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Rozz Williams Biographies

 AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE ARE ROZZ INTERVIEW DOWNLOAD LINKS...PLEASE CHECK THEM OUT...

 

Rozz Williams (November 6, 1963April 1, 1998) born Roger Alan Painter, was an American rock vocalist, most famous for fronting the bands

 Christian Death and Shadow Project,  the latter with his then wife,  Eva O (Ortiz).

Other musical projects he was involved in include  Daucus Karota, Heltir, EXP and Premature Ejaculation. Rozz also recorded several solo albums.

Early life

Williams was born Roger Alan Painter in Pomona, California and was raised in a strict Southern Baptist family with his three older siblings (two brothers and one sister).

While his older brothers preferred to listen to bands such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, with his sister adhering to Janis Joplin and other similar artists, Rozz, as a child, preferred musicians along the lines of David Bowie, Roxy Music, T-Rex, Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop, and The New York Dolls. When he reached adolescence, in the late 1970s, he became attracted to the punk rock music scene.

 

 

 

 

 

Performance in bands

By the age of sixteen Roger began performing in bands. He took the name of Rozz Williams from a gravestone he found in his favorite cemetery. His first band was called Crawlers to No, who then later became known as The Upsetters. Rozz sang and played the guitar, though the band never performed on stage. Rozz then went on to form The Asexuals. In addition to being the lead vocalist, he played the organ and guitar, with Jill Emery also contributing vocals as well as playing bass, and Steve Darrow on drums. Their performances were limited to a few parties.

He then sang in a band called Daucus Karota with Mary Torciva on percussion and Jay on guitar. Jay and Rozz then went on to form Christian Death in late 1979 with James McGearty and George Belanger. The name "Christian Death" was a play on words of the fashion designer Christian Dior. The band broke up temporarily in 1981, and Rozz formed Premature Ejaculation with performance artist Ron Athey, with whom he had been living. After only a few live performances, including one which involved Rozz eating a dead cat, clubs began refusing to book them due to the controversial stage theatrics.

Rozz then restarted Christian Death in the summer of 1981 with McGearty and Belanger, who also brought in guitarist Rikk Agnew, who had previously been with The Adolescents. Agnew and Belanger left the group in 1982, with guitarist Eva Ortiz and drummer China stepping in as replacements for live performances. By the end of the year the band had broken up once again due to drug problems.

In 1983 Rozz formed a new band under the Christian Death name, this time with former members of Pompeii 99, with whom Christian Death had performed at a live show the previous year. The new lineup consisted of Rozz as frontman, Valor Kand on guitars, Gitane Demone on keyboards and providing backing vocals, Constance Smith on bass, and David Glass on drums. Rozz had been the only original member of Christian Death left when he departed the group in 1985, yet the remaining members continued to perform and release several albums under the original group name. The latter is commonly called Valor's Christian Death by Rozz's supporters since it was fronted by Valor Kand.

Rozz released various material under different project names following his departure from the band; the first was Premature Ejaculation with Ron Athey, and then Shadow Project with Eva O, whom he married in San Francisco in 1987. The band lineup included Johann Schumann (bass) and also Barry Galvin and David Glass, both of whome came from Valor's Christian Death. The name Shadow Project, was taken from the tests in Hiroshima following the nuclear bomb which left impressions or ‘shadows’, but no bodies.

Later on, Rozz reformed Shadow Project with Eva O, Jill Emery (bass), Tom Morgan (drums), and Paris (keyboards). At the time, Rozz was increasingly falling under the influence of the philosophy of Charles Manson.

Rozz also occasionally took part in Christian Death reunions during the late 1980s and early 1990s with Rikk Agnew, the guitarist on Christian Death's first album. Rozz and Eva O also released two new albums under the name Christian Death during the 1990s under Cleopatra Records, resulting in two bands being called Christian Death. Valor Kand had since acquired the legal rights to the band name, and for this reason Cleopatra was forced to release Rozz's albums as Christian Death featuring Rozz Williams.

In the summer of 1993, Shadow Project toured America. The band consisted of Rozz, Eva, Paris, Mark Barone (bass) and Christian Omar Madrigal Izzo (drums). After this American tour, Eva O and Paris left the band to work on the Eva O Halo Experience CD 'Demons Fall for an Angels Kiss'. Shadow Project had come to an end; however a German tour for October had already been booked. Although all tickets, flyers and publicity for this tour would show Shadow Project, Rozz had decided that the band name should change to Daucus Karota. Rozz sang on the tour, Brian Butler was the guitarist, Mark Barone played bass and Christian Omar Madrigal Izzo was on drums. For one show Gitane DeMone drove from her home in Amsterdam to Germany to meet up with Rozz backstage. The Shrine EP by Daucus Karota was recorded in January 1994 with Mark Barone (bass), Chistian Omar Madrigal Izzo (drums) and Roxy (guitars). Daucus Karota returned to Europe for a month long European tour in November 1994, with Gitane DeMone filling the support slot. The tour had Todd Dixon on drums, Mike Saavedra from Anal Kitties on bass and Brian Hansen on guitar. Brian had replaced Rolf Donath, who had been the guitarist for the band at shows in Los Angeles and Mexico during that summer.

