|This article does not cite any references or sources. (September 2010)|
|Birth name||Roger Alan Painter|
|Also known as||Rozz Williams|
November 6, 1963|
Pomona, California, U.S.
|Died||April 1, 1998
West Hollywood, California, U.S.
|Genres||Deathrock, gothic rock, post-punk, industrial, industrial rock, punk rock, dark ambient, dark cabaret, experimental|
|Instruments||Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, Electronics, Organ|
Triple X Records
Hollows Hill Sound Recordings
|Associated acts||Christian Death
Rozz Williams (born Roger Alan Painter November 6, 1963 – April 1, 1998) was an American vocalist and musician of several varieties, most famous for fronting the band Christian Death, then later Shadow Project with musician Eva O, though his main project throughout his career was the industrial Premature Ejaculation. He is also cited by some as a pioneer of the American Gothic scene as well as deathrock.
Other musical projects he was involved in include Daucus Karota, Heltir, and EXP. Williams also recorded several solo albums.
Early life 
On November 6, 1963, Rozz Williams was born Roger Alan Painter in Pomona, California, and was raised in a strict Southern Baptist family with his three older siblings (one sister, two brothers) in Pomona, California. As a child, he was a fan of David Bowie, Roxy Music, T.Rex, Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop, and The New York Dolls. When he reached adolescence in the late 1970s, he became attracted to the punk rock music scene.
Performance in bands 
By the age of 16 he began performing in bands. He took the name of Rozz Williams from a gravestone he found in a Pomona cemetery. His first bands were called The Crawlers, No, then later The Upsetters. He sang and played the guitar, though the band never performed on stage. He then went on to form The Asexuals. In addition to being the lead vocalist, he played the organ and guitar, with Jill Emery also contributing vocals as well as playing bass, and Steve Darrow on drums. Their performances were limited to a few parties.
He then sang in a band called Daucus Karota with Mary Torciva on percussion and Jay (John) Albert on guitar. Albert and Williams then went on to form Christian Death in late 1979 with James McGearty and George Belanger. The name "Christian Death" was a play on words of the fashion designer Christian Dior. The band broke up temporarily in 1981, and Williams formed Premature Ejaculation with performance artist Ron Athey, with whom he had been living. After only a few live performances, including one which involved Athey eating a crucified road-kill cat, clubs began refusing to book them.
Agnew and Belanger left the group in 1982, with guitarist Eva Ortiz and drummer Rod China Figueroa stepping in as replacements for live performances. By the end of the year the band had broken up once again due to drug problems.
In 1983, Williams formed a new band under the Christian Death name, this time with former members of Pompeii 99, with whom Christian Death had performed at a live show the previous year. The new lineup consisted of Williams as frontman, Valor Kand on guitars, Gitane Demone on keyboards and providing backing vocals, Constance Smith on bass and David Glass on drums. Towards the end of 1983 they were invited to appear on a US music TV show called 'Media Blitz' where they mimed to 'Cavity' and 'Romeo's Distress' and gave a short interview. Their first European show was at Les Bains Douches, Paris on 12 February 1984 and they continued touring Europe until June.
Catastrophe Ballet was recorded at Rockfield studios in Monmouth, Wales around the same time. It was a departure from the religious overtones of their debut LP and the lyrics reflected Rozz's newfound love of Surrealism and the Dada movement (the album was even dedicated to Andre Breton). Rozz was enjoying living in France, home of many of his artistic and literary heroes - Rimbaud, Baudelaire, Genet, Lautremont, Marcel Duchamp, and Rene Magritte, among others. Constance Smith left the band following the recording of the album and, in live shows, was replaced by Dave Roberts of Sex Gang Children.
In autumn 1984 the band returned to America and they recorded the Ashes LP, which was released the following year. Rozz, Valor, Gitane and David Glass provided much of the music for the record; however, guest appearances were made by Randy Wilde on bass, Eric Westfall playing violin and accordion synth, an infant Sevan Kand crying, Bill Swain playing tuba, Richard Hurwitz on trumpet and Michael Andraes on clarinet.
