I would say the latter as it incorporates a wider range of music. Post Punk borrowed ideas from many different influences – musical and non-musical – and wasn’t afraid to experiment with electronic music, where Gothic Rock generally uses more traditional rock instrumentation (albeit with a heavy reliance on drum machines). I love anything that brings together different genres, especially rock with electronic music, and I feel that Post Punk is where this sort of experimentation really began to flourish in the Alternative scene.