Misrepresentation in the Goth community/Interview with youtuber Hello Batty

Hey everyone! Sorry it’s been a while but college has gotten pretty awful with all the work. The October issue of Carpe Nocturne came out last week and my article about goths of color and an interview with youtuber Hello Batty was published. I got to meet and talk to many other goths of color about how excluded we all felt in a subculure that glorifies whiteness and being pale. Not everyone got featured in the article but the people that were not in it I decided to put them in this blog post. Here is the magazine article. The main question was, “Can you tell me your experiences with being a goth poc? Did you ever feel excluded or told that you didn’t belong?”

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Extra submissions from other goths:

Jadis DeHere  – “In general, being a goth POC gets your hostility from both sides. You have other POC asking you why you’re into “white people music” and you have goths saying you’re not goth enough because of your heritage. In my personal experiences, I’ve had goths make snarky remarks about my hair (comparing me to Nicki Minaj). I’m heard goth talk about the shape of certain body parts and how it looks odd in goth clothes. There are also microagressions that goth POC face constantly such as the stereotype that all goths are pale skinned. Non POC goths sometimes wear faux dreads, belly dancer’s outfits, or bindis but refuse to hear us out if we say are offended.”

James Fox” I’ve had varying reactions from people within the scene over the years, some ask me what I’m doing here (not in an angry way more a childlike and naive way) others assume I’m just putting on some kind of fancy dress costume and when I get home I’ll go back to baggy jeans and trainers, lot’s of people have assumed that I’m a drug dealer(I went through a massive phase of being asked for drugs at EVERY gig I went to a few years ago!) and quite often people try to talk to me with good intentions but come off as offensive/patronizing.
When I go to clubs/gigs I’m well aware I’m quite often the only POC there and I can deal with that but the type of situations I’ve just described heighten that isolation which makes me anxious this also make it a bit of a nightmare when it comes to dating as I feel people within the scene have a type and I’m miles away from that so I rarely bother approaching anyone cause I just assume they’re not interested.”

April (Noviceworks-tx.tumblr.com)” The issue was though—I never saw non-white people celebrated in gothic art, photoshoots, etc until a few trickled in sporadically around my late teens, not including the Gothic Lolita sub-bubble. And even then, the emphasis on being as pale as possible was really damaging. The general Goth aesthetic really reinforced the white supremacist ideals of beauty that already permeate the world at large, and it’s not really surprising considering the other values of the century classic goth is meant to emulate. 

And in keeping with that, the more opulent styles of Goth—classic, vampire, romantic, etc—all center around worshiping the upper class of an era that got it’s wealth from ravaging POC countries. It would get really awkward looking at Victorian styles, or hearing people want to ‘go back’ to that era when I had in mind that I’d most likely be a slave in a sugar cane field at the time. The Gothic gods of literature, say HP Lovecraft, would have all been disgusted at the idea of me being able to read their work, and that always KILLED me.”

Patty (carryonmywaywardangel.tumblr.com)“The strangeness when being a POC that is an ally for others, you can see the appropriation everywhere in Goth culture.  Ankhs, crosses, typical religious symbols worn for their darker aesthetics.  And also, the fashionably offensive and off-putting way Western goths try to incorporate Asian themes.  From their flimsy fans to making their eyes purposefully thinner than usual. I understand they are appreciating Asian culture in their own way, but it’s racist.”

Many people came to me and thanked me for writing about this topic and I’m glad I could help inspire and motivate others!
Here is my article with Hello Batty that was featured as well.
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I had been working on this interview with her for quite some time so it’s great I got it finished! She was a delight to talk to. Click on the photos to view them better.

Campy, creative, pop culture inspired headpieces by THE FAB HATTER

I spend too much time browsing instagram for inspiration and interesting things to write about. I’m a huge fan of Rupaul’s Drag Race and was looking through the tag when I came across some amazing head pieces by someone named The Fab Hatter. Their name is Fang and lots of their pieces are influenced by what the queens on RPDR wear along with Fang’s own touch of unique styles.

