The Underground Macabre
by Alyx Webb
“The Goth-Father & Café@Netherworld”
Moments of legend in Denver come in mysterious ways sometimes, creating a scene, a nickname, a new place to call home, and even a tourist attraction. I sat down with The Goth Father, DJ IX (icks), aka Eric this last month to find out the history or him as well as his establishment, what some like to call, “The Cheers of the Goth Scene,” Café @ Netherworld. Eric has lived in Colorado since he was 6 years old, originally from Durango, he moved to Boulder to go to college. Boulder is where it seemed to have started for him. He began DJing in ’84 at places like UMC’s Club 156, The Piranha Room, and Ground Zero.
Returning to Denver he was the original resident DJ at The Wreckroom, in 1082 (Club Vinyl), which is now at The Church on Sundays. He also DJ’d at The Deadbeat, Club Onyx, and Rock Island – always keeping the floor moving, spinning what he calls “girlie stuff,” described as world influenced, down tempo, darkwave, old school goth, and retro. Find him now on Wednesdays at The Shelter.
During Eric’s transitions from club to club he opened up Café @ Netherworld on 13th and Pennsylvania. The Café opened 12 years ago, Mardi gras 1995. The idea for the Café came from an ISP he had started, a play off words – “Net The World.” On the web at www.Netherworld.com this became a cyber café, an idea that still exists today. With a Goth feel, that breaks off of the impressionist movement of the 1920’s. “It’s the melting pot of music, food, and art,” is how he describes it. The atmosphere and general overture of the café brings in people we can only describe as “bohemian artist intellectuals.” The Café has brought in many legend of our music genre, just stopping to by to have a beer or play a show. Some of those people are OhGr, Frontline Assembly, Attrition, Faith in the Muse, and The Mansfields. It’s a local hub for musical guests, patrons of all types, and even tourists! Inside the Café, the architectural set up is based off 14th century Gothic, with a bit of modern mixed in. Vince Cantillion, a brilliant sculptor helped create that by creating ghoulish type angelic figures along the inner walls of the building, and rotating art by locals every month. Along with that, they have pool tables, internet terminals, a patio, a full bar, and menu – plus it’s in the middle of Capital Hill. A wonderful historical monument, that many of us frequent every day.
So why do we refer to him as, “The Goth Father?” The Café was already open when the Columbine shootings took place in ’99. The media had originally described the shooters as “Goth” and found the Café by searching the web. They called Eric at the Café to see if there was any connection at all, since Eric had also graduated from CHS in ’83. Of course there was no association, but Eric helped with taking the media off our genre by explaining our scene and life styles to the media, one reporter made a reference to Eric as ,”The Goth Father,” and it has been stuck with him since. As for his DJ name, it used to be Eric DJ’ Raven (haha), but now, because of his God Son’s baby talk we call him IX, pronounced “icks.” Which he spells IX, which also has other references he found appealing.