Short Note About Goth
Well, I starting listen to Christian Death/Rozz Williams before he died. I'm not interested in gothic dressing, what gothic attracts me should be the image of dark, mystical, depression, decadence and etc. Maybe I'm a scorpio as well.
Gothic! I believe it's an extend of romanticism, an excess of illusions and surrealism. In indie music, merged from Punk and Post Punk, Gothic Rock dominated the scene around the late 70's and early 80's in UK. Musically, the contents of Gothic came from psychedelic and proto punk group like the Doors and Velvet Underground, the make up, yeah, it surely came from David Bowie and Roxy Music's Glam Rock.
While in US, this dark movement was named as Death Rock, and Rozz Williams/Christian Death was one the important group there.
Gothic also involved with quite lots of symbolism, one of the symbol Rozz created for himself was 1334. 1334 was the year when black death went peak in europe, 13 is always the special number, Rozz took it as a western view, ominous. And 34, it was the age he suicided.
Rozz Williams during Only Theatre Of Pain
Born on 6-11-1963 as Roger Alan Painter, Rozz started his artistic life when he was around 16 in his place of born, Southern California, formed a Hardcore/Punk group, the Upsetters and later Christian Death. The first line up of CD released an album called Theatre Of Pain and an EP Deathwish. However, those lead bassline, dark screaming guitar sound and the gloomy mood were enough to become a role model of all other goth followers.
Young Rozz Williams
To support the re-release of Theatre Of Pain in France, Rozz asked Pompeii 99 to back him up as Christian Death mark 2 as the first line up broke already. After releasing 2 albums, Catastrophe Ballet and Ashes with this line up. Then Rozz left CD, so to concentrate his experimental project called Premature Ejaculation, which involved flesh meats, real blood and killing/died animals in live performance.
And Rozz had lots of different projects like The Happiest Place on Earth, Shadow Project (with his ex wife, Eva O), EXP and etc. Apart from music, he also took part in installation, spoken word, acting and script writing. Pig was Rozz' last project, which is a short film about the relationship between a murderer and his victim.
The works which can surely project his never eased soul, no doubt I will choose his spoken word and the Dream Home Heartache with Gitane DeMone.
Rozz Williams is one of my favourite artists among Ian Curtis (Joy Division), Richey James Edwards (Manic Street Preachers), Nick Cave, Kurt Cobain, etc. All they spend their entire life to get to the deepest end of human soul, of love and hate.
As a musical influence, Rozz was said to be the king of death rock, but like other guys in their scene, Rozz didn't really enjoy such a name. Another things Rozz left us in music is, he pushed death rock into a upper new level with experimental/ambient noise, brought spoken word into the dark field and developed a kind of Gothic Jazz Ballad with Gitane DeMone. (Pick up a Christian Death's Ashes, you know what I mean~). Maybe I can say that, there's never a framed musical form in Rozz' mind but behind all his works, the mood and spirit were the same, music just one of his way to project himself.
Without leaving a suicide note and a reason, Rozz Williams hung himself on 1st April, 1998 in his west Hollywood apartment. Maybe this is the best ending of all sensitive souls who feel enough tired to stay alive.
Rozz Williams during Daucus Karota
*While doing these web pages, I read few articles about Rozz, it's funny to find that the first performance of Christian Death was in a club called Hong Kong Cafe in China Town..........you know, I come from Hong Kong...
*Once Marilyn Manson wrote Rozz a letter said he listened to Rozz when he was young and Rozz gave him great influenced. Well, I like Sweet Dream (only) but I don't take Marylin Manson as a Goth, as he can just capture the outlook of Goth but not the beauty lyrical contents.
*Photos in this Rozz Williams section are taken from the web sites below.
The official Site of Rozz Williams.
The Official Biography page of Rozz Williams.
A virtual memorial of Rozz Williams.
An interview of Nico B, who made the film Pig with Rozz Williams and published the book, The Art of Rozz Williams, From Christian Death to Death.
Rozz Williams' ex wife.
2 of the very good fan's sites.
the background photo is taken from