Friday, May 23, 2014

Tom Stamates aka Cathedral 13

Name: Tom Stamates aka c13, dj13, cathedral 13
Country: USA
City/ Location: Hartford, WI (middle of nowhere)

It was the early to mid 80's and I was a bored teenager growing up in the middle of nowhere Wisconsin in a small town of 500 people with really nothing to do so music became my escape. Listener sponsored radio 89.9 WORT (with the shows The Cruelest Cuts and Loud Music Seminar) opened my eyes to a new world of music and I was instantly hooked. I still remember sitting in my bedroom at about 1:00 in the morning with a crappy old stereo and a spider web network of wires that literally covered most of my ceiling. I was tuning through a field of static noises when I came across a faint signal from Madison but at the time it seemed like it came from hell. Through the static I just caught the beginning of "Lay of the Land" by The Fall: "Armageddon, This beautiful tree, Boo hoo, Give up living, Ample, Eye, They give in...". Wow! I remember thinking, it was creepy, kind of frightening but at the time it was exhilarating, exciting and it struck a chord within me that continues to this day. For the next several years WORT filled my head with dark punk, early deathrock, noise and goth music. Bands such as TSOL, Bauhaus, Joy Division, Gary Numan, The Sisters of Mercy, The Leather Nun, 45 Grave, And Also The Trees, The Dead Kennedys, David Bowie and Danse Society were just a few of the bands that were stitched together on crappy mix tapes drenched in hiss that filled my room and my even crappier car stereo with a cacophony of dark noise. It was these experiences that profoundly shaped much of my teenage years and were the early basis behind what was to become Cathedral 13 many years later.

For many years afterwards I continued to search alternative music stores in Milwaukee such as Atomic Records, Rush-Mor, Earwaves & B-Side records in Madison for more music but it was difficult task in such a small market. The occasional trip to Chicago was always an expensive one. It was like letting a junkie loose in a crack den as I fiended for everything that I could get my hands on. Most bands in the scene were getting very little to no airplay in my part of the world but zines such as Propaganda, Spectre, Bats and Red Velvet, Industrial Nation and Milwaukee's very own Sheltered Life were my life line to the dark music that I craved. Mail order companies and labels such as Isolation Tank, Glasnost Records and Dion Fortune Records helped feed my music addiction. Cleopatra records made the music more accessible and easier to find but the search never seemed to stop and as time progressed I wanted to share my dark treasures with others.

Milwaukee has always had an interesting underground scene but it really never had anything that was overtly goth. In the late 90's goth finally came to town in the form of a club called Sanctuary. The atmosphere was perfect, dark, smoke filled, with a decadent seedy underground feeling. With a cross for a logo and church pews inside for seating it certainly looked the part but the music under whelmed me. I talked my way into taking over one of the Saturday night spots which was held by a dj that played horrible techno music and for 10 1/2 yrs or so on every third Saturday I shared my collection with as many people as I could. It was a blast for many years and I almost felt guilty for being allowed to drink for free and getting paid to play the music that I love but as the crowds dwindled and the scene splintered into several subcultures, it began to feel more like a job and I knew sadly that it was time to hang up my headphones.

Over time I became restless but new opportunities and better technology made many new things possible. The internet was growing and evolving quickly which made finding and contacting new bands much easier. I remember listening to some online stations that called themselves goth and thinking about how horrible they were. It seemed like they wanted to cater to everyone and every genre of dark music but ultimately they failed in my eyes because of that. Their focus was too broad. I really felt like I could do better and someone who I was very close to at the time told me to stop complaining about it and just start my own station which I did later that night on a whim. On June 20th, 2002 Cathedral 13 was born. It wasn't created for everyone, it wasn't meant to please others, it was selfishly created to please my own desire to have a station that played what I liked. Apparently others liked it too because as time passed it slowly began to gain a strong cult-like following and it continues to grow with every passing day. When you tune in you don't have to worry about hearing EBM, techno or crappy metal disguised as goth, you know exactly what to expect. Cathedral 13 is a goth radio station. It will always be a goth radio station. There are certain things that I just won't play. It isn't meant to appeal to everyone.

I do my best to play old, new, rare and underground dark music just as long as it's good. The most gratifying thing to me is if I can influence someone, somewhere in the world the way the I was influenced as a teenager. To be able to get the music out to people all over the world, help promote the bands and make it a little easier for someone to find it is extremely satisfying. Ultimately it's not about the fashion or the clothes, it's about the music. It's the music which drives me, inspires me, carries me through my darkest times and which makes Cathedral 13 possible. I can't imagine what my life would be without it. The support that I've received over the years from virtually all corners of the world has been absolutely incredible and quite humbling at times. I truly appreciate everyone who has listened to, supported, dj'd on and contributed to Cathedral 13 to make it what it is today. To the many bands and artists who create the wonderfully dark music that fills the Cathedral, I am forever indebted to you. It's your music which inspires me and motivates me to continue on with Cathedral 13 with no foreseeable end in sight.

15 records of the new millennium
In no particular order:

Angels of Liberty - Pinnacle Of The Draco
Merciful Nuns - Goetia IV
Entertainment - Gender
The Awakening - The Fourth Seal of Zeen
Chants of Maldoror - Every Mask Tells the Truth
The Daughters of Bristol - Voyage
Dr Arthur Krause - When Love is Dead
Gary Numan - Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind)
The Villions - Memories of Scent
Whispers In The Shadow - The Eternal Arcane
The Dead Souls - My Obscure Illusions
Nosferatu - Wonderland
Double Echo - Phantomime
Snakedance - Winterland

Favorite 15 records of all time
In no particular order:

Joy Division - Closer
Disjecta Membra - Achromaticia
The Sisters of Mercy - First And Last And Always
Ikon - In The Shadow of the Angel
Christian Death - Catastrophe Ballet
Screams For Tina - Screams For Tina
Judith ‎– Föhn
The Wake - Masked
Malign - Shatter and Impale
Bauhaus - In The Flat Field
The Cure - Pornography
Public Image Ltd - Flowers Of Romance
Still Patient? ‎– Cataclysm
The Merry Thoughts - Psychocult
The Garden Of Delight ‎– Epitaph