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...
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'.
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