What comes to mind when you think of a goth? Do you imagine a person who wears only black clothes, who is depressed and maybe even violent? Unfortunately, this is the perception that many people have of the gothic counterculture. This article will allow you to discover the diversity and richness of the history of the Goth movement. In order to rid you of any generalizations and wrong stereotypes! 💀
Welcome to Skull Factories, as skull specialists, we are bound to be passionate about the Goth movement. We accompany Goths to proudly express their passion, ideology and culture in general.
Let's see together how rich this counterculture is and where this very special movement comes from. But just before we start, whether you're a goth or not, we invite you to discover the most appreciated items by the "black fan" for an out of the ordinary style! 👇
Where did the Gothic Movement come from?
The gothic subculture began in the late 1970s, when English gothic rock, being a derivative of punk rock, gained popularity. It is distinguished by its eerie and theatrical sounding electric guitars. The gothic subculture can be defined as lovers of gothic rock, gothic literature, Victorian and medieval history and contemporary horror cinema. It is said that the word "gothic" or "goth-rock" has spread throughout the English music media. 🇬🇧
The first person to coin the term "gothic" was Siouxsie Sioux, lead singer of the famous band Siouxie and the Banshees, who mentioned the name to give a name to the style of music her band was producing. Because of her influence on the gothic movement and subculture, she has even been named as the "grandmother of the movement". Just as Peter Murphy (lead singer of Bauhaus) was named "grandfather of the movement.
Many of the young people who are now part of the gothic subculture were a product of the third generation in the late 90s. At that time, Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails were at the height of their popularity. Although Manson was more into heavy metal and death metal while Nine Inch Nails was more into industrial rock and even electronic, some people classified them both in the gothic class. If only because of the fan base they cultivated.
Influences of the Gothic Counterculture
We have just discussed the style of music that influenced the Goth world. From Marilyn Manson to Nine Inch Nails, or Siouxsie and the Banshees, to Bauhaus. Some of the most popular and famous gothic rock bands of all time are :
- The Cure
- The Sisters of Mercy
- and Evanescence
Even more recent artists, such as Billy Eilish, have taken inspiration from the aesthetic of the gothic subculture. 🎸
But the influences and interests of the gothic movement are not limited to gothic rock. In fact, it is a very rich subculture in terms of influences from the arts, ancient literature, theater and architecture. Let's take a look at it in detail right now.
History of the Gothic Movement
To begin with, the, or at least the older generations of this subculture were heavily influenced by the art and literature of the 1750's. This style of art emphasized the expression of emotions, feelings and imagination. Gothic Romanticism also spilled over into old verse poetry expressing melancholy and Men's relationship to life and death, among other things. ☠️
This subculture also has affinities with medieval, Edwardian, and Victorian architecture, literature, music, and art. The origin of the word "Gothic" is related to the Roman Empire but has little or nothing to do with the subculture. The Goths were a Germanic tribe that helped defeat the Roman Empire. In contrast, the 18th century Gothic novel pioneered the modern understanding of the term Gothic by being a genre related to the mood of horror, morbidity and darkness.
It also established much of the iconography of horror literature and film, such as graveyards, vampires and melodramatic plots. The Goth subculture itself began as a less aggressive but more extravagant offshoot of the post-punk music genre in the late 1970s in the UK.
Music and Goth Subculture
As we could see at the beginning of this article, the Goth counterculture arrived in the 1970s thanks to the music and the offbeat style of some rockers. By moving further away from the pop world to lyrics about Satan, death and many other "dark" subjects.
At first, it was a musical genre. But the music remains the core and true essence of the subculture. Unlike many people who use the term in relation to the way they dress or the parties they attend, the true spirit of the subculture lies in its music. In general, punk was aggressive rock while gothic bands were more introverted and personal, with elements that reference gothic novels. 🕯
The opening of the legendary Batcave (a meeting place for London rockers with a darker than average bent) helped the gothic rock scene eventually turn into a subculture. A variety of music was played and there was no classification in the clientele.
One genre of music often associated with the gothic style is Goth metal. It combines medieval gothic music with heavy metal. In the United Kingdom, the gradual rise of cyber-goth, which combines electronic sounds and rhythms with concepts related to the gothic novel, has been equally important. Slowly but surely, there seems to have been an influx of electronic music that arrived under the guise of industrial music.
As the concept of gothic music has expanded over the years, much of what is associated with the term has changed, making some aspects of the subculture too close to the mainstream for some.
What defines a Goth
The subculture was born out of the dissatisfaction of young people from middle class backgrounds, who wanted to create their own culture, different from that of the society ruled by materialism and elitism. 💡 Goths, as a subculture, do not have prejudices against different sexualities, races, religions or ages. And, for this reason, can easily be compared to the hippie movements.
If you want to know everything about the gothic movement in detail, we have a dedicated page that traces the whole history of this very special style.
It is well known that goths are distinguished by their dark clothing. But several studies indicate that parents should not worry if their teenage children suddenly start dressing like this, in fact the opposite is proven. They should rejoice because, according to these studies that examined the Gothic scene across Europe, Goths are mostly refined, sensitive, avid for ancient literature and not prone to anti-social behavior. ✌️
Members of this subculture are often accepting, nonviolent intellectuals who are sometimes simply cynical about the evils of society and have a fascination with death. They take pride in distinguishing themselves from the dominant culture, and their dark clothing style illustrates their choice to separate themselves from conventional norms and standards. If you too want to have a Gothic style, you need your skull t-shirt. Discover our selection by clicking on the image below.
The Goth Style
In the mid-1980s, most of the post-punk bands died out and punk disappeared. That's why, at that time, most of the gothic bands broke up or notably changed their style. The punk clothes and hairstyles became softer, however, the original idea of rejections from society remained one of the bases of this subculture. ⚫️
As is the case with every subculture, gothic also developed in a form of rebellion. Today, it is a full-fledged fashion style that is much more accepted in popular culture than it was in the 1980s.
This style can easily be used as a statement against society and its values by taking some of the concepts of the gothic novel and using them as ideology. Being a Gothic today is widely considered a phase that many will grow out of. It turns out that Gothic has been said to be dead for years, yet it has never been more alive!
Join the movement too!
We have just stated the different characteristics of what the gothic movement is. Whether you are already part of the movement or not, you must have learned a few things. You now know perfectly well how this counterculture was born and what characterizes it. We have seen how music is the essence of the movement and how close it is to the punk movement 🙂
Now it's time for you to join us! And to do so, you need a demonic Goth style. For that, no doubt, you need a ring that imposes and forces respect: a skull ring.