Death

On 1 April 1998, Rozz was found by his roommate, Ryan, hanged in their West Hollywood apartment . A memorial was held at the El Rey Theatre shortly after his death, and a small gathering of family and friends offered his ashes to the earth at Runyon Canyon Park in the Hollywood Hills.

 Discography

  Christian Death

  • Death Wish EP (Fr. L'Invitation au Suicide) 1981
  • Only Theatre Of Pain (Frontier) 1982
  • Catastrophe Ballet (Fr. L'Invitation au Suicide) 1984
  • Ashes (Nostradamus) 1985
  • The Decomposition of Violets (Contempo Records) 1990
  • The Iron Mask (Cleopatra) 1992
  • Skeleton Kiss EP (Cleopatra) 1992
  • The Path of Sorrows (Cleopatra) 1993
  • Iconologia (Triple X) 1993
  • Sleepless Nights: Live 1990 (Cleopatra) 1993
  • Invocations: 1981-1989 (Cleopatra) 1993
  • The Doll's Theatre (Cleopatra) 1994
  • The Rage of Angels (Cleopatra) 1994
  • Tales of Innocence: A Continued Anthology (Cleopatra) 1994
  • Death in Detroit (Cleopatra) 1995

 Shadow Project

  • Shadow Project (Triple X) 1991
  • Dreams for the Dying (Triple X) 1992
  • Dead Babies/Killer (Triple X) Cassette 1992
  • In Tuned Out — Live '93 (Triple X) 1994
  • From the Heart (Hollows Hill Sound Recordings) 1998

 Premature Ejaculation

  • PE - Pt.1 (Happiest Place on Earth) Cassette 1981
  • PE - Pt.2 (Happiest Place on Earth) Cassette 1981
  • A Little Hard to Swallow (Malaise Music) Cassette 1982
  • Living Monstrocities/Descent (Happiest Place on Earth) Cassette 1985
  • Body of a Crow (Happiest Place on Earth) Cassette 1986
  • Death Cultures (Happiest Place on Earth) Cassette 1987
  • Assertive Discipline (Happiest Place on Earth) Cassette 1988
  • Death Cultures III (Happiest Place on Earth) Cassette 1988
  • Night Sweats (Happiest Place on Earth) Cassette 1988
  • Blood Told in Spine (Happiest Place on Earth) Cassette 1988
  • Death Cultures (Happiest Place on Earth) Cassette 1989
  • Anesthesia (Dark Vinyl Records) 1992
  • Necessary Discomforts (Cleopatra) 1993
  • Estimating the Time of Death (Triple X) 1994
  • Error genetico (artificial hearing) 1995
  • Dead Horse Riddles (Malaise Music) Cassette 1994
  • Wound of Exit (Hollows Hill Sound Recordings) 1998

 Daucus Karota

  • Shrine EP (Triple X) 1994

 Heltir

  • Il Banchetto Dei Concri/VC-706 (Happiest Place on Earth) Cassette 1989
  • 69 Rituals (Happiest Place on Earth) Cassette 1989
  • Neue Sachlichkeit (Triple X) 1994

 EXP

  • S/T (Hollows Hill Sound Recordings) 1996

 Rozz Williams and Gitane Demone

  • Dream Home Heartache (Triple X) 1995

 Rozz Williams [Solo]

  • Every King a Bastard Son (Cleopatra) 1992
  • The Whorse's Mouth (Hollows Hill Sound Recordings) 1996
  • Live In Berlin (Hollows Hill Sound Recordings) 2000
  • Accept The Gift of Sin (live album) (Hollows Hill Sound Recordings) 2003
  • Flowers on Projekt’s A Dark Cabaret compilation album 2005

See also bootleg recordings under the Rozz Dvd/Audio Collection page on this site...

