London After Midnight
by Sarah Kender
KENDER: Right, your opinions on the
current Goth scene, the Internet and differences between the "scene" in Los
Angeles and the UK could be a place to start.
SEAN: Right for the throat, eh? The current Goth
scene; parts of it are promising, parts of it are not. All scenes should merge
otherwise face extinction from stagnation and self ostracization. So "sceneS"
should stop existing and become one big "scene".
KENDER: But don't you think that could present a bit
of a problem-I mean for instance trying to integrate the Goth, metal and rave
scenes could be amusing!
SEAN: Yes, it would. So why not give it a go? Sounds
KENDER: Oooh, you evil person you...can you imagine a
group of Goths in the middle of the "moshpit" at say... a "Decide" gig? They'd
smudge their eyeliner and then what'd happen?!
SEAN: The universe may collapse in on itself. No, I
think they'd do fine.
KENDER: Ok then, which would you say are the
promising parts of the scene?
SEAN: In Europe for example, there are a lot more
professionally minded people taking charge and trying to do constructive, good
things. Lots of magazines, bands touring, festivals and all that.
KENDER: Ok back to the Internet and the scene?
SEAN: The Internet; it's interesting. But I don't
have enough time to explore it. There is so much out there. The scene; I assume
you mean Goth scene, in Los Angeles is quite dismal compared to the UK. But the
USA, in general, has a harder time accepting something that is not endorsed by
Coke or Pepsi (corporate, in other words), so it's hard for real underground or
alternative music and the newer bands to break in the USA. It's getting better,
but Europe is a little more open minded and diverse and the underground is much
more active. In America, everything needs to be a copy of something else to be
accepted. Everything must be labeled too, fit under a certain heading. That's
why I hate labels and have said I don't belong in any scene, Goth or otherwise,
because my personal and professional horizons are bigger than being limited to
a very specific tag in life. A tag which promotes the concept of imitation and
frowns on new ideas and change. I think that labeling has created division and
not allowed for growth. And I think more and more people are thinking this way.
So things are looking up and hopefully the future will be a blindingly bright
place free of the stigma of straying outside the boundaries of a genre.
KENDER: Do you think there has to be labeling to some
extent especially with music? Otherwise the general public would know no
definition between bands such as yourself or a band like "Take That."
SEAN: Well, there is a way to determine the
differences, good and bad music. It does not have to be labeled by category,
KENDER: Yes, but one could argue that labeling by
category is a necessity in order to provide people with no musical taste or
individuality a guideline to follow. If you judged all music by quality the
sheep would have no-one to follow, and then what'd happen!?
SEAN: We try not to appeal to sheep.
KENDER: So if underground bands find it hard to break
in America, how did London After Midnight manage it?
SEAN: Magic, or maybe it's the drugs we put in the
water finally taking affect. No seriously, I hope it's because people saw
something they liked and were passionate about.
KENDER: If you were exiled from LA where would you
spend your exile and with whom? Paris? With Uncle Nemesis and Me? Go on-you
know you want to! (Editor's note: Uncle Nemesis is the main
Gothic/Industrial/alternative promoter in London, England and a fab kind of
SEAN: Paris is a favorite city of mine, along with
New York and the New England area in general of the USA. And with whom-Anna
Falchi. Uncle Nemesis, though a terribly nice guy, does not quite meet her
specs I'm afraid.
KENDER: What were your best and worst UK gigs?
SEAN: The best were our first two London gigs and the
Whitby festival. Very fun with great people, bands and promoters. The worst was
our last London gig in '96 where a first time promoter kind of had a hard time
arranging things. Plus I was very sick that night, which made it worse. I found
out I had a throat infection when I returned home, so I was running a fever and
almost fainted on stage.
KENDER: Yeah, Phil, your soundman, told me you passed
out after the show. I heard you were being hassled by groupies too.