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Fang (pictured above with one of their works) was able to do a small interview with me so I could learn more about where all these ideas come from.

What are your inspirations for making your pieces?

Fang: Basically, 90% of what I see I want to turn into a hat, but my major influences include
drag queens, club kids, art, pop culture, toys, taxidermy, animals, and food. I have absolutely no fashion or millinery background, I studied genetic engineering and politics, so I’m no constrained by traditional ideas of what a hat should be.
Almost all of my hats are made of unusual or found materials.

How long does it take you to make each one and how did your business get started?

F: Sometimes hats take years to make as I gather the parts or just because I get side-tracked with other things.

Generally speaking, prototype hats takes 10-15 hours each of actual construction time to make, once I get the technique down I can typically make them in around 2-5 hours.05 - kul4pJs

I started making and wearing unusual hats a few years ago. It was after watching S1E1 and seeing Ongina’s Barbie headpiece that I realized hats didn’t have to be so mundane. I started with a lobster hat inspired by Salvador Dali. It was made out of a mouse pad and a loofah. Later, I traveled extensively overseas. I had to travel light so I would stick my souvenirs to a hat and wear them around. My hats started getting me a lot of attention and I had a lot of people buying them off my head or asking me to sell them online, so that’s what I did.

Lacey Noel modeling a piece inspired by season 3 RPDR winner Raja

Lacey Noel modeling a piece inspired by season 3 RPDR winner Raja

I see you’re a big fan of Rupaul’s drag race! Who were some of the queens you were rooting for this season? Has any queen from the show seen your work?

F: My favorite queens of this season were Max, Violet, Trixie, and Katya, in no particular order. I’ve already made a couple of Trixie Mattel inspired hats. My favorite Queen of S8 will be Kim Chi, because I don’t understand how she WON’T be cast.

Generally speaking, I love queens who wear hats. My favorites overall are Raja, Manila, and Ongina.

I live in LA and I go to World of Wonder events so I’ve met a few queens there or just hanging around the city. A few of them follow me on social media and have even contacted me stating that they love my pieces too! Off the top of my head, some queens that have seen my work have been Rupaul, Phi Phi O’Hara, Manila Luzon, Ongina, Raja, Raven, Morgan McMichaels, Kelly Mantle, and Langanja Estranja.

I also made the “Carrie” hat that won “Top Toot of the Week” on the Dragcon episode of the Fashion Photo Ruview.

What are some of your favorite hats you’ve made so far?

F: I love all my hats as I’m my own muse. I wear them everyday, I never go out without a hat, even if it’s just for something mundane like going to the grocery store.

My lobster hat that started it all is probably my favorite for sentimental reasons. I also have a percher hat made out of beetle wings for when I want an understated look. I also just made a museum gallery top hat that has digital paintings that play slideshows of modern art.

Do you have any other pieces in the making? If so, can you give us a hint of what they’re influenced by?04 - 6uUiNcM

F: Last year when I counted I had over 617 hat ideas, for real, that I want to make. I get inspired by something every day. They’re influenced by everything, but the ones that are going to be coming out soon are some hats inspired by art (particularly surrealism), animals, drinks, and monuments. I’ll also be making more drag inspired hats.

I also plan on making unusual hats for chemo patients. They would be close-fitting hats cut to resemble haircuts, but they would be made out of interesting patterned wool. Think neon blue bobs, leopard print Josephine Baker hairdos. I’m still a couple months away from launching that. I need to raise up the money for materials and I need to take millinery classes.

I’m a big supporter of giving back and doing volunteer work, I volunteer at least one full day a week doing charity work. Right now I usually volunteer at a hospital with the critical carepatients or in the Emergency Department. Also for every $100 I sale I donate at least 1 hour of time to charity, since these sales allow me to have a more free schedule that allows me to both continue with my studies and to volunteer.

