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Famous Like Me > Composer > E > Andrew Eldritch

Profile of Andrew Eldritch on Famous Like Me

Name: Andrew Eldritch  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 15th May 1959
Place of Birth: Ely, England, UK
Profession: Composer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Andrew Eldritch (born Andrew William Harvey Taylor, May 15, 1959) is the frontman, singer, songwriter and the only remaining original member of The Sisters of Mercy, a band that emerged from the British post punk scene and, in later years, also flirted with pop and hard rock. He also programs The Sisters of Mercy's drum-machine tracks and plays guitars and keyboards in its studio recordings. He has also established the record label Merciful Release. In addition to The Sisters of Mercy, in 1986 Andrew Eldritch established a side-project Sisterhood (in order to keep former band members from using the name) which was shortly abandoned in favour of continuing working under The Sisters of Mercy banner.

Before The Sisters

Andrew Eldritch was born in the small city of Ely of East Anglia in the UK in 1959, the same year as fellow post punk icons Robert Smith of The Cure and Morrissey (originally of The Smiths). Eldritch later wrote a piano song named 1959, alluding to the year of his birth, starting with the line Living as an angel in the place that I was born.

Eldritch studied French and German literature at the University of Oxford before moving to Leeds around 1978 to study Mandarin Chinese at Leeds University; he quit both programs before getting a degree (he speaks fluent English, French and German, and has some knowledge of Dutch, Italian, Russian, Serbo-Croatian and Latin; he claims he forgot the Mandarin Chinese he learned (). During this period, Eldritch was a freelance drummer in the local Leeds punk scene (in his own opinion, a bad one).

The Sisters of Mercy

In 1980, Andrew Eldritch and Gary Marx formed The Sisters of Mercy. On the first single, "Damage Done/Watch/Home of the Hit-men", Eldritch played the drums, a task he was later relieved of by the drum machine Doktor Avalanche, allowing him instead to focus on his vocal performance. Over the years, nine sometime members have left the group, several of them citing conflicts with the frontman as a reason for their departure. Eventually, Eldritch's conflicts with the record company EastWest would effectively set him on a "strike", an absolute refusal to record any new material.

The 1990s

Following the release of band's last studio album to date, Vision Thing, Andrew Eldritch's work has included vocal contributions to Garry Moore and Sarah Brightman studio recordings. In attempt for cross-cultural understanding he initiated a 1993 U.S. tour of The Sisters of Mercy in a double-bill with hip-hop act Public Enemy. In 1995 he interviewed David Bowie for the German edition of Rolling Stone magazine. Prevented by contractual obligations to appear under his own name, he is also rumored to have produced a couple of techno albums under various pseudonyms during the 1990s, a rumor he would not deny when asked about it.

In 1997 by Andrew Eldritch produced the SSV album "Go Figure", featuring his vocals over drumless electronic music. The album finally freed him from his contractual obligations, as EastWest agreed to waive their claims for two more Sisters of Mercy albums in exchange for the recordings. The SSV tracks were however never officially released. The full name of the band is SSV-NSMABAAOTWMODAACOTIATW, said to be an acronym for "Screw Shareholder Value - Not So Much A Band As Another Opportunity To Waste Money On Drugs And Ammunition Courtesy Of The Idiots At Time Warner".

Recent career

Now in semi-retirement from his musical career — The Sisters of Mercy tour every so often, with six scheduled concerts across continental Europe in August 2005, ending with the M'era Luna Festival in Germany ), but no new recorded material has been released for sale since 1993 . Despite this, the band continue to debut new material on stage on a semi-annual basis, infrequently playing secret gigs under a pseudonym in their spiritual home of Leeds.

Songwriting and philosophy

In his lyrics Andrew Eldritch frequently uses literary and political allusions. The themes of his songs span from erotic imagery and experiences of drug use to an acrimonius criticism of the politics of the United States, a country which Eldritch claims to have a "hate-hate" relationship with. Politically, he has claimed to be "traditionally a Labour supporter despite my anarcho-syndicalist tendencies".

Gothic associations

Though Andrew Eldritch is often called the "Godfather of Goth" , The Sisters of Mercy (the main artistic vehicle of Andrew Eldritch), despite being formed in 1980, were originally not very popular in the post punk sub-genre that the British press, in the early 1980s, had labelled, both the artists and their audience, Goth. The Sisters of Mercy were, however, accused by the press of plagiarizing Joy Division, who were marketed by their management as "gothic" in the late '70s. .

The Sisters of Mercy would have a big impact on the second wave of Goth that came in the late 1980s and early 1990s, one of the reasons Gitane Demone of the first wave commented that the scene had turned "stale" . The use of drum machines and the atonal, deep vocal style used by many second generation Goth bands were inspired by the Sisters of Mercy and were not that common among the first generation.

Since the early 90s, Eldritch has publicly rejected associations with the Goth subculture. He describes The Sisters of Mercy as humanist, modernist, and implies he wants nothing to do with Goth, stating "it's disappointing that so many people have in all seriousness adopted just one of our many one-week-of-stupid-clothes benders". He also notices that "I'm constantly confronted by representatives of popular culture who are far more g*** than we, yet I have only to wear black socks to be stigmatised as the demon overlord" .

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Andrew Eldritch