alt.gothic FAQ v3.2

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Tom Fosdick

Jun 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM6/14/98

Archive-Name: alt-gothic-faq
Posting-Frquency: monthly
Last-Modified: 14 April 1998
Maintainer: (Tom Fosdick)
Version: 3.2


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This FAQ was created by Peter Wake (, and is
currently maintained by Tom Fosdick (aka Bloodstone). Please send all
comments, corrections, suggestions for new questions and hate-mail to
him at
It is posted on the 14th of every month to the newsgroup alt.gothic.

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If your are new to newsgroups the news.newusers FAQs are also
recommended, available from and its mirror
sites and on the newsgroup news.announce.newusers. You may also
want to take a look at the news.announce.newusers archives at the
same site.





Changes From Version 3.1.

Section: 1A Charter

Section: 1B Charter Questions and General Newsgroup Stuff.

Subject: 1.1 What is this newsgroup really about then?
Subject: 1.2 Are there any subjects I should avoid?
Subject: 1.3 What type of material is appropriate for this group?
Subject: 1.4 What are all these abbreviations?
Subject: 1.5 What is this GothCode?
Subject: 1.6 What is a net.goth?
Subject: 1.7 What is this Goth Test?
Subject: 1.8 What is a troll?
Subject: 1.9 What is AGSF (alt.gothic Special Forces)
Subject: 1.10 How do I identify a net.goth?
Subject: 1.11 What's with all these "Is XXXXX gothic" questions?
Subject: 1.12 What is the [AG] tag?
Subject: 1.13 What do you have against Marilyn Manson?
Subject: 1.14 I want to post a picture/sound, can I do it?
Subject: 1.15 I'm new, what should I do now?

Section: 2 Resources

Subject: 2.1 What Gothic music lists exist?
Subject: 2.2 Where are the gothic FTP & WWW sites?
Subject: 2.3 Where can I find lyrics, pictures, etc for a goth band?
Subject: 2.4 What are some various Vampire related net resources?
Subject: 2.5 Are there any good goth clubs in <fill in city>?
Subject: 2.6 Are there any location specific goth mailing lists?

Section: 3 The Gothic Subculture

Subject: 3.1 What is a Goth?
Subject: 3.2 Where did the term 'Gothic' come from?
Subject: 3.3 What the history of the goth movement?
Subject: 3.4 Is goth about religion?
Subject: 3.5 What does gothic music sound like?
Subject: 3.6 So what does the word 'goth' mean.

Section: 4 Various Trivia

Subject: 4.1 Is the Nefilim a spelling mistake?
Subject: 4.2 Have the Fields of the Nephilim reformed then?
Subject: 4.3 Where does the phrase Sisters of Mercy arise from?
Subject: 4.4 Are the Sisterhood the same as the Sisters of Mercy?
Subject: 4.5 What's this SSV thing I've heard about Andrew Eldritch doing?
Subject: 4.6 What has Anne Rice written?
Subject: 4.7 Who is Storm Constantine?
Subject: 4.8 Any other interesting goth authors?
Subject: 4.9 Any interesting goth movies?
Subject: 4.10 Who is Andrew Eldritch, Carl McCoy, Wayne Hussey, ...?
Subject: 4.11 What do Pre-Raphaelites have to do with goth?
Subject: 4.12 What is 'Snakebite'?
Subject: 4.13 What's all this about Cloves?
Subject: 4.14 Absinthe?




This FAQ covers both the basics of the newsgroup and the bascics of
the gothic subculture, it is not, however intended to be extensive
in either.
For this reason it is recommended that it be read in conjunction
with other material. For those new to this group, but not usenet,
the following are suggested.
o Welcome to alt.gothic - a weekly posting to the group
o The alt.gothic Troll FAQ, available from

For those new to newsgroups, please read the news.newusers FAQs
available from and its mirror sites
( in the UK).


Changes from version 3.1.

Section 1 Split into Charter and Questions about it sections - some
subjects removed, some added, some changed.
A lot of redundant questions removed.
Section 3.4 (now 3.5) re-written.
Section 3.2 added.
A lot of less significant changes.


