It’s always random chance when the British media decides to cover goth. We were very lucky with The Guardian’s article on ‘long-standing goths’, a sterling set of interviews some true veterans including my friends Mel, Lee, Joel and Cinzia. Even so I must admit to some trepidation when I heard Cinzia would be appearing on the Chris Moyles Show on Radio X – and even speaking to the Daily Mail, that dreaded heavyweight of caricature British extremism!
Of course I shouldn’t worry, because she’s a passionate and erudite exponent of the cause. A frequent on the gig and festival circuit, especially around her home county of Yorkshire, I was delighted to see her appear in a couple of the UK’s leading media outlets. I had to catch up with her afterwards and find out more about her experience.
The Blogging Goth: Hi Cinzia! Would you like to introduce yourself, let us know where you are from and what you do?
Cinzia Bacilieri: I am a lecturer at the University of York, I specialise in the pedagogy of teaching Italian through the media of Art and History of Art. Furthermore, I teach Korean language classes for intercultural understanding with a focus on K-pop and K-dramas. Finally, I also have a side career as a graphic artist and I do esoteric art where I paint people’s energy and auras.
Most of my free time is spent either painting canvas, decorating the house or going to Metal and Goth gigs, the latter being one of my biggest passions. Music is such an important part of my life and has always been as such since my teens.
TBG: I wonder if you could tell me a bit more about being a goth – how you got into it, what interests you the most and how you feel most comfortable expressing it?
My main and key interest in life is art and music. I span through several music genres with Gothic Doom and Black Metal being my favourites, but I also love others such as glam rock, heavy metal and traditional Goth. My favourite band to date is Paradise Lost whose album ‘Gothic’ completely changed my life and opened up a new world of music to me (without that album I would probably not have become the person that I am today!). I find it absolutely mindblowing that events in my life led me to ultimately move and settle down to Yorkshire, the place where this band comes from. It was meant to be!
Over the years, through music I have met countless friends across different continents and this has made me appreciate and love the music scene even more. What I love about going to gigs is first and foremost the show, and then it is the greatest feeling of belonging to a wonderful community. For me ‘being a Goth’ means to simply be true to myself, and this also means to be able to express my aesthetic taste – which I admit might not be everyone’s cup of tea but it is the real me!
TBG: I think a lot of my readers will immediately identify with your experiences there – music, community and style being vital parts of it all. So – you appeared live on the Chris Moyles Show on Radio X. How did they find you? What did they say they were looking for?
They approached me as a follow up from an interview I gave to The Guardian a few years back, since they wanted someone who could talk about what it means to be a Goth these days and in particular how this might impact on a person’s daily life.
For instance in my case as an university lecturer, whether I had ever experienced issues because of the way I look in my work life etc.
TBG: Has that ever been the case?
In my workplace, I have never been discriminated against because of the way I look or dress. In fact, at the university we want to teach our students to embrace diversities and to be open minded and respectful about one another.
TBG: I’m glad to hear it! How was the interview itself? The team seemed very friendly and curious, but more so about your style and décor than music taste it seems!
The whole experience was really great and they were really interested in understanding what being a Goth is and also trying to make their listeners understand it as well, for which I was really grateful.
I hope my words on the radio have made others think about how important it is not to judge people based on their appearance (or anything else for that matter!). My participation in the programme was only 10 minutes long and – like you said – the conversation was more on the décor, look and style than music.
I think this was mainly because they can talk about music with musicians invited to the show as guests, so with me they could focus more on other aspects of being a Goth. Before the show they checked my @PetiteGothHouse Instagram account – I started it as a fun factor about my house since, being an artist, I like to decorate quite a lot! They wanted to talk about that since they seemed to like the photos and little videos I had posted.
I am still feeling humbled by this interest in my house since there are also many others out there with the same décor and taste that I have!
TBG: You were also interviewed by the Daily Mail, a massive UK newspaper with possibly the biggest news website in the world [warning, link will take you to the Daily Mail website]. How did that come about? As above, what did the journalists say they were looking for?
A journalist contacted me as a follow up from my participation in the Chris Moyles Show on Radio X: it came about after they checked my Instagram account after listening to me on the radio.
As a result, the article’s focus was again mainly on the house and décor more than anything else, just from an interior design perspective. I guess they thought it would have been a quirky interesting reading for their audience.
TBG: It was great to see you in a band t-shirt – you didn’t get much chance to discuss that side of goth despite trying. What would you have liked to say to readers of the Daily Mail, or the listeners to Radio X?
I was really happy with how the interviews went on Radio X since the key focus was not on music – even though this is one of the key components in my life so it came up in the conversation and I was wearing a band tee as I often do – but the focus was on what is to be a Goth and the impact that this might have on daily life.
Being such an important radio programme I expect that Radio X might prefer to discuss music with musicians or producers invited as guests, instead of just talking about it with me, simply a regular gig-goer! However, my main message – and I hope this was conveyed – is to invite people out there to be open minded, respectful and to embrace diversities without being judgmental.
The best thing would be to live in a world where everyone can be proud, happy and free to fully express themselves and to like whatever (and whoever) they like, without having to worry about social sigma or constraints.
TBG: I think we can all agree that would be the ideal. Thanks very much for answering my questions Cinzia!