Colorado History

Remembering Goth Promoter and DJ Joshywa Schrader

Joshywa Schrader is remembered as a diplomat in the often tumultuous goth community.
Joshywa Schrader is remembered as a diplomat in the often tumultuous goth community. Photo courtesy Joshywa Schrader
Denver goth promoter Joshywa Schrader passed away March 8, 2017, at age 41. Shortly after 3 a.m. at Denver Health, Schrader lost his struggle with a heart condition that had plagued him in recent years, according to a Facebook post from his wife, Erin Fry.

Schrader was a fixture in Denver's goth scene going back to the ’90s, when he deejayed at the Gallery. He performed at almost every club that has had goth events, including, according to a 2014 Westword article, the Wreck Room, Rock Island, Club Onyx, Club Static, Millennium, the Church and Milk.

In the sometimes fickle and drama-fueled goth scene, Schrader garnered respect for his humanity, sensitivity, pragmatism and ability to communicate effectively.

Schrader worked with nonprofits in various capacities for years, but music was his life. He promoted shows and helped put together the types of events he would want to go to. He established PharoaMoan Productions in 2001 to bring some legitimacy to his efforts, promoting goth nights and live concerts and championing a divided scene.

As word spread about Schrader's passing, many figures in the goth scene of the 2000s expressed their condolences, including fellow DJs, members of bands like Caustic Soul, Dark Orchid and the Siren Project, and music-industry types with Gestalt Records.

In 2015, Schrader promoted the Angelspit, Gothsicles and Slim Fadey concert at the Dickens Opera House. Defined by his native grace, curiosity and passion for music, Schrader was once again becoming an active figure bridging the new wave of the goth-industrial scene with Denver's older goth world, and his presence is sure to be missed.
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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.