Some of us have been hearing about The Bellwether Syndicate for quite a few years, and now, we, and many others, finally are able to indulge in the debut, Vestige & Vigil, an album that has been six years in the making……. It has been absolutely worth the wait. We were tantalized by the singles, which eluded to a mammoth goth rock/glam beast. The core members are William Faith (Faith And The Muse, Mephisto Walz, Shadow Project and ex-Christian Death), and Sarah-Rose Faith, whom is more regularly known as Scary Lady Sarah, gothic DJ.

I remember in the 90s, being in the city on a Friday night, on a regular trawl of the alternative music stores. Skinny’s (RIP) was one such such store, below the street level, dark and inviting. It was here that we first came across a CD copy of Elyria, with its beautiful cover by Faith And The Muse, in the goth section. Without listening to it, the album was purchased and has become a treasured part of the collection. Faith has been involved with some monumental American groups and musicians, since the 80s, and still he has the creative fire burning full blast. Running the 13 Recording Studio, collaborations, playing live and writing fabulous music that is filled with truths and insights, with Scary Lady Sarah. This album, Vestige & Vigil is an intoxicating mixture of beautiful guitars, sonorous vocals, fluid electronics and most of all, a beating post-punk heart. Scary Lady Sarah and William were gracious in talking to Onyx about themselves. their truths and of course, the debut album for The Bellwether Syndicate. All I have to add is, woohoo Scary Lady Sarah has magnificent taste…NMA rule!!!

Welcome to the Church of Onyx, William and Sarah-Rose Faith (Scary Lady Sarah). We love the night life, we’ve got to boogie, on the disco ’round, as long as it is nice and dark, with cool coloured lights.

William, many associate you with Christian Death but for me, truthfully, Faith & The Muse, Mephisto Walz and Shadow Project are the bands that really caught my ear. What was that period of time like for you and how do you feel it has coloured your music career up to this point?

William: All these experiences are ultimately additive, in that they were all different — creating with and learning from different people — but the end result is that it all becomes a part of you. Faith and the Muse would never have happened had Mephisto Walz and Shadow Project not happened first. I learned so very much during a very concentrated period of time (between Mephisto Walz and Shadow Project, we’re talking a span of 3 years), and those experiences informed my process going into Faith and the Muse. It certainly didn’t hurt having that pedigree.

Originally you were based in California, which was the beating heart of the gothic/deathrock scene and from what I have been told by others, the 80s/90s were a pretty wild time, so how did this shape you musically?

William: It was a fertile and open time. People were free to experiment, and often did. The results speak for themselves, really. I’ve carried that sensibility forward and , hopefully, that ethic and aesthetic still shows in my work. I love art that pushes the envelope, that broadens the boundaries of genre and style, and I actively avoid anything that panders to stereotypes, which was and is the whole point of it, ultimately.

Sarah-Rose, you are the well-loved DJ Scary Lady Sarah. For those of us that are not so familiar with the start of your music journey, how did you end up becoming a goth spinning the dark tracks?

Scary Lady Sarah: Music has always been the most important element in my life, even as a child. I found punk rock in the very early 1980’s and that music scene became where I spent practically all my social life and time. My taste in music gravitated more towards the “darker side” of punk and alternative music in the mid- late 80’s and I dove in head first, attending as many gigs as I could, purchasing records and zines, and also exploring the other artistic disciplines and interests that inspired the musicians I enjoyed, such as poetry, visual art, fashion.

As much as punk inspired me as a younger teen, the proto-goth / darker postpunk music of those years was like fresh oxygen. It just immediately resonated with me and still does. I felt so passionate about the music, art, and style which I was into that I wanted to be more than just a punter- I wanted to bring all that to people and help grow the community of fellow enthusiasts. It was first my love of the music and second my love of the subculture that drove me to become a professional nightclub DJ and impresario for the goth scene.

I frequented a nightclub in Chicago called neo (lower case “n”) and became friends with one of the bartenders who also would DJ there on occasion. We discovered that we had a mutual love of dark music, especially the more ethereal side of it, and so we collaborated and pitched the idea to the manager of the club at the time – 1988- and thus, Nocturna was born and still continues, though it has been my sole “baby” since 1996.

Is Bellwether your first foray into playing music Scary Lady Sarah?

Scary Lady Sarah: I was in one other band, semi-playing keyboards (I say “semi” because I really just triggered some cues and was hired to look spooky on stage!) That was right around 1990 and the band was called The Dark Theater. I only took up playing guitar in 2011, in anticipation of starting a band (The Bellwether Syndicate) with William.

Photo by David Staudacher

Since William moved to Chicago, you been involved in created the 13 Recording Studio, also the label Sett Records and featured on quite a few tracks for other artists, as well as doing the odd bit of remixing. Where do you find the time and do you like being crazy busy?