Section: 1A The Charter

The newsgroup alt.gothic is for the purpose of discussing all aspects
of the gothic subculture and lifestyle, including any relevent material
from other areas.
alt.gothic came into existance on 1 November 1991.
alt.gothic is not for the discussion of the 'gothic' Germanic tribes, the
gothic architectural style, or gothic literature (except where relevent
to the subculture).

Binaries (pictures, sounds etc.) are not permitted.

In general, no advertising is permitted. Discreet and short adverts
relevent to the gothic subculture are acceptable provided they are
not posted more than once.

7 bit ASCII, formatted to under 80 columns. Please don't post in MIME
format or in HTML, lots of people get annoyed if you do.


OTHER NEWSGROUPS exists for the discussion of matters of fashion.
Its FAQ is located at
uk.people.gothic exists for discussion of the UK gothic subbculture.
Its FAQ is located at
aus.culture.gothic exists for discussion of the Australian subculture.
Its FAQ is located at
alt.personals.gothic exists for personal adverts.
alt.binaries.gothic is for binary posts.
Its FAQ is located at
alt.gothic.announce exists for announcements. It is moderated. To post
to it send your message to
alt.vampyres exists for those who "Vont to saaahk your blhaad" or just
want to talk about those who do.

This list is not exhaustive; other groups exist.


Section: 1B Charter Questions and General Newsgroup Stuff

Subject: 1.1 So What is This Newsgroup Really About?

Well, to be honest the vast majority of the discussion that goes on
isn't 100% in line with the purpose. It deals with death and weirdness
or anything of interest to us really.

Subject: 1.2 Are there any subjects I should avoid?

Glad you asked. First of all, be nice. alt.gothic has had a reputation
for being a little bit, erm, 'heated' at times.

De-lurking and saying "Hi I'm a goth" is not really a good idea, if you
must introduce yourself, please try to be a little creative about it eh?

Before posting a question, do a little digging, for starters read this
fine piece of work :) - if you can't find an answer, then post it.

Religion is always a hotly debated issue, if you feel you _must_
post religious questions or topics, please try not to preach or

Marilyn Manson. Sheesh - Please please please do not post anything
like 'Why do you hate MM?' - see Subject 1.13

Subject: 1.3 What type of material is appropriate for this group?

Pretty much anything that is relevent to the gothic subculture is
admissable. It's a good idea to keep your original posts on-topic
(if you can figure out what "on-topic" is =). Threads nearly always
end up splitting into a bunch of off-topic discussion, which is
perfectly valid. There is no set of rules which defines exactly what
is on- or off-topic, especially since "gothic" is an extremely broad
term. Bear in mind that the common bond between all of us who
read/post to alt.gothic is that we have some interest in the gothic
scene. Because of that, we often share many other interests, ranging
from the esoteric (e.g. philosophy, religion, obscure Fields of the
Nephilim trivia) to the mundane (e.g. hair colour preferences, gothic
cat names). If you feel others who read this group will be interested,
post it. A very few people post poetry or short written works on
alt.gothic. If you are doing this, please let the rest of us know with
an indication in the subject line (e.g. Dead Roses [poem]).

Subject: 1.4 What are all these abbreviations?

Most of them are band names, there are very many gothic bands with
quite long names, these are normally abbreviated. Some common ones
are as follows.

SoM - The Sisters of Mercy
FotN - Fields of the Nephilim
SDC - Southern Death Cult
ASF - Alien Sex Fiend
SS - Switchblade Symphony
SSB - Sunshine Blind

If you're wondering what ROTFL or IIRC means, then you should be
reading the news.newusers FAQs.

Subject: 1.5 What is this GothCode

The goth code is simply a method by which one can very concisely
describe oneself. For more information see -Synic-'s homepage at

There are encoders and decoders for various versions of the gothcode,
most of which are available via the web, although the URLs change
more frequently than this document so are not included.

Subject: 1.6 What is a net.goth?

Like many things this started out as part of a joke, a score of over
80 on the Goth Test (see 1.7) qualified one as a net.goth.
Since then it has been used as a general handle for a goth who
communicates a great deal via the internet.

Subject: 1.7 What is this "Goth Test"?

The Goth Test is a list of questions like any test, the difference
between the Goth Test and most others is that the Goth Test is
a joke.
Its available via anonymous FTP at in
/pub/music/gothic/ as 'the_goth_test'. It can also be found in Take a
Bite 1.0 - jokingly subtitled 'the net.goth handbook', which is also
available at the same site.

