'Inspired by Goth' is another new feature here at the Goth Guide investigating examples of the Goth aesthetic being used as inspiration by mainstream businesses or celebrities. I chose to begin with Lady GaGa; although her musical appeal is largely mainstream, it's interesting to note that many Goths on message boards and forums list GaGa's music amongst their guilty pleasures, and more than a few Goths even count her among their favourites. I have often thought that many non-Goths would probably find themselves enjoying or tapping their toes to Goth bands, should they ever find their way onto mainstream music TV or radio stations, but GaGa's infectious blend of danceable pop seems to prove that the reverse is also, possibly, true.
Perhaps GaGa's popularity amongst the Goth population is not as surprising as it seems. She lists such Goth favourites as Joy Division and Depeche Mode amongst her musical influences, and a few of her earlier singles in particular (Just Dance, Poker Face, Bad Romance, Alejandro) always struck me as somewhat reminiscent of the synthpop and bouncy 80s pop beloved by many of those involved in the dark alternative scenes. A lot of Goths have a soft spot for 80s artists such as Cyndi Lauper and early Madonna (reflected in some Goth music too - for example, Emilie Autumn's song Swallow has often been described as similar to Madonna's early hits, albeit more acid-tongued), which again goes some way towards explaining why GaGa's large black-tinged fanbase is not as unlikely as you might think.
Unconventionally-clad female musicians are, as I have alluded to above, somewhat of a staple in the Goth scene. To name but a few, Siouxsie Sioux, Danielle Dax and Nina Hagen. Back in the late 70s, Siouxsie's fiercely backcombed hair, torn clothing and heavy dark make-up were possibly considered just as shocking as GaGa's crazy shoes and meat dress. GaGa's wardrobe runs the gamut from 'things Goths would wear', to 'things Goths admire but probably wouldn't wear' to 'really, nobody else would go there', but on the whole Goths seem to appreciate someone else who dares to be unconventional, especially in the public eye. (I do, however, wish that GaGa seemed to enjoy all her crazy fashions a little more; sometimes she gives the impression that she's only wearing them to be shocking, which is a little silly... Also, GaGa, honey... there are more ways to be shocking and liberated than getting semi-naked at every available opportunity. *pet peeve alert*)
Happily, the Goth aesthetic has lent a dark tinge to more than just some areas of GaGa's wardrobe. Her videos often lean towards the dark side, featuring such nods to our subculture as the futuristic, cyber-tinged, but quite darkly themed video for Bad Romance; the black lipstick and campy not-quite-horror of Telephone; and not forgetting, of course, the PVC nun costume in the oh-so-shocking vid for Alejandro.
Despite all the above - her occasionally-spooky wardrobe, the dark themes in her videos and the Goth inspirations behind her music - I expect that much of Lady GaGa's mainstream fanbase would be slightly alarmed to learn that their beloved songstress has so many ties to the Goth scene. At least what they don't know won't hurt them...
Goth gossip: After their 'final' split in 2008, infamous band Ministry have re-formed for a new album. Exciting news!
My best friends say I'm girly which makes no sense because I don't even brush my hair. I had my first kiss in a glade of bluebells. My favourite perfume is vanilla which makes sense because old books smell of vanillin. I will hug anything that stays still long enough and firmly believe that life's too short for boring clothes. I really like to dance. I love stories, fluffy jumpers, bonfires, stars and tea. I know all the best people and am lucky to call them my friends and family. I seem to own a ridiculous amount of socks. I believe that normality is overrated and tattoos are art. I wear too much scent and play music too loud. I don't believe in perfection. I would probably be an evil genius if I could just stop putting my handbag in the fridge. I own bloomers and a top hat (or four). I'm not sure I believe in karma but I do like to be on the safe side. I may seem quiet when you first meet me but that's just how I lure my victims.