17. Ariana Bastion

Digital drawing of an odd-looking woman with very long hair wearing a mix of styles - gothic trench coat, more conventional pants with crop top, large sunglasses, bare feet

17. Ariana Bastion

After the nasty business with the Shadow Creature, the seminal Goth band Cult of XünÿX took some time off so that their singer, Erzebet Zuniga, could deal with a number of problems including but not limited to heroin dependency and demonic possession. During that time, keyboardist John Boenen worked with a young singer and producer called Ariana Bastion on a project that ended up not going anywhere. Once Erzebet was fully recovered, she and John reconvened to work on a new Cult of XünÿX album. Some of the songs from the failed duo project got resurrected as Cult of XünÿX songs.

Bassist Percival “Tag” van Zeel, who had quit the band earlier that evening, decided he was not going to return, but drummer Siglinde “Zig” Jensen, who had been better prepared for the events of that night, was happy to stay on. As it happened, Ariana Bastion, who had trained as a viola player, was willing to take over bass duties and help complete songs that she had already had a big hand in writing. In addition to bass and viola, she added harmony vocals, extra synth parts and unusual chord inversions to the final songs. She also convinced the band to turn down the album’s original mix and then remixed it herself, cutting its length from 55 to 37 minutes in the process.

The new album, entitled “XünÿX Lives”, received rave reviews within the old-school Goth community and a single co-written by Ariana reached the pop charts. Tour dates were quickly rescheduled to move the band out of the club circuit and into theaters. Things would have been great if Ariana hadn’t gone to John Boenen’s attic and pulled out that one vintage FM synthesizer that John thought was safely hidden away…

I have a whole arc planned for Tess Durban, bookended by a story called XünÿX Lives in which we see the revamped line-up of Cult of XünÿX from the first storyline. That line-up will indeed be
Erzebet Zuniga – guitar, vocals
John Boenen – keyboards
Ariana Bastion – bass, viola, keyboards, vocals
Zig – drums