The band performed shows in America to promote the Ashes album, climaxing with The Path of Sorrows extravaganza at Los Angeles' Roxy Theatre on 6 April 1985. This multi-media extravaganza featured films, a banquet, and a program. Kristina Fuller coordinated and supervised the visuals, film sections and Rozz's four costume changes. Their performance at Hollywood Berwin Entertainment Centre a few days before was recorded and released as The Decomposition of Violets cassette. These shows saw Rozz, Valor, Gitane and David joined by Jeff Williams and Barry Galvin. Rozz officially left Christian Death after the American shows in April 1985, citing loss of interest and a distaste for touring as reasons for his departure. Valor took the rest of the band to Italy as part of the European tour.
Williams had asked Gitane Demone not to continue under the name Christian Death and Valor had agreed to change the name of the band to Sin and Sacrifice. Instead of following through with his commitment to this agreement, Valor Kand decided instead to keep the Christian Death name, first changing the name to 'The Sin and Sacrifice of Christian Death', and then dropping 'Sin and Sacrifice', leaving the name as 'Christian Death' much to the annoyance of Rozz.
Williams considered Christian Death to be his creation and felt personally responsible for it as it was directly associated with his name, image, art, and poetry. He felt that it was his decision, not Valor's, whether the band continued or not. Gitane Demone expressed misgivings about this, and though she did not initially leave the group ( likely at least in part due to her relationship at the time with Valor Kand ) later she did publicly side with Williams on this matter. It certainly also is telling that Valor Kand's son Sevan Kand recorded with Rozz Williams on some of the Christian Death material Rozz recorded for Cleopatra Records in 1992. Williams had been the only original member of Christian Death left when he departed the group in 1985, yet the remaining members continued to perform earlier Christian Death material and release several albums under the original group name.
Rozz had already recorded 2 more songs, 'Haloes' and 'Spectre (Love is Dead)', with Eric Westfall but these were not officially released for 5 years. The songs appeared on the Heavens and Hells cassettes, which also included live performances selected by Rozz from his own tapes. A third, unfinished, song from the session with Eric Westfall was called This Mirage. This was only completed many years after, with assistance from Erik Christides, and released for the first time in 1998.
Williams released various material under different project names following his departure from the band; the first was Premature Ejaculation with Ron Athey, and then Shadow Project with Eva O, whom he married in San Francisco in 1987. The band lineup included Johann Schumann (bass) and also Barry Galvin and David Glass, both of whom also recorded with post Ashes-era Christian Death. The name Shadow Project, was taken from the tests in Hiroshima following the nuclear bomb which left impressions or ‘shadows’, but no bodies.
Later on, Williams reformed Shadow Project with Eva O, Jill Emery (bass), Tom Morgan (drums), and Paris (keyboards). At the time, Rozz was increasingly falling under the influence of the philosophy of Charles Manson. Jill Emery left the band early in 1992 to concentrate her duties on Hole, and Aaron Schwartz was brought in to record 'Dead Babies/Killer' for the Welcome to Our Nightmare compilation CD consisting of cover versions of Alice Cooper songs. Chuck Collison also contributed samples to these tracks. Rozz, Eva, Listo (bass) and David Melford (drums) started recording new versions of classic Christian Death songs for The Iron Mask album in February 1992. The album was made, in part, to finance the Shadow Project European tour of February and March 1992, when they were supported by Mephisto Walz. Peter Tomlinson had replaced Tom Morgan on drums for this tour.
Williams also occasionally took part in Christian Death reunions during the late 1980s and early 1990s with Rikk Agnew, the guitarist on the band's first album. In 1992, with the help of Eva O, Paris, William Faith, Sevan Kand(son of Valor Kand), Scat Elis, Stevyn Grey, Kris Kohls, Brian Virtue, Wayne James, Armon Christoff, and Aaron Schwartz, Rozz recorded 2 new Christian Death studio albums entitled The Path of Sorrows and The Rage of Angels. Rozz had been quoted as saying; "The Path of Sorrows is probably my favorite Christian Death album." One song on The Rage of Angels was written for Jeffrey Dahmer, the American serial killer and for whom Rozz had a major fascination.
