As it turns out, Dave Vanian, the guy who is perennially dressed like he's about to go to a funeral, the guy who is often credited with inventing (or at least advancing) goth culture, the guy who co-wrote "I just can't be happy today," is a really upbeat guy. As vocalist for first wave punkers The Damned, Vanian and crew embraced the true ethos of punk more than almost any other band and, instead of running headfirst into three chords, leather jackets, and studs, have spent the last 42 years twisting, turning, and flipping their sound- sometimes it's a garage rock blowout, sometimes it's a gothic nocturne, and sometimes it's an 18-minute avant garde mind warper produced by Hans Zimmerman.
Their brand new album, Evil Spirits finds the band wrapping goth and garage rock melody around a classic punk charge, and the result is an album like only the Damned can do and it is goooood. But despite, the perhaps, heavy nature of some of the tunes, Vanian himself seems downright jovial. In order to understand Vanian's convival nature, Punknews' John Gentile spoke to the singer about the new LP, his fashion sense, and romance.Read more