An on-line version of the goth test, similar in style to the purity
tests, can be found at

Subject: 1.8 What is a troll?

A troll is a person who posts messages with the express intention
of annoying the people on the newsgroup. For more information
see the AGSF FAQ at
If you suspect a post is of this type then please do not reply to it,
trolls thrive on the attention of others, without replies they get
bored and go away.

Subject: 1.9 What is AGSF (alt.gothic Special Forces)

You. Whenever the newsgroup is being invaded by trolls or other
lowlifes, we band together to bring these idiots to justice.
Usually this involves mass emailing of said idiots' postmaster or
system administrator, forwarding the offensive posts back and
demanding that they do something about their user(s). We are
periodically the object of the alt.syntax.tactical invasion

The official AGS-F page can be found here:
which is mirrored here (and elsewhere):

The AGSF FAQ is webbed at

Subject: 1.10 How do I identify a net goth?

The words net.goth in lower case should be written on them somewhere.
The jacket arm just below the shoulder is recommended by Sexbat (but
he may be teasing you - be warned :-)
Further to this there have been many versions of 'net.goth' t-shirts
and net.goth ID cards have been produced at various events.

Subject: 1.11 What's with all these "Is XXXXX gothic" questions?

There are three reasons why people post these messages.
1) They are very sad and actually think that it matters.
2) They think it would be interesting to debate the issue from
a purely academic perspective.
3) It's a joke to take the piss out of the people who post such
questions for reason 1. Such posts are normally easily
distinguished by the sheer stupidity of the question, ie
"Are Bauhaus Gothic?" or "Are the Bee-Gees Gothic?".

Subject: 1.12 What is the [AG] tag?

This tag is placed at the beginning (and sometimes the end) of the
subject line of a post intended for and posted only to alt.gothic.
We started using this tagging system after some lunkhead subscribed
alt.gothic to a bunch of mailing lists, resulting in massive amounts
of messages (literally hundreds) with no relevance to alt.gothic
whatsoever. It became difficult and frustrating to weed through all
these posts in hopes of finding an alt.gothic post--with the [AG]
tag they are easily identified. Sometimes we still use the tag
whenever the newsgroup is getting full of spam and crossposts.

Subject: 1.13 What have you got against Marilyn Manson?

The simple reason for all the disparaging remarks is that some people
honestly don't like Manson, and are somewhat fed up with the media's
having seized on MM as the definitive gothic icon, and with it's constant
characterization of them as Manson worshipping Spooky Kids. This is far
from a majority opinion however. The only consensus that *does* exist
is that most regulars are sick to death of seeing, "Why do you hate MM?"
questions posted.
If you have a real interest in this topic, we recommend that you do some
research on DejaNews. Most of the material is in the old databse now, the
search string "(Marilyn Manson) & ~g alt.gothic" should bring up pleanty of
information as this topic has been covered quite thoroughly in
the past, and any mention of it at present will likely get *lots* of
flames, and few straight answers.

Subject: 1.14 I want to post a picture/sound, can I do it?

Yes, but not to alt.gothic.
Pictures and sounds are called binary posts, and binary posts are not
allowed on alt.gothic.
Probably the best way to post one is to put it on a website and post
the URL to alt.gothic.
The next best thing is to post it to alt.binaries.gothic and post
ONE message to alt.gothic saying that you have done so - it's
a good idea to include the message-id of your binary in the
advertising post to alt.gothic.

Please read the alt.binaries.gothic FAQ before posting anything there.
Its URL is

Subject: 1.15 I'm new, What should I do now?

First of all, familiarise yourself with this document and those
referenced from it. There's nothing like striding into a newsgroup
and asking _really_ silly questions to get you flamed (attacked).

Next, although it may be tempting to reply to _every_ article, please
don't. Its our experience (and we were all newbies once) that it takes
people a while to get into the rythumn of the group. Make sure that when
you do post, you actually have something to say, and you know how you're
going to say it. If you post lots meaningless fluff, you are quickly going
to get a reputation for it an no-one will ever read your posts.

