Since it first emerged from the shadows some thirty years ago, the Goth subculture has been scrutinised by many… yet it still remains completely misunderstood by most. Over time Goth has been snubbed, ridiculed and sometimes even feared. So what is it really all about?
Well, the truth of it is that Goth is a whole lot bigger than most people would ever imagine. It is not simply a type of music or a way of dressing; it is more a way of life. Being a part of the Gothic subculture is about thinking and feeling a certain way. Goth is enshrouded in darkness, romance, introspection and mystery; which is exactly why it has appealed to so many people over the years.
If you thought that ‘being a Goth’ meant ‘being a clone’, then you would be very wrong indeed. This is a subculture that is bubbling over with individuality and creativity. Goths may favour black clothes (on the whole), but these garments are available in a myriad of different styles. It is impossible to pin down the Gothic ‘image’ to a single ‘look’ because it has so many different facets; Victoriana, Cyber, Post Punk, Classic, Neo, Cowboy, Pre-Raphaelite… the list goes on.
And as far as Goth music goes, there is an equal amount of diversity on offer; from the dark and industrial rhythms of Joy Division, the Ennio Morricone inspired guitar sounds of (the early) Sisters of Mercy or the jangling melodies of The Cure.
Goth has also flirted with many other musical genres over the last three decades and there have been some very interesting results (Down Tempo Trip Hop, Darkwave and Black Metal to name but a few). It has even had a few brushes with more mainstream music over the years and quite a number of Goth-flavoured ‘pop songs’ have found their way into the Top Ten…
You are probably beginning to realise just how creative the Gothic subculture actually is. It really is a smorgasbord as far as imagination is concerned! The Goth scene may have taken inspiration from many areas of the arts, but it has certainly put back just as much (if not more).
So the next time you pass some darkly attired individual in the street, you will now be far more aware of what he/she is a part of. Goths have been around for many years and there are certainly no signs of things changing anytime soon.