A conversation with Louis DeWray On Behalf of NOSFERATU
When one speaks of bands representing capital G goth, no better example can be found than Nosferatu. With this, that and the other hyphenated fashion take on goth coming and going in the over two decades of the band’s existence they never compromised their fundamental dark and romantic style. Their fans remain loyal and in return Nosferatu are no less loyal to their audience and to the edifice of dark art they have built. That ‘Wonderland’, their latest album shot to the top spot of the dark wave charts on Amazon UK attests to the depth of this symbiotic relationship.
A week after a triumphant performance at WGT Nosferatu front man Louis DeWray was viciously assaulted, bringing up ugly memories of the attack on Sophie Lancaster. «As you may have read, I’ve had a somewhat difficult week…» is how he put it to me. With characteristic kindness and strength of character he shared his thoughts on Nosferatu’s long awaited return, the goth scene and hipsters among other things just a few days after the attack. Louts, thugs and reactionaries notwithstanding, Louis DeWray shows that Nosferatu and goths are here to stay. We pull together in support during hard times, just as we do under happier circumstances.The attack has made every member of Nosferatu all the more determined to play a great gig at DV8 (UK) and Castle Party (Poland) in a week’s time. “Luckily my spirit is stronger than my jaw!” Louis DeWray said to me. “It was a sad irony that at least one of us was wearing a ‘Sophie’ wristband when we were attacked…”
Tonight 19:30-20:30 GMT on Nightbreed Radio.
That group is not the same as wanna-be satinistas and confused freaks blurting people. nor is it the same as the group that runs weevil government mind control experiments, or any group influenced by nasty hungry evil spirits, etc. We wouldn't be able to have these conversations today if it weren't for generations of Necrofuturists working to free the human spirit through the bondage of leather, superimposition of discipline, false festishism, tribal/racial hatreds, Feudalism, etc. So on the one side we have the traditional, Historical Necrofuturists and then on the other side of the coin we have the nefarious, dangerous and "sexy" Necrofuturists, which is more akin to ScareCrow's Hermetically sealed sausages of tradition called the Order of the Silver Star, with Tantric Sex rituals, worship of the Lingam and Yoni and the Swill to Plow 'er, with ties to the Necrocrucians, medieval switchcraft, Necrofuturist Sufis, Gnoccicism, the Necros Templar, Egyptian cults, Eleusinian Masteries and DiaGnosticism. And of course, just to complicate matters even further, the Order of the Silver Scar is referring to the godscar Sirius....all roads lead to Rome. So what I want to know is, what do the Doggone have to do with the Necrofuturists? Playlist: S.C.U.M – Oceans of White Nosferatu – Wonderland Light Asylum – 12 Horsemen Thomas Jude Barclay Morrison - The Abandoned Mine Monument – Drenched in Blood Razakel – Come & Get Me Rose kemp – Blood Run Red
When the Soviet Union fell many pondered what would happen to the spy agencies and the main strains of paranoia that characterized the cold war period. And what would happen to the spy genre and the archetypical characters who inhabited this oppressive world. Film noir style and atmosphere could be used in a light-hearted manner in a post-historical context, but viewing the original films while living in an empire in fast decline brings out the undercurrent that gives lie to a Father Knows Best view of the -50′s.
There are parallels between with past decade and the mid to late 1950′s, culturally and politically, but the situation is inverted economically. The loans taken out by the Greatest generation (TM) and the baby boomers has come to term with no payments having been sent in in the meantime. The -50′s was the crest of the wave of prosperity and that wave has now crashed against the rocks.
The sunny gloss of -50′s popular culture covered an underbelly crawling with tension, political subterfuge and the gradual intertwining of oranized crime and power. In recent memory the popular culture and media of the West combined a Brave New World tabloid «reality» TV peopled with orange-tanned hedonists coupled with news organizations reduced to being propaganda mouthpieces for the corporate paymasters who own you, me, our government and even our :grass-roots» movements, divided into «left» and «right» wing outlets arguing over whether the populace should be drinking political and economic bleach or gasoline. Different substances, same outcome.