In fact, one of the best ways to make your first post is to answer a poll,
since they ask for a little bit of information about everyone who is
reading alt.gothic.

Lastly, when you do post, make sure that your articles are fomatted
correctly. That is that you have quoted no more than you need to, you
have correctly attributed the quotes, that you put line breaks in at 80
columns, lines between paragraphs and that you haven't done anything
silly like posted it in HTML.

And, well, welcome to alt.gothic!


Section: 2 Internet Resources

Subject: 2.1 What Gothic music lists exist?

The Sisters of Mercy Electronic mailing list run by Pete French
(-bat). Send mail to to ask to be
added to the list. Send postings to

There is also a Fields of the Nephilim Electronic mailing list. Mail
to to ask be added to the mailing list. The
address to post to the list is

All About Eve also have a mailing list although at the time of writing
its details are not known (would someone mail them to please).

Subject: 2.2 Where are the gothic FTP & WWW sites?
A mirror site at ( has
been set up to contain all the info at, as
well as a number of other goth resources, including various gothic
lyrics, discographies, faqs, images, and Corey's Goth List, etc can be
found. Get the README and INDEX files from the pub/music directory for
the full contents of the music area, which included guitar tabs, and
other music resources. When you FTP use 'anonymous' as the username
and your email address as the password. If you don't have FTP access
mail to

There is also another gothic archive site in the United States by
Peter Stone ( at It contains much of
the original gothic archive site as of 12/93, as well as other new

Subject: 2.3 Where can I find lyrics, pictures, etc for a goth band?

There is a huge music archive available via anonymous FTP at If a band isn't at the goth archive, it might
very well be at the main music archive.

There are also a number of goth World Wide Web servers out there, and
the following should get you started, and most have links to other

The Dark Side by VampLestat ( is at

Rob's Gothic Section is at

The Sisters of Mercy Home Page by Ian Grimstead is at

Doktor Joy's Website (including HELIX) is at

The Dark Side of the Net is at

Subject: 2.4 What are some various Vampire related net resources?

Vampires? What are they :)
You'd do best to start looking in alt.vampyres and their FAQ file,
which should be archived at

Subject: 2.5 Are there any good goth clubs in <fill in city>?

Digitar ( maintains a list of Goth clubs worldwide.
Email him for a copy, or FTP 'GothClubs' from the
goth archive at There is also a
hypertext version at Please
email in any additions you might have to digitar's list.

It is an onerous task to maintain such a list, and through no fault
of his own Digitar's list can be inaccurate. It is better to look for
a local list, which often be done by visiting WWW seach engines such

For those in the UK, refer to HELIX, maintained by Doktor Joy at

For those in Australia, the aus.culture.gothic FAQ contains relevant
information. Its URL is

If you know of another country (or state) specific list, would you
please mail details of how to get hold of it to the maintainer,

Subject 2.6: Are there any location specific goth mailing lists?

Yep. Go to - there's a whacking
huge list of them.


Section: 3 The Gothic Subculture

Subject: 3.1 What is a Goth?

The Oxford English Dictionary gives the definition as
"goth n. 1) A style of rock music with an intense or droning blend of
guitars, bass, and drums, often with apocalyptic or mystical lyrics.
2) a performer or devotee of this music, often dressing in black
clothing and wearing black make-up."

Ask any goth through and you'll get a different definition. In fact you'll
get just about as many definitions as goths that you ask.

There are a few points that we do tend to agree on; it was originally a
youth movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and was an offshoot
of punk. From originally being little more than a fashion and a type
of music though, it developed its own philosophies and became a
subculture; even a way of life for some.

Subject: 3.2 Where did the term 'gothic' come from?

It was used three significant times by people in the music industry to
refer to music.

The term 'Goth' was used by Ian Astbury who described Andi Sex Gang as
a 'gothic pixie'.

Siouxsie Sioux (of the Banshees) used 'Gothic' to describe the new
direction for her band.

Probably the earliest usage, as applied to music though was by
Anthony H. Wilson (Joy Division manager) who was overcome by a rare
moment of lucidity on a 1978 BBC TV program when he described Joy
Division as Gothic compared with the pop mainstream.

How 'Goth' and 'Gothic' came to be used to describe the movement though
is a little less clear. What is certain is that NME and Sounds used it,
and there seem to be two suggestions as to where they got it from.