Filmography

  • Pig (Cult Epics) 1998

courtesy of www.allmusic.com

A Christian Death Biography (Rozz and post-Rozz) by Steve Huey

The founding fathers of American goth rock, Christian Death took a relentlessly confrontational stand against organized religion and conventional morality, with an appetite for provocation that made Marilyn Manson look like Stryper. Regardless of who was leading or performing in the group, Christian Death, set themselves up to shock, both in their cover art and their lyrics, which wallowed in blasphemy, morbidity, drug use, and sexual perversity. Their self-consciously controversial tactics set them apart from the British goth scene, having more to do with L.A. punk and heavy metal, and thus the band dubbed its sound "death rock" instead; however, their sensibility was ultimately similar enough that the "goth" designation stuck in the end. Their music also relied on slow, doomy, effects-laden guitar riffs and ambient horror-soundtrack synths, and their theatrical performances were strongly influenced by British glam rockers like David Bowie and Roxy Music, as well as industrial provocateurs Throbbing Gristle. The latter was especially true of the band's first incarnation, led by vocalist and founder Rozz Williams, who masterminded much of what many critics consider their best work. When Williams left in 1985, guitarist Valor Kand took over leadership and sent the group in a more intellectual, political, and metal-oriented direction. A subsequent dispute over ownership of the Christian Death name led to a bitter feud between the two, not to mention competing versions of the group, leading many of their fans to take sides. The unconverted tended to dismiss Christian Death no matter who was involved; critics often found their poetry florid and overwrought, their subject matter self-important, and their shock tactics ham-handed. Nevertheless, Christian Death had an enormous influence on the American goth scene, shaping the sensibility of countless goth, metal, and even industrial acts that followed. Sadly, the Kand-Williams dispute ended in tragedy in 1998, when a heroin-addicted Williams took his own life.Rozz Williams (born Roger Alan Painter, November 6, 1963) founded Christian Death in Los Angeles in 1979, having grown up in the eastern suburb of Pomona in a Christian family. Originally, the 16-year-old Williams called his group the Upsetters, which also included guitarist Jay, bassist James McGearty, and drummer George Belanger. The band didn't really take off until it changed its name to Christian Death (reportedly inspired by a goof on designer Christian Dior's name) and added onetime Adolescents guitarist Rikk Agnew. In 1981, they made their recorded debut with several tracks on the L.A. scene compilation Hell Comes to Your House, which also featured the more tongue-in-cheek death rock compatriots .45 Grave. Hooking up with Frontier Records, Christian Death issued their debut album, the goth landmark Only Theatre of Pain, in 1982. Featuring genre touchstones like "Romeo's Distress" and "Spiritual Cramp," the record also included guest vocals from Superheroines leader Eva O (born Eva Oritz), who would become Williams' wife and semiregular collaborator in 1987.Having already booked a European tour, the original lineup of Christian Death splintered amid infighting and drug abuse. Williams quickly assembled a new version of the band in 1983 by merging with their scheduled opening act, another L.A. death rock band called Pompeii 99, and eventually settled on retaining the more evocative Christian Death name. Australian-born guitarist Valor Kand, keyboardist/vocalist Gitane Demone, and drummer David Glass joined with Williams to create the best-known Christian Death lineup (bassist Constance Smith was also onboard, but was soon replaced on the tour by the Sex Gang Children's Dave Roberts). While overseas, the group recorded the second Christian Death album, Catastrophe Ballet, another much-revered goth rock record that appeared on the French label L'Invitation au Suicide in 1984. Returning to the U.S., the band formed its own label, Nostradamus, and the Valor/Rozz lineup issued its second album together, Ashes, in 1985, once again to an enthusiastic reception from goth fans. A live album, The Decomposition of Violets, was culled from the supporting tour (with second guitarist Barry Galvin now in tow) and released by ROIR.By this time, Christian Death were drawing predictable fire from religious groups in the U.S. over their lyrics, artwork, and concert performances, and were finding it easier to mount tours for their growing European fan base. In mid-1985, Rozz Williams left the band he'd founded, partly due to his increasing interest in experimental music and surrealist performance art. Valor Kand took over leadership of Christian Death, now serving as lead vocalist and songwriter. Reportedly, Kand and Williams had agreed to rename the existing band Sin and Sacrifice; however, on the ensuing tour of Italy, fans assumed they were still watching Christian Death. Defrauded and left penniless by the tour promoter, the band recorded a quick EP for the Italian label Supporti Fonografici called The Wind Kissed Pictures, which was credited to The Sin and Sacrifice of Christian Death in order for fans to know whom they were buying. The band raised enough money to return to England, which they made their permanent base; meanwhile, The Wind Kissed Pictures was issued in the English-speaking world under the Christian Death name, as once again few people comprehended the change. Williams, meanwhile, all but dropped out of sight for several years, eventually resurfacing in side ventures like Premature Ejaculation, Heltir, and Shadow Project (the latter with his wife Eva O.).Now settled in England, Christian Death added bassist Johann Schumann and returned to the Welsh studio where they'd cut Catastrophe Ballet. Their first post-Williams effort was 1986's Atrocities, a concept album about the aftereffects of World War II on the European psyche. Their next project was Jesus Christ Proudly Presents Christian Death, a box set of concert EPs from 1986 and early 1987. The proper follow-up to Atrocities was even more conceptually ambitious; 1987's The Scriptures was Kand's musical treatise on comparative religion, and