“i’ve been called the godfather of goth”
the cure August 2012
PRINTED IN THE UK
PLUS sisters of mercy Bauhaus The Mission siouxsie killing joke damned the nephilim
Darkest Before Dawn
The dark roots of goth rock.
Andrew Eldritch Q&A
The singer of the Sisters speaks out.
How Love bloomed and broke the band globally.
Where Are They Now? Part I
The Bauhaus man on Dali’s Car and Daniel Ash.
Love And Rockets How the boys from Northampton almost took over the world.
Where Are They Now?
Part II The fate of Flesh For Lulu and All About Eve.
How Robert Smith and his band created their ‘dark trilogy’.
The New Flesh
Whatever happened to Danielle Dax and Ausgang?
Peter Murphy Q&A
Jaz Coleman Q&A The long, hard road to completing the Night Time album.
From Salvation to Skeletal Family, who populates the Black Planet?
How bands like Manson, Ministry and Zombie kept the underground growing.
Under The Blacklight Iconic images of alternative music.
Fields Of The Nephilim
Carl McCoy on his band’s resurrection.
The Banshees The horror! How the band made their conceptual masterpiece, Juju.
Where Are They Now? Part III 85 Ghost Dance and The Hunters Club place in history.
How Dave Vanian brought Phantasmagoria to life.
Into The Black How macabre took over the mainstream.
The Mission The band on top of the world in 1988.
Wayne Hussey Q&A
The Mission man on bad blood and the comeback.
Where Are They Now? Part IV 109 Rose Of Avalanche, 45 Grave and Skeletal Family.
The Vault Thirty subversive albums and songs to die for.
Wild in the country: The Cult survey their empire at Hadrianâ€™s Wall, April 1985.
With their Love album, The Cult divided their audience, confounded their critics and created a hit single that would come to define their careers.
Tony Mottram / IconicPix
Words: Dom Lawson
hile the dying embers of the British punk rock scene undoubtedly threw out a spark or three as the 80s began to gain momentum, it was the more daring and inventive ranks of the post-punk and – as it would later be known – alternative rock movements that most credibly carried the spirit of ’76 forward into a shadowy future. Whether embracing the minimalist tendencies of Krautrock or assimilating the sturm und clank of industrial machinery into the punk mix, these were bands that had no interest in repeating the past. And yet, within that supposedly forward-thinking mindset, there lurked a strong strain of conservatism that threatened to squeeze all the rock’n’roll juice out of punk’s DIY ethos. The Cult, arguably the biggest success story of this nebulous subculture’s golden era, changed all that in 1985 when they released
their second album, the monumental slab of priapic psychedelia known as Love. The story of The Cult is well documented, of course. Few readers of this magazine will need to be reminded of frontman Ian Astbury’s early days as vocalist for Southern Death Cult or that, in 1982, he teamed up with ex-Theatre Of Hate guitarist Billy Duffy and embarked on a new and more ambitious creative endeavour. Initially labelled as Death Cult, the duo released a brace of EPs, shortened their name, released their impressive but decidedly non-traditional debut album Dreamtime in 1984, and began to prod purposefully at the lower end of the UK singles charts (and the top end of the then highly influential indie charts) with propulsive gothtinged rockers like Spiritwalker and Resurrection Joe. In stark contrast to the majority of their goth peers, however, The Cult were swift to recognise that, somewhat ironically, being mere cult figures was a rather meagre aspiration and that bigger
After reaching a crisis every decade that threatened to dissolve The Cure, Robert Smith revealed in 2004 how he kept the faith by marrying the band’s three landmark albums. Words: Siân Llewellyn
here’s never been a plan with The Cure,” says Robert Smith. It’s 2004 and the frontman of one the UK’s most successful bands is holding court at London’s Olympic Studios. Head to toe in black, hair wild but bereft of his trademark smeared lipstick, Smith’s a jovial sort, and the antithesis of the material on the albums he’s here to discuss. Nearly two decades after The Cure’s Pornography album burned itself into music fans’ consciousness, Smith found himself at a crossroads. His band’s most recent studio album,
Wild Mood Swings – never before had an album been more accurately titled – had failed to set the world on fire. “For a number of reasons I had reached this point where I didn’t feel like I knew what I wanted to do, and I’d never really felt like that before,” Smith says. “I wondered if this is how it felt when it was it. When it was time to stop.” It wasn’t, but it took a long look backwards to figure out the way forward. “I tried to think what people would like us to do,” he admits. “I was trying to second-guess what The Cure meant to people rather than just worry about how I felt about it, which I’d always just done before.”
And in this period of uncertainty, Smith returned to a pair of the bleakest albums in his catalogue. “I listened back to Pornography and Disintegration one particular weekend,” he continues. “I listened to them a couple of times each. I got very drunk. And got to thinking about what makes these records so special. They are always the two records that are brought up by fans of The Cure as being the ones that seem to symbolise everything they like about us. And for me as well, they are probably the two key albums that define The Cure, so I wanted something to follow that.”
everett colection/rex features
From depressed to dotty, Smithâ€™s full gamut of emotions went into the trilogy.
Trent Reznor: nailed to the crossing.
As the 80s drew to an end, post-punk and goth rock were going overground, subverting the mainstream and turning everything but the water black… Words: Alexander Milas
he aftermath of the 80s’ goth explosion was, in a word, fragmented. Just as that shadowy form emerged from the post-punk milieu of the late 70s to varied result, the spiritual heirs to the throne of Bauhaus, The Mission, or indeed the Nephilim were as inexorably linked to other startling developments as they were to that undeniable triumvirate of romance, melancholy, and the macabre. And, just as with other genres, the prismatic effect of the 90s gave rise to a legion of groups who – if not goth per se – were unimpeachably gothic in both aesthetic and mood, and they would speak the languages first uttered by Numan and Iommi. It was the 1990s, and goth’s universal influence was finally taking shape. By 1989, a slew of bands that incorporated gothic elements
were racing toward the mainstream without ever being subsumed within the genre. Nine Inch Nails’ 1989 magnum opus Pretty Hate Machine, a cannon blast of industrial-strength wrath and pioneering sounds, would go on to achieve platinum status, but more importantly set the stage for a flood of sympathetic acts who would supply the soundtrack to that most angst-ridden of decades. Ministry, whose evolution from new wave dance pioneers to full-fledged, fire-breathing industrial banshees would reach their apex in 1992 when Jesus Built My Hotrod – a collaboration with alt-rock superhero Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers – would commandeer the airwaves and MTV which, at the time, still held sway on the opinions of music fans. Even their side-project Revolting Cocks, with their outrageously raunchy rendition of Rod Stewart’s Do Ya Think I’m Sexy, was finding traction. It paved the way for the
artists like White Zombie, whose La Sexorcisto debut would be released by major-label magnate Geffen in March of 1992. Its off-kilter but infectious take on industrial caught the imagination of a generation of fans of heavy music who would revel in their dance-sensible grooves and B-horror aesthetic. Simultaneously, off in the far reaches of Brooklyn, New York, another gothic storm was brewing, and it blew the doors off the record industry. To explain it, you need look no further than the mind of Pete Steele, who in 1989 had formed Type O Negative from the ashes of Carnivore. Owing equally to the music of Sabbath and The Beatles, it was only Steele’s humour