SEAN: Yes. But I didn't actually pass out, just felt
like I was about to. The groupies...a few followed us to our hotel and remained
outside shouting and screaming for us while we tried to go to sleep. The owners
of the hotel called the police. It was an eventful evening.
KENDER: What do you think of UK audiences? How do
they compare to US ones?
SEAN: They are similar and if they are there to
support us I can only express humble gratitude and appreciation towards both.
If you have a good crowd they will show enthusiasm no matter what continent you
are on. We are very thankful to them all.
KENDER: Are there any plans for future releases with
SEAN: Yes, some big plans
actually. You'll have to wait and see.
KENDER: Preserving your air of mystery, eh? Oh go on,
tell us about the new CD!
SEAN: Ok, we will release a CD called Oddities by
Christmas '97, with rare, live and re-mixed tracks, with one new song, "The
Christmas Song", which I wrote for the holidays obviously. This may also be a
CD ROM which will include our music video to the song "Kiss" which we recently
completed. And then in 1998 we will release our follow up to Psycho Magnet.
KENDER: Do you feel your interest in 1920s films era
influences your music/lyrics?
SEAN: No. Actually I have no particular interest in
movies, because I find the movie business to be a laughably shallow and pompous
world that does not produce much good. If I am influenced or interested in
films of that period it's in the photography alone.
KENDER: You say it has been a struggle to form a band
you can work well with-do you feel you've achieved this yet?
SEAN: Yes. It's been a struggle to find a guitarist,
that's all. William worked out well touring, but he needed to do his own thing,
so we parted ways in late '96. So, being that I was the original guitarist for
the band and wrote the guitar parts and recorded them on our CDs, (Will did
some on Psycho Magnet) I became the guitarist which we all feel is working much
better than it has in the past. The line up now, the four of us, are all
positive and eager to do things. We've been together since 1992 and all is
going great. It's really been great, and things have fallen into place in such
a way that has inspired us all to really put everything we have into this
KENDER: Any really bad gossip you want us to spread
about you? (Kidding!!)
SEAN: Oh whatever rumors you have handy, don't go to
any trouble. Being accused of being Satan is always a good one, and packs such
KENDER: Hmm, hasn't that been done to death? We'll
accuse you of being Santa instead!
SEAN: Yes, that's better, being that we're releasing
a Christmas CD.
KENDER: Ahhh, so who's Santa's favorite elf...and
where's your red nosed reindeer?
SEAN: My favorite? That'd be telling. My reindeers? I
don't use reindeer, I use slaves.
KENDER: What are your opinions on all the malicious
rumors/gossip surrounding London After Midnight? Anything you want to say in
your defense? (Left hand on the bible ..."I AM NOT A GOTH"!!)
SEAN: The good things far outweigh the bad
fortunately, but since you asked I'll address the bad. I have heard things
about us said by people, just crazy rumors. It's all bullshit. I have realized
that some people like to talk shit, invent situations or warp actual events
only to get attention. That's all it is. No one knows anything about our
personal lives, so whatever you hear is a load of rubbish. Also, apparently
there was a story in Bats and Red Velvet magazine where the magazine and
members of the UK band The Horatii said we lie about the amount of CDs we sell
and how many people come to our concerts. Actually, their statements are lies.
There is all sorts of proof of that. All they need to do is ask our record
label how many CDs we've sold. And all we know is what the promoter tells us
about concert attendance. If the promoter says we had about 700 people at our
first London Camden Underworld gig, and it looked like there were that many,
then I believe him-he's a trustworthy guy. All anyone has to do is go to one of
our concerts and see for themselves. If certain people can't handle the fact
that we have sold the amount of CDs and tapes we've sold and draw a decent
amount of people to concerts (as many other bands do) then that's a problem
which they need to address. Maybe some counseling would do them good, they
wouldn't stick their foot in their mouth in public forums like magazine
articles. The Horatii also said that at one of our London gigs where The
Horatii opened for us, we had very bad attitudes towards them, which is a total
lie-all of us were very nice to them-if we weren't, could it be we had reason?