surrounded him with a revamped lineup of Demone, Glass, guitarist James Beam, and bassist Kota. The Scriptures marked the beginning of Christian Death's evolution into a mouthpiece for Kand's one-man crusade against political corruption and organized religion (the Catholic Church in particular). His liner notes explained his elaborate intellectual concepts in painstaking detail, and he increasingly used interviews as a platform to launch vitriolic attacks on his favorite targets.Longtime drummer David Glass left the group following the release of The Scriptures, and returned to California, where he eventually worked with several of Rozz Williams' side projects. That whittled Christian Death down to a quartet for the 1988 single "Church of No Return," one of their more accessible efforts. Despite the group's more intellectual bent, they weren't above resorting to the calculated offensiveness of old; the cover of their 1988 LP Sex and Drugs and Jesus Christ depicted Jesus shooting heroin. The ensuing furor helped make the album the group's biggest seller; it also saw them evolving into a more basic, straightforward goth metal band. In 1989, with new second guitarist Nick the Bastard onboard, the group issued the concert document The Heretics Alive. Gitane Demone subsequently left the band, not to mention her longtime lover Valor Kand, citing dissatisfaction with his new direction; she relocated to Amsterdam and pursued a jazz singing career.With Demone's departure, the always-unstable Christian Death lineup splintered completely, leaving Kand essentially a solo auteur despite continued instrumental assistance from Nick the Bastard. In 1989, Kand completed another far-reaching concept opus, All the Love All the Hate, which was released in two separate full-length LP installments that covered "love" and "hate" themes respectively. The latter featured one of the band's more notorious latter-day cuts in "I Hate You," a profane tirade by Valor and Demone's five-year-old son Sevan Kand; its artwork also utilized Nazi imagery to a somewhat ill-defined end. Nick the Bastard subsequently departed, and bereft of any backup, Kand turned his attention to archival material; 1990 saw the release of the demos/outtakes compilation Insanus, Ultio, Proditio, Misericordiaque, and 1992 brought the Valor Kand-era singles retrospective Jesus Points the Bone at You?.Meanwhile, a penniless Rozz Williams had resurrected his own version of Christian Death during the late '80s, with his wife Eva  O contributing guitar as well as the band's signature female vocals. Billing themselves as the original Christian Death, they were rejoined by first-album guitarist Rikk Agnew for a 1989 tour of Canada. Despite the dubious legality of Williams' use of the Christian Death name, his efforts attracted the interest of the goth-oriented Cleopatra Records label. In 1992, with Valor's version of the band in recording hibernation, Williams issued The Iron Mask as Christian Death, its title a pointed reference to the Alexandre Dumas novel about a usurper who imprisons the rightful heir to the throne. He and Eva O. were joined by bassist Listo and drummer David Melford  and most of the repertoire dated from Williams' first three albums with the original band. The similarly conceived Skeleton Kiss EP appeared on its heels. An all-new studio effort, The Path of Sorrows, followed in 1993, with a new lineup behind Williams and  Eva O:  keyboardist Paris, multi-instrumentalist William Faith, and drummer Stevyn Grey. In June that year, Williams re-formed most of the early Christian Death lineup — bringing back Rikk Agnew (once again) and George Belanger, with support from guitarist Frank Agnew and bassist Casey Chaos — for a one-off show in Los Angeles. The result was released in 1994 by Triple X as the live album Iconologia.Williams' reclamation of the Christian Death name sparked a fierce court battle with Valor Kand, who eventually won trademark rights and forced Williams to bill his version of the band as "Christian Death Featuring Rozz Williams." In part to keep his rival from stealing his thunder, Kand assembled a new Christian Death of his own, centered around himself and new wife Maitri on bass and vocals. He returned with 1994's Sexy Death God, which many longtime fans greeted as his best and tightest effort in quite some time. Confusingly, Williams' Christian Death also issued a new album that year, The Rage of Angels, which found its leader dabbling in spoken word at times. A steady stream of archival reissues — live material, outtakes, remixes, etc. — from throughout the band's history also began to appear on Cleopatra.Adding guitarist Flick and drummer Steve Wright, Valor's Christian Death picked up their recording pace, offering the double live set Amen in 1995, and returning to the ambitious concept works of old with 1996's Nostradamus-themed Prophecies. As it turned out, Williams' version would not release another full album of original material. He pursued several other projects, including a duo album with Gitane Demone (1995's Dream Home Heartache) and a spoken word examination of his heroin addiction (1996's The Whorse's Mouth). That addiction would help claim his life on April 1, 1998, when the 34-year-old Williams hanged himself in his West Hollywood apartment. He was mourned by a still-devoted cult of fans, and even Valor Kand put aside his previous animosity to dedicate that year's Pornographic Messiah album to Williams, going so far as to draw from some of Williams' more experimental influences.Kand's Christian Death soldiered on, issuing the two-disc singles/outtakes compilation The Bible in 1999. In 2000, they added drummer Will "Was" Sarginson (ex-Cradle of Filth and Blood Divine) and toured Europe alongside Britain's Cradle of Filth, one of the more popular black metal bands of their time. The two groups got along well enough for several Cradle members to guest on Christian Death's 2001 album Born Again Anti Christian, helping it become one of the most metallic records in their catalog. The following year, bassist Maitri issued the black metal-influenced solo album Lover of Sin (confusingly labeled on the cover as "Christian Death Presents..."). In 2003, Cradle of Filth guitarist Gian Pyres officially joined Christian Death for their European tour.

