to be one of those sad bisexual vampires, pouting
in the dark, drinking red wine, clicking my
big fake black nails on the bar, starring in
my very own secret movie where I was the tragic
beauty. Yup, I was a total fag for about a year,
painting cobwebs on my face and stretching nasty
black netting around my plump and pasty teenaged
body. My soundtrack was operatic and often maudlin
but The Greatest Song Ever at that time was
"Bela Lugosi's Dead" by Bauhaus.
was Peter Murphy, Daniel Ash and brothers David
J and Kevin Haskins. They disbanded in the Eighties.
Peter Murphy went solo and the other three went
on to form the more pop oriented Love and Rockets.
got a chance to talk to the silky voiced David
J and to see
how he's moved on from his goth icon status.
I, too, have long since put away my Anne Rice
and Aqua Net.
Did you ever look out into the audience while
playing with Bauhaus and see all the painted
up death rock kids and think, "C'mon now, you
course. I appreciate that people saw us as pioneers
of that whole goth scene, but we didn't really
see it that way. And our fans weren't all like
I sure was. A total Siouxsie eyeliner-wearin'
geek for you guys. But your most famous song
that inspired the goth minions to swarm to the
dark side, "Bela Lugosi's Dead," still holds
up today. I see club kids and rockers alike
sway all dreamily to it when it comes on. Do
you still get a lot of happiness out of that
yes. It's special because it's the first one
we did as a band. We wrote it six weeks after
the band formed.
Wow, and that was in 1978. 25 years ago.
my, yes, it's been awhile I guess. I've recently
heard some great stories that have made me feel
good about it. A friend of mine was talking
to Thom Yorke (Radiohead) and Bela Lugosi came
on the sound system and [Thom] said that he
loved that song and when he's home he loves
to break out all of his Bauhaus records. That
felt pretty good.
That's quite a nod. So, what got you into music
to start with?
Bowie. My brother Kevin had seen him on a television
program and made sure I saw it when he came
on again. He performed "Starman." It was incredible,
and that was it for me. My Dad wasn't too happy
about it, though.
My Dad didn't like you guys, either. He thought
you were all sick, making me love you all the
more. Now you're a father. Does your kid listen
to anything that makes you roll your eyes?
first he started getting into rap, then rap
metal, then serious death metal. And I wouldn't
say anything but I thought how can you listen
That's pretty funny. Every generation has an
Elvis. I think even Mozart was considered pretty
punk by Austrian standards of his day. What
are you up to these days?
I've been DJing, performing some cabaret, "Cabaret
Oscuro," I've just released an album (on Hey
Day Records) called Estranged and an
EP where I did a remix using Jen Folkers' (of
I love Jen, she's such a little sexpot. Speaking
of sexy, there's a general opinion among most
Americans that the English are a dry and sexually
repressed people. What do you say to that?
a lot of truth to that. It's a very old ingrained
social thing, religious-based. England used
to be mostly pagan, where sex was part of spirituality
and you could even pay for sex at a temple.
So sex was a way to achieve a piece of the divine.
more dogmatic and strict Christian sects started
taking over, and we all know how they view sexuality.
But as with any extreme puritanical regime,
the art and sexuality become very strong and
come out as a sort of backlash.
We have a kind of twisted version of that going
on here in this country. Jen is definitely a
very sexual performer. She's got that whole
'whore of the temple' vibe dialed.
Yeah, I really enjoyed working with Jen. She's
got a dirty laugh.
What would you be doing if you weren't doing
Painting. A book is coming out in Japan called
The Glittering Darkness where the members
of Bauhaus are the main characters. I did
the illustrations for it.
For the whole book? How many pieces did you
Jeezum crow, did you eat?
J is not goth, he's just skinny. He will be
performing with Drumattica at Dante's on Friday,
Dec. 19th. Check out his very cool all-flash
website at www.davidjonline.com and his latest
album Estranged, in stores now (go
to www.heyday.com for a free bonus CD). Now
go eat something for God's sake, or you'll
be all undead-undead-undead.