TeamRock: my thoughts on last week’s news

Regular readers of my blog may have noticed that I wrote for the TeamRock brand. On the evening of Monday, December 19, the media started reporting that TeamRock had gone bankrupt and that everyone – staff and freelance contributors – had been immediately suspended without any pay. I was working from TeamRock’s London offices when the administrators arrived and it all happened very quickly. At around 4.30pm, two men from FRP Advisory came into the office, told us all that the company had gone bankrupt and that, as of that moment, none of us worked for TeamRock anymore. There was no warning and we were told we had 30 minutes to grab our belongings, hand over our security passes and leave the building. Words cannot express how shocked we all were. Although it was known that TeamRock had made a series of redundancies back in April, those redundancies were believed to have been sufficient to balance the books. We now know that this wasn’t the case.

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Happy Halloween! Plus The 10 Best Goth Anthems, by The 69 Eyes’ Jyrki 69

Halloween greetings from London, England – it’s my favourite day of the year!

I’ve spent the last few months raiding the stores for Halloween goodies and once again, TK Maxx/Homesense has had the best pieces in. I’ve found cobweb and skull-printed tumblers made from actual glass, spooky skull lamps, the most amazing skull-decorated dressing table mirror, a Dracula cookie barrel (which I’m using to store spaghetti) and even a silicone baking spatula with spiders all over it. Yet again, I wish I lived in a bigger place so I could have bought more! I also found a really cute spiderweb tealight holder in Matalan, a coffin baking pan in Lidl and some tasty vegan sweets in Marks And Spencers. I wish it could be Halloween every day…

My partner and I did our Halloween partying on Friday night at our friend’s London deathrock club, Dead And Buried, and I was reminded that Halloween is probably the one time of year where goths can get away with dressing ‘normally’ and not get any hassle!

If you’re partying tonight and looking for a classic goth soundtrack, check out this recent interview I did with The 69 Eyes frontman Jyrki 69 for TeamRock online. It might not come as a surprise that I even danced to some of these anthems on Friday!

The 10 Best Goth Anthems, by The 69 Eyes’ Jyrki 69

Looking for the ultimate goth soundtrack? The 69 Eyes frontman and self-styled ‘Helsinki vampire’ Jyrki 69 is here to help

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Metal Hammer Online: Epica’s track by track guide to The Holographic Principle

Simone Simons and Mark Jansen give the lowdown on their new album The Holographic Principle

Epica will be releasing their seventh album The Holographic Principle via Nuclear Blast on September 30 and it’s the symphonic metal six-piece’s most ambitious creation to date. Nearly all 12 of its songs are based around the idea that everything in the universe could be a computer-generated hologram. “It’s a serious theory,” says founding guitarist Mark Jansen. “Scientists have come up with this hypothesis that we could be living in a video hologram…”

Mark and lead vocalist Simone Simons lead us through the album’s mind-melting theme, track by track.

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This Saturday: The Cure Event at Rough Trade East!

Last weekend I was in Helsinki and this weekend, I’ll be in London’s Rough Trade East to chat with The Cure’s co-founder Lol Tolhurst about his latest memoir, Cured: The Tale Of Two Imaginary Boys. I’m really enjoying reading the book and can’t wait to interview Lol at one of my favourite record stores.

The event takes place at 2pm on Saturday 24 September, it’s completely free and there will also be an audience Q&A afterwards so come on down and say ‘hi’!

I spent last weekend in Helsinki and here’s what happened!

Last weekend, I was invited out to Helsinki in Finland for an exclusive preview of Nightwish’s new live DVD, Vehicle Of Spirit. There was even time to catch The 69 Eyes in concert and pick up a copy of frontman Jyrki 69’s Rock’N’ Roll Juicer book too. I had an amazing time and wrote up this report of the DVD screening for Prog Magazine.

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Metal Hammer Online: Simone Simons from Epica’s Guide To Life

f57576b5e889d23aeac4aaa7e69335e6-da7qyrxEpica singer Simone Simons loves Game Of Thrones and Gladiator. But don’t let her near a toilet bowl with a Morticia Addams dress…

Singer, artist and blogger Simone Simons was catapulted from unknown vocalist to Epica’s leading lady and symphonic metal pin-up in the early 00s. She’s sung on every one of the Dutch band’s album, has guested for Kamelot and Leaves’ Eyes and today balances life as a musician and a mother. As Epica prepare to release their seventh album, The Holographic Principle, Simone took some time out to discuss her guide to life.

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Goth blogs, my first book cover and DMs!

Just taking a quick breather from writing my next (top secret!) book to share some news.

A while ago, I was approached by the best-selling author Martin Roach about being on the cover of a new book on oral histories called Tribe: Made in Britain: A Personal History of British Subculture. I’m excited to say it’s out now and it’s my very first book cover! I’m really looking forward to sitting down to read it.

Martin also interviewed me for his  Dr. Martens: A History of Rebellious Self-Expression book, which is all about the famous shoe brand. A friend has just told me that’s out now so I can’t wait to read that as well!

And that’s not all because I’ve written a blog for the alternative fashion store Kate’s Clothing as well. It focuses on my previous two goth books (Worldwide Gothic and The Art Of Gothic) which you can now order direct from their online shop 🙂

Here’s a teaser:

“I’ve been drawn to goth for as long as I can remember. I’ve always loved the music and imagery associated with it and I even ran my own goth ‘zine called meltdown back in the early ‘00s. I always dreamed that one day, I would be able to pour that passion into a book and now I’ve written two on the subject!

Goth music and fashion has changed so much over the years. We’ve gone from post-punk to steampunk via cybergoth and Gothic Lolita – it’s no wonder that people still want to know, ‘What is goth?’ And we’re still arguing over the answer!”

You can read the full entry on the Kate’s Clothing website


Metal Hammer:10 years after Nightwish, Tarja Turunen is stronger than ever

Ex-Nightwish singer Tarja Turunen is proving her critics wrong with a pair of new solo albums

tarja“The whole thing was such a shock, because it came out of nowhere – I never expected anything like that, and neither did my husband,” says Tarja Turunen, talking to us on the phone from Berlin. She is remembering the moment, a decade ago, when she was publicly sacked from symphonic metal giants Nightwish. “The Earth was shaking, everything was shaking, and we were both crying for two weeks.”

It’s 9am in Germany, and the Finnish singer is on the first day of the promotional campaign for her two new solo albums – The Shadow Self and its shorter ‘prequel’, The Brightest Void. She arrived in Europe yesterday evening after a 13-hour flight from the Caribbean, where she, her husband-manager Marcelo Cabuli and their three-year-old daughter Naomi are living. Life for the exiled frontwoman is a world away from what it once was, and she’s now the most in-demand female singer in her homeland.

“Being in Nightwish will always remain a big part of my life,” she reflects. “It was important, and it gave me a chance to be a solo artist and have a career on my own, since I never wrote any songs with the band.”

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