courtesy of www.artistopia.com/christian-death

"Christian Death" formed in 1979, and is a band name that originally applied to the pioneering Los Angeles deathrock group. The band was fronted and founded by Rozz Williams, featuring guitarist Rikk Agnew. Christian Death are most notable for their album ''Only Theatre Of Pain'' which received great critical acclaim and was a major event in the birth of the deathrock subculture within the United States and beyond.

After some major line up changes, resulting at one point during the mid 1990s, in two bands with the name Christian Death, the name was taken by Valor Kand, who had played as a replacement guitarist in one incarnation of Rozz Williams' band. This version does not feature a single member of the original band, though it has been around since 1985 continuing on today.

Original group


After becoming interested in punk music and playing in a few local Los Angeles bands, vocalist Rozz Williams founded Christian Death in October 1979 at the young age 16 with bassist James McGearty, drummer George Belanger and a guitarist named Jay, who brought in from a previous band Rozz had been in called Daucus Karota. The band name was originally a satirical play on words derived from the designer brand "''Christian Dior''". The first Christian Death performance in front of a live audience was at a Castration Squad gig in 1980, when Castration Squad invited Christian Death on stage to play a couple songs. Throughout 1980 and the following year the band would play many shows with 45 Grave, another L.A. deathrock group, though they also played shows with standard punk bands like Social Distortion and The Adolescents around this time.

While Rozz and Christian Death were in effect playing what would eventually be considered pioneering gothic rock or deathrock, as it was being called in the United States at the time, the band were not actually aware of the developing British gothic rock scene on the other side of the Atlantic at the same time and had not yet heard Bauhaus or any of the other bands from this movement. Influence wise Christian Death had mostly been into punk like The Germs and Sex Pistols as well as early 1970s glam rock, rock, and proto-punk such as David Bowie, T. Rex, The Stooges, the New York Dolls, Alice Cooper, and KISS. They also had a liking for some of the British post punk bands around at the time like The Fall and Wire (band)|Wire, as well as 1960s psychedelic rock exemplified by The Doors.

Despite being in the same area as the emerging west coast hardcore movement, by the beginning of the 1980s, the group were not happy with the local scene, especially the crowd that liked Black Flag and the Circle Jerks, claiming that much of that audience hated punk rock a few years earlier and were all about beating up punks, but started cutting their hair short and beating up hippies instead after punk became more popular in the United States. Christian Death dismissed the followers of this movement as "''hillbilly punks''" in an interview.''

During February 1981, the band went on a hiatus and Rozz Williams concentrated on a side project with Ron Athey called Premature Ejaculation, but Christian Death got back together that summer, with a new guitarist; Rikk Agnew formerly of The Adolescents replacing Jay. A compilation album featuring several local punk and deathrock acts called ''Hell Comes To Your House'', it was released in 1981. The track that Christian Death contributed, ''Dogs'', came from studio sessions financed by McGearty. The songs from those sessions would later be released in France as the Deathwish EP three years later.

Only Theatre of Pain

Their appearance on the ''Hell Comes To Your House'' compilation helped to get Christian Death signed to Frontier Records, which released their debut album Only Theatre Of Pain in March 1982. This album featured deathrock anthems such as "Spiritual Cramp" and "Romeo's Distress". The album received critical acclaim from the music press and got condemned on a religious television program regarding alleged "satanic influences". In England, despite the album's initially limited availability, ''Only Theatre of Pain'' would have a strong influence on many of those gothic rock groups who had come after Bauhaus appeared, including Sex Gang Children and Death Cult, the latter of which featured a young Ian Astbury.

Drug use and internal fighting started to lead to the band's decay. By late 1982, George Belanger and Rikk Agnew were gone from the band and were replaced by Eva Ortiz on guitar, she had previously took part in ''Only Theatre Of Pain'' as a backing vocalist and a new drummer named China. After their first gig with local band called Pompeii 99, Michael Montana replaced Eva on guitar. Christian Death and Pompeii 99 had planned on touring together in Europe, occasioned by the Continental release of ''Only Theatre of Pain'' on French label ''L'Invitation au Suicide'', but by the end of 1982, Christian Death had broken up.

Rozz Williams and Pompeii 99


By mid 1983, the issue of the Christian Death and Pompeii 99 European tour still stood. Though Rozz Williams had been stuck at his mother's house for six months without a band, he had made the acquaintance of Pompeii 99 and found certain common artistic ground with them. As a result, the core members of Pompeii 99; Valor Kand, Gitane Demone and David Glass decided to end that band and join up with Williams. A bassist Constance Smith was brought in to complete the lineup.

Williams wanted to revive the name Daucus Karota for the new group but the head of label ''L'Invitation au Suicide''; Yann Farcy, was insistent that a band called "Christian Death" play the scheduled shows in Europe to support ''Only Theatre Of Pain"s release there. There was some protest within the group about keeping the Christian Death name for the new band, especially from Rozz, but the old moniker ultimately remained in place. The name "means different things to all of us," Valor Kand would assert a year later. For him, the name promoted martyrism as a positive example. The French album cover for ''Only Theatre Of Pain'' featured the painting "Andromaque" by Georges Rochegrosse, depicting the ancient Romans method of "Christian death."