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Where can you find The Fab Hatter?

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Deviantart
Etsy
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Facebook
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Goth/Alt people from around the world #4: Redtail

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What’s your name? (Or what do you go by?)
Redtail

How old are you?
mid-twenties, let’s not get into detail.

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Where are you from?
Taipei, Taiwan

Describe your style.
If I have to put my main style in one term I might say Witchy New-Romantic.
But it’s more like an 90’s take of it.
Like somewhere between Rozz Williams, Boy George and the movie The Craft.
It’s still very dark tone goth style with all the black, leather and lace.
But also mix with print, and some colors here and there, like the old goth pun “putting the fun in funeral.”
Big earring, choker and hats are pretty essential for my outfits.

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How did you become interested in your style of fashion?
I grow up with 90’s anime, that says extreme lots about me.
There was a lot of dark and androgynous style going on back there, Gothic Lolita was my very first introduction to gothic culture.
Also like every goth of my generation, The Addams Family and Tim Burton happened.
Music is definitely another big turning point, way before I got into the goth theme I was into more pop-punk and J-Rock style of music.
Which reacting as my beginning of rather alternative style, then it just keep evolving and maturing as with my musical taste.

Where are you favorite places to shop for your style? Or do you make your own clothing?
Second-hand and discount sessions, or discount session of second-hand store.
Main reason being that’s the only place I can afford, but that also representing more of a trad goth/punk spirit in my opinion, or in my defense.
But for real, even if I’m wealthy i would still prefer second-hand, you can find stuff that’s way more interesting in the market and the finding progress is a fun adventure.
And it’s way better to just wear things actually from the 80’s and 90’s than the resemble of it.
I make some accessory myself, and do modification to my clothes as well. Again, trad spirit.SONY DSC

Who/what are your influences?

Music of course.
80’s Goth, New Romantic to 90’s Alternative Rock and Industrial especially.
Also 90’s anime/manga like I mentioned earlier.
Harajuku fashion had very strong impact on me when I was younger, and you can still sea some leftover from that here and there.
But I would say my biggest inspiration is from clothes itself. Since shopping for me is more about what I can find than what I want to find.
So while I got a taste reflating out of music, styling is more about how I could mix those pieces I got and create my own style out of it.

What does your fashion taste say about you?
My dark interest, some hints of music taste, but most importantly, I’m being true to myself.

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Redtail is absolutely one of my top fashion/make-up inspirations on Tumblr.

You can follow them right here.

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If you have a cool alternative/goth style you would like to show off, send me an email!

Goth/Alt people from around the world #3: Manic Moth

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A young illustration student that has a passion for Gothic fashion and fantasy, she has one of the most interesting styles I’ve come across so far.

What’s your name?
– I go by Manic Moth

Where are you from?
– I’m from Germany

unnamed (1)Describe your style:
– My style is influenced by all kind of different Gothic styles but I would say that my main source of inspiration is fantasy literature. I love all kind of dark fantasy creatures and I try to reflect their morbid beauty in my style. For that I try to achieve a costume-like look that’s inspired by these creatures. Aside from fantasy I am also often inspired by historical art and fashion.

How did you become interested in your style of fashion?
– I was never really interested in “normal” fashion which changes all the time. Since I was a child I read fantasy literature and I was very interested in history as well. I thought that everything I read in those books or saw on old paintings seemed much more interesting than the fashion you can usually see in the shops. Later I got into Gothic music which is a genre that influenced me very much. I loved the morbid and melancholic beauty of the music as well as the Gothic looks.

Where are your favorite places to shop for your style? Or do you make unnamedyour own clothing?
– I can’t name any specific shops where I mostly buy my clothes since I rarely buy something new. There are some German websites though, like kleiderkreisel.de where you can trade your clothes against the clothes someone else doesn’t want anymore and I found some really nice pieces there. I also got a lot of stuff at lingerie stores that I just wear as or over my regular clothes. Some of my outfits I sewed myself, but there I mostly redesign stuff I bought rather than creating something new from scratch. When it comes to shoes I would recommend the brand Demonia.

