A little while back, I was tasked with defining the seven ages of goth. Basically, the goal was to go from the birth of the genre to its modern forms and incarnations based on the years which each of those subgenres were at their height. It was a fair bit of writing that pleased pretty much no one because goths are happiest when they're pointing out how much more they know about goth than you, but there was always one huge, glaring omission to the article that I couldn't hide: Nick Cave.
The man, whom as I've pointed out is awesomely insane, defies all attempts to nail him into a box. It's not just that you have to deal with the fact that he's fronted three iconic bands with three totally distinct sounds in addition to his solo work, it's that even within those bands he has never, ever fit in with a defined period of gothic evolution.
Yet, there is absolutely no doubt that Cave is one of the highest-credentialed goths around. He's an anomaly, woven inside a movement without directly affecting or being affected by that movement.
I had given up attempting to categorize the man on my own, and decided it was time to have the Gothic Council rule on Mr. Cave's rightful place in the gothic world. Joining me this week is living historian Morrighanne Burns, Hex of the deathrock act Culture Decay, Church of Melkarth's Jvstin Whitney, DJs Regen Robinson and Martin Oldgoth, blogger Drusilla Grey, and Carmilla Voiez, author of Starblood.
Morrighanne Burns: He's a morbid cowboy with the heart of a lion and the soul of Oscar Wilde. I have never been a huge uberfan of Cave's music, but from reading his novels and watching films based on his screenplays I have come to appreciate him more as I have aged.
Hex: He's a post punk icon with a quick temper, a strange fascination with the Deep South and gave birth to the name of a very famous song that inspired a very well known deathrock night.
Jvstin Whitney: Pussy.
Rocks Off: I'm sorry?
Jvstin Whitney: I shouldn't need to elaborate. He's a weepy crybaby that no one with measurable amounts of testosterone should want to ever listen to. I remember an ex-girlfriend who made me listen to his garbage all the time and I was all, "You're probably always depressed because you listen to this pussyfest all day. "TURN UP THE FUNKER VOGT AND DANCE FOR FUCK'S SAKE."
Regen Robinson: He is an one of those artists that is so hard to categorize because he spearheaded his own unique category. Although I agree with Jvstin via my personal music tastes..."turn up the Funkervogt."
Drusilla Grey: He lives in the realm between madness and genius. He creates his art for art's sake, not for mass appeal. He follows his muse and all else be damned. And that fierce artistic individuality and his subject matter tends to be what attracts many Goths.
I personally love most of his music. I have read his book The Death of Bunny Monroe and found it interesting. I have enjoyed the films based on his screenplays. I have not read his Bible translation.
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Martin Oldgoth: He's the bastard son of Johnny Cash, simple as that.
Carmilla Voiez: I find him difficult to define as well. Sometimes lounge singer, sometimes poet, sometimes pure goth. While I love the Birthday Party and the Bad Seeds, I don't find the same connection with a lot of his solo stuff. "Weeping Song" remains one of my absolute favorites.