William: I rarely sleep. When I do, it’s in a chair.

You both are the nucleus of The Bellwether Syndicate, which began around 6 years ago, but it has really been in the last year and a bit that this project has taken flight. What was the impetus to create The Bellwether Syndicate?

Scary Lady Sarah: The band actually began in 2011, so 12 years ago. I had been seriously contemplating taking up guitar for about a year before I moved back to Chicago from Berlin, in 2010. It was a desire that had been brewing in my mind for a while, after having been on the “other side” of music as a DJ for so long. When William moved to Chicago, there was no question that he would continue creating music; it’s just what he does. I am fortunate that he is not only an incredibly talented player himself but also an excellent teacher, so my first guitar lessons from him began in 2011.

William: Coming out of Faith and the Muse, I knew I wanted to get back to playing rock ’n roll. Sarah was interested in learning to play guitar, and explicitly said she didn’t want to be in a goth band, which both delighted and surprised me. We discussed the kind of bands that were turning us on at the time, and we decided to give it a go. This is the result.

Since the inception, you have been joined by three more incredible musicians in Corey Gorey, Philly Peroxide and Steyn Grey for your live shows. Could you please tell us about them and how they came into the fold?

Scary Lady Sarah: I first met Philly Peroxide when he started attending my club night Nocturna at the tender age of 18 in 2005. We became friends and eventually began DJing together at various parties and also for what is now our monthly shoegaze & dream pop music night, Shimmer. When William and I started TBS, we wanted live members who we kindred spirits not just good musicians, and as Phil is someone we both loved as a friend already, who also had piano ability, it made perfect sense to invite him to join the band. He has really emerged as an amazing force when we play live- he really gives it his all and is a joy to perform with and watch!

William: We are truly blessed to have some of the best musicians and performers in this band that I know. Sarah mentioned Philly, a dear friend and great performer. Stevyn Grey has been my right arm both as a brother and in nearly all of the same bands I’m known for (Mephisto Walz, Christian Death, Shadow Project, Sex Gang Children, Faith and the Muse, Frankenstein, etc.), and his contribution to Bellwether cannot be overstated. The arrival of Corey Gorey was the missing piece of the puzzle: I’d been a long-time fan of The Brickbats, and getting him in Bellwether was a boon indeed. From our first show with this line-up, we finally became the band I’d always dreamt of.

Photo by Clovis IV

The debut album is titled “Vestige & Vigil”. Vestige refers to the last traces, while a vigil is when one watches for signs. Is there a particular reason for this title and why did you decide to bring out the album now?

William: It’s a view of the world from two perspectives, definitely informed, at least in part, by the Covid experience: Vestige – a celebration of what remains, and Vigil: an acknowledgement of what’s been lost. As this album was our first to be released on vinyl, we were forced to think in album sides for the first time in decades. As such, the songs, which evolved over the years, seemed to fall conveniently into one of the two aforementioned categories. So side 1 is Vestige, and side 2 is Vigil.

How good does it feel to know that the album is finally getting out there?

William: After a six year arc, and an absolute comedy of errors along the way, it is truly a great feeling.

Scary Lady Sarah: It’s like finally exhaling. Such a relief and at the same time, a rush! It’s very gratifying to hear so many positive and happy comments about the songs.

We have been delighted to be able to hear singles before the album release, so I would like to talk about the significance of three.

“Dystopian Mirror” was written primarily about someone William knew in his past. I think a lot of us from the 80s and 90s, lost friends to excessive drinking and drug use. So is the track a catharsis, a gentle warning or tribute to a lost soul?

William: Very much a tribute to a lost soul. We lost a friend to the ravages of mental illness, brought about by isolation during a grieving process, which led to a concentrated period of extreme drug and alcohol abuse. In the end, he took his own life, and the resulting anger and grief we felt about the loss resulted in this song. The lyrics are meant to be the voices in his head as he descends into the realm of the unwell. The song was our way of dealing with it, as the feelings just hadn’t gone away, even years after the fact.

Feeding into this theme is “Beacons”, which are the people in our lives that guide us to safer shores. Can you tell us a little more about the song?

William: A love letter to our fans — our friends, our family. Connecting with them at live shows is what makes life worth living, and they’re the ones who guide us home every night. Their light never dims.

Your rousing anthem “We All Rise”, is kind of a war cry to the dark alternative community. It is about being proud of who you are, never changing for ‘popular’ opinion and never let the bastards get you down. Is some of this driven by the draconian ideals and laws being driven by the zealot far right in the US?