Before their departure for Europe, the band performed around Los Angeles and appeared on TV show ''Media Blitz'' where they mimed to a couple tracks from ''Only Theatre Of Pain''. They finally performed in Paris on 12 February 1984 and continued their European tour until June. They experienced significant financial difficulty and were effectively stranded in Europe until the promoters offered to send them to Rockfield Studios in Monmouth, Wales to record a new album.
''

Catastrophe Ballet

This album, Catastrophe Ballet, featured a change in Rozz's vocal delivery. While ''Only Theatre of Pain'' and the ''Deathwish'' EP had Rozz presenting a rhythmic spoken word style with an almost androgynous pitch to his voice, ''Catastrophe Ballet'' showed a richer, less harsh side to his stylings, with more influence from David Bowie and Lou Reed. Rather than the occult-oriented lyrics from the first album, the singer showed a new-found interest in Surrealism and the Dada movement. Gitane Demone shared these interests, and the synergy between them helped cultivate the musical change from the old band's murky, dark punk to a more elegant, romantic strain of guitar-driven rock, though a tribalistic drumming was also added into the mix. Album notes (to later reissues if not the original release) give all compositional credit to Valor Kand,O supplying guitar and back up vocals during the 1990s. This was after the release of the two Shadow Project studio albums featuring the couple. The first of the new Christian Death albums, ''The Iron Mask'', is interestingly a reference to the Alexandre Dumas novel about an usurper who imprisons the rightful heir to the throne. This was a clear jab at Valor Kand, who Williams now viewed as a thief for taking his band's name. Kand became enraged at the use of his now trademarked name 'Christian Death'.

After recording two more studio albums under the Christian Death name with Eva O, titled, "''The Path Of Sorrows''" and "''The Rage Of Angels''", Rozz Williams committed suicide by hanging on 1 April, 1998. He did not leave a suicide note and it is not known why Rozz would have wanted to take his own life. It is assumed that his suicide was related to his struggle with a long time heroin addiction, however Rozz had been clean since 1994. He was suffering from alcoholism at the time of his death.

Kand continues use of Christian Death name

Following Williams' death, Kand immediately seized control over all Christian Death material made by Rozz Williams on Cleopatra Records. In 1998 and 1999 two European and one American tour was done for the "''Pornographic Messiah''" album. During both European tours the line up was: Valor on vocals and guitar, Maitri on bass and backing vocals, Fernando Medina playing the drums and Wim Leydes as a lead guitarist. Both Fernando Medina and Wim Leydes left the band after these tours.

Also members of the crew on these tours had enough tension for a while and decided to move on. Wim Leydes (also known as Cryscendo) started together with Sonja Kraushofer what became Persephone and have co-wrote material, recording three albums which were released via Trisol Records. Fernando Medina is currently a freelance drummer in Boston. Although both members were also in the song "''Cavity''" on the first track of "''The Bible''" live album, both members were not mentioned in the credits.

Valor continues to put out new material under the name Christian Death, though his current incarnation of the group is a lot heavier and has lost a lot, if not all of the gothic rock/deathrock style for a more metal sound, this is shown on their last album ''Born Again Anti-Christian'' released in 2000, which features members of black metallers Cradle Of Filth, including vocalist Dani Filth.

The new millennium saw Valor's bassist Maitri establish a side project called Lover of Sin. Though Valor does not perform in this project, he did produce and co-write their self titled debut album released in late 2002. Since the album was released as ''Christian Death Presents Lover of Sin'', the promoters for Lover of Sin's 2003 world tour wrongly billed them as Christian Death. This put fans under the impression that this was yet a new incarnation of the group that not only lacked Rozz and the other original members, but even lacked Valor.

Christian Death 1334

During the latter part of 2006 it was announced that the original members of Christian Death (minus the deceased Williams). Would be performing together with Williams' wife; Eva O as a vocalist. The line-up consist of; James McGearty, CHRISTIAN OMAR MADRIGAL IZZO =DRUMS, Eva O and Jamie Pina.

The band will be recording new material and touring, local los angeles shows to come in april. Also a new album to come. The "''1334''" part of the name is in reference to a number Williams frequently used in relation to the black death.
Christian Death has appeared on the following compilations:

2004                                                                                                                                         Psycho Tina's House

                                                                                                                                                          of Horrors                 Various Artists

ROZZ INTERVIEW DOWNLOAD TO LISTEN LINKS:
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from the great website EXCOMMUNICATION, which I urge you to visit:
http://www.geocities.com/excommunication_punk/rozzwilliams.htm

background info: This interview originally ran in
 UNDER THE VOLCANO #22.
It's a piece that I'm particularly proud of and definitely the one interview
that I've done over the years that I site as being the most important.
My interview with Rozz was conducted on August 31, 1994.
This posting is dedicated to the memory of Rozz Williams and
 everyone who was affected by his music and art.