The first is that they took it directly from Siousxie Sioux and they
themselves then used it to describe what we know as goths today.

The second (and more probable) is that they took it from Abbo, singer of
UK Decay, who said to a journalist "We're into the whole Gothic thing",
which naturally got printed.

Subject: 3.3 What the history of the goth movement?

The pop journalists were quick to latch onto the term and they applied
it in a nasty sort of pigeonholing way to a number of bands that were
around in the early 80s - most of which did not sound much like the
Banshees (or anyone else for that matter), the journalists were more
concerned with looks. The (Southern Death) Cult was foremost amongst
these bands, like the Banshees they wore lots of black and silver and
had extreme black hair. The Sisters of Mercy were also so labelled and
when they split and Wayne Hussey founded the Mission they carried
their label with them, despite being different musically. Finally The
Fields of the Nephilim appeared and they (perhaps) consciously and
deliberately got themselves labelled as Gothic despite looking and
sounding quite different to what had previously been labelled Goth.

The fans of bands like the Sisters, Bauhaus and Siouxsie liked to
dress up in lots of black. The music they liked was something of a
backlash against the colourful disco music of the seventies. The
Banshees were a punk band before they mellowed and punk was brathing
its last as Gothdom gathered speed, and so one could claim Gothdom
grew out of punk. The music of Joy Division, the Sisters and Bauhaus
was angst ridden but all the hatred was turned inwards and the music
was typified by introspective lyrics. Many of the new Goth followers
were introspective too. Some were a bit confused by the label and
started to think that the label Goth was in some way connected with
the Victorian Gothic revival and Gothic horror and because enough of
them thought that eventually it became true.

NME and Sounds were not oblivious to this and produced many hilarious
articles poking fun at the Goths amongst their readers. They said that
being Goth was about sitting around in circles on the floor of pubs
(bars) smoking a lot and talking about being a bat. Some readers of
this list get angry at this. Luckily most Goths have a good enough
sense of humour to laugh at themselves once in a while. The first
generation Goths complain that second and third generation Goths often
seem to think that Gothdom is about wearing the blackest black, with a
lot of silver jewellery and looking as thin and pale as possible. In
common with their older bretheren they avoid the crass comercialism of
mainstream rock and gather together to share their woes :-) They read
Bram Stoker and Anne Rice and talk about being vampires. They read
H.P. Lovecraft and talk about the end of the world.

The sounds that were described as Gothic were appearing in other
countries besides the UK in the late seventies, but I have yet to see
any evidence that they were using the word. (If you have any...)
Currently Germany is the bastion of Goth, where they are called
Grufties. If German people are doing a write up on the Goth scene
there, please send me a copy. So that's how we got where we are today.
Today Goth is about music, literature, art and clothes.

Subject: 3.4 Is goth about religion?

Gothdom embraces all religions, all denominations and all races. Many
Goths are atheists and a sizable minority are new age spiritualists,
Wiccans and members of other alternative religious groups. There are
Christian Goths. Basically Goth is not about religion, but with the
imagery of religion. May goths wear crosses or ankhs, and there are
many religious references in goth songs, but it is not a religious

Goth uses religous imagery in some songs. Christian Death are big on
this. Bauhaus did a couple of tracks with religious imagery. The
Sisters have a quasi-religious name but this is ironic, their music
shows that religion is not Andrew Eldritch's main concern - he says
he prefers politics. The Mission (UK) were fairly 'new age'. Carl McCoy
favoured shamanistic traditions and gnostic revelation. Religious
jewellery is often worn, particularly crucifixes and ankhs. These are
strong symbols with powerful subconscious effects. Sometimes they are
worn as an satirical statement, sometimes not. For some it is just

Subject: 3.5 What does gothic music sound like?

You have to ask the difficult ones, don't you :)
Gothic music is very difficult to classify or categorise. Most people
agree though that there are three general 'waves' of gothic music.

- Old School (gothic punk). Late 1970s - Early 1980s.
- Middle thingy. Early-1980s to somehwere in the lateish 1980s.
- Modern. End of Middle thingy to now.

