Goth glam model, singer and witch Dementia Armand in an exclusive interview
Bard of Ely interviews Dementia Armand
An interview I conducted with my good friend Dementia Armand:
1.Would you describe yourself as a Goth?
Yes, I have identified as a Goth for many years. I spent several years "living" as a Goth (always wearing makeup, never leaving the house unless I looked dead, etc..), though, as I have gotten a bit more mature, that has tamed down. Now I only really "dress" Goth if I am going out clubbing or singing, or I've got a photoshoot (not enough of those lately!). Though, for me, Goth has more to do with attitude and proclivities than with what one happens to be wearing on a particular day.
2. What sort of clothes do you like to model and be photographed wearing?
I like to model all kinds of stuff, primarily of the black and sexy variety, short skirts and tight fitting clothing are a particular fave. Looking to be doing some photoshoots in the near future, so, hopefully, I'll be able to do some more risque stuff than what I've done in the past. I am talking to some photographers currently about doing some shoots that may even involve artistic nude/semi-nude pics - an artform I have much respect for when done correctly. So I guess you could include skyclad into what I like to be photographed "in" *lol*
3. How would you describe your music and songwriting?
Ah, my music! Musically I (and Dead Dolls by extension) am very much influenced by bands like NIN, Marilyn Manson, Type O Negative, and other darker sorts of music. I've been calling what I do "gothic industrial" though that is a bit simplistic for what I'm aiming for. All of the music I have done to date is almost completely electronic, digitized sound with vocals, essentially.
All of the songs I have already released were written first in the lyrical stage (I have sung many of the song I recorded a capella for years before I ever put music to them - the music has to fit the songs with me).
The vast majority of my lyrics essentially are my own personal pain put into the form of sung poetry, as I started writing poetry at about the age of 8. My life has not been an easy one, hence the darkness of many of my lyrics. I have also written quite a few "vampire" songs, as vampires have been a long time obsession with me; they fascinate me.
4. What inspires you?
I am inspired by depression, heartache, pain, vampires, people in general (especially the strife that the entire world seems to be experiencing in this day and age), my childhood (which was largely an unhappy one), the people who have hurt me in the past, and pretty much society at large. I am also inspired by my own inner life, the thoughts that I have, the emotions I feel, the trials I have experienced, the life I have led.
sources of inspiration come from my reading life (I am an avid
voracious reader). Some of the things I like to read include (but are
not limited to) horror (I am a massive horror fanatic) and science
fiction, the occult and religion (including such things as astrology,
numerology, magick, druidism, shamanism, satanism, asatru, odinism,
paganism in general, wicca and witchcraft,thelema, christianity,
judaism, buddhism, islam, and other paths), philosophy, science
(particularly, of late, such things as quantum physics, much of which
is now "confirming" concepts that occultists have been familiar with
for a very long time now.... just think about such things are
partical/wave theory and the more recent findings concerning the
construction of atoms - there is more "space" in every atom than
anything truly "physical" - we are microcosms of the universe.... each
atom is its own "universe" with just as much "space" between minute
points, in similar ratios to the solar system... to galaxies, to the
universe in totality; also the more "recent" scientific findings that
once two atoms have been "joined" together and then separated,
sometimes by mere feet, sometimes by miles, that if you "do" something
to one, there is a reaction - almost instantaneous - in the other - how
can you explain that if space is a true limitation?)
Dementia Armand's Goth glamour photos
Goth stuff to buy on Amazon
Hell Has Come Home (Aria mix) by DementiaArmand
Dementia Armand and Dead Dolls
- Demented Mind Productions \'We bring goth things to life\'
Demented Mind Productions 'We bring goth things to life.' - Dark graphic art & web design
Our Mother Cries
Being a Wiccan
5. How long have you been a Wiccan and what attracted you to this pathway?
I started studying Wicca about 17 years ago; I first dedicated myself to the dark aspect of Diana about a year later. I have identified as a witch ever since (so that would be 16 years now that I have been a witch).
My first exposure to Wicca was right before I started studying; I was living in a 30 day temporary shelter (the details of how I ended up there I am not going to get into right now) and met my first witches there. They had a quality of peace about them that I had not seen before and desperately wanted, as my life had always been pain and turmoil. I was seeking a community, a family, that I could trust, that wouldn't hurt me. Over the years I have found that most witches (except for maybe the ones that were raised that way) come from similar upbringings, often having been raised in strict xstain households, surrounded by hypocrisy, degraded for wanting to think for themselves... and have met many that also identify with the craving of the inner peace that a true spirituality can induce.
I have always been an out and open witch and while I know many witches stick with the term Wicca, for me, the term witch is much more appropriate.... as many of the "Wiccans" I have met are dabblers; those that identify as witches tend to be the more widely read of the craft, those who have studied the burning times, other religions, as well as science and philosophy. Wiccans tend to be of the "fluffy white pagan" variety, those that reject the darkness that resides within everyone. Witches, on the other hand, embrace all that life has to offer, love and pain, light and darkness.. in balance as they are meant to be. One without the other (whatever the duality happens to be) is shallow, weak, pale, in comparison to experiencing the world in all it's glory and sorrow.
I have found in my own personal life that I seem to experience things on a deeper level than many people I have met and ascribe to the ideology that one cannot experience true joy unless one is also familiar with the depths of depression. I have plumbed the spectrum of experience, and while not all of it has been easy or nice, I wouldn't change the way I am for anyone. Most people walk around in a daze, half asleep to the emotional range that is meant to be our heritage. I embrace my pain as a part of me, as I embrace the happiness that is also part of me; one without the other is meaningless. It's like that adage that without darkness, how would one know what light is? Without the duality of existence there is no meaning. Order without chaos would be pretty boring!