William: It’s a universal problem — it really doesn’t matter where you live, you are always subject to the prevailing order. It’s meant to rally our people and provide a word of support, while reminding never to lose yourself in the anger, which is always a danger. Never stop kicking against it, but never lose sight of yourself and your tribe — the ones who keep you alive, who provide laughter and support when it all gets too much.

Music has always been used to protest and make social/political observations, especially in the punk/post-punk genre. How important do you feel it is to use this voice and not let it be diminished?

William: It is all important. Having come up through the eighties punk movement, both Sarah and I know that your voice is all you have. You can use it for escapism which, while I begrudge no one the option, never really appealed to me; or you can use it to agitate and push back. My lyrics have almost always opted for the latter.

Scary Lady Sarah: It’s essential, especially in these times when some of the media platforms with the biggest reach are so skewed. Music reaches people’s minds in different ways than news outlets. The politics in lyrics of the punk rock I grew up with were integral to me developing a curiosity about the state of things in government and policy. Not all songs need to be of this nature, but is important that they exist.

William, you have done quite a few collaborations, such as the stunning track “Cover Me” on the “Asylum” album for Kill Shelter. What do you enjoy about working with other artists and do you have any favourite tracks from these collaborations?

William: I love collaborating with other artists. It takes me out of my comfort zone and forces me to stretch and grow as an artist, which I really enjoy doing. Pete from Kill Shelter was a joy to work with. I also did a track for our dear friends and tour mates Then Comes Silence right around the same time I did the Kill Shelter track, a song called “Dias,” which was my first time singing in Spanish, despite the fact that it was my first language. I really enjoyed getting to do that.

Photo by David Staudacher

Do you have a favourite track off “Vestige & Vigil” and if so why?

William: You’ll get a different answer out of me almost every day. Today I’ll say “Noir Thing.”

Scary Lady Sarah: Like William, my fave can change daily, but I have to admit to being a bit partial to “Clarion.” I love the all, though.

Will there be any little cheeky remixes of the album?

William: Maaaaaybe. 😉

What is the Chicago dark alt/goth/industrial scene like and has it further influenced your music?

Scary Lady Sarah: We have the most friendly goth scene that I’ve ever experienced. Maybe because it’s Chicago and though we’re the third largest city in the States, we still have a more relaxed, Midwestern vibe. There are at least five other people or groups of people who produce “dark alternative” club nights in town aside from myself, touring bands generally make Chicago one of their stops, and a few festivals are hosted here. It has changed a lot over the years, like everywhere, and now when I get 700 or 900 people attending Nocturna, it feels very different from when there were 200 and literally everyone knew each other, but the growth has felt organic and everyone seems to just really enjoy the atmosphere and music. I don’t know if it has influenced our music, per se, but there may be something connecting the face that I’ve always showcased some of the more ethereal and shoegaze bands at my club events and the two songs by The Bellwether Syndicate which I have solely written & sing on (“You Can See Through Me” and “Clarion”) are the most aligned with those styles.

How much do you like to play live and has it been good to be set free after 2 years of not really being able to?

William: For me, it was like being able to breathe for the first time in 2 years… Playing live is what I live to do, and being cut off from it for that time was absolute torture for me. Coming out of it with this line-up of the band was the true silver lining to the whole thing, though. We’re positively on fire now, and I think it shows live.

Scary Lady Sarah: It’s my favourite thing about being in a band, especially now with the line up we have. Our on stage dynamics are fun and exciting and energetic and I can’t help but smile pretty much the whole way through a set. Being on stage and seeing people in the audience dancing or singing along is joyous. The connection is unlike anything else.

It is incredible how many married couples make music together in the darkwave scene? Is it easier or harder creating, recording and playing music with a spouse?

Scary Lady Sarah: I don’t have another experience to compare it to, but I do know that aside from any personal relationship, it has always been an honour and humbling to be in a band with William Faith, a musician whose work I have admired before we ever met. I often feel undeserving as a relatively “new” musician myself- but grateful!

We do like ‘Aargh Like A Pirate Day’ here at Onyx and as they say, loose lips sink ships, so do the both of you go under the pseudonym, The Pirate Twins and how much of a kick is it to DJ together?

Scary Lady Sarah: When we DJ together we go under the name ‘The Pirate Twins” which is a reference to the Thomas Dolby song “Europa and the Pirate Twins.” It doesn’t happen with as much frequency now but it’s always fun.

What are your musical influences? The bands and singers that drew you into the dark side?

