Holy shit y'all, I am so honored that one of the co-founders of World Goth Day agreed to do an interview!! This is absolutely epic, and its really cool to learn more about the people behind this event and how it came to be!
Q: Tell the readers who you are and what WGD is all about.
A: World Goth Day is the annual celebration of the gothic subculture in every medium, although for most of us it’s about the music. When it began, I wanted it to be a day of fun stuff and something that would carry on for years to come under its own momentum through the goth community & not just get lost in distant memory after a few years.
So far, the plan seems to have worked.
Q: How did the idea come about?
A: The initial seeds of the idea were planted when BBC 6Music (an English radio station) broadcast a ‘music subculture weekend’ in 2009 where they would run a full day of music, interviews & documentaries for three genres; Punk, Goth and Britpop.
I got an idea in my head that the specific day of goth music and interviews (May 22nd) might be something we might expand on & run with around the whole of the UK, encouraging people to wear their goth clothes to work or dig out their long-lost vinyl for a good airing, stuff like that. To that end, I wrote a Myspace blog laying out a manifesto for ‘Goth Day’ (now long disappeared into the ether, never to be found again, sadly). I’d also created the ‘Goth Day Smiley’ as a visual representation of Goth Day, albeit very quickly in Photoshop...
Q: Did y'all expect it to take off as much as it has?
A: I didn’t expect people to actually read the Myspace blog at all, no! But they did and boy did they run with it. So in 2010, international goth DJ and all-round decent fella Martin Oldgoth and I discussed the idea of making ‘Goth Day’ a worldwide thing, launching a proper website for it too (www.worldgothday.com). We pushed ‘World Goth Day’ hard, and people asked us to keep it going year after year. So that’s exactly what we did until promoters and organisers eventually kept it running by themselves, which was always the plan from the start.
Q: How did you enter the goth scene?
A:Just like everyone else on the scene; a leaning toward the strange & unusual since childhood and an excessive amount of teenage malady thereafter until the recipe was just right to do something constructive with that hot mess.
Q: Who is your favorite goth band?
A: When I’m at work I tend to oscillate wildly between the oldest Killing Joke back catalogue and listening to a LOT of new artists because the latter is the fuel to my monthly DJ mixes which I call ‘The Fadeout Session’. You can listen to these mixes at https://www.mixcloud.com/BatBoySlim/
As for current favourites, I’m loving Vision Video, Kristeen Young and Pilgrims Of Yearning, I’m looking forward to catching them all live in the UK over the coming months.
Q: Why May 22nd?
A: The day of goth music & interviews on BBC 6Music that I spoke about earlier took place on May 22nd, 2009. We’ve kept that date ever since, but obviously the day itself isn’t convenient much of the time for events so most people basically just plan their events around the week either outside of the 22nd.
Q: If you could go back in time, what is one piece of advice you'd give to yourself as a baby bat?
A: “Ease off the crimpers, fella”. My hair is getting pretty thin on top now after decades of heat damage, bleach & hair dye abuse and I’m running the risk of looking like Riff Raff from ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’. And not in a good way…
8. If you were a salad, what dressing would it have?
A: Honestly, I’d be potato salad. I’m looking pretty much like the stuff now anyway.
I can eat a pot of that nonsense in minutes flat, whoever invented the stuff needs a medal because OMGWTF.
Q: What do you feel is the biggest problem in the goth community today?
A: There’s a few problems and I try not to focus on them too much because they exist in all scenes, be it rock, hip hop or whatever. Once I become ‘that guy’ and fall down a rabbit hole obsessing about a particular problem then I lose all perspective and I’d rather not do that!
By the same token, the goth community is very in tune with mental health awareness and it probably has the most supportive network of people I have ever seen in any community. It’s great that people on the whole now feel comfortable enough to say out loud “you know what, I’m not okay today”, and then for everyone to immediately take that on board and support them.
Q: What do you want to say to anyone who reads this?
A: Life is fleeting, don’t waste a second of it on people who tell you that you can’t be your weird self unless they’re paying all your bills.
And even then, at least stay a little weird.
Do the grocery run in a hearse. Raise an army of raccoons. Whatever. Make your weird count.