Who/what are your influences?
– Fantasy, history, Gothic music and style.

What does your fashion taste say about you?
– I don’t know if it really says something about me besides that I love the dark beauty of things and that I hear Gothic music although I would hope that it creates something magical compared to all the typical fashion that is aimed at selling you goods instead of letting you create and fulfill yourself.

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I loved learning about her out-of-this-world diverse styles.
You can find her on her Tumblr: Manic-Moth

If you have a style you’d like to show off, please check out the “Want to be featured here?” link at the top of the page!

ANNI PENG Co-Founder/Creator of unisex concept store BROKE BITCH

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Anni Peng and her husband were sick of the gender roles that we are forced to live under from birth. So in April of 2014 they created the BKBT Concept store to knock down societies rules and expectations. They claim to be one of the few businesses that enforce unisex fashion and I can believe it. Most stores in person and their websites still have the typical “guys only” “girls only” sections. Their mission is to “create a shopping experience where people would shop freely, and we believe that social norms cannot determine our gender roles, primarily, the way we dress. We believe in gender-neutral roles.”

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Along with learning more about her work, I asked her a few questions about herself personally to learn more about the rad person behind the influential brand.

Here’s her short bio:

PENG: I graduated from The University of Oregon 2013, majoring in neuropsychology and philosophy.
Fashion and business have always been my passion, so my husband and I started BKBT Concept (Broke Bitch) in April, 2014. We’ve been growing the business as of late, I am the creative director, helping establish the aesthetic of the store and shopping experience on our site

What’s everything you do for a living these days?

PENG: I am the Co-founder and Creative Director at BKBT Concept full time.

How would you describe your personal style?

PENGI don’t really try to put myself in any category, I dress for my inner feelings and for my soul, not particularly for particular person or societal group. I definitely prefer the dark silhouette/goth style.
I started dressing like that at around 15/16 years of age. I was even in a goth band! Haha.

Since you were in a goth band, are you still involved with music in any way? I just find all of this so cool. 8 copy

PENG: I am currently not involved in any music, because the business schedule can get really crazy sometimes! However, if I have a chance in the future, I would continue!

What kind of things inspire you with your fashion?

PENG: Ann Demeulemeester and Rick Owens are my muses. I was also heavily influenced from X-japan, Malice Mizer when I was a teenager. Haha.

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“BKBT Concept regularly blurs the boundaries between genders, we want to provide a fit in our clothing that allows the consumer to express themselves without limitations.”

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You know another cool thing I forgot to mention about Broke Bitch? They show a diversity in models. All of this is taking a step forward in the right direction. I hope for big things for Anni and her husband with this and their projects.

You can find them on their store’s website: bkbtconcept.com

Their twitter: bkbtconcept

Anni’s instagram: pimp_ap

Anni’s website: AnniPeng.com

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Interview with the lead singer of upcoming synth-pop, darkwave band, ESOTERIK

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Hello everyone! This week, I was able to talk to Allison Eckfeldt of Esoterik. They formed in January of 2013 in Oklahoma City and already they have been able to tour outside of the country and have developed a genuine fan base. Allison is the lead singer. Brady Bledsoe plays guitar, keyboards, synthesizers, and sings. Austin Hayes does keyboards and synthesizers as well. The interview with Allison is below. She is so sweet!

