CHRISTIAN DEATH's former singer Rozz Williams has committed
suicide at the age of 34. Williams who was seemingly enjoying a successful
solo career hanged himself in his West Hollywood apartment. His body was discovered by his room mate Ryan Gaumer.
Bruce Duff of Williams' label, Triple X Records, said that the singer hadn't seemed depressed in recent days. "I saw him a week ago, I was hanging out in a club with him and he was partying and everything was fine. Most people I know were caught off guard: he didn't leave a note, I don't think there was any real warning, and you can only speculate as to why."
Christian Death came to prominence in 1984 with their debut album, 'Only Theatre Of Pain', recorded when Williams was just 16. The band were often cited as an inspiration by Trent Reznor and Marilyn Manson.
Williams was an extremist - in every sense of the word-dabbling in cross-dressing, bi-sexuality, satanism and even christianity.
Following Christian Death's break up he performed under a number of different guises among them, Shadow Project, Heltir, Premature Ejaculation and Dream Home Heartache which saw him imitating his idol, David Bowie. His latest album, 'The Whorses' Mouth', is a spoken word disc in the vein of Jean Genet and Arthur Rimbaud.
stolen from: NME
|Rozz Williams was born under the name
Roger Painter in 1963 in Pomona, California into a Southern Baptist family
with one sister and two brothers. In the early 1980's in Los Angeles Rozz,
at the age of 16, formed a rock band of 4 members which was influenced
by both West Coast punk, Bowie and T-Rex --this band would eventually
be named Christian Death. Rozz developed his own Gothic music and imagery,
separate from the UK gothic scene of bands like Sex Gang Children and Bauhaus.
This was the American-West Coast Gothic.
Rozz developed a vampiric image by wearing black dresses, heavy makeup, fishnets, silver jewelry and long dyed black hair. His music combined the morbidness of Edgar Alan Poe with the poetry of Baudeliere and presented the listener with the dark, macabre aspects of the human experience. In 1982 "Theatre of Pain" was released and features some of the classic Christian Death songs such as "Romeo's Distress" and "Spiritual Cramp". As an album it is a quintessential gem amongst the Gothic Music scene, yet the sound was very street almost, very sparse.
The street sound of Los Angeles vampire rock. In late 1982 the members of Christian Death went their own separate ways. In 1983 a band called Pompeii 99, which featured a guitar player and vocalist named Valor, a keyboardist named Gitane Demone, and a drummer named David Glass, asked Rozz to join them on a European tour, and hence the bands merged under the name Christian Death. This union was a superb match with Rozz singing the vocals over the haunting more surreal sounds of the new band. "Catastrophe Ballet" and "Ashes" were created from this combination of talents, and in 1985 Rozz left to pursue his own path.
Troubled throughout by drug addiction to heroin, but never able to get the drug addiction treatment needed to overcome it, Rozz worked on some experimental music in a band called Premature Ejaculation. In the late 80's he joined with Evo O of the Superheroines and keyboardist Paris to form the experimental, slab-guitar band Shadow Project. In the early 1990's the label Cleopatra records developed an interest in Rozz's cult status and used his name to help promote their label. It worked.
Rozz reformed Christian Death, a rival to Valor's band of the same name, and would release several albums on the Cleopatra label. This later Christian Death combined the guitar sound and vocals of Evo O with Rozz's own stunning vocals and powerfully enriched voice for music that seemed to exude the effervescence of a modern Dante trapped between Heavan and Hell.
Rozz would produce numerous works during the 1990's, his most creative period--everything from spoken word albums to Daucus Karota, a more rock-based, less death-obsessed project, to a joint album with soloist Gitane Demone.
In 1998, just after completing an acoustic Shadow Project album with Evo O, Rozz committed suicide. Such a strange yet somewhat expected turn of events for this creative, artistic genius who was so fascinated by macabre.