Latest Release: Fight Like A Girl (coming soon)
Band Site: www.emilieautumn.com
Eclectic singer-songwriter, poet and violinist Emilie Autumn is one of modern music’s more interesting entities. She’s appeared on albums by Courtney Love, Billy Corgan and Dethklok and tours consistently with her all-female band The Bloody Crumpets performing an idiosyncratic mix of glam rock, cabaret, electronica and burlesque for her followers of “Plague Rats”. Strong, determined and not afraid to fight like a girl, she is currently on tour across Europe and the UK for her latest release – called, of course, Fight Like a Girl, but she took to the time to chat with Loud about life, her new record, the prospect of a Broadway musical and when Australia can expect to see her again.
Q: Hello Emilie, thanks for taking the time to answer these questions today. You’ve been touring for Fight Like a Girl, and I understand that you look at previous releases as eras, and once a new era begins the old must end. Is this then the end of the Opheliac era?
A: I’m delighted to be able to sit down for tea with you today! Yes, the Fight Like a Girl Tour is underway, and it’s been an experience beyond all of my expectations. I’d have been hard pressed to imagine an audience more passionate than our Plague Rats have been in the past, but the story that the F.L.A.G. show and album follows seems to be drawing forth a whole new level of depth from the audiences that is really overwhelmingly emotional. I’m in Germany at the moment, and, having now toured through North America and the UK with this new material and new show, I can’t wait to see what tonight will bring out in all of us. Probably a lot of screaming, tears, and flying muffins.
In answer to your excellent question about eras and the turning of the tide, the changing of direction isn’t something that I have any particular rule about, or that absolutely has to take place with every new release. In the case of F.L.A.G., it is not a new era as much as it is the next chapter of the story. Opheliac led up to this, and there are definite references to songs and lyrics from Opheliac in the new album. There are strong threads attaching everything I’ve done since that time, and it will all be represented in the Broadway musical version of my book, The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls, that I will be debuting on London’s West End in 2014.
Q: Your live shows are very theatrical, with a running time of approx. 3 hours telling a story through more mediums than music. How has the story of F.L.A.G continued from the Opheliac story, or how has it changed?
A: Fight Like a Girl is not a rock album, not an industrial album, not a collection of songs painting a picture…it is part of the massive soundtrack to the upcoming Asylum… musical, and it tells a very clear, cohesive story from beginning to end. This new album was always meant to be part of the musical. This is most definitely represented during the new live show, which is less of a variety show and more of a journey. While it is extremely intense and very, very dark at times, it was very important to me to keep the burlesque, vaudeville comedic elements, and I believe that the show has gotten even funnier than the last time around.
Q: When you write a new record, is it something you plan early on in the game, or is it something that happens when inspiration hits, and you feel the time is right?
A: I tend to plan things around when I think the audience is ready to fully understand them. Certain steps need to be taken. It was certainly this way with the Asylum… book. It was written and ready long before it was made available to the public, and this was very intentional. The timing has to be perfect. Now is the time for Fight Like a Girl, and not just within my pre-existing audience, or within the community of Plague Rats, but globally. There is a cosmic rightness at this precise moment, the time to remind everybody, and I do mean everybody, that females are, and have long been, 51% of the population of human beings on planet Earth. We are not asking to be represented as such. We are demanding it. This is revolution.
Q: Do you ever enlist help from others when writing your songs? Or is it a very private/personal thing for you?
A: Nope. Never.
Q: You have worked with other musicians of course; one of my favourite collaborations was your violin work on Otep’s “Ur A WMN Now“. I know this was back in 2009, but I didn’t get the chance to ask you then. What was it like working with Otep on that song?
A: Collaborating with Otep was a joy and an honour. That was by far my best experience working with another artist, and I’m pleased that I made a beautiful new friend in the process.
Q: You’ve had a lot of success with your book Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls, which I can only image was a cathartic process for you. Do you have any plans to write any more books, or did you just need to get that story out?
A: It’s an interesting question in that I’d always felt the the Asylum… book was the beginning and the end of that story, but now I’m not so sure. The fact is that the book is about my life, and as my life continues on, perhaps there will be some new chapters… But in the more immediate future, I’m working on the companion cookbook to the Asylum….
Q: Your music is experimental and always seems to be trying something new with every record, or track even. Are you ever afraid you’ll run out of things to try, or even stories to tell?
A: My only worry is running out of time. The ideas and stories and sounds and ways to make all of them could fill centuries.
Q: When you look to the past, and then look at yourself now, does it come as a shock that you’ve ended up where you have? Did you ever imagine your violin would bring you here?
A: It is a shock. I think it will always be a shock. It’s a shock to me that I’m even alive right now, let alone that I’ve done something interesting enough for you to be having this conversation with me at this moment. In my wildest dreams, the violin would be the voice that took me through concert halls across the world. Never did I think that my course would veer so dramatically, that my road would twist so dangerously, and, in the end, that I would have the courage to be myself to the degree that I now am. And it’s only the beginning…
Q: Looking at your forum, you have obviously helped a lot of fans through your music and messages you put forth, which is amazing. How does it feel knowing you’ve helped so many people, and you’re an inspiration to them?
A: This is a deceptively simple question. I experience so many emotions on this subject on a daily basis that it’s difficult for me even to sort them all out into a coherent sentence. My first reaction is one of pride, not in myself of course, but in the people who have opened themselves up to art as a means of healing or inspiration. But then, I feel shock and denial that I have anything to do with their reaction, because I can’t process that I could possibly be this significant to anybody. It feels tremendously unnatural to me.
Q: Is there a set release date for F.L.A.G and an Australian tour planned, or in the stages of planning for the new album?
A: There is indeed a proper release date for F.L.A.G and I am a mere few days away from announcing it. I can say that it is very shortly after we get off the road from this UK/European tour. As for Australia, which is one of my, and in fact of the Crumpets’ and my entire crew’s, favourite places on the face of the planet, I do have a tour planned for you. But this will be no ordinary tour. This is a fight, a revolution, and we need you all alongside us. I hope you’re ready.
Q: And finally, do you have any final words of wisdom?
A: Yes! If you ever plan to get in a fight with an antique Victorian medical tool, as I did on stage two nights ago in Nottingham, England, make sure it’s sterilized first.
Q: I would like to thank you again for taking the time to answer these questions. Good luck with the tour and I hope to see you in Australia again soon. Take care.
A: It’s been my absolute pleasure! I’ll be seeing you sooner than you think…check under your tea table…or your bed.