Think about it. Anybody who says, "Oh LAM were assholes to me," don't you
think, if we were, we may have had reason?! Also they said it was our fault
that there were loads of LAM fans backstage. Like it's our responsibility to
screen who comes back stage while we're performing?! Since when do we own the
club? It seems to me they may have been put off because they needed to be the
centers of attention and that night they weren't. It's so childish. They went
on to call us "Glam Fags" and talk a lot of nonsense. It's odd that they accuse
us of having attitude towards them and being pompous when there is no proof or
basis in reality for it, yet they throw major homophobic comments and attitude
in a magazine interview for all the world to see. Open wide for that foot, is
all I have to say to them! We were professional and nice towards them. They
should try the same. They also said when we started the band we were all about
vampires. This is total ignorance. They have no concept of our band. It's funny
how ignorant people can be, and be so loud and proud about it. You have to
laugh. Their comments were not researched or based in reality. But this kind of
stuff happens all the time. And there is never a reason for it. The "I am not a
Goth thing"-that was started on the Internet where, in essence, someone said in
an insulting way, London After Midnight typifies the "Vampire Goth scene." I
responded by saying we have no interest in the vampire scene, never had
anything to do with it, and don't have any songs that we play about vampires.
So saying we have anything to do with vampires is a display of utter ignorance.
Is Sting a vampire singer because he wrote "Moon over Bourbon Street?" That
takes care of the vampire aspect. As far as Goth, I said my interests were much
too broad to fit into only the Goth scene as it had become defined within the
discussion (Sisters or Dead Can Dance rip off bands, vampire wanna-bes,
etc...), therefore I cannot be classified and pigeon holed into being strictly
a Goth, though I like some Goth bands, but detest the rip off elements and
vampire aspects. I also like lots of other bands, does that make me a Mod, or
raver? I also said I think Goth needs to expand and allow more varied
influences to affect it and help it evolve as there was a lack of unique bands
out there. This was simple discussion on the public newsgroups, where many
people expressed a wide variety of opinions. But then some children got
involved, singled me out and insisted that I had insulted all Goths the world
over because I said I didn't like certain aspects of the scene. I assume they
did this because they wanted attention, because I had not insulted anyone.
Another situation where people with too much time on their hands go wild with
their imaginations. It's the way things are on the Alt.Gothic newsgroups. Some
people attack others for the sake of it. I had many things I said twisted into
things I didn't actually say. Maybe I could have worded things better, but
basically, it all came down to people misunderstanding the things I had said.
Some people purposely misquoted things I said because they wanted to fight with
me, they thought it was funny or something. It's what some do for entertainment
on alt.gothic. They insisted that I couldn't stand "opinion" of my music, when
little was given, and a lot of it was good, and I never even objected to
opinion anyway! It's all so silly. So some people outright lied to try and make
things worse, most was misunderstanding. So no one has a clear view of what the
whole thing was about.
KENDER: And when are you finally going to come over
again to the UK?
SEAN: We should be over in the UK again in '98 after
a new CD comes out. Whitby has asked us back for their Halloween '98
anniversary festival in England. We'll see...we think we are going to take a
lot of time and continue writing new material. So a tour may be a ways off.
KENDER: I heard your gigs went very well recently in
Belgium and Germany where you recorded your live tracks for the forthcoming
release "Oddities." I would've liked to come over from London to the concerts.
How did you feel about them?
SEAN: They went really well. I played all the guitar
and enjoyed it. I think they were probably our best shows we have ever done.
With the guitar situation sorted out, we now sound like we are supposed to
live. And I can really get into the music and performing more while playing the
guitar and singing.
KENDER: Oh, here in Europe there were some nice
rumours about you after Belgium...everyone was saying you're actually really
nice-there goes your evil genius rep! And everyone said the shows were
SEAN: How nice. Well, start that rumor about Santa,
then everyone will suck up to me for presents.