Los Angeles gallery and promoter Lethal Amounts is excited to announce the documentary Spiritual Cramp, a film on the life of Rozz Williams, frontman of seminal goth rock band, Christian Death. Lethal Amounts has partnered with Pledge Music to raise funds to further the production of the documentary. Items available through Pledge Music include rare, limited edition merchandise, art pieces and collectors items. To see the full list of items click HERE.
Spiritual Cramp is more than just a music bio about a death-rock band. It examines the life of Rozz Williams – a young artist coming of age during the California punk explosion of the late 70s. At the young age of 16, Rozz Williams and his friends started Christian Death in their garage as a reaction to the growing hyper-masculine, straight male dominated SoCal punk scene. Christian Death ignited a new musical genre and opened the doors to what later became known as the Goth subculture.
The name Christian Death was an act of defiance in itself, especially for Williams. He grew up in an extremely religious household, and was brought up being told that to be gay sent you straight to hell. Christian Death’s music and their existence as a band acted as a rejection of traditional modes of thought and damaging religious beliefs. Their live shows blurred the lines between art and shock. The band gained a cult-like following around the world, influencing generations of outsiders and countless boundary pushing icons such as Marilyn Manson and Trent Reznor.
Historically, Christian Death is important to the narrative of California music but what’s more, Williams is an archetype for the tortured artist. People looked up to his bravery as he fearlessly dressed in women’s clothing on and off stage in a time and a scene where that kind of self-expression could lead to arrest or even being killed. His image was not meant to be glamorous but to be feared and avoided. Much like Ian Curtis, Amy Winehouse or Kurt Cobain, Williams shared the same dilemma – trying to strike a balance between art and overcoming personal trauma.
Williams’ lifelong battle with depression eventually defeated him in 1998. He took his own life in a way that some may interpret as a staged, elaborate April Fool’s Day “prank” art tableau.
This documentary has been a longtime dream of Lethal Amounts owner and creative director Danny Fuentes. Fuentes grew up in the violent 90’s punk scene of East Los Angeles, dominated by hypermasculine and oftentimes homophobic attitudes. He often felt obligated to keep his sexuality to himself in order to fit in. When he became interested in Christian Death he was fascinated and inspired by how bold Rozz Williams was when walking around in “Drag” at a punk show. To Fuentes, Williams was the embodiment of strength and fearlessness.
To honor the life of Rozz Williams, Lethal Amounts opened an exhibit at the gallery space in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday April 1st – marking the 20th anniversary of Williams’ passing. The exhibit includes never before seen Christian Death photos by legendary rock photographer Edward Colver, lyric sheets, set lists, original artwork, and personal artifacts that give an intimate look into his life as an artist. The exhibit will be up through the middle of April.
ABOUT LETHAL AMOUNTS
Lethal Amounts focuses on subversive and counter culture themes throughout history, addressing the social and artistic value of underground movements while highlighting taboo topics. Lethal Amounts showcases the extremes of those individuals who have moved culture forward and live on the edge of and outside of societal norms. Rock ‘n Roll of the past that has crossed over into pop culture fanaticism, street culture influences and cult hero worship.
Lethal Amounts inhabits a physical gallery space in downtown Los Angeles that features three exhibition rooms and over 2,500 sq. ft. In addition to the gallery space Lethal Amounts hosts and produces events throughout Los Angeles, including the monthly Sex Cells party, as well as a clothing line that partners with like-minded musicians and artists to release original licensed shirt designs and more.