 On your bands website, Esoterikmusic.com, you say that you are actively involved in many things to keep the spirit of goth alive, what are they?
Eckfeldt: This is a question that is difficult for me to answer briefly..but I’ll do my best! Since I (Allison) was born in 1990 I missed out on everything from the 80’s; which seems to be the case that I see in the gothically inclined individuals showing up on the scene nowadays. I’ve gotten into the habit of explaining to an older person in the scene when they are in shock that I haven’t heard of a certain band, movie or article that; “It’s not that I was living under a rock during in the 80’s; It’s just that I wasn’t born yet.”
Every gothic related band, fashion magazine/or article, interview, and videos/movies that I’ve found from the late 70’s and early 80’s, a time period I enjoy the most for the scene, I had found due to scouring the internet. So when I say I actively am wanting to keep the goth spirit alive that is because I am doing my best to give out the information I find to youth who want it and ask me for it or have a desire to dig deeper. I feel like the true spirit of the subculture is in its roots… which to me started in the late 70’s… but even if someone doesn’t have a pandoras box of knowledge, that doesn’t matter, the best way to keep the spirit of the subculture alive is to simply support the artists. Go to shows, talk with the artists, make friends at the venues or clubs, pick up some instruments and jam, just be active in the scene. This is what I do to keep the spirt of goth alive, it may seem small, but with some love and attendance that’s how anything grows and blossoms.
How did you and the rest of the group come together in Oklahoma City?

Eckfeldt: I had tried out as a bassist for Brady’s other project he was in, but they broke up not to long after the try out. 

Fast forward about two years and I was swimming in lyrics I had being writing patiently dreaming of the day I could put melodies to them. The only logical thing was that it was time to present them to another individual and start the process of being in a band from scratch. 
I knew that creativity and melodies dripped from Brady’s veins so I HAD to work with him and snatch him up before another band did. It wasn’t even a question in my mind of who I should ask to jump into this project with me. 
He said yes, I sent him lyrics, which he wonderfully cleaned up, for two tracks and he produced two beautiful melodies for us. 
At the time we had thought we would just work as two musicians only. Preforming that way as well.
But then Austin rolled into our sights and after both Brady and I spent time with him it just felt like a perfect fit for the band. 
It all happened in a really organic and natural way. 
10881543_10152990085066908_2844423957983803753_nListening to your music I get Depeche Mode and Siouxsie Sioux vibes, are they big influences to you? What groups inspired you?

Eckfeldt: Oh yes. I love Depeche Mode’s ‘Some Great Reward’ album and know every single track off of it by heart… and Siouxsie inspires me not only as a musician and performer but as a revolutionary women. I own ALL of her albums but my favorite is ‘Superstition’. At least six tracks on that album hit so close to home for me, the tracks ‘cry’ and ‘little sister’ literally cause me to tear up if my emotions are just right.

Esoterik’s own sound is heavily influenced by darkwave, New Wave, and Synth-pop.
But as far as my big personal influences go… The bands called ‘The Blood Brothers’, ‘At the Drive in’, ‘Circa Survive’, ‘Dance Gavin Dance’ and ‘Neon Blonde’ made me want to be a musician and be on stage in my early teen years. 
As a performer I’m inspired by Cedric Bixler-Zavala, Anthony Green, and Johnny Whitney.
As a vocalist I am inspired by Ian Curtis, Tina Root, Justin Warfield, Florence Welch, and Harry McVeigh.

Where has been your favorite place to perform? Who’s the best crowd?

Eckfeldt: Well so far in our touring journey I would have to say Germany is my favorite place to perform. Hands down without a single doubt. The general love and appreciation of music is incredible in Germany. 

As far as a ‘best crowd’ goes, there is no crowd that outdoes another because the people who have shown up to support Esoterik where ever we perform are all the ‘best crowd’. I’m grateful to be on stage and be able to connect with people through my music no matter the size of the crowd or the crowd participation. 

How long have you been a freelance Illustrator and Concept Artist? What kinds of things do you create?

Eckfeldt: I’ve been drawing my entire life and selling artwork for half of my life so it’s hard to say when I officially started freelance; but I draw, paint, and sketch anything my soul tells me to. It’s therapy for me just like music is.  (She does all the art work for her album covers!)

Are there any musicians you would love to collaborate with one day? 10847958_619605191494991_2895398962517434311_n

Eckfeldt: Several actually! Siouxsie Sioux, Anne Marie Hurst, Stevie Nicks and Nina Hagen.

