Monday, July 9, 2012

On Music vs. Fashion, and a little Rob Zombie

I've seen this debate in many places, from online to in print (most notably in Gothic Charm School, The Lady of the Manners approaches the subject quite charmingly) - which is more important to Goth culture, fashion or music?

Personally, I lean more toward fashion. I know that the scene proper really got started around the Goth Rock genre, and I do know my Goth music history, but do I listen to it religiously? Honestly, no. I listen to more metal than anything else, with the possible acceptation of Voltaire. But the metal I listen to usually has some spooky or scary lyrics and imagery.

I just think it takes more dedication to turn your wardrobe into a mass of dark delight than it does to do so to your playlist. Does this mean that I'm snubbing Goth music and those who favor it? Absolutely not, I just mean to counter those who would say that if someone does not listen to Goth music, then they are not a real Goth.

While we are on the subject of Goth music, I've also seen many debates on who is and isn't Goth in the music scene, which always leads to furious diatribe about Marilyn Manson. While I do like Manson (my husband and I danced to "If I was Your Vampire" at our wedding, and we have since had that phrase tattooed on our arms with matching Jack-o-Lanters for our first anniversary), I would like to shift the debate to Rob Zombie.

I've never seen him being debated as Goth or not Goth, but I really don't understand why. Sure, his music is obviously metal - as Manson's is - but look at his subject matter: witches, werewolves, zombies, and Dragula! Most of his songs have spooky overtones, and he makes horror movies; I think he at least deserves a look in.

And might I add, if it were possible to have ones own theme song that played whenever one entered a room (how cool??) this would be mine:


  1. Hmm...This is an interesting topic. As for me, I do listen to a generous amount of dark wave and Goth rock. I also enjoy dark ambient and neo-classical dark wave. All in all though, I'm like you. I listen to metal more than anything else; especially, metal of the Gothic and doom varieties.

    I have long contended that some metal (but not all) is every bit as spooky sounding as any Goth rock I've heard, if not more so.

    One thing I like doing is mixing dark neo-classical with metal. They work very well together, in my humble opinion.

  2. It is an interesting debate, Sarah. I agree with you to a certain extent. I was into alternative & metal music from the start (perhaps not specifically goth rock). Then I was attracted to the fashion and the Goth rock music at the same time. I really think it's a mixture of music, fashion, lifestyle, decor and literature etc. I don't think one aspect is more important than the other!

  3. I know alot of goths who are into Rob Zombie, but I think while noone considers the music goth, they accept there is a definite cross-over. As for Marilyn Manson, I think the contoversy arose from the fact that "mall-goths" and sullen, angst-ridden teens looked to him as a "leader" of sorts, and the older, long established goths just didn't want to be associated with that. Conversely, Rob Zombie has been around forever, and was a foray for many into goth culture, as well as bands such as Type O Negative, and the like, bands that were more for the music than controversy and showmanship. These bands were alot more accessible for many than "traditional" goth music, and for many was really the only option, especially pre-internet, as while they were "alternative", they were also given more air time. Back when MTV actually played music videos (yes, it's true, they actually did), they had metal blocks, as well as alt blocks, though they played a mix of different genres. I hope my rambling made sense...

    1. Made total sense.

      I remember MTV with music, I'm not quite that young. lol