For the last time in June 1993 at Los Angeles' Patriotic Hall, Christian Death regrouped for a one show, captured on the Iconologia CD and live video. Rozz was joined by Rikk Agnew, George Belanger, Casey (bass). Following his brother's decision not to come back on stage to play the encores, Frank Agnew was credited as additional guitarist on the recordings. During some live performances, Rozz could be seen wearing a T-Shirt which sported the words " Never Trust a Valor".
At this time, there were effectively two bands recording and performing material under the name 'Christian Death'. This eventually precipitated a heated legal battle between Kand and Willams which was never satisfactorily resolved.
In 1993, Shadow Project toured America. The band consisted of Williams, Eva, Paris, Mark Barone (bass) and Christian Omar Madrigal Izzo (drums). After this American tour, Eva O and Paris left the band to work on the Eva O Halo Experience CD Demons Fall for an Angel's Kiss. Shadow Project had come to an end; however a German tour for October had already been booked. Although all tickets, flyers and publicity for this tour would show Shadow Project, Williams had decided that the band name should change to Daucus Karota. He sang on the tour, Brian Butler was the guitarist, Mark Barone played bass and Christian Omar Madrigal Izzo was on drums. For one show Gitane Demone drove from her home in Amsterdam to Germany to meet up with Williams backstage. The Shrine EP by Daucus Karota was recorded in January 1994 with Mark Barone (bass), Chistian Omar Madrigal Izzo (drums) and Roxy (guitars). Daucus Karota returned to Europe for a month long European tour in November 1994, with Gitane Demone filling the support slot. The tour had Todd Dixon on drums, Michael Saavedra on bass and Brian Hansen on guitar. Brian had replaced Rolf Donath, who had been the guitarist for the band at shows in Los Angeles and Mexico during that summer.
Demone and Williams came together to release the album Dream Home Heartache in 1995. It was recorded by Rozz and Gitane Demone in Gent, Belgium between 28 March and 5 April 1995 with help from Pieter Rekfelt. The producer was Ken Thomas who had previously worked with David Bowie on 'Hunky Dory'. Rozz and Gitane played a few shows together in April 1995 and again in December 1995. They toured the UK in April 1996.
In 1995, following his return from Europe, Williams joined forces with Paris and Ryan Wildstar to work on the spoken-word album, The Whorse's Mouth. The lyrics, co-written with Ryan Wildstar, chronicle a period of heroin addiction from which the two eventually escaped. Shortly following the recording of The Whorse's Mouth, Williams began playing bass for EXP, the musical troupe created by Paris and Ryan Wildstar. He went on to play bass on their self-titled debut album with bandmates Paris (keyboards), Ryan Wildstar (vocals), Doriandra (vocals), Ace Farren Ford (horns/violin), Justin Bennett (drums) and Ignacio Segovia (percussion).
Just a year before his death, Williams again paired up with Eva O to record the final Shadow Project album, From the Heart, an extremely intimate album with a notably stripped-down sound for the duo. He also recorded Wound of Exit, his last solo CD as Premature Ejaculation.
Painting, acting, and other interests 
In addition to his musical activities Williams had a keen interest in painting along with collaging, and several of his pieces have been exhibited. Pig is an experimental, psychological horror, short silent film released in 1998, was directed by the underground film maker Nico B. and co-directed and scored by Rozz Williams. The film stars Rozz Williams and James Hollan and was produced by Nico B. Pig was the last work he did.
On April 1, 1998, Williams hung himself in his West Hollywood apartment. His body was discovered by Ryan Wildstar, a friend and roommate of seven years. Williams was 34. A memorial was held at the El Rey Theatre shortly after his death, and a small gathering of family and friends offered his ashes to the earth at Runyon Canyon Park in the Hollywood Hills. Rozz Williams' ashes are located in the Hollywood Forever cemetery. The cabinet he hung himself on as well as a few pieces of original artwork are on display at the LA Museum of Death.
