View classic goth club photos in Shannon Cottrell's “Disko.Nekro @ Monte Cristo” slideshow.
Trends may come and go, but there will always be young people gravitating towards music that's dark, dramatic and a little raw around the edges. Though the kids dressed in black now might be more into Interpol, The Killers and AFI than Joy Division, The Cure and Sisters of Mercy, they're probably ready to dig deeper into the virtual record crates. So we traveled to Koreatown club Monte Cristo for Disko. Nekro, where DJs Xian and Michael Stewart played sets focusing on classic goth and industrial, and posed the following hypothetical question to those gathered on the patio. A fifteen-year-old gothling approaches you and asks you what is the one album that he/she should own. What do you answer?
Yes, it's a tough question and, yes, we received a lot of responses like “Just one?” Still, there were some great, and often unexpected, answers. Check out the list below.
Justin Ford (right)
That's what got me started. The lyrics are very powerful, it has a good melody and also it's one of the oldest they have next to Advance and Follow, which is not as well heard of.
Steven Gardner (left)
“Bela Lugosi's Dead” (single)
“Bela Lugosi's Dead” and then work your way up. That's give-or-take the song that started it. It's a good picture what it really is supposed to be.
Mina de Sade-Fatale (right)
Stations of the Crass
If you really want to get into goth music, you have to know a little bit about punk and death rock, which kind of birthed it.
Alumiere Batista (left)
It's not quite goth. It's not quite industrial. It's one of the very early, influential electronic, synthpop albums and it's one of those that I cannot live without.
Naren Renz (of Peeling Grey)
Siouxsie and the Banshees
It is a really fucking dark and beautiful album.
Andy Smith (of Peeling Grey)
It sort of pre-dates a lot of when goth was established as a subculture. They're the roots.
The good thing about Joy Division is that they were very inspired by Velvet Underground. I wouldn't say that [Velvet Underground] are the godfathers of goth, but as far as dark underground music goes, those guys planted some seeds and didn't know how they would flourish.
Siouxsie and the Banshees
Once Upon a Time
Twice Upon a Time
It's hard to say because I would be wanting to give them fifteen albums.
“The Robots” (from The Man-Machine)
If you look at Trans-Europe Express, you're surrounded by people, yet you are alone. 'We are the robots' [“The Robots”], we're all part of a bigger machine. We are machines, but we're part of a larger machine, an assembly line. That sums it up for goth and industrial.
It's got a lot of politics as well as ideas. It's really experimental. The music isn't super brilliant, but at the same time it's innovative in that it aims to collectively push for an idea.
The goth scene is really complex. If they were into emo stuff, I might recommend something like Apoptygma Berzerk. If they were into punk, I might recommend 45 Grave or early Christian Death.
I started with Depeche Mode, so that's where I would go.
Masse Mensch Material
Burning from the Inside
There are different branches of goth. I always look at how people dance. People hear different parts of the music, so they'll follow different parts of the music. The stompy kids, they'll want industrial
Ed Korn (of Gentleman Junkie, far right)
Only Theatre of Pain
I'm from LA and I remember that whole support your local music scene. It's the first album I got into. Either that or Red Temple Spirits, if you could find Red Temple Spirits, that's the shit of the shits. It's the best. It's the most beautiful music I've ever heard.