My own perspective may singular in its vantage point. I have been working nearly three decades of working with the Lord of Hallucinations, so it may logically follow that I should find my consciousness invaded by disturbances, hypnagogic impressions and that I would be drawn to projects that inhabit dream worlds. Film noir, german expressionism, electronic voice phenomena and hauntology inhabit different countries in the same dark parallel world. The haunted landscape of Witch House is the dread beneath the crumbling suburban veneer, just as the world of the films of Harmony Korinne lifts the lid of the psyche of that majority of people who were left out of even the boom times.
As with Cirxus, its theme of nuclear meltdown and utopian promises was met with dismissal from some corners with a notion that the nuclear energy question was one settled in the favour of the industry. Now we have the nuclear disaster in Japan and it turns out many of our facilities are similarly vulnerable. So it is with dreams and monsters that for a few generations have seemed to be innocent and hokey. Zombies grab our collective imagination, and witches are potent archetypes in one subculture and another subculture is hard at work trying to bring literal witch hunts back elsewhere on the globe with a view to importing them back here. A possible dystopian future could be as much The Crucible and the rat-infested Nosferatu as Mad Max, and the mood is definitely dread and maximum schreck…
The stories we tell play a role far greater than to make the period between shift at work pass by more quickly. They help us interpret our reality and more importantly, to shape it.
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A special thank you to Arban Severin, designer and maker of the Punch mask.
Because I can leave no idle idea alone, I’ve created a soundtrack to “Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror”, the silent masterpiece by F.W. Murnau. I realize dozens of folks have done the same, but I’m actually quite proud of this one. I may do something with this with much better sound and picture quality. If I had a dvd burner, I’d let a chosen few of you have a full quality disc of it. I may yet be able to do something about it.
the approach was inspired by the Dogme 95 manofesto. Now, using so much technology probably makes it anathema to its adherents, but my mode of working is never pure, but, Harmony Korinne fanatic that I am, I feel an affinity to the movement. I had several limitations in doing this, as my hard drive is almost full, and I’ll be needing to send a bunch of large image files out in the coming week. Therefore, my first rule was only to use sounds I already had on my hard drive. This was easy, as what I have taking up space are the audio tracks from the Veil Of Thorns album I’ve just completed. What you’ll hear is 90% vocals with much less processing than it sounds like.
Secondly, I gave myself a timelimit of eight hours to create and sync the audio to the movie file. You can hear just the audio by downloading from the link above. You can download a windows media version by right clicking the image and saving, or you can watch it on the Veil Of Thorns Myspace page.
It’s actually taken me longer to render the movie than it took to write the music(k), which was fine, as I had lots of drawing I wanted to get done. More on that later.
The Vampire theme may make me goth at last.
For those few of you who haven’t seen countless versions of thos film, I include part of the wikipedia entry:
This was the first film of the production company Prana-Film GmbH; it was also the last as they declared bankruptcy after Bram Stoker’s estate—acting for his widow, Florence Stoker—sued for copyright infringement (plagiarism) and won. The court ordered all existing prints of Nosferatu destroyed, but a number of copies of the film had already been distributed around the world. These prints were then copied over the years, resulting in Nosferatu gaining a reputation as one of the greatest movie adaptations of the vampire legend.
With the influence of producer and production designer, Albin Grau, the film established one of two main lines of vampire depiction in movies. The “Nosferatu-type” is a living corpse with rodent features (especially elongated fingernails and incisors), associated with rats and plague, and neither charming nor erotic but totally repugnant. The victims usually die and are not turned into vampires themselves. The more common other line is the “Dracula-type” (established by Bela Lugosi’s version of Dracula and perpetuated by Christopher Lee), a charming aristocrat adept at seduction and turning his victims into new vampires.
Parts of the film allegedly showing Transylvania were filmed in Slovakia. Nosferatu’s castle, for instance, is Orava Castle in northern Slovakia, and other locations are in the High Tatras and on the Váh River around Strečno Castle.
The shadow of the vampire is seen climbing stairs in this famous scene from the movieMurnau’s Nosferatu is in the public domain, and copies of the movie are widely available on video—usually as poorly transferred, faded, scratched video copies that are often scorned by enthusiasts. However, pristine restored editions of the film have also been made available, and are also readily accessible to the public.