What are some of your goals for Esoterik?

Eckfeldt: Have fun, continue creating, Meet tons of fans and make new ones, give out love and integrity, and Tour as much as humanly possible all around the globe.

Are there any big projects you’re all working on currently? If so, can you give us hints of what they might be?

Eckfeldt: YES! LOTS! One of them being our new album! Which is close to being completely wrapped up… along with a visually exciting new music video for an unreleased track off of the new album. 

-Allison Eckfeldt
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Her passion for gothic and eighties culture is admirable. I appreciate how much they are influenced by original synthpop, yet they find a way to keep it fresh. I can’t wait to see Esoterik live one day! Here are some of their videos on Youtube. What do you think?

THE ART OF GOTHIC Interview with author Natasha Scharf

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Natasha Scharf is a writer, author, DJ, and broadcaster. She is the founder of Meltdown magazine and is well known in the UK Alt scene. Scharf has recently released a new book called The Art of Gothic that goes into detail about the Gothic culture, the music that compliments it, the important people involved with it, and more. I was lucky enough to get in contact with her to find out more about her books and work.

Meltdown Magazine was a huge hit in the UK while it was still in print. How do you manage to keep the spirit of Meltdown alive after all these years?

Well, ‘meltdown’ was my baby and, in many ways, it was an extension of my personality so I guess it makes sense that all the things I’ve done subsequently – from radio and television to my more recent books – have also reflected my personality. They have an essence of that spirit, if that makes sense. Of course, ‘meltdown’ also had a wonderful pool of contributors, without whom I couldn’t have maintained a quarterly ‘zine.

Back when I started ‘meltdown’, my aim was to take goth seriously as a subculture, style and genre and that’s something that I still maintain. And I don’t mean that ‘meltdown’ never had a sense of humour because that’s one of the things that readers really liked about it! Goth is such a creative movement and contains some of the most incredible talent so I’ve always worked hard to push that and get goth-related articles commissioned in publications and on websites that you might not necessarily associate with goth. For me, it’s all about getting goth out to new audiences that I know will appreciate it once they hear or read about it.

How do you balance being an author, DJ, broadcaster and a music journalist?

They actually work in harmony with each other because they’re all ways of communicating about music. I’m always listening to new sounds and always discovering exciting new things so by embracing different mediums, I can choose the most appropriate way, or ways, of getting those discoveries out there.

When I first started mixing mediums in the early ‘00s, I had criticism from people who accused me of getting “too big for my boots” because they thought I was on some kind of power trip. I never understood those accusations because that wasn’t what I was doing. In my mind, I was simply looking for opportunities and openings to spread the good word of goth and maximising the mediums that were available. Fast forward 10 years, and it seems like everyone uses multiple mediums now so maybe I was ahead of the trend?!

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Your first book, Worldwide Gothic: A Chronicle of a Tribe, really delved into the origins of Goth culture and how it’s still strong present day around the world. How did the process go for writing the book? How did you know what would be right to put in and what to leave out?

‘Worldwide Gothic’ collated a lifetime’s worth of research into one book. Until I started ‘meltdown’, I hadn’t really given much thought to the different goth scenes around the world and so when I started finding out about them, I was so excited and wanted to know more. Over the years, I’ve interviewed bands from all over the world but no one had actually knitted all those dark threads together into one book. There have been books on goth in different countries and Mick Mercer’s ‘21st Century Goth’, which was a brilliant directory of international goth bands but no one had actually written a book that effectively told the story of goth from a global perspective. So that was my task and it was no mean feat.

The publisher (Independent Music Press) and I discussed the best way of doing this and we came to the conclusion that telling the story chronologically, rather than doing it per country, would be most appropriate. I drew up a paper timeline so I could spot any parallels and it was really interesting to go back and see all the cross pollination with, say, elements of London’s Batcave Club influencing LA’s deathrock movement. They’re things you’re not always aware of at the time. I had just over a month to carry out any additional interviews and write the book to a fixed word count so it was really tough. I tried to include as much as I possibly could but I was governed by time and word limits, although I did have to cut the finished manuscript down to size in the end! Really, the book ended up writing itself from all the raw interviews I’d collected over the years and I only really needed to make sure everything was in the right place and flowed properly.

