This is the attitude that brought me to Joy Division, living in Erie, Pennsylvania in 1988 and suffering through my first autumn away from home. The desperation in the music brought me up somehow. It put us in a trance, sipping from long-necks in my small rented bedroom. We drove to the edge of the lake when it froze over, and sat in the car and considered walking across it. We cleared the furniture out of the living room and put on strobe lights so that we could slam dance to Skinny Puppy and Ministry. Dave passed out on the front porch and we put blankets on him so he wouldn’t freeze. Chris was genuinely concerned he could be sick or dying, but we didn’t worry about it; he was okay in the morning.
We were attracted to tragedy in a romantic way: maybe it’s the notion that pain reminds you that you’re really alive.