Weirdo. Mosher. Freak.
If you’re familiar with these words, you’re surely familiar with the name Sophie Lancaster. Today – August 24, 2018 – marks eleven years since her tragic passing. Together with her boyfriend, Sophie was attacked and brutally beaten by a group of teenage boys. Several head injuries resulted in Sophie going into a coma and passing away thirteen days later. All for wearing goth clothes and being members of the goth subculture.
To create a lasting legacy, Sophie’s family has established The Sophie Lancaster Foundation. It aims to prevent intolerance and crimes against people from alternative subcultures, as well as support them and bring them together.
There are several tributes to Sophie, and her murder caught the attention of many bands and musicians, one of them being the Dutch symphonic metal band Delain. Especially the vocalist Charlotte Wessels got deeply attached to the heartbreaking story.
In an interview with Sonic Cathedral, she said: “It was just supposed to be a song about “we are the others” and a feeling of togetherness. On the one hand, being proud of whoever you are, whether you divert from the norm in whatever way you divert from the norm. But on the other hand, it is also kind of a song for “others”. We just wanted a song about acceptance.”
And that’s how their song titled ‘We Are The Others’ came to life. Talking about the song to Kerrang, Charlotte continues: “In a perfect world everybody would be accepted for the way they look, the colour of their skin, their sexuality – you name it. But the fact is that’s not the case and it was when we were writing the song that I remembered the case of Sophie Lancaster and how it touched me and how it created this wave through the community when it happened. That was when we got in touch with the Foundation. I can write a song about feelings or abstract things and be done with it, but this is not abstract at all. This was someone’s daughter and someone’s friend, and so I really wanted to get in touch before putting anything out.”
‘We Are The Others’ came out as a part of the album of the same name in June 2012. It was released as a single later on, and you can hear a slightly different version of the song in a music video. Besides fans all over the world, Within Temptation’s Sharon den Adel and Robert Westerholt, ex-Delain and current Epica bass player Rob van der Loo, or George Oosthoek can be spotted in the video.
Charlotte adds: “‘We Are The Others’ is our own ‘outsiders anthem’ for everybody who, deliberately or not, diverts from the norm. Whether it’s by looking different, acting different, or choosing a different path in life than is expected from you.”
So if you feel like you’re alone, misunderstood or not being accepted, listen to this song, knowing that there’s always someone who cares and gets your feelings. Always be proud of who you are, no matter your race, sexual orientation, religion, music you like and clothes you wear.
The last but not least, don’t be afraid to reach out for help if you feel like your or someone else’s life can be in danger just for being special. Remember; we are all equal, and there’s beauty in all of us.
PS: Listen to the touching ballad version of this song from Delain’s EP ‘Interlude’ below.