The old school was a direct descendant of punk. It had a distinctly
punk sound, but with very dark overtones. This can be heard in the
early work of Siousxie and the Banshees, Bauhaus, Joy Division,
Southern Death Cult, some early Cure and Danse Society.

The middle era ushered in bands such as the Sisters of Mercy, who had
a distinctive power-pop flavour, it also saw the original punk sound
mutate and become more experimental, Sex Gang Children typified this;
Xmal-Deutschland are also worth considering.
Alien Sex Fiend also fall into the same musical category, although their
music is much more light hearted and an 'acquired taste'. They also
qualify as 'old school' by virtue of a stint at the Batcave - well, their
music always has been, err, 'progressive'.
The March Violets are a hybrid of the old scool and power-pop and are
well worth a listen.

To complicate matters further, there also sprand up a movement of
ethereal, experimental goth that didn't have much of a punk background
at all. Xymox, Dead Can Dance and the Cocteau Twins are noteable here.

From here on it gets even more complicated. The Fields of the Nephilim
were considered a gothic band despite elements of heavy metal not seen
before in gothic music. From then until the early 1990s the scene went
a bit quiet, with the only bands really making an impression being
Fields of the Nephilim, The Mission (a splinter group of the Sisters of
Mercy) and All About Eve. The last two bands started off being
considered gothic and then drifted into other things.

The early 1990s saw a revival, lead by Rosetta Stone, whose music at the
time was similar in nature to that of the Sisters of Mercy in 1985.
Rosetta changed though and soon shed the label of a Sisters of Mercy
soundalike. The 1990s has seen a wealth of new bands spring up, ranging
in sound from old school through to styles previously unheard.

Rosetta Stone have become distinctly more industrial in later years, and
joined the ranks of James Rays Gangwar in the goth industrial section.
Midnight Configuration have made a mark for themselves in the fetish
Inkkubus Sukkubus are probably the first goth band with a distinctive
religious flavour (Wiccan) to make any impression.

The influence of heavy metal has become stronger, with bands like
Creaming Jesus, the Dream Disciples and the Marionettes. Some people
consider Marilyn Manson, Type O Negative and even Cradle of Filth to
be gothic although this is hotly debated (see section 1.13).

The 1990s have also moved the geographic base of gothic music. The late
70s and 80s bands were pretty much UK based, but with noteable input
from Australia (Nick Cave, Birthday Party), the USA (Christian Death)
and Germany (Xmal Deutschland).
It is true that the largest proportion of gothic bands are still UK based,
but the scene as a whole has a much more international flavour.

So, what is gothic music? No one seems entirely sure. There are key
elements of style, substance, presentation and past association. It's
generally dark, often so are the band - but it is definitely more than
singing about vampires, satan, blood, death, doom, love, sex and
whipping; although that's enough for some people.
Most importantly the music must speak to you, the little bit which seems
to enjoy the night, and the dark.

Subject: 3.6 So what does the word 'goth' mean.

The word 'Goth' does indeed refer to a tribe of the indo-european
kind. The Goths slowly integrated into the melting pot of Europe and
basically disappeared.

The word 'gothic' is first found in common usage in 1611, referring
mainly to an 'uncivilized lack of taste or education'. The people who
built in the 'gothic' style would have never used this term. These
people were monks or artisans who worked for the church to build a
land of Cathedrals from the 11th century on. They also built castles
and other edifices. The 16th century saw a large amount of turmoil
with the reform and all. This opened up the architecture field quite a
bit. This new wave of artists looked back on what they saw as a bland
repetitive style of architecture as 'gothic'. Unfortunatly, because of
the shallowness of the learned men at that time, it stuck. It was also
referred to as Ogive - or the characteristic arch of this style - this
word is usually used by most politically correct historians.

The fact is: Ogive architecture today is extremely inspiring and
beautiful. The nameless men who designed and built these works of
grandor were very talented and inspired. One merely has to look at the
Cathedral of Chartres, Paris, Amiens, Canterbury or any of the other
edifices of this age to realize irony of using 'gothic'. In fact, to
augment the irony, the popular opinion today is that much of the
baroque architecture of the 17th and 18th centuries is gaudy and


Section: 4 Various Trivia

Subject: 4.1 Is the Nefilim a spelling mistake?