In memory of Rozz Williams

November 6, 1963 - April 1, 1998

intro: From his early days with CHRISTIAN DEATH
to Premature Ejaculation, SHADOW PROJECT and
his latest ensemble, Rozz Williams has been able to
explore a vast spectrum of musical styles while maintaining "cult" status.
 I myself being a huge fan can't even put into words how ecstatic
I was over having an opportunity to speak with the beloved "Prince Of Goth."
I found that underneath all the dark and misty imagery there is a polite,
soft, spoken wonderful guy. Rozz's latest, with Daucus Karota,
is entitled Shrine and it's on Triple X Records. - Groovy

 

photo cropped from CD sleeve to: Dream Home Heartache

Under The Volcano: Okay, so I guess we'll just start?

Rozz Williams: Okay...

UTV: What inspires a 15 year old to start a band like Christian Death?

Rozz Williams: [laughs] Boredom, probably. I don't know. Music was always my thing; since I was eight or nine years old, that was the thing that interested me the most, so I guess the interest in it, and also growing up. Where I was growing up was a pretty boring place so I had to think of something to do...

UTV: So, Los Angeles would pretty much be the...

Rozz Williams: Not Los Angeles proper, but, like, outskirts of Los Angeles.

UTV: How did you feel when you left Christian Death and the others has kept the band going as far as the name goes? Where you comfortable with that?

Rozz Williams: Ummm... No, not at first, because we had come to an agreement that, that would not happen, so at first I was pretty pissed off, but now I really don't care, you know? I've moved on to do my own thing. Whatever he is doing is up to him.

UTV: How would you say the musical projects you've gone on to do compare with each other? Like, is there a difference in the message or a difference in the sound?

Rozz Williams: Ummmm... I think that probably the message is pretty much the same through out, you know? My message I guess, most importantly, is that people keep their minds open, but as far as the sound... Yeah, the sounds are different. With Christian Death and Shadow Project, there are similarities, working with the different musicians and stuff, that's going to bring in it's own style, and then the more "industrial" things, like Premature Ejaculation, definitely are outside of the regular musician realm. But, as far as a message, just trying to have people keep their minds open. You know, THINK! It seems like a lot of people in the world today don't spend much time doing that.

UTV: And would you say that's somewhat of a specific goal that you had when you approached these projects?

Rozz Williams: I think when I first started, for myself, that's what I was doing for myself. It was a doorway for me to open up my own mind and experience things, and then through that, hopefully I'll encourage people to do the same.

UTV: That's great... I guess a lot of people are wondering if you have a, say, a public persona and a private persona? Or are they one in the same?

Rozz Williams: It's pretty much the same in that I feel that I'm myself, whether it is at home or whether I'm outdoors. There's also a bit of a difference when I'm performing; that's a chance for me to release a certain part of myself that I guess I normally kind of keep in check...But, for the most part, I'm the same person. You might find me lounging about at home in a pair of shorts and a t-shirt...

UTV: Yeah, that's what we're trying to get at, T-shirts and loungin' around...

Rozz Williams: I don't sit at home and wake up in the morning, put on make-up..unless I feel like it, you know, but it's not a daily thing.

UTV: How do you feel about the public's perception of you as "Prince Of Gothic Rock"?

Rozz Williams: [laughs] I don't know... I don't necessarily see where it comes from. I pretty much feel that people can think whatever they like, but I don't see it myself. I don't consider myself "gothic;" I don't live in some castle invaded with bats and..[laughs]...I think it all pretty much stems from a certain image that I was putting across for a while, but if that's how people want to perceive me, that's alright, as long as it doesn't become something that pigeon holes me and won't allow me to experiment with other things; that's when I become frustrated with it.

UTV: Would it be safe to say that your choice of covers pays homage to artists that you have a psychic affinity with?

Rozz Williams: Hmmmm.. Yeah, there's definitely an affinity. That was the music that inspired me when I was growing up. So yeah, it's just kind of, in a way, re-playing back some of my childhood...

UTV: This one's on the lighter side... Do you plan to emulate Bowie or Alice Cooper by working with Muppets?

Rozz Williams: [laughs] ..by working with Muppets?

UTV: Because they both have done their fair share.

Rozz Williams: Oh, um, I hope not. I hope I don't find myself in that position... [laughing,laughing]

UTV: Not much of a Jim Henson fan I take it?

Rozz Williams: Not much, and certainly not a fan of Labyrinth ...[laughs]... Terrible film.

UTV: What were the circumstances that lead up to Shadow Project's break up? Was it an actual break up,or just an agreement to stop?

Rozz Williams: It was pretty much Eva and I had just decided that we had really taken it to the point where there wasn't really that much more we wanted to do with it, and my ideas of what I wanted to be doing were changing in different directions. SO, we just decided that we've taken it as far as we feel we can, and now it's time to move on.

UTV: Right. Are the rumors true that she became a born again Christian?

