Gothic Council: Was Christian Death's Rozz Williams an Overhyped Douchenozzle?
One of the functions of the Gothic Council is to rule on matters of Goth-point attribution. Think of us as professor McGonagall awarding or deducting points at Hogwarts... with that act mattering exactly as much to the real world as it did in the Harry Potter books.
Recently, our own Batty posted on her Facebook, "Do I loose goth points for thinking Christian Death was luck-luster at best and Rozz Williams was a overhyped douche-bag?" [sic] I thought it a good question. What do you think?
Joing us this week is blogger Drusilla Grey, DJ Martin Oldgoth, Jvstin Whitney of the band Church of Melkarth, author Carmilla Voiez, co-founder of the Age of Decay festival Alethea Carr, and a deathrock musician who wished to be known only as the California Vampire.
Drusilla Grey: I like Christian Death. Catastrophe Ballet is a fantastic album. I can see why some might find Rozz to be an ego-maniacal douche, but from what I know of him, I think he was just an eccentric and temperamental artist.
From my experience, lots of musicians and celebs have glaring moments of outstanding douchebaggery. I really can't speak to Rozz as I really don't know what he was like. But I'm sure he had his moments.
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The California Vampire: Actually the behavior Ian McCulloch demonstrated at the Echo show in Austin last year was the way Rozz was all the time. He was really bitchy. Plus he had that annoying California accent. Like oh my God dude, totally, yah-uh.
Martin Oldgoth: From a personal standpoint I've never understood the fuss. To me they were good at one point and it seems that for reasons I've never quite grasped are rated above their contemporaries in a way I feel they don't really deserve. It seems to me that other bands from the same period, some better than them, and some, again that I just don't "get," are measured against them, unfairly I feel.
Of course they were good, but I feel they've been granted a God-like status by default that I'm not really sure they earned. I know other musicians that I call very good friends that were close to Rozz, and whilst I don't wish to upset them, what they've done musically since those days far outshines anything Christian Death ever achieved in my ever so humble opinion.
I often think that maybe Christian Death benefit from what could be called "Elvis Syndrome," people remember the good bits, and build them up to become bigger than the bad, I'm a foreigner though, what do I know?
To me he's a dead bloke that wrote some good songs. The goth and punk world is littered with them,, I just don't feel he's any better that the others, and I can't help wonder what would have happened had he lived longer, would he have become an "Eldritch," revered by as many people as there are that can't see the point of him continuing?
Jvstin Whitney: I never got in to Christian Death. I re-listened to a few albums today upon reading the topic and decided that I still don't like them; I think their popularity is due to being so mediocre, as those are the bands that end up getting the most exposure in my experience in the music business.
I can't attest to whether anyone in the band is a jerk because I've never met them. My only Goth Godfather story was when Oghr and I made fun of his girlfriend on a tour when she kept insisting Cradle of Filth was worth listening to.
Alethea Carr: I enjoy Christian Death, and also Rozz's work with Shadow Project, but I'd never comment on him as a person as I didn't know him personally. People's "performer persona" can sometimes -- for better or worse -- be quite different to their personality as a friend. And though it doesn't excuse bad behavior, the pressures of being "on" and being pursued by fans or those who would like to exploit a well-known person can turn even the nicest people into jerks at times.
Carmilla Voiez: I love Christian Death and Rozz. I've never met him and I tend to ignore tales of personalities when enjoying music. I've heard Virgin Prunes weren't a pleasant bunch to deal with, but I still love their music.
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