This was the name for Carl McCoy's band after he left Fields of the
Nephilim. The rest of the original Fields went on to form Rubicon, who
were not considered 'gothic'.
Carl McCoy is no longer in the Nefilim.
The Nefilim are now called Sensorium, and despite rumours to the
contrary, Carl McCoy does not sing on their work. The new vocalist
is Bob (aka Peter White).

Subject: 4.2 Have the Fields of the Nephilim re-formed then?

Yes, although a the time of writing the exact line-up is unclear. It is
understood that there is a new drummer.

Subject: 4.3 Where does the phrase Sisters of Mercy arise from?

Andrew Eldritch chose the phrase as the name of this band from a
Leonard Cohen song of that name. The song may be referring to
prostitutes as 'Sisters of Mercy' (although Mr Cohen disagrees).
There is also a religious order who are sometimes known by that name.

Subject: 4.4 Are the Sisterhood the same as the Sisters of Mercy?

The Sisterhood was a one shot band created by Andrew Eldritch to stop
Wayne Hussey using the name when Hussey left the Sisters of Mercy. By
the way, 25000 pounds was not granted in a court case - it is merely
the advance budget that the Mission didn't get.

Subject: 4.5 What's this SSV thing I've heard about Andrew Eldritch doing?

In order to escape his contract with WEA/East West records for two
remaining Sisters albums Andrew Eldritch reputedly spent an afternoon
mumbling into a microphone to record what he calls an album that "bears
no resemblance to *any* quality product, let alone the Sisters". For a
total of two days work over "reject material of some amateur
acquaintances" we have an album of "rather bad sub-techno" that dwells
almost exclusively on the glorification of shooting people and selling
drugs to schoolchildren. It is rumoured that the full name of the band
(SSV-NSMABAAOTWMODAACOTIATW) apparently stands for 'Screw Shareholder

Of the record, alt.gothic regular Pete Scathe said:
"Imagine an early demo where they're still not sure where to put the
drums, the vocals & the tune & that's about right."

The album's called 'Go Figure'.

Subject: 4.6 What has Anne Rice written?

Anne Rice is alive and well and writes supernatural romance.
Interview With a Vampire is her mort artistic work (and the
mook on which the film of the same name was based) but other
books are all good readable stuff with strong themes.

The Vampire Chronicles:
Interview With a Vampire
The Vampire Lestat
Queen of the Damned
The Tale of the Body Thief
Memnich the Devil

She has also written:
The Mummy or Rameses the Damned
The Witching Hour

As well as a trilogy of bondage stories under the name of A.N.
Roquelaire - which are not gothic. Two 'romance' novels as Anne
Rampling, called Exit to Eden and Belinda, as well as a short story:
Master of Rampling Gate.

Anne Rice's Vampire LeStat Fan Club
Vampire LeStat
P.O. Box 58277
New Orleans, Lousiana 70158-8277

The newsgroup alt.books.anne-rice is, surprisingly enough, a good place
to look for more information :)

Subject: 4.7 Who is Storm Constantine?

Another Gothic author. Storm is more Gothic and less mainstream than
Anne Rice. She has a series of books which have a lot in common with
Anne Rice's vampire chronicles. She is interested in the occult and in
very ancient mythology, biblical connections et cetera. Some of her
ideas are very controversial, often in total contradiction with most
well known academic research. She is published by Headline in the UK.

Inception: Storm Constantine Information Service
c/o Vikki Lee France & Steve Jeffery
44 White Way
Kidlington, Oxon OX5 2XA

There are also a large number of WWW sites dedicated to Storm
Constantine, these can be searched for on etc.

Inception can be reached at
and there is an apparently official site at

Subject: 4.8 Any other interesting goth authors?

There are plenty, including Bram Stoker and H.P. Lovecraft. Bram
Stoker wrote Dracula and Lair of the White Worm amongst others. He
died of syphilis and was quite mad at the end.

Edgar Allen Poe was also a talented author. Many of his works can be
found at

H.P. Lovecraft wrote many short stories, most of which involved the
Cthulhu mythos which he invented. He died after a tragically short
career. He had a phobia of cold and was quite reclusive. He wrote
a classic paper on Gothic Horror which is a must read.

There's an excellent HPL/Cthulhu site at:

Subject: 4.9 Any interesting goth movies?

