The Rivet Head Goth

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The Rivet Head Goth is either, depending on your point of view, a grandfather of the Military Goth or a close cousin. You can also say that the rivet head goth is a child of two parents; the punk rock style, and the Traditional Goth style. Or you could say that they are an offshoot of the Industrial music scene. Or you could just say that they are awesome.

Sometimes looked down upon by the more ‘purist’ Goths, these Goths tend to like their life to be loud and chaotic. On the outside looking in, some people presume that Rivet Head Goths are very aggressive and angry. However, nothing could be further from the truth. They actually tend to be very polite, but instead just simply know how they want to have fun. Although they may look like the gothic equivalent of ‘jocks’, and be scary to go and strike up a conversation with, the moment you do you’ll actually find a person full of warmth and love for their fellow man…

…despite that their music includes titles such as “Hate This.”

Rivet Head Goths have etched out their own little corner of the Goth world. That is not to say that they don’t interact often with the other members. But instead, that they also have their own community. Other people are allowed to enter it. And a Rivet Head Goth can enjoy going over to a different community, but on the whole, there is very much an area in which a Rivet Head Goth feels very safe and secure.

At any large gothic gathering, for example the Whitby Goth Weekend, you will find that the Rivet Head Goths, as well as going off into their own little groups, are also more than happy with partying, laughing and dancing with the other gothic types that have gone to the event.

You can always spot a Rivet Head Goth though through their choice of fashion style:

Rivet Head Goth Fashion

Many of the Rivet Head Goth fashion items are also appropriated from the Military Goth style. That is, it would not be unusual for someone to mistake the two types. However, whereas The Military Goth fashion is more limited (being fully focused on military uniforms), The Rivet Head Goth has a little bit more choice and flexibility in their clothing options.

One of the reasons that you can see Rivet Head Goth as being an offshoot from the Punk Fashion is because Rivet Head Goths tend to like their spikes and studs. It is very unusual to see a Rivet Head Goth wearing any outfit that does not incorporate this metal hardware somewhere within it.

Masculine Rivet Head Goths tend to also prefer wearing either vests or short sleeved tops. This is typically because the Rivet Head Goth has taken the time to work out, and would very much love the chance to show off the muscles on their arms wherever they are.

Similarly, many of the feminine types within the Rivet Head Goth subculture are also prone to wearing short vest tops, just with a different net cut to the masculine members of it.

Boots are also particularly important in the Rivet Head Goth Subculture, especially because of the style of dancing they are known to do (more on this below). All sexes within the Rivet Head culture tend to wear large boots. We’re talking heavy soles and very tall shafts. It is just a lot more satisfying to be able to stomp around when you know what you are wearing has been built to last.

Accessory wise you can see a dizzying array of festival armbands on the wrists of a Rivet Head goth. This array of armbands is sometimes accompanied with spiked bracelets. Additionally, you might also see a Rivet Head Goth wearing spiked clothes, particularly ones that are fingerless.

Rivet Head Goths, much like Military Goths, may wear the occasional necklace. Here you can expect, primarily, to see military style dog tags. Or, sometimes, collars.

Rivet Heads also very occasionally have fetish hints with their outfits. Seeing a Rivet Head wearing PVC trousers, or a PVC jacket, is not an unusual sight at all. You might also see a trench coat, and in even rarer cases made of latex, on Rivet Head Goths.

You will also often encounter a dizzying array of piercings and tattoos. To the Rivet Head Goth, their body is completely mailable and prime for transforming into another aspect of the Rivet Head lifestyle.

Interestingly, with all of these different fashion elements that can be used, the Rivet Head Goth is much more likely to have simpler outfits than other Goth types. That is, they place a prime importance on showing off what subculture they belong to with the minimal amount of accessories and clothing.

Rivet Head Goth Music

Rivet Head Goth music is almost all industrial music. The key players here being artists such as KMFDM, Frontline Assembly and Skinny Puppy.

Some, if not most, Rivet Heads were likely first introduced to the genre by the Industrial Rock masters Nine Inch Nails. It is when they start exploring the ‘industrial’ as opposed to ‘industrial rock’ side of Nine Inch Mails that they are often introduced to the wide range of industrial music out there.

There are also many more recent artists that cater towards Rivet Head Goths. Faderhead, Combichrist and Grendel all being particular members of this. In fact, there are pretty much two main genres that the Rivet Head Goth will listen to; Aggrotech and Industrial.

Rivet Head Goth music is intended to be played loud. From speakers that are tall enough to burst out of a ceiling. Heavy beats, aggressive and sarcastically biting lyrics are a must. On stage, bands that play Rivet Head Goth music typically have a persona of being overly aggressive, all with an air of irony. It is not uncommon for Rivet Head Goth bands to make fun of both themselves and the community. For example, some of the key members of the modern day Rivet Head style of Music, Aesthetic Perfection, X-RX and Combichrist have an amazing track called “Fuck Industrial” that pokes holes in everything involved in the subculture.

Because of the aggressive beats, and the aggression inherent in the music, Rivet Head Goths have also evolved their own particular dancing style. This involves a lot of stomping on the floor. A lot of aggressive, punching like hand motions. Record a Rivet Head Goth dancing, and you have a great intro for a Tekken character.

Rivet Head Goth Interests

Rivet Head do have a little bit of crossover with a Military Goths, in that they tend to be quite into military history. Although not to the same level of obsession that a Military Goth might have, there is still a large amount of interest for this area of life.

Because of the idea of showing off as much of the rivet head lifestyle with as few accessories as possible, Rivet Head Goths tend to be heavily into body improvement. That is, they are the most likely of the goths to have a Gym Membership. And actually turn up at the gym. They tend to be heavily into their diets, knowing what to put into their bodies to get what they want out.

Rivet Heads also tend to have an interest, like Cyber Goths, in Cyberpunk style movies. You can take a look the Cyber Goth article for those particular movies. Additionally, every single Rivet Head has seen Starship Troopers. At least twenty times. A day.

It is not uncommon to also find a Rivet Head who loves working with leather. Although not quite as clothing orientated as those goths who will be at their sewing machine every evening, a Rivet Head goth will typically add studs to their own clothing, and will have their own array of tools to be able to do this easier.

Interestingly for outsiders, some Rivet Head Goths are also very heavily into meditating and becoming calm. You might see this as a stark contrast to the kind of music they listen to. But actually, it makes perfect sense. For most of the time, this music is actually nothing more than a release, allowing Rivet Head Goths to unleash their rage in a productive and fun way. It’s a hellalot more healthy than people who have a lot of anger and keep it bottled away until they explode.

Because of this purging of feelings, when you encounter a Rivet Head goth, you will actually find them easy going and courteous, which dovetails into the other Rivet Head Goth interest. They love getting to know new people. To build their own communities. Make a Rivet Head goth your friend? You have a friend for life.

(Header Image By Brian Bilek (Own work) [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr).

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