It's back to Australia for the third round of Darkside International with very special guest Lilly Peppermint. Lilly's minimalist Goth style complements a busy lifestyle; this teen Goth juggles school and exams with her passion for classical music, gaming, blogging and creating make-up tutorials over at Clockwork Mice and Toy Spiders.
|Image (c) Lilly Peppermint|
Currently I would describe my style as Simplified Deathrock with elements of Romantic, Perky and Carnival. That is rather a mouthful!
For day to day wear I'm often wearing plain tights with a skirt and a T shirt and a thigh-length trench coat. My style has evolved dramatically from what was Bohemian Gypsy to what it is now. I would like to explore more of a Carnival element to my style, but these things take time, and I am comfortable for the moment. My interest in Carnival Goth would stem from my interest in spooky carnival music and my childhood dream to be in the circus...
As a make-up tutorialist, what are your top tips and tricks?
As cliche as it is, the most important thing would be to stay inspired and be willing to learn. Without either there is no way that one is able to improve at all. Inspiration is everywhere, from the internet to in the streets, so there is no excuse. On a more practical side, start small and then build intensity. With all aspects of makeup, it is easy to gradualy add layers to create the desired depth, but it is far more difficult to remove layers of makeup, and there is the risk of making a mess and looking like your little sister who got stuck in the crayons...
What make-up brands do you recommend and what products couldn't you live without?
Rimmel is fantastic for really black blacks in mascaras and eyeliners, Manic Panic has fantastic hair dyes and I do like their Dreamtone foundation and I am a big fan of The Body Shop Born Lippy in Raspberry. I think the product I couldn't live without is the EcoTools Eye makeup brush set. High quality brushes dramatically improved my overally application of shadow colours, or a really really powerful, soothing lipbalm, like Blistex Lip conditioner. Smooth, unchapped lips are pretty...
What fashion advice would you offer to younger Goths? What is the most important 'lesson' you've learned with regards to style?
Don't feel that you must buy Goth "Staples" in order to fit in. I don't own a corset, and I don't feel that I will in the near future, but I'm still confortable with my style even amongst lovely corsetted ladies. It is more important to be happy and comfortable in the clothes that you own and wear rather than constantly wishing you had what others had or have. Secondly, enjoy Goth fashion! It is a fun past time that needs to be enjoyed with a sense of humour, or you will most certainly be regarded as someone who cannot laugh at themselves, which is not a good thing.
Also, I believe that buying key pieces that will last for years is a good investment rather than spending lots of money on cheap clothing that will fall apart or look tacky.
The most important lesson I've learnt is that black can look good with any colour. While black on black is a classic Goth look and can look fantastic, there are no limits as to other colour combinations that go well with black. My personal exception is brown. Brown and black just look odd on me. It's OK to have exceptions.
Who or what inspires you (in fashion or otherwise)?
Voltaire would be my biggest inspiration at the moment, specifically as a song writer, but as a general person and artist. Other inspirational people would be Emilie Autumn, Amanda Palmer, Audfaced, Hex, Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmer, John Williams, Jillian Venters, Natalie Portman and Neil Gaiman. Fashion wise, inspirational beings would include Emilie Autumn, Keith Lee Castle, Elizabeth Taylor, Catherine Zeta Jones, Razor Candi, Adora BatBrat and Jillian Venters. I tend to find lots of inspiration in advertising in magazines such as Fiend and Gothic Beauty as well as photo shoots, although I never end up buying their clothes.
A serious aficionado of classical music, you play flute, violin and piano and sing in choir. You also recently conducted the string section of an orchestra! What drives your passion for classical music and what does it mean to you?
I'm not sure when I became passionate about classical music. I've always had an appreciation for it, but my genuine passion was probably sparked when I started having music lessons when I was 7. I'm enchanted by the potential for storytelling, and to be able to powerfully and personally affect people's emotions on a subconscious level. Music is so incredibly manipulative. For example, this of the Jaws theme by John Williams. Nowadays, it's a bit of a cliche in cinema which really is a shame. I can remember being in music class a few years ago and listened to the recording without the film. It was nice and loud, and scary in an exciting way. The volume is important with music. So many times I've heard people say that classical music is boring, but it really isn't. It just needs to be louder, but the essence of music in regards to dynamics (the levels of louds and softs) is in the contrasts rather than the overall level.
I've always had a desire to tell stories in some medium or another, and music is ideal because of it's definite fatality- Once the sound has finished, it cannot be recaptured, so it is purely about individual, passing moments. I naturally have a good ear musically and than has allowed me to advance quickly in music. After a few years it really seemed foolish to give it up because I'd made a lot of progress so I kept at it. I also noticed that I was considerably more happy and content while I was playing music, so it became something of an asylum from my everyday world.
As a musician, what is it about Goth that you are most drawn to; what do you appreciate most about it?