The German Expressionists are quite Gothic and the film Nosferatu (the
B&W version) is considered very Gothic. The remake: Nosferatu the
Vampyre is also Gothic despite being in colour. The Cabinet of Doctor
Caligari is probably the most Gothic film of all.

And of course there are the common ones, "Dracula" (in its many
remakes) and The Hunger staring David Bowie, and "Interview with a

Subject: 4.10 Who is Andrew Eldritch, Carl McCoy, Wayne Hussey, ...?

Andrew Eldritch and Carl McCoy are the singers from The Sisters of
Mercy and The Fields of the Nephilim respectively. They both were
pillars of the Goth community. However, Andrew Eldritch has recently
taken to being exceedingly obnoxious (rather than just plain obnoxious),
trying to distance himself from the gothic 'scene'.
Some nasty accusations have also surrounded Carl McCoy's departure
from the Nefilim and reforming of Fields of the Nephilim.

Wayne Hussey was a guitarist in the Sisters but he left in a bad mood.
He then failed to get a slice of record company money allocated to the
Sisters despite a court battle. He and Eldritch are now reconciled
personally if not musically.

Subject: 4.11 What do Pre-Raphaelites have to do with goth?

The Pre-Raphaelites were an artistic movement in Victorian England.
They were part of the revival of Gothic architecture. Their art is
stunning - try and see the originals if you can.

Subject: 4.12 What is 'Snakebite'?

Half a lager and half a cider. Lager is what americans would call
"beer" and cider is the same sort of thing made from apples basically.
The combination is somewhat lethal. A lot of pubs will refuse to serve
it. Variations: "snakebite black" - the same drink with a splash of
blackcurrant in it, also known as a "purple nasty" up north and is the
cliche goth drink (also can be prepared as snakebite and black with a
pernod and a vodka in it). "red witch" - a snakebite with pernod and
black in - not to be taken lightly under any circumstances. "Anaconda"
- made with half a pint of Theakstons Old Peculiar (or another real
ale) and a bottle of Diamond White or 1080 (or other strong dry
cider), a dash of black and two straws. It can also be *real beer* and
cider (i.e. ale) e.g. Theakston's Old Peculier (~5.5%) + Scrumpy Jack
(erm, ~5%ish), a rather entertaining mix

Subject: 4.13 What's all this about Cloves?

'Cloves' is normally used to refer to clove cigarettes, these are much
like ordinary cigarettes, but contain a small amount of powdered clove.
They are (generally) more expensive than ordinary cigarettes, and are
reputed to do very nasty things indeed to your lungs, although a AMA
report suggests otherwise.
It is possible to manufacture your own clove cigarettes with ordinary
hand rolling tobacco and powdered clove from a spice supplier. It is
extrordinarily easy to 'overload' home-made clove ciggies though, so
the utmost caution is advised.
Cloves can be very difficult to obtain; apparently they are available
by mail order from 'Tobacco and Novelty Boutique' at There is also a wholesaler
(Quintin at who's site is reputed
to contain further information.

For further information, see

Subject 4.14: Absinthe?

Absinthe is an alcoholic drink. It is also halucinogenic and therefore
illegal almost everywhere (if not everywhere).

It should be said that I (Tom Fosdick/Bloodstone) do not encourage the
usage/manufacture/trade of illegal drugs, and that I do not believe that
it is the place of a document such as this to do so either. The following
URL is included then for two purposes.
1) Education, that some people will be academicly curious about it.
2) Saftey, I recognise that some people will try to make/use/obtain
it regardless of what is said in this document and elsewhere, and
that having good information could well prevent serious illness
or death.



Special thanx to the following for information provided within,
beware however that several of these wonderful and gorgeous
people who have made the alt.gothic FAQ what it is today are
no longer with us here on the 'net (sob sob).

Peter Wake (
John McDonagh (
Digitar (
Ian Grimstead (
Jeff Harmon ( The
Great Grendel-Khan (
Sexbat (
Ace of Hearts (
Petro (
Austen Jackson (
Ryan J Watkins (
Mike Jourard (aka Mikey) (
Richard something-or-other (
Rev Dr David Gerard (
little o (
LadyReynee (
Haydn Black ( a lot of input to v3.2
and others to numerous to mention....

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