Rozz Williams: Yeah.

UTV: Did that have anything to do with the break up, or was that part of the difference?

Rozz Williams: It definitely was an influence in the direction that she wanted to be going with her music and so forth, but I don't really think it had much of an effect on us deciding to move on.

UTV: One thing I was curious about is the song Nightstalker, which is about Richard Ramirez. Have you ever written to him?

Rozz Williams: I haven't personally, no, but Eva had written to him, yeah...

UTV: Was we she obsessed with him, or fascinated by him?

Rozz Williams: I don't know, you'd probably have to ask her that. They had a relationship of sorts for a while, I think. I don't really knew what drew her to him, but there have been certain people that have interested me...

UTV: Do you find serial killers fascinating?

Rozz Williams: I guess to an extent; I find it interesting. I guess I collect certain things and stuff. I don't know, like Jefferey Dahmer. I have written him, but unfortunately he hasn't written back. It's just kind of a sympathy thing with him, I kind of feel sorry for him [laughs]... he just kind of seems like he could use a friend, but who couldn't you know?

UTV: Have you ever come under fire by the Religious Right as far as your music?

Rozz Williams: Yeah to an extent. There have been protests outside of shows [laughs].. and I remember one television program where they were talking about music and so forth, and they had the Only Theatre Of Pain album on as an example of satanic music or whatever so... To some extent, but I guess I can understand where they would think that, but the thing is that they're wrong in their assumption. I'm certainly not a Satanist, and I just believe in looking at things from both sides, and if you're going to discuss God, then at some point you're going to have to discuss Satan as well, so I just think they haven't fully listened to what's there and have just taken it at face value.

UTV: How about the latest, Daucus Karota. Is there any significance behind the band name?

Rozz Williams: It was a character from a book that just really struck me and stuck with me for some time... the character had mandrake roots instead of feet, and every time he walked he would have to plant and uproot himself again, and I kind of liked the idea of that, as it's pretty much how I see myself in life. You know, it's like going into a project, taking it as far as I can, as far as I feel I should, and then moving on, so the name just kind of stuck in my head for that reason. But now, being the ever changing person that I am , that's already gone, and from now on I'm just going under Rozz Williams as a simpler form. A little less confusing for everybody I think.

UTV: Well I think the suit and tie might throw some people off in the photo...

Rozz Williams: Yeah, yeah.. But I don't believe in staying in one place of other people's expectations, you know? If that were the case now, I'd still be wearing a dress and white face, which is, like I said earlier, if the mood strikes me I have nothing against it, but to be expected to look a certain way or present a certain type of music I think is ridiculous assumption for anybody to make. To think that anyone could be limited in their perspective...

UTV: Is this going to be a side project, or is it going to be a full-time band?

Rozz Williams: No, I'm working on definitely making a full time thing of it, so we're working on getting tours now, and discussing going into the studio again to record. So yeah, it's definitely going to be an on going thing.

UTV: Have your bands always been a full time job? Like, have you ever had funny part time jobs on the side, trying to support the band?

Rozz Williams: Yeah, there's always been a few times I've had to do other things. I was a dishwasher for a while and I worked in a sex shop for a while, which was pretty interesting. Let's see...those are about the only two jobs I can remember actually having for any length of time. Oh yeah, and I was a telephone operator for a while, but that was very short lived. The sex shop job was probably the longest. It was only because I found it kind of interesting [laughs].

UTV: That's kind of funny, because I was looking into.. it was a video store more so than a sex shop ... but sometimes they pay well. You really can't knock the pay, and you get to meet the more interesting people..

Rozz Williams: [laughs] Some very interesting people; especially working the hours that I was working, from like midnight to seven in the morning. Like, when you'd have the really, really interesting people come in. That, plus the discounts...

UTV: Do your Christmas shopping, right?

Rozz Williams: Yeah

UTV: What is your horoscope sign, and how are you like that sign?

Rozz Williams: Scorpio... I don't know how I would say that I'm like that sign... I guess just that I can have a pretty deadly sting if I'm backed into a corner.

UTV: Do you feel that androgyny has a place in the gothic music scene specifically, though I know you don't want to be typecast as a goth

Rozz Williams: I think it has a place just about everywhere. I've never understood the idea that men are supposed to wear pants and women are supposed to wear skirts, and this whole thing is confusing to me. If society expects us to wear clothes, what difference does it make which clothes they are? If they just want us to be covered, does it matter which piece of cloth I choose to cover myself with? I don't know I guess it kind of has been prevalent in the gothic scene or whatever, but before that it was happening in the glitter rock scene in the 70s, and Bowie was doing all that. I think it's always got some place, because I think we all have to look, as I've said before, at both sides of things, and we both have male and feminine sides to ourselves, so there's no reason not to explore them.

UTV: Anything you'd like to state in the closing? What can we expect from Rozz in the future?

Rozz Williams: Expect the unexpected!!

Tragically Rozz Williams committed suicide on April 1, 1998


;

  

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