Finally, after a decade of work, countless interviews and immersing deep into the culture, John Robb's definitive book is a journey deep into The Art Of Darkness. The first in-depth book on Goth is a deep dive into the enduring culture and the social, historical and political backdrop that created the space for the art of darkness to thrive. Every generation has got to deal with the blues - embrace the melancholy! Find a beauty in the darkness, a poetry in sex and death!
Whether it’s the Roman love of ghost stories, middle ages European macabre folk tales, Romantic poets or the original Gothic tribes sacking the eternal city, a walk on the dark side had always had its attractions. In the post-punk period Generation Xerox saw music, clothes and culture come together to create one of the most enduring pop cultures of them all that still resonates to this day.
Goth. It may have been a retrospective term for a scene that was already thriving but its back story goes back millennia. The book starts with the fall of Rome and ends with Instagram and Tik Tok influencers and takes diversions through Lord Byron, European folk tales, Indian Sadhus, Gothic architecture, Romantic poets, philosophers and idealists before coalescing through the dark end of etc the sixties youthquake and then blooming like Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs Du Mal in the post-punk period.
In the late seventies, the Goth culture emerged around a clutch of bands who found a new form of beauty in the apocalyptic foreboding as a new youth tribe took glam rock from the catwalk to the cobbles and onto their own dance floors that were creating their own art of darkness.
With interviews with the likes of Andrew Eldritch, Killing Joke, Bauhaus, The Cult, The Banshees, The Damned, Einsturzende Neubauten, Danielle Dax, Johnny Marr, Trent Reznor, Adam Ant, Laibach, The Cure, Nick Cave and many others, this is a deep dive and walk on the dark side and into the darkheartland of Goth.
Defying the broken heartland of the post-industrial cities, the semi-forgotten satellite towns and the grim real politic of the Thatcher years this was a post-punk culture full of dark dance and a death disco. The music soundtracked the style and a stygian obsidian soundtrack that coalesced from the many fragments of culture that had been flirted with in the post-war pop narrative. A darker culture that began to coalesce around the holy trinity of the Doors, the Velvets and the Stooges in the late sixties before flirting with glam rock and then being amplified by punk and exploding as Goth and then splintering into electronic dance music, industrial, psychobilly and new Goth and then through dystopian Hollywood blockbusters, modern literature and throughout the modern world.