Exclusive Interview: Goth Fashion Icon and Horror Fan RazorCandi
RazorCandi has carved out her own territory in the world of goth and fetish fashion with electrifying pictorials showcasing her intense and unique look. Body modification, corsetry, pin-up style glam and bondage-inspired looks are all fodder for Razor’s restless mind. And if you’re the type to check a model’s cred, she actually lives in Transylvania.
Ed Grabianowski: I want to start off by talking about Ghost. I saw them here in Buffalo a few months ago and it was the best rock show I’ve been to in ages. I loved your travelogue about the ordeals you dealt with to see that show in Germany. What appeals to you about that kind of theatrical performance?
RazorCandi: I couldn’t think of a better way to start an interview but with the subject of Ghost! It’s a little funny but I haven’t geeked out about a band this bad in many years. Now for those of you who may not be familiar with my story about my journey to see Ghost live in Munich you can read about it on my blog.
I have to add to this story by another small tale that follows. In the weeks following November 23rd I’ve been on a non stop Ghost binge. I can’t stop listening to them (I’m even listening to them right now)! They’ve truly captured a part of my soul. Among my passion for just listening to them I’ve been watching some interviews as well. It’s only when one of the Nameless Ghouls makes his extra polite interview that it dawned on me, “Wait a minute, I’ve met this person!” [The musicians in Ghost hide their identities with cloaks and refer to themselves only as Nameless Ghouls. -Ed.] His mannerisms and voice rung bells of recognition in my mind and brought me back to Saturday morning Nov. the 23rd when Attila and I seek out help about our lost tickets. I mention in my journal that the Romanian worker “fetched a young boy for us.” I didn’t go into much detail about this young lad because his name was lost and forgotten to me the second he spoke it (I’ve always been an airhead with names). One thing I didn’t mention in my journal was how the boy mentioned not only once but twice that “he will not be attending the show.” Now, this could mean many things, at the time it didn’t mean diddly squat, but I did find it a little odd how he smirked a bit when he said this, and in the back of mind I wondered to myself, “why would he not be there? What is his purpose of being on tour with the band then? And why is he putting so much emphasis on the fact that he won’t be there?” But this thought was only but a whisper erased by my joy of having the issue resolved. Only after watching the interviews with a Nameless Ghoul weeks later, the way he shook hands politely with his interviewers as he had done with us upon the moment we met and sort of getting that feeling of recollection, did I realize, “o-m-g… ‘he’s not going to be there’ because he’s IN the band – duh!’” Of course this is probably just my imagination going wild and if this young boy were to read this he’d laugh insanely at this giddy young gal who’s just a little overly excited to think that maybe, just maybe, she actually shook hands with a Nameless Ghoul!
That aside I’ll get the actual question. What appeals to me about Ghost is the overall perfect display. The music is arranged so well but then they also pulled off a flawless theme to go along with it. I absolutely see this as the ultimate artistic expression. The fact that they clearly dedicated themselves to their characters is very respectable. Over all I find it very admirable but also mesmerizing that the characters are anonymous. I feel very inspired by the band and already have ideas for a tribute [photo] set brewing in my mind. 😉
EG: When you’re planning a photo shoot, what is the creative process like, from concept to creation? Do you start with a look, and that inspires a theme? Or do you build the look from an idea or emotional impetus?
RC: The creative processes behind my many looks are inspired by all kinds of things. It really all depends on how the thought comes about, for example if the set is based on a theme (like a contest, lets say with the name – Transition) then I go on that for ideas. I’ve also come across locations where, in my mind I can imagine an image or a look that would fit or work with the location and then I will feel inspired to shoot. Some ideas are based on items I receive as gifts and I will literally base the whole look inspired off a single item which often times becomes a bit frustrating because usually I imagine items I don’t own or have access to so I really have to push my creative mind to achieve certain looks with very DIY styling. In all it’s hard to say exactly where my ideas spawn from, they just sort of come and once I have a few important items down I just go from there. Usually when I get ideas I sketch them out immediately because otherwise they will be replaced by ideas that are constantly forming, thus past ideas are lost and won’t be revisited if they are not on paper.
EG: Can you tell me a bit about goth/fetish fashion and the culture that surrounds it? It certainly goes far beyond fashion, what was it like getting into that scene when you were younger, and what has it been like rising to prominence within it?
RC: When my interest was first sparked in the goth scene I was quite young so I was really influenced more by the fashion aspect within the fetish subculture and a bit too young to really grasp the sexual part of it. I also found music as a great escape and refuge which really anchored me to the alternative scene. It was only later when I bloomed into a mature woman did I realize there is more besides the goth subculture and that the fetish scene had much more to offer than just fashion, which to my great advantage, was affiliated with the goth subculture and this became a great escape and refuge for my adult urges. I think the fetish scene is a really great sanctuary for those who clearly have desires which are outside of what is deemed normal and goths who deny this or choose to ignore it are either still quite young or are simply just close minded in my opinion. That’s not to say that anyone within the scene who isn’t sexually active are lame or close minded, all I’m saying is that to have an open mind you must not judge others’ lifestyles even if you don’t agree with it. This is what really draws me to the fetish scene as I find most of the people who encompass the scene are pleasantly open minded in all aspects of one’s chosen lifestyle, not just sexually.
