How A Gothic Rock Legend Stays Christian
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After growing up a fundamentalist Christian in a predominately Catholic country and then heading the rowdy Irish goth/post-punk band, The Virgin Prunes, Guggi, has developed a unique insight into faith—shun religion and its trademarks.
Guggi is a Dublin based painter and the former singer of the band, The Virgin Prunes. His work has appeared in the Tony Shafrazi Gallery in New York, the Osborne Samuel Gallery in London and the Solomon Gallery in Dublin, among others.
Question: A Legend of Goth Rock’s Guide to Christianity
Guggi: I always call myself a Christian, I don’t call myself a Protestant. I bring my kids — I have five sons — I bring them to a Baptist church but we tried a lot of different churches. I’m not interested in the brand outside the church at all, no interest. No interest in religion really. But this was a good speaker. There was no bullshit; he got straight to the point. The message is clear and it’s very bearable. They are not in any way judgmental and so it was the right church. But the brand doesn’t matter.
Question: What was it like growing up in a Christian fundamentalist household in Ireland?
Guggi: It definitely — there is no doubt about the fact that we felt different. Our dads, we would get up on a Sunday morning, we would go to church. It was a one and a half hour long service. The speaker could never stop on time; it was very often closer to two hours. We’d go to the park for a half an hour, go home have our lunch, come back into Sunday School. Sunday School another one hour and twenty minutes. We would get something to eat. We would be back in for church from 7:00 to 8:00, then over to the YMCA for the 8:30 which would finish at about quarter to 10:00. Then we hit various children’s meetings in the church during the week. It was a bit much actually. And we felt that at the time, that it was way over the top. Our feelings were never respected, they were never asked about. But, with the benefit of hindsight, I think I drew my strength from there, perhaps. I do have a strong faith and I’ve had — I would consider myself to be a Christian, not a very good one, but you’re in or you’re out and, for that, I wouldn’t swap it for anything