Like so many other subcultures, goth started out as a quest for individualism. As it became more mainstream (we're looking at you, Hot Topic), the scene fizzled and faded into a mere memory for most of us. But in suburban Los Angeles, goth is not so much nostalgic as it is an active lifestyle. In the most recent episode of VICELAND's Balls Deep, Thomas Morton revisits his own eyeliner days with the help of goth power couple Victoria Fashen and Daniel Alegria.
We caught up with Fashen to talk about what drew her to goth culture in the first place, how she met Daniel, and Thomas' Alien Sex Fiend shirt.
VICE: What attracted you to goth culture, and what does it mean to you now?
Victoria Fashen: Before, it was a way for me to express myself freely. It's still the same now, but before, I used to feel so alone in this world. I know it sounds so clichéd, but it gave me a sense of belonging. When I was growing up, all I had was my iPod and my music. At that time, I didn't have money to buy clothes, so I'd just go out all the time and just listen to Bauhaus or Black Tape for a Blue Girl. The music gave me a sense of belonging and knowing who I am—and now it's a part of who I am, and it still makes me feel happy. Also, now that I'm an adult, I can buy my own makeup, my own clothes, and my own jewelry. I feel like I can express myself—like I can walk around and feel like I'm a beautiful dark princess [Laughs].
Daniel and your family seem pretty supportive of your lifestyle.
My family didn't like it—especially my mother and my older sister—but they grew to accept it and who I am. They'd rather have me in their lives because I'm part of their family. Although I'm known as the black sheep—the different one—they still love and support me in whatever I do and try to accomplish. It's crazy, but I met Daniel on a website called Vampire Freaks. A month before that, I was at a show that he played, but I didn't see his band because I was trying to watch the headliner, the Birthday Massacre. My little sister was there with me—she saw him, but I didn't. A month later, we met on Vampire Freaks—I think it was November 2007. It's been a rough ride—we've been on and off because of the age difference, but he's my first love. Now that we live together, we've been happier.
You mention trends like "Nu Goth" and "Pastel Goth" in the episode. Do you feel like new trends highlight misconceptions about goth culture?
Here's the thing: you're always going to have elitism in anything. Some people want [goth] to stay pure 80s and dark-wave, post punk, or goth rock—but it's all the same style. "Nu Goth" and "Pastel Goth" kind of inspire me, but not really. "Nu Goth" probably inspires me more because it's more about the occult, and the fashion is amazing. Some of my friends and peers do "Pastel Goth" but it's not really my thing—a lot of my clothes are either black, red, or purple. Some of my YouTube followers are really into it, though, because it's really girly or creepy and cute. At the end of the day, it has to move forward, we have to expand our minds, and we have to be more open-minded to that crowd as well—because if we're not, if we're acting like elitists. They're not gonna want to participate or have passion for the subculture anymore because we're just judging them. That doesn't make us any better than the bullies who bullied us back in high school.
Do you have any goth rituals?
I try not to mention them too much because I'm more of a solitary witch. I'm not in a coven at all. Usually, when the seasons are changing and it's a full moon, I always try to go to the beach, or somewhere in nature. It doesn't even have to involve magic—it's just about feeling the moon's energy. That's the time where I feel refreshed from the hectic things in life.
What was your experience with Thomas like?
It was fun! This is the first time I've been on a TV show. I was so shy because I get so anxious, so I was trying not to be like that around Thomas and the crew. Thomas really surprised me when he said that he had an Alien Sex Fiend shirt [Laughs]. Some people say to me, "Oh, I was goth before," but they don't really know the music or what they're talking about sometimes Heck, he even educated me on some things I didn't even know.
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You can catch Balls Deep on VICELAND. Find out how to watch here.