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Saturday, 16 July 2011

Spotlight on: The Cruxshadows

Good afternoon darklings! I'm trying out a new style of post here, where I'm going to bring people from our dark little subculture out of the shadows and into the spotlight! These people are those whom I greatly admire, whether they be musicians, artists, writers, models, designers, or even other bloggers from time to time - beautiful, charming, talented people, living or dead. I'm going to try to feature a mixture of the well-known and the well-hidden, so that hopefully babybats and more established Goths alike may find someone or something new that suits their tastes. Let me know what you think, and if this is something I should keep up with, say, monthly?

Without further ado.

I have chosen to feature The Cruxshadows for my first Spotlight (original name, no? Well, no.) because really, I credit this band for introducing me to the entire Goth scene and causing my entire obsession with the world that is Goth and dark culture. OK, I was a spooky kid from a pretty young age, but I never would have got into 'Goth proper' if I hadn't discovered CXS. I also have had the privilege of meeting several of the members backstage at a gig, which was one of the highlights of my entire life and something I never fail to mention when talking about bands...

The Cruxshadows are one of the biggest names currently in the Goth scene, although their work on a new album may have been sidelined following the marriage of frontman Rogue and dancer Jessica, and the birth of their first daughter Angelina.

With an ever-changing line-up featuring dancers, violinists, keyboard players, guitarists, and - the band's one consistent member - vocalist and songwriter Rogue, CXS were the first Goth band ever to play in China, and even beat Beyonce to the top of the Billboard Dance Charts in America with their single Sophia. In fact, just the fact that they release singles is notable as many Goth bands can only afford to put out albums and EPs.

The band is notorious for their gruelling tour schedule - over 1,000 performances in more than 30 countries - and energetic live shows, which usually include Rogue climbing up anything within reach like a spiky-haired spider (parodied in online comic GothyBeans, here) or getting down from the stage to wander about in the audience. Their music is usually described as darkwave; since their first album ...Night Crawls In was released in 1993 their sound has become bouncier and incorporates more synthpop and even dance elements.

The Cruxshadows have achieved success in the dark alternative scenes with numerous Goth club dancefloor fillers. Their biggest hits include Marilyn, My Bitterness; Winter Born (my favourite song); Birthday and Deception. They have performed and/or headlined at pretty much all of the biggest-name Goth festivals and their tour diaries have been published in the magazine Gothic Beauty.

Former members of The Cruxshadows have gone on to other projects - guitarist Stacey Campbell is now the frontwoman of electro Goth group Spider Lilies, and Tim Curry, also a former guitarist and one of the original three CXS members, has a band called Sapphire Rebellion. You can download Sapphire Rebellion's version of Satellite, an unreleased Cruxshadows track, here; and pick up a track from Spider Lilies' first album Cyclogenesis (which features my favourite former CXS member, violinist Rachel McDonnell, on several tracks) here.

I have previously posted the video for Winter Born, which I came across when trying to work out what Goth music was. I believe I mentioned that it was everything I had been looking for in music - dark, danceable, with great lyrics. Assorted CXS members have been a huge inspiration to me fashion-wise as well; Rachel, JoHanna and Jessica (Goth crushes alert!) being my personal 'best dressed Cruxshadows'.


Essential Cruxshadows...
Album: Ethernaut
Track: Winter Born (This Sacrifice)
Other purchase: Their DVD and CD set, ShadowBox. Or some live gig tickets.
Random fact: Rogue's real name is Virgil Roger du Pont III. o.O
If you like The Cruxshadows, you might also like: Ayria, Ego Likeness, Novus UK, Deviant UK, Blutengel, The Last Dance, Paralysed Age, ThouShaltNot.
Get more Cruxshadows: http://www.cruxshadows.com/

Listening to: Leave Me Alone - The Cruxshadows

10 comments:

SaryWalrus said...

I think more than once a month would be great! I'm always looking for new Gothy delights. :D

jessieann13 said...

I love this! You should most definitely continue at least once a month. :)

Tenebris In Lux said...

I support this series! Sounds interesting -- and if you are taking suggestions, let us know! Though I think you have a good idea of what you're doing here ^^

More than once a month sounds nice since this theme sounds very versatile and flexible.

Anonymous said...

On a completely unrelated note, I read the goth TV post, there was a show called Dragon Hunters that I recently watched with a friend that has The Cure preforming the theme. I dunno if it was on there, but... eh.

Nina @ Death Books and Tea said...

I first discovered The Cruxshadows when I was getting into the subculture! *high five!* Birthday's my favourite song. And please do this more than once a month-its a great feature, you can do a lot with it and we'll get to see a lot of new things!

ultimategothguide said...

@ Nina - *high fives back*

Random said...

Satellite is not an unreleased CXS song, it appeared on their first album which was actually remastered and re-released several years ago.

Its a good write up for a great band, but I liked it better when hardly another knew Rogue's real name. It added to the mystery!

ultimategothguide said...

@ Random - really? I've got the re-mastered copy of ...Night Crawls In and didn't come across Satellite on it. Maybe I was having a 'duh' moment?! I will check this - thanks for the heads-up. :-)

I couldn't resist passing on the fact. It's such an unusual name! I have to say he doesn't look like a Virgil to me though...

Under_The_Stairs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
InfiltratorN7 said...

Nice article, learnt something new too! (Rogue's real name, not that I ever thought about it before). I still think it's awesome that Cruxshadows beat Beyonce to no 1 in the US dance chart. :-D Nice to see a good band getting noticed instead of sidelined. Seeing that crowd in China in that video you posted was pretty amazing. I had no idea they could draw such large crowds. Whenever I've seen them play up here it's always in clubs, so not much room for a large crowd anyway.

Yeah Mister Ed from Screaming Banshee Aircrew is just as bad as Rogue for going into the crowd and dancing with the audience, though he doesn't do the climbing all over stuff that Rogue does!

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