William: I could fill volumes with this answer, but I’ll try and limit myself: It all started with KISS, but soon followed by Bowie, Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, Phantom of the Paradise (film), Rocky Horror Picture Show (film), all of which led to the discovery of punk rock, which made the impossible possible for so many of us. Bands like Plasmatics, Germs, Dead Kennedys, The Damned brought the darkness forward in their style and sound, and then the “Hell Comes to Your House” compilation (1981) had tracks by Christian Death, 45 Grave and Social Distortion that set the groundwork for so much of what was to follow. If I had to hang the whole thing on two albums, though, they would have to be Christian Death’s “Only Theatre of Pain,” closely followed by T.S.O.L.’S “Dance With Me.’ Those albums created me, essentially.

Scary Lady Sarah: Some will come as no surprise: Siouxsie & the Banshees, Cocteau Twins, New Model Army, Dead Can Dance, Bel Canto, Curve, The Cure…and many more.

Photo by George Grant

What bands catch your ears these days and set your hearts pumping?

William: Fortunately, there are many: Then Comes Silence, VOSH, Actors, The Soft Moon, Drab Majesty, Bootblacks, Algiers, VOWWS, IDLES, Nyx Division, Kite, Blacklist, Bestial Mouths, True Moon, The Feral Ghosts, Bloody Knives, Bob Vylan, IAMX, Wovenhand, the list goes on…

Scary Lady Sarah: Literally, all the ones that William mentioned, and dozens more- it’s such a great time for music- but so this doesn’t run on too long, I’ll just add Gvllow, Casual Worker, Autumn, Ash Code, Topographies, Haunt Me, Yves Tumor, Male Tears, Urban Heat, Nox Novacula, Cold Cave, Cerulean Veins, Ultra Sunn, the new material coming from The March Violets, Fever Ray, Softcult, Violentene, Linea Aspera, Whimsical, The City Gates, Pink Frost, Alvvays, Noktva… (I am forcing myself to stop here but one just has to look at my DJ playlists to see which bands keep popping up!)

You have been asked to create a compilation of your favourite gothic/glam tracks and record them with the original artists, which songs/artists do you pick? (Of course, they can be 6 feet under as all necromancy is on the house and we will get the witch doctors straight onto it…no mucking around here)

William: I’ve been blessed to play and record in a few of my own favorite bands already! This may seem like an absolute cop out, but the fact is I’m not one for looking backward (as the song “Golden Age” suggests) — I’d be much more interested in recording NEW songs with these artists, which would likely include: Bowie, David Sylvian, Stiv Bators, Peter Gabriel, Marc Bolan, Kate Bush, Einstürzende Neubauten, Lou Reed, Jim Thirlwell/Foetus, Paul Williams, Nick Cave, Gary Numan, Diamanda, Galás, and, if they could ever be found, Crash Worship.

If you will, please look into the crystal ball. What do you see in the future of The Bellwether Syndicate as well as William and Scary Lady Sarah?

William: For me personally: Record. Tour. Repeat. Never stop. ∞

Scary Lady Sarah: I’m trying to live more “in the moment” but of course, I hope our music reaches everyone who would love it and that they all come out to see us play live!

You heard the Scary Lady…..go out there and hear the music live, because it is all too good to miss out.

Vestige & Vigil | The Bellwether Syndicate (

There was a stirring on the winds in New Jersey, and behold, the debut single “April” spang forth from goth rockers, The Antoine Poncelet Band. The band is made up of members, Antoine Poncelet (vocals), Peter Quilla (guitar), Mark McClemens (bass), Santos Menendez (keys), Greg Bullock (keys) and Justin Wright (drums).

There is the wailing and gnashing of teeth in “April“, for there does seem to be a questioning of why one has been left to fend for themselves, when the muses have fled. Is there meaning if you cannot see it? The music is boisterous, and the over all ambiance, reminds me a little of Andy Prieboy. There is also a b-side in the track, “Virginia Plain“, originally released by Roxy Music, back in 1972. They have retained that glam edge with the great keyboard work and lead singer Poncelet, pulls off a rather convincing modern take, of the sneering Bryan Ferry, though this version is more attacking.

Hearing a cover of Roxy Music was rather delightful and a good reminder of what a great songwriter Ferry has been. The single “April” is this interesting dichotomy of 90s goth, grunginess and even honky-tonk blues at times, which is surprisingly enjoyable. It might no longer be “April“, but you can still indulge in The Antoine Poncelet Band.

April | The Antoine Poncelet Band (

Never ones to sit on their laurels, the crew of Beauty In Chaos (BIC), with guitarist Michael Ciravolo, firmly at the helm, have been joined by Julian Shah-Taylor (vocals/synths), for a brand new single, “Kiss Me (Goodbye)“. Just adding to the mix is long term BIC collaborator Michael Rozon on bass/piano/drum programming and drummer Pete Parada of Face To Face and The Offspring fame.

