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24 July 2013

Interview to...Sebastian Latajka, creator of successful Google+ community "Gothic Subculture"

A few months ago I changed my normal Blogger profile into a Google+ profile because I wanted to see how this famous social network worked. First thing I typed in the google bar to explore its content was the word "goth" and I found myself in "Gothic Subculture" Google+ community. I was immediately drawn to it by the fact that it's really interactive and there is a continuous sharing of pictures, music, art and all things possible related to gothic culture. A huge font where to draw inspiration from! So I decided to interview the German-based creator of this community in constant growth, Sebastian Latajka, to find out more about it:



Where did the idea of creating an online community for goths come from? What inspired you to create "Gothic Subculture" Google+ community?

Several things happened at the same time. First the feature to find communities on Google+ was brand new. Secondly, while I was bored clicking through the internet I stumbled over the actual Community Profile Picture and its statement. And third thing... I like to communicate, I like to find out what is going around in people's minds. And so then, somehow the idea was born. I gave it a try. I never expected to have over 1,300 Members (only on GooglePlus), plus almost 1,500 followers on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest. And all that in only about 6 months since founding the community. 

What do you like the most about it?

I am always very interested in the fact that goth is everywhere around the globe, but everywhere it's different in the way people live it. It's always amazing to see what occupies the people's minds. Especially when they come from different continents. For example I found out that there is a huge goth scene in Brasil! I was never expecting that before, but we have a lot of south american members in our community.

In the picture that represents the community you have put this image with a clear statement of what goth culture is. Why did you choose it? 

Sadly, goth people still have to suffer under a lot of judgmentalness. We're the freaks, we only wear black, we have depressions and are all suicidal etc ... I think the readers know all with their own experiences what I'm talking about. Actually, I was bored to click through the internet one day and as I saw that picture with the statement it was like WHAM! that's it! I have to share this message, I wanted to make everyone in the world know that we are humans, and so unique just like anyone else. We just have only different points of view and a different way to express ourselves.

The picture representing the community.


Now let's talk about you :) How did you get into the culture?

Talking about me, yay! Probably what I can do best... No, seriously now: Until 2009 I was just "normal". Even pointing with fingers on people like what I am now. I was working in an office a lot. Had a common relationship with a girl. But then suddenly almost all was gone. I had to surrender the high amount of stress which was out there. I had a nervous breakdown in spring 2009, developed self-harming behaviour and went to a lots of hospitals. I thought I would have lost everything. But actually my enlightment only began. This was the time where a former friend introduced me to the german goth scene. And from the very first moment I felt like I would have come home. This hard experience made me think another way. I rearranged my whole life, got rid of everything which was unnessesary. I dedicated my life to finding the truth even though it can hurt mostly.

Beside this blog, have you ever read any other blog regarding goth culture? Did these blogs influence you or made you discover new things as a goth?

Actually, I have to admit...I do not really enjoy reading blogs or magazines. Sometimes I do, but mostly when someone in a social media shares a link to a interesting article. I have not really subscribed to any blog regularly, unless they are my own.. LOL! 
What really influences me a lot is music. I breathe music. The atmospheres, the lyrics, the sounds everything touches my emotions extremely. Also influences me everyday experiences with people in my social evironment. But what makes me want to discover new things? I don't know,.. it's inside of me, it's a neverending want to discover and explore new. New things, new people, new social evironments.




We know goth music includes many genres. Which one is your favourite?

Hard question. For me it's hard to decide for just one Genre. I listen to EBM, SynthPop, Industrial, Harsh-EBM as much as I listen to NDH, Goth-Rock, Dark-Metal. Also the whole branch of pagan / medievil music is my favourite. I can't strictly decide for any genre. It depends on my mood what I listen to. And that can even change multiple-times a day.

Is there any band (old or new discovery) that you recommend people to listen to?

Same here... Oh my god... I am indecisive. People should listen to what their emotions carry them to. You don't even have to understand the language. Just listen, close your eyes and pay attention to what the music is doing to you. It doesn't matter in the end if it is Agonoize, Combichrist, ASP, Faun, And One, Eisbrecher, IAMX, Omnia or Ost+Front. You can consume music or you can feel it. I'd like to recommend to the people to start feeling music. Not more and not less.

What advice would you give to the newbies in goth culture?

Good question. At the very first: You wanna be Goth? Than do a f*** research what the goth movement is coming from. Read about the 80s and the influences, read about the "Goth Roots" and how it developed over the years. Modern goths always want to fit into labels,... Well. To be honestly. I don't like labels. Not even when it's among goths. Being goth is something which is inside of you or not. A label is just like a drawer. Most sadly, people try to fit into those drawers by acting in a certain way. You have to listen to THESE Bands, you have to wear THOSE clothes... Sorry this makes me angry actually. There are sooo many drawers today even in goth scene. There are Emos, CyberGoths, Oldschool, Newschool, Pagans, Steampunker, and what the f*** is BubbleGoth or PastelGoth ??? People WAKE UP !!! What you do is nothing else then being NOT different than common people just only with a goth badge at your chest! It makes me angry. Sorry... but it is the way it is. So finally I could say: The label I like is the label where I can just BE. Whatever I want to be.
And the second advice: Listen to your feelings. Don't care about what others say about you. It's your life. You only have one, try.

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This interview in German --> http://slaytay.tumblr.com/post/56603663809/gothic-divine-magazine-interview-mit-sebastian

Links:
 Gothic Subculture Community (inside of Google+):

Fan-Pages are:

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