(Photo: Paivi)

Clan of Xymox fans are in the know. Never as popular or flashy as its goth counterparts such as the Cure or Sisters of Mercy, Clan of Xymox has soldiered on, putting out music since its acclaimed 1985 debut. Hell, even John Darnielle pointed at my Xymox shirt and smiled during a recent Mountain Goats concert.

I spoke with frontman Ronny Moorings, the leading musical force and only consistent member of Xymox since the group’s inception. We spoke about longevity, Donald Trump and touring. I’m pleased to present the Spectrum Culture interview with Ronny Moorings.

I recently saw your concert here in Portland, Oregon. This wasn’t your first time here. What do you think of our city? Is there anything you like to do here?

I think it is a very interesting city. The last time we visited Japanese Gardens, saw the giant red trees. This time we went to the Pittock Mansion and a graveyard. Portland for me is definitely the serene views and nature. The people are very warm and welcoming.

Did you spend much time mingling with our goth community? How does it compare to goth communities in other cities?

On our schedule we had little time but to concentrate on our shows and trying to get some rest. So, I have very little knowledge of the scene apart that I know that we had the daughter of Al Jourgensen at our shows.

I am always fascinated to hear what people from other countries think of Donald Trump. What are your thoughts?

Ha ha, really? What do you think? Most people abroad regard him as a bully, a clown, a big joke gone wrong. In his words: terrible, very BAD ! Now you see what his moronic policies lead to: The boycott of steel from abroad results now in the entire USA car industry going bust.

This year we saw a vinyl reissue of Twist of Shadows. Why this album? Why not start with older records such as the self-titled Clan of Xymox or Medusa?

It is not up to us. We didn’t even know about it until a week before our tour. I don’t get involved with previous labels. If they want to reissue an album is just good news for me.

You only played one song off Twist of Shadows at the Portland show. Why?

We have many other songs we can play, simple. We are now in 2018 and it is after all the Days Of Black tour and not the Twist Of Shadows tour…

You said that (bassist) Mario Usai had a death in the family. What happened and how many shows did you play without him?

We played six shows without him and William of Faith and the Muse / BWC stepped in to play the bass on five songs in the set. Unfortunately, Mario’s mother died during our tour and quite rightfully he returned to bury her in Italy.

Do your sets vary greatly from show to show? I’m sure “A Day” and “Louise” turn up quite often.

Yes, they are classics, so people like to hear us play them.

Will Days of Black ever be available on LP in the USA? I really want a copy but it was only released in Europe.

Maybe. Pylon Records is interested to bring the newer albums out as well.

For fans of Xymox who are just getting their feet wet, which other “classic” bands do you recommend? Which current bands do you recommend? Why?

I think nowadays people listen on YouTube or other streaming services to bands. Based on their taste in music they get to know or suggested other music what relates to their listening behavior. I think this is a very useful option.

A few years ago we included Clan of Xymox in our 13 Best Goth Albums feature. Can you tell me how you feel about some of the other albums on the list? Any favorites?

Number 4 is not bad considering all the bands in this list. All the bands listed I know, of course, and one would argue that many more classic albums could have been added. Yes, it is part of our history as well.

You studied sociology a long time ago. Do you use any of that knowledge in your songwriting?

Absolutely not. It was an insightful study but has very little to do with music.

What do you feel like people and/or fans misunderstand the most about you and your music?

I let people and the way they see and interpret our music to themselves. Everyone has a different interpretation of how they hear music or understand lyrics. Each to their own is my creed.

A lot of your contemporaries have stopped making music or only rarely put out albums. What’s your secret?

The fact that I actually like what I do and are interested in what is going on around me makes me still enthusiastic about music and the scene.

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