Photo by Tish Ciravolo

There is an 80s electronic vibe throughout this track, though the guitars most certainly are at the fore, in the rich, surging chorus. Everything will turn out fine, sings Shah-Tayler, even if we are watching the world burn, so with the sweet lyrics and up tempo lilt to the music, you can believe him.

Shah-Taylor might be channelling the Thin White Duke, aka Bowie, especially in conjunction with the video. There is something warm and familiar about “Kiss Me (Goodbye)” that really resonated with me and maybe it is the 80s/goth glam feel. The track is both delicate and stirring, and the vocals are perfection. “So “Kiss Me (Goodbye)” as there is only Beauty In Chaos.

KISS ME (GOODBYE) ft. Julian Shah-Tayler | BEAUTY IN CHAOS (

The second Girls Under Glass single has been released with video, called “Dream Yourself Away“, in anticipation for the new album Backdraft, out on Dependant Records. Original singer, Tom Lücke, re-joined the band in 2016, after leaving back in 1989, which has brought back those wonderful vocals that greeted us on the first Girls Under Glass releases and this track can be found on the Deluxe Version of Backdraft.

It is a positive outlook on life in the present and in future. The text asks to deal with the important issues now and with confidence. The song is directly linked to my time with GIRLS UNDER GLASS back in the days, but it is also connected through the 1980s vibes within me to the present. To me, it nearly appears as if the days in between have never existed. I regard this song highly as a present and it moves me very much to see it being released as a single.” – Tom Lücke

There is a thrill that goes down my spine and I can’t decide if it is from the ringing guitars, the thumping bass or the succulent keyboards, but Lücke’s vocals definitely lend themselves to creating a mesmerising track. So builds the hunger for the new album from Girls Under Glass.

Backdraft (Deluxe Edition) | Girls Under Glass (

Texan band, In A Darkened Room, came together in 2020 during the pandemic lockdown, made up of CJ Duron, Svia Svenlava and Kandi Hardee. After releasing a few singles, 2023 has seen them drop the debut album Sorrows. The album is a very gothic affair with Duron’s deep and smooth vocals, together with the jangle of his guitar, Hardee’s indispensable synths that colour the music and Svenlava’s fabulous post-punk saturated bass.

There is a languid tone to the music, together with maudlin topics, lending itself to the southern gothic sound with hints of The Cure and very missed Roland S Howard. As we are ever curious, we found ourselves lucky enough to talk to lead singer CJ to talk about the band, the creation of Sorrows, videos and even about the Texan scene.

Welcome denizen CJ of In A Darkened Room, to Onyx, where we are very familiar with our favourite places being night lit spaces.

You are all involved in other bands –  you, CJ, in Cursus (doom sludge) and Sick City Daggers (psychobilly.) Svia in Shadow Fashion (darkwave) and Kandee in Love Hate Affair (electro darkwave.) How different has it been for you playing together in this new project?

Well, I can only answer for myself there. Working with Svia and Kandee is pretty organic. We are all close friends and navigate each other fairly well, I think. The process has been similar to other musical projects, but this music is much more personal. The songs have been a sort of reckoning for me. I revealed a lot of personal loss and tragedy on Sorrows that I had to learn how to express.

My previous bands have all been heavier and more aggressive with screaming and indecipherable lyrics for the most part. It’s easy to hide behind that anger and angst vocally. But with this project, I had to reach down and be more real with myself than I had ever been because I wanted my lyrics to be clear and articulate and honest. It felt very vulnerable.

How did CJ Duron, Svia Svenlava and Kandi Hardee find themselves all In a Darkened Room?

I played with Svia in projects for over 10 years. We share a lot of the same musical upbringing, so to speak. We became friends through music years ago playing in a punk band together. And it doesn’t hurt that he rents a room in my house, and our studio is in the basement. It makes it easy to get together to write and work out the music. And after working through a few songs, we both agreed adding synth to the melodies would create more of the lush sound we were trying to create. Our close friend and keyboard player, Kandi was the obvious choice. She has been with us since early 2020.

Were you aware that you share your name with a Skid Row track?  

We were not aware of that at the time. We found out only recently when we googled our band name and Skid Row stuff came up. What a odd surprise! I’m realizing that finding a name without association can be more difficult than it seems. In a Darkened Room fit the atmosphere of our moody studio, and also the kind of place we envision people listening to the music – a seedy night club, or their own darkened room.

Do you all originate from Texas and what is the alternative/darkwave/industrial scene like?

