Snarklings, the Lady of the Manners has an exciting treat for you this time at Gothic Charm School! As the Lady of the Manners has mentioned before, she’s a big fan of Emilie Autumn. While the Enchant album was lovely, it was with the release of Opheliac that Emilie Autumn really grabbed people’s attention. How could the Lady of the Manners resist someone who played the violin, wrote slyly smart and biting songs about emotional struggles, and looked like a bedraggled and possibly dangerous Victorian doll? The Lady of the Manners couldn’t, obviously, and has been following the antics (musical and otherwise) of Ms. Autumn ever since.
And now, with thanks to Melissa King, Emilie’s wonderful tour manager, and Raayven for the photos from the January 29th Seattle concert, the Lady of the Manners presents to you:
The Gothic Charm School Interview with Emilie Autumn!
The assorted Opheliac-era tours were amazing spectacles. Are the shows for Fight Like A Girl going to have the same sort of delirious, “Rocky Horror” sideshow vibe?
EA: Thank you for saying that! The “FLAG” tour is definitely picking up where “Opheliac” left off and taking it about a thousand steps further. Everything is becoming very, very real. We’re keeping the Vaudevillian, theatrical, burlesque aspect of the show that I so love, but really telling a very literal story as well, and a very heavy one at that.
On the last round of tours for the Opheliac era, you said that those shows were the last time you would be performing songs from Opheliac live. Does that still hold true?
EA: The only song I’ve ever said I’d be retiring was the violin solo from “Unlaced” called “Face The Wall”. I’d been playing that at the end of every show for around three years, and I thought that it was time to take it to the next level.
Opheliac struck a chord and resonated with a lot of women (myself included!) Why do you think that is? Do you feel that Fight Like A Girl will have a similar effect?
EA: Thank you, I’m honored to have had even a small effect in this way. “Fight Like A Girl” makes “Opheliac” sound like a pleasant tea party. “FLAG” is a revolution, a call to arms, and represents a taking back of the power of 51% of the human population.
You’ve said before that “The Art of Suicide” is the song you’re most proud of. Does Fight Like A Girl have any songs you were completely blown away by?
EA: It does, in different ways. “…Suicide” is a tough song to match, but “FLAG” has some amazingly, almost ridiculously epic, cinematic pieces, and, in a lot of ways, is in a whole new realm. The songs are not so much about me, myself, the individual Emilie Autumn, but more about the characters in the “Asylum…” story, and the journeys they go on, journeys that I believe will speak to all of us in some way or other. There is one song in particular that I know to be, sort of, THE song, the jackpot, the punch line, and that is the closing song of the show and the album, “One Foot In Front Of The Other.” This is the song that answers the question, “where do we go from here?” It takes a seemingly hopeless situation and shines just one pin-hole of light, by which we begin to see a future out of all the horror.
I get a lot of mail from Gothic Charm School readers that mentions you as someone they look up to. What are your feelings on being a role model?
EA: I didn’t know that, but that is amazing, and very, very sweet! In truth, I’m not terribly fond of the term or concept of a “role model” because it implies restriction, something I don’t ever want to feel again. It’s quite frightening, really. I have every right to live my life and make choices and decisions without worrying about whom I will influence for good or bad. However! I do believe that there is a sort of responsibility that comes with putting one’s self out into the public and saying one’s message in a very loud voice night after night. It would be naive to think that one wouldn’t have some effect on people, their actions, how they think, etc., and I’m learning to embrace that rather than fear it, and to realize that this really was what I wanted all along — to have an effect, and to make a change.
Music, touring, writing and promoting a book, merchandise design, tea blending: how do you find the time to do it all? And are there ever days where you want to ditch it all and run away to join a circus that you’re not the ringmaster of?
EA: Well put! There certainly are those days, which is why acting as “The Painted Doll” in Darren Lynn Bousman’s “The Devil’s Carnival” was such an amazing, much needed experience, and will continue to be as each episode is filmed. It’s a circus I’m not the ringmaster of, and, while that initially terrified me, I quickly realized the simple beauty in just being a collaborator and not the boss.
Are there any plans for an ebook version of The Asylum For Wayward Victorian Girls book? I love the enormous, art-book format of it, but I’d also love a more portable version, and I know I’m not the only one.
EA: It’s something I’ve definitely been thinking about…a large part of my hesitation is simply the very practical concern of how the double page text and illustrations can be read on a portable device.
What are some of the things you do to recharge and balance yourself?
EA: Tea, tea, and alone time.
What’s your favorite comfort-read book?
EA: “The Picture of Dorian Gray.”
How is Suffer the Bear doing? Is he tagging along on this tour?
EA: He is attached to my harpsichord at all times, and comes out to dance and snuggle up to the Plague Rats at the end of the show. It’s still difficult for me to explain how important this little pink bear is to me, but I suppose you’ve read the book, so you already know. Thank you so much for your time and the brilliant chat! It’s been my pleasure having tea with you, and now, I’m off to practice a fight scene with Naughty Veronica. Life could be a lot worse…
The Lady of the Manners has been lucky enough to see Emilie Autumn and her Bloody Crumpets in concert three times, and has been enraptured each time. The songs that Emilie performed from the upcoming FLAG album were powerful, and old favorites sparkled under a new coat of glitter and righteous ire. The Lady of the Manners was especially happy to hear “4 O’Clock”, the anthem of chronic insomniacs everywhere, and needs to find good-quality recordings of the live performances “Take The Pill”, “Girls, Girls, Girls”, and “One Foot In Front Of The Other” to tide her over until Fight Like A Girl is unleashed upon the world. Which will happen very soon, the Lady of the Manners hopes!