EG: Tell me about moving to Romania. What lead you to that decision? What has it been like for someone who grew up in the U.S. to live there?
RC: Well what lead me here is my husband and the desire to experience the exotic lifestyle of Eastern Europe. I did find living in Romania to be a little challenging at first; it certainly took a bit of adjusting and getting used to. I know a lot of people think Romania is a third-world country and some even think there are wars here and all that but you’d be surprised to know that there are shopping malls and things of that nature. The Western culture has quickly moved in and I see the humdrum of everyday life to not be very different from that of the lifestyles practiced in America; you only realize that it’s a little different for people who clearly have an altered mindset about life. I find a lot of the people in Eastern Europe are still suffering from the communist conditioning – different is bad! I think the most challenging part is that when I was living in Tampa I go-go danced at a gothic night club, this was my job, I was surrounded by people who were like me and who accepted me everyday. It’s very easy to find these underground communities in the States, at least within larger cities; you almost forget that there is a whole world of assholes out there. I found there to be a huge lack of alternative culture here and most of all intolerance toward alternative people, even within the metal and rock scene and I think that was the most disappointing part about my move. I’ve never really been a big shopper or consumer of that sort so I didn’t really miss the glitz and glamour of the USA and quickly embraced the simplicity of my new life in that aspect. I’ve since become a bit of a recluse and I find that I really enjoy my alone time. I’ve done a lot of soul searching and really feel that I’ve gotten in touch with some feelings that I wasn’t quite aware of while living in America.
EG: What are some of your favorite haunted or eerie places to visit?
RG: I know this is going to sound predictable and cheesy but I do love cemeteries. I’ve seen some of the most breath taking and beautiful cemeteries here in Romania and look forward to discovering more. I know there are also a lot of haunted or said to be haunted locations here in Romania and I have been to a few of them but have never encountered anything supernatural. I don’t really go to these places for that reason but more for the experience of history and because the old gothic structures etched with time are truly striking.
EG: What are some elements of horror that push your buttons and make you shiver in fear (or excitement)? I’ve always been fascinated by the many different flavors of horror in film and literature, and the different ways they affect people.
RC: You know, this is an interesting subject because I feel that it’s quite difficult to come across the perfect horror flick. I find that a lot of the horror movies available today are a bit dull in their ability to shock or even terrify me. I really enjoy Guillermo del Toro’s work but more for the dark art which he captures so brilliantly. But his movies have never really sent shivers down my spine so to speak and this can be said for most fictional horror flicks because of exactly that – fiction. On that note however I’m really into documentaries and crime shows on serial killers and murders. I think this is when I can honestly say I get a sense of unease in my daily meanderings. To know that there are people out there who can be so inhumane, brutal and just purely evil both fascinates me while sending shivers down my spine. If I really want to feel afraid all I have to do is look out my window at the people passing by in the street and imagine that among those people there can be someone there who has the capability or possibly already has tortured, raped or killed another person.
EG: Do you see any connections between horror and eroticism? Sometimes what terrifies us is uncomfortably close to what turns us on, or sometimes overlap completely. I think of what happens to Linnea Quigley’s character in Return of the Living Dead as an interesting example.
RC: I’ve never really made the connection, or maybe I’ve always actually felt the connection but I’ve become so used to thinking what I am into is normal for me thus I don’t see it as being some kind of eroticism with horror. The thought of screwing in a graveyard does raise my kinky button for sure and I do see massive appeal in that. I’ve also, for as long as I can remember, have always felt attracted to people who were “the bad boys.” This went beyond just leather clad, long haired rockers, but even to antagonists in a film. I guess this has always been more of a subconscious thought but now that the question is raised I suppose my answer is that I have a kink for horror and otherwise related subjects.
EG: Who is your favorite horror author of all time? What have you been reading lately?
RC: Unfortunately with such limited time I don’t really find time to read so that’s taken a bit of a backburner for me. Right now I’m actually in the middle of reading a psychology book called Male Sexuality: Why Women Don’t Understand It-And Men Don’t Either. I’ve been stuck on that one for a while since I don’t find much time other than while I am traveling to read it. In the past however I really enjoyed a lot of Clive Barker’s work and can say he’s probably my favorite horror writer of all time. When I was an adolescent teen I read a lot of Stephen King, Dean Koontz and even R.L. Steins’s Goosebumps series.
Tags: clive barker, dean koontz, fashion, film, gothic model, guillermo del toro, horror, razor candi, razorcandi, serial killer, stephen king, the living dead