All born and raised on the south side San Antonio, Texas.  Our studio is in a small rural town south of the city in what local elders call “pueblo viejo”. It was considered its own town in the early 1900s because it had a doctor, a butcher, a blacksmith, and a small post office.  So that was basically enough to make it a town. I bought one of the first houses built in there, and it had a basement – unheard-of in Texas. Naturally, it became our studio and is where we record all our music. The dark alternative music scenes here are extremely varied, but they all overlap. We have a large extended family of bands and fans in those genres. San Antonio is a big city, but it has, as of yet, maintined it’s small town feel. We have the best fans in the world here. We love the music with an abiding passion. Local musicians, DJs, artists, and venues all work to support each other as best we can.  We are fortunate to know a lot of like-minded folks here. It’s really a scene unlike any other I’ve known.

How do you feel that the scene has influenced your music?

We are surrounded by amazingly talented and creative people in our scene. We are lucky to call many of them friends. Musicians, writers, visual artists, DJs, photographers, stage performers, the list goes on. It’s safe to say we are influenced by all of them to some degree. Our more recent songs are directly influenced and inspired by the local dance scene and the DJs who keep them moving. They have been incredibly supportive all along, but especially with the new more driving, upbeat songs. The newer songs are driven by the response we’ve received. People are dancing at our shows, and it’s a great feeling to make people want to dance. And we’re completely stoked to hear DJs, local and otherwise, spinning our music. People seem to be resonating  with the pulsing, dark, building momentum of the newer songs. We love it.

This project began in the throes of the world pandemic, so was it something you had been thinking about doing or was it more so, a venture out of necessity?

It was a little of both. We had a lot of time on our hands and, like the rest of the world, were in isolation. My roomate, Svia, was the only one I got to make music with for a while. So the initial songs definitely carried some of that weight with them. It brought this kind of naturally slower more spacious sound to the fore, music with room to breath.

Now we are in 2023 and your debut album “Sorrows” has been released. Why did you go for the title “Sorrows” instead of using a title track?

The name Sorrows seemed to fit well with underlying theme of these tracks.  The thread that weaves together all of the songs on the debut is love and loss. It’s a collection of stories, really, with no one story more important than another, and Sorrows speaks to all of them. These songs helped us in a lot of ways, you can hear the lament and longing in each piece. It was very cathartic for me writing these. I held back tears hearing us play these on stage for the first time. Slowly, I have been able to release the emotions that inspired them. Now they belong to everyone. 

We wrote other songs but they didn’t quite fit the tone and purpose we wanted to give this particular group of songs. They have a different energy that is evolving our sound for future setlists. The final song on the album “Water Under the Bridge” is about letting go of all the burden we had taken on ourselves and about finding healing.  We briefly discussed what we were going to go for before the session, and to our astonishment came out with the full 8 minute song in one take, playing it for the first time.  We were glad we recorded it and soon we realized it had all the energy and resolution we needed for our final track on the album.

The band name, In a Darkened Room, alludes to the fact that you spent time writing and rehearsing in a basement. Do you think this bunkering down also adds to the ambience of the album?

Definitely. Our basement studio is a reflection of who we are. We surround ourselves with records, music, and instruments. Several amps and a few drum kits line the walls. There is moody ambient colored light and brocade tapestries covering every wall. I always find inspiration in that space.

“Wall Of Sadness” was your first single, setting a goth rock tone for future releases. There is that beautiful rich guitar that permeates the track and deep vocals. Was this the ideal sound for you from the outset?

Thank you. Yes, that song helped to set the template of what we would become. The guitars, vocals, bass, and keys are all very distinct to me, and it does serve as a sort of blueprint for our sound. The elements are simple, and the songs have so much space to expand within themselves. They are almost trance-like, and while the album is decidedly dark, we would to think this kind of meditative wave of sound can be for everyone, not just us black-clad few.

Texas is kind of renowned for its country music, which in turn has had an influence on rockabilly etc. For me there is that air of southern gothic in the album and was that something you were hoping to incorporate of was it just a natural thing?

That is a great compliment, thank you. I don’t know that we consciously try to incorporate that sound. It’s just a part of who we are and where we come from. I love the acoustic, and am a fan of old folk and older country, so we come by that influence honestly, I suppose. Living in a rural ranch community might have rubbed off on me. The area has a lot of history. I live right next to a river which was near the Battle of Medina 1813 – the bloodiest known battle in Texas history. 1400 Mexican freedom fighters were slain by the Spanish army. 9 years later, a Mexican general ordered troops back to the area where they purportedly buried the remains of the defeated army under the largest oak tree they could find. The tree has yet to be located. History, tales, and superstitions have always permeated South Texas, so I’m sure those things influence us and our music.

Do you have a favourite track off the album and if so, which one and why?

Probably Doom and Gloom. To me, the mood of that song seems to curl throughout the rest of the album like smoke. The ashy, breathy approach I was trying to affect in the vocals and the almost opium induced tumbling of the piano melody takes me back to when we first wrote it. I’m glad we captured that correctly. I also remember the lyrics of that one just coming out as if I had always known them.  Svia went upstairs for a drink, and by the time he got back, I had finished it. We didn’t want to change a thing. When a song comes out like that it’s best to leave it as it is, I’ve learned.