6. Anything you would like to add about yourself or your creative projects?
I am a philosopher and a poet. Many would call me insane. I embrace my insanity in order to be able to see past the thin veil of illusion that is reality. I believe that many the world calls mentally ill are simply unable to "fake it" that there is more to existence that what one can see, touch and feel.
I am an artist and a writer and have been for most of my life; images and words invoke emotion and life without emotion is dull and not worth living.
I love people and hate them at the same time, which, to me, is not a mutually exclusive thing. I love the part of everyone that is connected to the divine, to All That Is (a term I borrow from "Seth", a disincarnate energy essence personality that was channeled through author Jane Roberts for many years.... which term is meant to represent all god/dess concepts across space and time, past, present and future - essentially the "soul" and consciousness of the entire universe), while hating the part of most people that insists that this reality, that of the physical senses, is all there is to existence.
Reality is an illusion pulled over our eyes to hide from us the fact that we are ALL god, we are ALL goddess, we are divine in the truest sense of the word. We are meant to experience all life has to offer, both the sweetness and the bitterness of existence. As I mentioned before, one without the other is meaningless.
I believe that we chose to incarnate in this place, in this time, to the families that raised us, into whatever culture we grew up in, as a way to advance our souls (that part of us that KNOWS we are divine - that is connected to All That Is).
This life is a test, it is only a test, and the only things we will keep with us when our tests are over are the lessons we learn. Insisting that there is no "after life", that the physical is all we are, stalls our progress, keeps us asleep to the deeper reality that there is no "reality".... we experience our lives the way we do, in a linear fashion, only because it is a way to organize our lives.
I do believe in what one could term "real" reality that time and space do not exist; all of existence is connected, past, present, and future, all god/dess(es)s are one and many, simultaneously, as, with an understanding that time is NOT an absolute, they/he/she/it is/are not limited to only one manifestation. I also believe and hold true that the entities that may appear to some (ie... people "seeing" Mary, Jesus, Satan, Baphomet, Lucifer, etc... ) and have some "substance", have at least in part, been "created" by people's belief in them.
Our thoughts create our reality. The power of thought is something that many people pay lip service to but have a problem truly accepting... as life (and the trials and tribulations many "suffer") seems to come from "outside" of ourselves.
By the power of mind, we draw to us those experiences we focus on. If you have any doubt of this, just look around and notice that those who consistently focus on the "negatives" of their life tend to have bad things happen to them (and even if good things happen to them, they often do not even seem to see it, as "good" things happening to them do not "fit" what they believe about their lives).... the flip side of that same coin is that those who expect the universe to "take care of" them often have an almost uncanny knack of just the right people showing up in their lives when they need them, of just the right help coming along at just the right times, of things going "right" for them, sometimes against all odds. And even if things that appear to be "bad" happen to these very same people, they seem to be able to accept that this trial, tribulation, whatever, has some value, some benefit, that a negatively oriented person would never see. I have had this type of thing happen to me many times - of meeting the person I need to meet at just the right time (even if other "bad" things seem to be happening), of being taken care of by the universe in often unexpected ways. The universe, All That Is, wants us to be happy, as we are part of "it", and will deliver to us what we focus on. If one focuses on nothing but negative, the universe "believes" that that is what we want, and delivers that to us.... if we focus on positive, the same concept holds true.
If everyone, all over the world, ceased to believe that war is good, war would cease to exist. If all people accepted the concept that our thoughts affect the world, that our thinking, positive or negative, could actually influence what happens to them, it is possible that people would start paying more attention to where they are focusing their thoughts, and it is possible, the world itself would become a happier (and less stressful) place. One person can affect their own life; imagine what would happen if everyone accepted this, and all people conciously changed the focus of their thoughts to a more "positive" alignment.... the world itself would change. Even motivational speakers get this concept. What you think about is what you will get. The energy of one's thoughts, positive or negative, sends out vibrations into the universe that attracts those experiences that resonate to those thoughts; what a powerful concept to contemplate.
Wow, I am just going on and on, aren't I?!?
As to my creative projects... well, I am hoping to be able to start working on a new album soon - I've got tons of lyrics/songs just waiting to be recorded. As I am preparing to move to another state this is on hold until I can actually get moved and settled in. I am hoping to be able to get something out sometime this year, though, at this point, everything is still in the idea phase.
I also have a book that I've been working on (off and on, actually) for the last several, several years, that I can "feel" percolating in my brain and am aiming to begin working on again, a sci-fi suspense psychological horror kind of thing. I'm a little over four chapters in (I had started the fifth chapter when I "shelved" it... had so much going on at the time that it was just one too many) and what I've got I think is quite good. I won't go into too much detail but I will let you know that my book includes human/alien telepathic crossbreed characters and the "birth" of a world-wide artificial intelligence that is not very sympathetic to humankind as a whole... which "birth" is only recognized by those same (apparently female) characters. The book is to be called DreamWalkers. That is all I'm going to say for now, other than to mention that I am very much influenced by authors such as Stephen King, Clive Barker and Frank Herbert, as well as many other authors from the genres of horror and science fiction, primarily.
Now I feel that I have definitely taken enough of your readers time! I want to leave everyone with just one thought. You create your own reality. Reality truly is what we make of it, and I am hoping that at some point the human race realizes this and begins to create a reality we can all take pride in, one in which war, dis-ease, and hunger cease to exist. In such a reality the human race can begin to experience an evolution into a higher state of being, an evolution that is long overdue. We, collectively, create the reality we live in. If that reality is not yet the one we want, we must change the way we think. Only by the power of thought will the reality we wish become a fact.
Copyright © 2010 Steve Andrews. All Rights Reserved.