As I mentioned earlier, has love to tell stories and to have the potential for a juicy mystery or hidden story behind everything even if it is as mundane and everyday as a washing machine. I believe that this resonates in almost all aspects of Goth, most importantly in fashion, music and the visual aesthetics. Everything is often given an 'air of mystery' and wild, romantic stories are often invented to give everything a more involving, dramatic and... different experience that resonates with the audience. Most of the music that I listen to is story-telling.
|Image (c) Lilly Peppermint|
That's a difficult question to answer. It's a combination of things. On a simple level, Goth is Goth music, fashion and the spooky visual aesthetics combined together within a being (i.e Me) in varying quantities depending on the day. On a more philosophical level, Goth is about embracing all elements of the human condition especially things that the mainstream chooses to avoid, such as the dark, Gothic or macabre.
Many school-age Goths have to suffer for their differences (sounding a bit pretentious here but you get what I mean). What sort of reactions do you receive from your peers? Do you have any advice for other Goths who are at school?
I've had a pretty awful school experience to say the least, but in the past two years I have been well treated and pretty much haven't had a hiccup. I think that's because I now like in Melbourne where people are generally more accepting, and because the others my age have grown up! Older teenagers seems to be more accepting of people's differences and that really makes a difference.
What advice would you like to give to your babybat self?
Be yourself no matter what anyone else says or thinks, because those people will not be in your life for much longer... The people who you don't like, or don't want to waste energy with will, after awhile, will not bother you and you can then focus on your friends, family and life properly. =)
What is the Goth scene like in your area? What are the best and worst things about it and are there any events you recommend?
So far, I haven't really spent heaps of time in the Goth scene here in Melbourne, clubbing wise. I generally don't like clubs so I cannot comment. In terms of the other scene related things such as events and general socializing I have had a positive experience. Most people have been friendly and accepting. The worst thing would be the general hostility. Most Goths will only ever talk to their friends.
You have mentioned on your blog that at times you have felt awkward being a younger Goth and have had some bad experiences with older Goths. Can you elaborate on this? How do you feel that relations between older and younger Goths could or should be improved (i.e. do you feel that older Goths are generally accepting of the 'new generation' or not)?
It is true that I have had a few negative experiences with Goths of the previous generation. Many of them have been unfortunate and due to circumstances or my over-evaluation of what was mild hostility, but until yesterday I generally felt alienated by the elder Goths in the scene. Yesterday I attended the Annual Goth/Victorian picnic in Melbourne that was organised by an older Goth as an attempt to bring more of a community element to the scene, and every single person I spoke to was charming and friendly despite the age differences, in some cases, of almost 20 years. It certainly has put my faith back into the scene and the people here in general. I believe more community based, open events such as this picnic would help to improve relationships all round.
What bands are you into at the moment? Any new discoveries or little-known acts that you recommend?
Voltaire, Emilie Autumn, Creature Feature, The Cruxshadows, Circus Contraption and Angelspit have been my favourites for years. I don't think that's going to change any time soon. I recently saw a new Melbourne band called the Harlequin Chapter who describe themselves as Theatrical Piano Metal. They were rather enjoyable even for someone like me who doesn't like Metal...
Aside from that, Rufus Rx is Curtis Rex's (from Creature Feature) side project, and that is pretty fantastic with a different style to and tone to Creature Feature but with a similar sense of humour.
I've also been getting more into Deathrock and Post Punk... Corpus Delicti and London After Midnight- that sort of thing.
You often attend folk festivals! What is this experience like for a Goth? What is it that appeals to you about these events?
The experience overall is positive for me, because I have been around 'folkies' for many years and am used to all their quirks. Things can be somewhat uncomfortable when rainbow tie-dyed folks are staring at my clothes and making less than subtle remarks to their friends. I find that I have more fun at festivals spending time with friends and family rather than meeting new people. I also have found some of the music, art and jewelery at festivals to be cheaper and rather excellent. Some of my favourite items are bought at festivals. While lots of the music would be considered 'Folk', I have heard swing, classical, jazz, gypsy, circus, cabaret, fusion, techno, punk, rock, blues, roots, bluegrass and many others but the list is long enough as it is. I'm sure that some of these styles would appeal to Goths.
As an avid gamer, what games would you recommend to your fellow Goths?
It really does depend on your preferred 'type' of games (RPG, RTS, FPS...excetera). I know that there are plenty of RPG games that would appeal to Goths but considering I don't like RPG games as a whole, I cannot give examples. If you enjoy mindlessly blasting things then almost any shooter would provide entertainment. Castle Wolfenstein and Doom are my personal favourites. It's really impossible to suggest games overall that would appeal to Goths, but I can assure you there are thousands...
I really enjoy Adventure Games, so ones that I feel would be suitable would be the Kings Quest series, Laura Bow series, Veil of Darkness and games by American McGee. For more arcade/ platforming games then I would recommend Plants vs Zombies, Castlevania games, Alice: Madness Returns, Beetlejuice: Skeletons in the Closet and The Sims 2. Other personal favourites that, in my opinion, have Goth appeal are Arcane: the Stone Circle, Warlords: Battlecry II, Legacy of Kain: Defiance, Caeser III and the Age of Empires series. Many of these games have a historical settings which I find fascinating. Oh, and vampires.