, quit trying to be impartial and point out Valor's good qualities. We all know he has none.
*Okay, silly fangirlness over.*
Well, he *is* the father of Sevan from The Sixth Chamber (quasi-psychedelic/garage deathrock band) and Zara (who is now drummer for her mother, Gitane DeMone's band The Crystelles), so obviously he did something
right; sure, we could
say that they clearly get their talent from their mother, but they also wouldn't have come into existence without his genetic material (especially Sevan, boy looks just like his father). And Ashes
was my first Christian Death album, I'd probably even call it my favourite, so I can't say his musical career was completely
Plus, I realise I'm running the risk of being too objective here (especially coming from my own past as a Rozz Williams Superfan™), but the Christian Death break-up-that-should-have-been in the early-mid 1980s looked like a big mess all around. While Williams and people generally on "his side" as people who were actually there and in contact with him at the time have had the most-consistent version of what went down, and it's tempting to read "consistency" as "truth", but in reality while consistency certainly suggests elements of truth, people still only tend to tell the version of an event that can make them or their side look best, it's just human nature. I have no doubt that everything in Rozz's version of that split happened (as opposed to Valor's multiple versions, including "Rozz gave me the band name as a gift" during a period when Williams was most-vocal about his version), but I also don't believe Rozz gave the complete truth --of course, if I recall correctly, Rozz was actually considerably younger than Valor and Gitane at the time, so any of the stupid shit he may have pulled (my mind is open to that, even though I haven't really heard anything especially blame-worthy) may have clearly been out of lacking experience and maturity; Valor usurping the band-name and continuing to play music he'd made an oral contract not to, was clearly then a calculated action to cash in on some-one else's success and acclaim -- as, for the still-forming scene at the time, Christian Death and 45 Grave were possibly the best-recognised bands coming out of the States in '85, while most others were British and I believe 45 Grave had broken up by then, Valor had opportunity and motive to cash in on the acclaim of another, and yes, I'd call him a bad person for that; where Rozz was visionary, Valor was opportunistic, and ultimately, I think Valor has always known this, and just doesn't care cos he's of the mind-set where vision is unnecessary so long as opportunity comes a-knockin'.
Still, he's managed to put out the rare good song. I'm not going to blame the song for being written and performed by a bone-head. I'm not going to apologise for liking the odd Valor song, and I didn't even during my "superfan" years. It's just silly to have that kind of dedication to a feud where, at best, I'm at a degree of involvement with said feud of "I know a guy who knows / knew a guy" (though, at this point in my life, I'm more like "I know a guy who knows a guy who knew a guy", cos I just tend to fall out of touch with some people) -- and I don't get that personally involved with the feuds of people who are close friends, not even if their feud-mate is some-one I personally dislike. There are three sides to every story: Party A's version, Party B's version, and then The Truth; no human can be completely trusted to give the complete truth, even if everything they've said is consistent and true.
Well, I take part of that back: For a relatively brief time as "Superfan", I was all "Valor is a talentless hack because he's a bad person who stole the band name" -- then I actually listened to some of his songs and went all "OK, never mind, Valor is a talentless hack AND he's a terrible person; the few
instances where he's written decent songs are clearly freaks of nature". Yeah, there's a lot of crap, and in some ways, during some years, I'd even say he's the one who started that brief-early 1990s trend of Gothic rock bands that "sound like Sisters of Mercy clones, only not", cos there's some stuff where it's clear that he listened to everything before Floodland
and just made it heavier -- but he never made any attempts to ape Eldritch's vocal style, so a lot of people miss what he's doing (I'm also not completely sure I'd give him that much implicit influence on the Gothic rock music scene). He also is one of the few musicians who I can honestly and objectively say has actually produced genuinely worse material as he's gone on. His cover of "Sex Dwarf" is just awful --laughably awful (OK, the Soft Cell original wasn't great, either, but there's something downright childish about Valor's version). Still, if one is willing to wade through the veritable quagmire of shit, one may find a gem or two. [shrugs] Hell, even a stopped watch is still relevant twice a day.
-- Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:15 am --
The only 2 Valor-led Christian Death songs I like are Danzig Waltz from the Atrocities album, and "Die Wth You" from Pornographic Messiah(which doesn't include his vocals).
Horrible vocalist, but actually half-decent guitarist.
Yes, significantly better guitarist than singer. I'd put Rozz Williams on the Top Three of Greatest Bryan Ferry-style singers, and I don't even place Ferry that high.
-- Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:32 am --
OK, one more bit to add on the Valor side-track:
I wouldn't agree with Valor's assertion that Pompeii 99 were "deathrock", but I also wouldn't agree with Gitane DeMone's later counter-assertions that the group "sounded like Fleetwood Mac". Of the few songs I've found, I'd compare "Ignorance Is the Control" and "Metamorphosis" to a kind of New wave/proto-Goth sound, and "Love Me For My Mind" and "The Nothing Song" are taking a nod more from early-mid 1960s pop and garage music than either the typical Fleetwood Mac sound (featuring Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks) or the Peter Green years of Fleetwood Mac (which is far blusier and prog-oriented). surviving images
suggest a band on the proto-gothic end of New Wave, and in my opinion, these were some pretty good little songs, but Gitane really carries them all --the writing is adequate and the instrumentation is decent, but neither are really anything to write home about, but Gitane makes Pompeii 99's work worth seeking out. She was also the best part of post-Rozz Christian Death, and it went quickly downhill after she left.