How do you guys approach song writing and who is the main instigator, and is there one band member who would rather check out what is in the fridge?  

I write the main melody on guitar or keys then think about the way it makes me feel. I tend to create the lyrics around that feeling. Svia and Kandi help me arrange the length of parts and particular sounds. We are pretty good at figuring out if it’s something we can work with or not. We have gotten pretty adept at smoothing out the process and making it relatively easy.

Have you been playing live gigs and if so, is it something you like to do?

Oh, yes, as much as possible. We have been lucky enough to open for some hot touring acts right now coming through Texas, as well as some legendary bands that we have admired and loved for years.  It has been a real privilege to share the stage with these bands. We look forward to more shows. We know it’s hard starting a new band and taking on all that is necessary to promote it, but we come into it with experience. I feel like the music is bigger than any one of us. It’s the one driving the bus, we’re just the passengers. We’ve come to a place where we need to give back to music what it  gave to us, hope. So it doesn’t matter what happens as long as we stay true to ourselves, respect the music, and be open to where it might take us.

Are you just a bunch of dark romantics?

I’d like to think so. I am a lot more empathic these days. We’ve all been through some very hard times  in the recent past, and have had to find out where we stand in the world these days. I’d like to think we are all trying to find a better version of ourselves.

What bands/acts got you into the dark alternative scene?

I grew up listening to early metal. It was huge growing up in San Antonio, and still is, really. From that background, industrial was a natural progression for me and piqued my interest in electronic sound. Pretty Hate Machine had just been released. It was a game-changer. It was an incredible album from start to finish, and it sounded nothing like anything else I was hearing at that time. Then I heard Skinny Puppy’s “Too Dark Park.”  It simultaneously fascinated me and scared the hell out of me. It was like witnessing something forbidden, the equivalent of sonic porn.

What new acts do you listen to now?

I really like a lot of the bands that are making moves right now. Soft Kill, The KVB, Glass Spells, to name just a few.  We tend toward a more traditional goth/dark wave sound with a bit of contemporary style, but our musical tastes are varied and many.

If you had an unlimited video budget, which track off the album would you choose to use, where would you set it, director/actors (dead or alive as we will generously revive) etc?

We are heavy into videos. We have a blast making them. Our plan is to release a video for every one of the 8 songs on this debut. I shoot and edit all of our videos with the help of the band and sometimes friends who volunteer to help. We like to create a vision and look for the video and keep them a little different style wise. We just released the 6th video for “Descend” which features a slow, twisted cruise through a nearby cemetery. We would go there when wanted to clear our heads and it seemed a perfect place for this song and video. The scenery and the quiet there always puts me in a creative mind. 

We’ve almost finished the video for “Hollow” as well, that makes 7 videos so far. But, hm. If budget wasn’t an issue, I would choose “Water Under the Bridge” since we haven’t started it. We have some ideas but it needs more time and space to work out how to translate the depth of that song.

What is in the future for In A Darkened Room?

We love meeting new people and experiencing new places,  so we hope to do more road shows, touring, festivals, and touring Europe. Writing the music and creating the videos is our focus in the meantime. Hope to see all of you soon.  We sincerely appreciate your support, listens, and shares! Please visit our bandcamp for all upcoming music and merch, thank you! ~ IN A DARKENED ROOM

Thank you for enlightening us and for your time! 

Sorrows | In a Darkened Room (

Jarrad Robertson is the captain of the scurrilous pack Sea Lungs, with Andi Lennon as the vocal navigator and linguist, while Robertson and first mate Micheal Johnson steer the musical course. “Parlour Tricks” is the latest single which has magically appeared on Bandcamp for your listening pleasure. (Ignore the 12th of April date, because it is available NOW!!)

If you haven’t guessed from the cover photo, it is about those that dabble in the occult for an audience, deceitfully conjuring up the dead, using smoke and mirrors, for fame and money. “Parlour Tricks“is decidedly heavier than previous tracks, with a more deathrock drone of guitars. Lennon never misses a beat, which is amazing with his wordy lyrics that would be tricky for less nimble tongues. The lumbering death march for those passed, and a message for the living that no amount of incantations from charlatans can communicate with the dead. Sea Lungs are here to say. It’s all a “ParlourTrick” but rock on anyway.