Christian Death (1979-1985, 1988-1994) 
- Only Theatre of Pain (Frontier) 1982
- Catastrophe Ballet (Fr. L'Invitation au Suicide) 1984
- Death Wish EP (Fr. L'Invitation au Suicide) 1984
- Ashes (Nostradamus) 1985
- The Decomposition of Violets (Contempo Records) 1990
- The Iron Mask (Cleopatra) 1992
- Skeleton Kiss EP (Cleopatra) 1992
- Stick A finger Down Its Throat (Vision Of Fire Music) 1992
- The Path of Sorrows (Cleopatra) 1993
- Iconologia (Triple X) 1993
- Sleepless Nights: Live 1990 (Cleopatra) 1993
- Invocations: 1981-1989 (Cleopatra) 1993
- The Doll's Theatre : Live OCT. 31. 1981 (Cleopatra) 1994
- The Rage of Angels (Cleopatra) 1994
- Tales of Innocence: A Continued Anthology (Cleopatra) 1994
- Christian Death: LIVE (Cleopatra) VHS 1995
- Death in Detroit (Cleopatra) 1995
- Death Mix (Cleopatra) 1996
- The Best of Christian Death (Featuring: Rozz Williams) (Cleopatra) 1999
- Death Club (Cleopatra) 2005
- Six Six Sixth Communion (Cleopatra) 2007
- Death Box (Cleopatra) (6 disc box set) 2012
Shadow Project (1987-1998) 
- Is Truth A Crime? (Happiest Tapes on Earth) VHS 1989
- Shadow Project (Triple X) 1991
- Dreams for the Dying (Triple X) 1992
- Dead Babies/Killer (Triple X) Cassette 1992
- In Tuned Out — Live '93 (Triple X) 1994
- From the Heart (Hollows Hill Sound Recordings) 1998
- The Original Shadow Project (Alice in Wonderland) 2005
Premature Ejaculation (1981-1998) 
- PE - Pt.1 Cassette 1981
- PE - Pt.2 Cassette 1981
- A Little Hard to Swallow Cassette 1982
- Living Monstrocities/Descent Cassette 1985
- Death Cultures (Happiest Tapes on Earth) Cassette 1987
- Assertive Discipline (Happiest Tapes on Earth) Cassette 1988, LP 1989, CD 1994
- Death Cultures III (Happiest Tapes on Earth) Cassette 1988
- Blood Told in Spine (Happiest Tapes on Earth) Cassette 1988, LP 1991
- Death Cultures (Happiest Tapes on Earth) Cassette 1989
- Anesthesia (Dark Vinyl Records) CD 1992
- Necessary Discomforts (Cleopatra) CD 1993
- Estimating the Time of Death (Triple X) CD 1994
- Wound of Exit (Hollows Hill Sound Recordings) double CD 1998
Happiest Place On Earth (1986 - 1990) 
- Body of a Crow (Happiest Tapes on Earth) Cassette 1986
- PULSE (Happiest Tapes on Earth) VHS and Cassette 1989
- Environments: Birth, Death,Decay (Happiest Tapes on Earth) Triple Cassette 1990
Daucus Karota (1979, 1986, 1993-94) 
- Shrine EP (Triple X) 1994
Heltir (1987-1997) 
- Il Banchetto Dei Cancri/VC-706 (Happiest Place on Earth) Cassette 1989
- 69 Rituals (Happiest Place on Earth) Cassette 1989
- Neue Sachlichkeit (Triple X) 1994
- S/T (Hollows Hill Sound Recordings) 1996
Rozz Williams and Gitane Demone 
- Dream Home Heartache (Triple X) 1995
Rozz Williams (1992-1998) 
- Every King a Bastard Son (Cleopatra) 1992
- The Whorse's Mouth (Hollows Hill Sound Recordings) 1996
- Live In Berlin (Hollows Hill Sound Recordings) 2000
- Accept The Gift of Sin (live album) (Hollows Hill Sound Recordings) 2003
- "Flowers" on Projekt’s A Dark Cabaret compilation album 2005
- Pig (Cult Epics) 1998
- Cinema of Death
- Rozz Williams at the Internet Movie Database
- Rozz Williams at Find a Grave
- BluntGraffix.com - Rozz Williams