Music and scenes move so quickly that whenever you write a book, it’s going to be out-of-date by the time it’s published so I was lucky that this one came out soon after I’d finished it so it is still fairly contemporary, three years on. Despite what some corners of the media think, goth is still very much alive and constantly evolving so I knew that it would be impossible to include every single band, every single event and every single everything that had ever happened but, looking back on it, I think the finished book is fairly comprehensive.

Your new book, The Art of Gothic: Music + Fashion + Alt Culture, was released back in October. What inspired you to write another book? What was the funnest part while making it?

Again, my inspiration was simply a desire to tell a story that hadn’t yet been told. As I mentioned before, goth is hugely creative but no one had actually put together a book on the art that’s come out of this scene. Yes, some visual aspects have been featured in books like Gavin Baddeley’s ‘Goth Chic’, Mick Mercer profiled several artists in ‘Hex Files’ back in the 1990s and there was Tiffany Godoy’s gorgeous ‘Japanese Goth’ book, but no one had created a book that was exclusively about gothic art as a whole – that is, art relating to or created by the goth subculture. I was very insistent that it would include both well-known and underground artists, as well as album cover art, sculptures (including hand-made dolls), manga and comics, fine art, photography etc. It was originally intended as the natural progression to Omnibus Press’ ‘The Art of Punk’, which touched on some of the early post-punk album covers and just took on a life of its own. It seems my projects have a habit of doing this!

I started work on ‘The Art of Gothic’ back in 2011 and it was wonderfully indulgent to spend hours, days, weeks, months looking up so much gorgeous art, tracking down the artists, discovering some of my favourite pieces were by the same artists and learning the stories behind them. I really enjoyed that and I loved uncovering new art too. Probably the toughest part was cutting down my original wish-list of artwork so it would fit into the book, which is part of a series on genre-defined art.

How has the overall response been to your books?

It’s been really positive. I’ve had some great feedback from my signings and it’s been especially gratifying to have goths come up to me from countries like Czech Republic, Brazil and Israel saying they were so excited that I’d included their favourite local band in ‘Worldwide Gothic’. I also really love it when people tell me that they’ve discovered certain artists or artistes through my work and even more so, when I’ve had them tell me that they’ve actually rediscovered goth through my work.IMG_8422-By_Taya_Uddin

What are some of your favourite bands that have influenced you?

I have so many! I make new music discovery almost on a daily basis so I have the longest list of favourites and they’re always changing but one constant is definitely Siouxsie And The Banshees. I’ve been a fan of theirs since the late ‘70s and was over the moon when they gave permission for us to use some of their single covers in ‘The Art Of Gothic’. Their music has influenced the way I edit and pace my radio documentaries and features – I use a lot of experimental music production techniques to add colour and create unexpected textures to my sound work, which has become a bit of a trademark.

What style of Goth are you more drawn to? (Gothic Lolita, Cybergoth, Deathrock, etc)

I’ve always considered goth to be more of an umbrella for all things dark and interesting so I would say that I’m simply drawn to goth, in all its shapes and forms! I like to mix and match.

Do you have any other big projects in the making? If so, can you give us a hint of what they will be?

Yes, I do but I’m not allowed to talk about any of them yet! Let’s just say, I will have more books coming out in the future and there may even be some fiction too!

Here is a short ad for it, featuring gothic model Lady Amaranth.

‘The Art of Gothic’ by Natasha Scharf is out now through Omnibus Press (UK and Commonwealth) and Backbeat Books (North America). For news of signings and events, visit: www.facebook.com/artofgothic 

*all photo credit goes to Taya Uddin