Parlour Tricks | Sea Lungs (

Nothing says goth more than a story of maudlin, and that was something the Greeks excelled in. Illinois goth rock act, The Funeral March have touched the tale of “Persephone,” released as an EP on March 15th. The daughter of Demeter (Goddess of Seasons), Persephone (Goddess of Agriculture) is stolen to the underworld by Hades (God of Hell), which causes Demeter to throw the world into a constant winter. Hades finally agrees to return Persephone to her mother for six months of the year while the other half of the year is with him. And so we have the changing seasons…. Spring and Summer are full of life, which changes into Autumn/Fall and Winter when the living world becomes dormant, hibernates, or dies. However, this is a modern gothic tale on the tale.

The drums bear a striking resemblance to The Cure’sHanging Gardens” in the first track “Figured“. Echoing and bass heavy, there is the slow descent into a form of madness from being in a world that they never chose to be in and can not leave.

Nite Nite” is the realisation that things may never go back to the way they were, as the world crumbles under the weight of that revelation. Graduating tones swathe the senses in a sombre atmosphere.The drone of “Two As One” is a modern take on a dark love that dances on the edge of lunacy. The music consumes the senses just as the lust and adoration devour the storyteller.

There is nothing more memorable than a last embrace and lip lock. So we have “Kiss Me (with your last breath)“, a gothic love song, with electronics swelling beneath. A final twist of the knife into madness comes with “Wasted Moon“. A cry to the universe joined by the howling guitar work as they swirl into murky abyss.

People that love The Cure era of Pornography, 17 Seconds and Faith are going to get a kick out of Persephone. Heavily imbued with the sonics of Robert Smith’s crew, the EP is full of lament and the lost visions of dreamers, wrapped in chiming guitar strains.

Persephone | The Funeral March | The Funeral March of the Marionettes (

If you haven’t checked out the new goth rock single, “We All Rise“, and the accompanying video from Chicago based band, The Bellwether Syndicate, then maybe you should. William Faith and company ramp it up with an anthem off the soon to be released album, Vestige & Vigil, out on the label Sett Records.

The drums thump away, drawing our attention, with the beautiful guitar sound that The Bellwether Syndicate is becoming so well known for. However, that is nothing compared to the huge belting chorus that surges forth with such conviction and pure anger towards a culture and system that holds people back, preaches money hungry religion as your only salvation and that is discriminatory towards people (especially women, trans and those of colour) who are even losing autonomy over their own bodies . ‘WE RISE ABOVE OUR STATION, WE ECLIPSE THE LIGHT OF NATIONS, WE REVEAL THE FARCE, FOR ALL TO SEE‘….. Faith is nearly snarling during the chorus’. The most poignant verse for me however is, ‘The will to swim against the tide, To break convention, In the great divide, To dare to dream‘ which signifies a universal fight for what is right and not what is doctrine.

Faith has a very sonorous voice and sometimes you forget how much punked up rage he can muster and it is glorious in this track. The video goes from being just William and Sarah Rose Faith on the streets, and becoming a black mass marching down the street. A wonder to behold and “Rise” is a song that needs to be echoed until the world becomes a better place.

We All Rise | The Bellwether Syndicate (

Finnish goth rockers Lamori, have released the single “Dark Messiah” off the soon to be released, fourth album, Neon Blood Fire on the label Wormholedeath Records. The band has been around since 2009, with members Matias Juselius (vocals), Marcus Pellas (guitar), Mikael Westerlund (bass), Jens Wickholm (keys) and Emanuel Sanchez (drums).

The keyboards are your guide in this track, the light on the path of heavy guitar and thrashing drums. The vocals range from plaintive through to growling hellfire, as the track wends its way through the theme of holding onto hope even when darkness and death surround you, as there must be some grand scheme to it all.

This is my first time listening to Lamori and they are like an amalgamation of 69 Eyes meets Deathstars, with the vastness of Amorphis thrown in for good measure. There is a grandiose epic swell that sweeps you along, in a way those from Nordic climes can evoke so well. Lamori holds the heart of the “Dark Messiah“.

From the gothic wildlands of San Jose, Costa Rica, Ariel Maniki And The Black Halos are back with the single “Supernova“. It has been bat stamped from the label Deepland Records, a precursor to the new album, FRACTALS, which is slated for release at the end of March, 2023.

There is a low ground swell that bursts forth, shimmying drums, cheeky synths, and the guitar chiming out before delivering you into vocal arms of Maniki. The brightness of the guitar work enhances the deep, melodic drawl of the vocals.

If you suffer from epilepsy, then you should probably steer clear of the video, but otherwise, drench yourself in the sumptious delights of both the visual and sonic. Maniki’s admiration of The Cure is easily heard, and yet there is no mimicry, just a reflection. A love so intense, it burns like a “Supernova“, eventually transforming into another celestial entity that affects everything around it. An extraordinarily beautiful post-punk track from Ariel Maniki And The Black Halos.

Supernova | Ariel Maniki and the Black Halos (