Friday, 15 April 2011

Dominion Magazine: interview with DJ Cruel Britannia about World Goth Day

Taken from Dominion Magazine, April 14th:

The Crazy World of Cruel Britannia on World Goth Day

By Cassandra on Apr 14, 2011 | In Features | Send feedback »

World Goth Day according to Cruel Britannia.
World Goth Day is quickly approaching. To those few people not in the know, it's on Sunday May 22 and it's a world wide phenomenon. I spoke to Cruel Britannia, the man behind the initial idea of this weird and wholly wonderful venture. The result of my enquiries is what I expected of Cruel: a tongue-in-cheek and rather amusing insight.
I asked Cruel ''why on earth did you think that us down-trodden Goths were worthy of a World Goth Day?''. He said ''In short, why not?''.

Initially the concept was started by a weekend special of musical genres on BBC 6Music back in 2009 and the day that concentrated on goth music was May 22nd. They ultimately made a good job of it from what I heard on the radio. The first I heard of it all was on the Whitby Gothic Weekend forum when a scout from the BBC posted a thread on it asking if anyone took the goth scene into their day jobs, such as dentists with black aprons and suchforth''

''Either way, something went 'clunk' in my mind one evening (probably too much caffeine) and I brainstormed a blog on Myspace about how the whole country should have a 'Goth Day' and celebrate what the goth scene means to them, rather than it just being constrained to a commercial radio special. I even hit photoshop and created what we now know as the Goth Day Smiley that evening so that people could print it out and splash it around their home or workplace''

''What I wasn't expecting was for people to take notice and do exactly what I'd ranted on about. I'm used to being ignored the other 364 days of the year, so why that day? Gawd only knows. Nowadays, the Myspace blog is long gone now along with my Myspace account, but the concept stuck. Last year Martin Oldgoth and I decided to bother the whole world with it using the tried and trusted methods of social networking, a forum and a website with freely downloadable stuff (because let's face it, everyone follows the free cookie trail).The results were more than satisfactory, what with several events ranging from full blown goth nights to picnics, barbeques and themed Race For Life participations all over the world''

The common mis-conception and continual wind-up is the outsiders view of Goths, I asked Cruel if he thought that we Goths were happy to be miserable and down-trodden, or to appear to be. His reply was that he didn't think so at all. ''Most of the goths who were there from the start simply aren't comfortable with being insular and moody anymore, they've matured a little with age and, dear god, developed a sense of humour that they don't mind showing in public''

''I think the stereotype of the self-harming, heartwrenched bedroom poet that outsiders tag us with has been whipped off our Bauhaus t-shirts and given to the Emos to be honest. Even Robert Smith is looking slightly jolly nowadays, and not just in the waistline''

When I asked Cruel what he thought the National Anthem should be I didn't expect the answer I got, which was Europe's 'The Final Countdown', however, he elaborated after apologising profusely and said ''seriously though, I'm probably one of the worst ones to ask that question of; as a DJ I have a new favourite song every ten minutes. To think of a song that encapsulates and celebrates the very essence of the goth scene, AND be good and catchy enough to sing along to is nigh on impossible''.

''However, I've just now had this spontaneous mental image of the 1970's Coca Cola advert where, instead of there being a hill full of hippies singing about how they want to teach the world to sing, a thousand goths are all atop a sunny mountainside throwing shapes to 'Shadowdance' by Eyes Of The Nightmare Jungle.''

''The current crop of post punk and dark edged indie bands that we see now have given the scene a light we can all follow, and for a long time there hasn't been a light to follow other than one we thought to have been carried by someone who turned out to be quick enough to disconnect himself from the goth scene (No hints needed here on who that is). But I reckon that one of those bands will come up with an anthem if anyone can.''
Cruel would really like the idea of World Goth Day going even more global and like our youth, lasting for an eternity. Martin and Cruel sound like they've been chucking various strange ideas around about it and they both appear to be taken by the idea of wearing gold lame tuxedo jackets to present the World Goth Day awards, worryingly I can visualise this.
''Ultimately, I want to see WGD being celebrated yearly without me having to push it so hard from behind a Twitter account, I'd like to see it take off by itself and for promoters to go ahead and create events for people to attend because they know May is coming each year. Pure and simple. We've planted a seed together, I'd like to see us nurture it for the rest of the life of the goth scene!''
You will no dounbt have realised that Cruel Britannia has a rather active imagination and a fairly healthy outlook on life, the universe and pretty much everything to with Goth. Some of his ideals are slightly less achievable, such as ''a total ban of the use of the Comic Sans font in all school letters to parents''. Failing that ''I'd quite like the leaders of all nations to recognise the goth scene as a nation in itself, offer us an island which we will predictably call 'Goth Island' and we can all move there to live in perfect harmony and bring up our gothlings in peace without any intolerance. On Friday afternoons, we'll set aside 5 minutes to throw ridiculous shapes to 'Shadowdance' or something. Oh yeah, I'd like to see the minimum goth DJ fee to be set at £1000''.

''Lastly, when I finally fall off my perch (which hopefully won't be too soon), I'd like my gravestone to be engraved with 'World Goth Day; it was partly his fault'.''
Dominion has it's own World Goth Day event - World Goth Day Dominion Magazine Show on May 22 but there are things starting to pop up all over the place, keep your eyes and ears open for something happening in your bit of the world.

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