I’m sure many of my long-time viewers will remember my interview with the beautifully unique and downright awesome Emilie Autumn back in 2010. I met with her in Leeds (where I was studying) and we had the most inspiring chat over tea. Just as a quick reminder, here’s that video!
When I found out she was back in the UK, I simply had to see whether another interview would be possible. EA’s music and style have evolved so much, and I thought it would be the perfect time to catch up. Unfortunately her schedule was incredibly tight for her Manchester tour date so we were unable to chat in person, but she very kindly agreed to an interview via email! Here’s how it all went down…
My questions are in pink 🙂
Hi Emilie! I can’t believe it’s been over three years since we met for the interview in Leeds. In that interview, your final message to your Plague Rats was ‘prepare to Fight Like A Girl’ – how did you prepare yourself for the release of the title song?
When the “Fight Like A Girl” song was near completion, I played it for a gentleman friend. He loved it. And then he said, “So, this is your anti-male song.” I was shattered, because that wasn’t what the song meant to me at all. Still, I didn’t change anything. When the album was finally released, I had prepared myself for some small backlash, or at least my being called to answer for myself, but none of that ever happened. It was instantly accepted as being exactly what it was — an anthem for equality, justice, and personal empowerment. This applies to everybody. In fact, there is no reason why a man couldn’t be singing that song…a good man ought to want revenge on the bad ones just as much as any woman would.
There was naturally a very small “I don’t fucking care” side to my attitude at the time, because male artists, particularly rappers, say horrible, misogynistic shit about women in their “songs” all the time, and we are just supposed to suck it – nobody asks if our feelings are going to be hurt. In FLAG, I’m stating statistics and proven historical facts. And every boy in our half male audience is singing along. This song has given me more love for and faith in men than I’ve ever had. They got it. And they stepped up.
The video was simply spectacular. What was the experience of filming it, then seeing it completed for the first time, like?
I’m so thrilled you enjoyed it! The video was filmed in two days, and both were two of the best days of my entire life. I got to see my world being created from dust around me by over thirty-five people who somehow knew exactly how to create what was in my head. This video also cemented director Darren Lynn Bousman’s place in the Asylum. He’s a true inmate now, and will go on to direct the Asylum musical.
Personally, I was thrilled to find out that your new album mirrors The Asylum For Wayward Victorian Girls – how have fans reacted to that fact?
Thank you very much! I think it made perfect sense to everyone…it would almost be strange if I went and wrote songs about some unrelated subject after I’ve built a whole reality for us all to exist within. There is more than enough in that book to keep us all busy for a while.
How long have you known that you wanted to take the new album in that direction?
Once I had completely solidified in my mine that my ultimate goal would be the composing and staging of the Asylum musical, everything I created became about the manifestation of that. The FLAG album tells about one third of the complete musical, and all by one voice. It is the hint of what’s to come.
Something I have often discussed with fellow PR friends is whether there could be a second novel…?
I love that question. The beauty is that I have no idea yet. The first one only came about because I had a story to tell, and that story was my life. If a sequel comes about, it will be because I am living another fantastic story, which I suppose we will all find out together…
How is the tour going so far?
Perfectly! Absolutely perfectly. Two nights ago in Munich, we cracked the code somehow, and the number of boys in the audience outnumbered the girls. Something truly remarkable is going on – something that I’m not sure if even I realize yet, but I think it’s beautiful.
Are there plans for any future music videos after first was received with such admiration?
Prepare for “Scavenger”!
Your use of social media has changed quite a bit over the years – how do you now feel about things like Twitter?
It took me a while to join up as, if I’m honest, I had thought that having a Twitter account would make me feel like a twelve-year-old with nothing better to do. I have since realized that it is both useful and simply practical in that, if you have a message you want heard, whether it is something about your business, your unique view on the world, etc., you must go where your audience is. Twitter has proven to be the quickest and most effective way to spread information quickly, and that is more important than my annoyance that so many have forgotten how to see the value in an experience unless it can be immediately Tweeted about. No phones allowed at the dinner table.
I’m sure there are a great deal, but are there any styles (whether musical or otherwise) that you’d like to experiment with on any new material?
As you can tell from bits of the FLAG album, particularly on “Time For Tea” and “We Want Them Young”, I’m experimenting with tribal and battle drumming of various cultures. For the musical, I’m trying to blend them with recognizable military drumming to create a definitive style to the fight scenes that occur when the inmates are finally free and decide that it might be a good time to go on a killing rampage.
I’d love to ask the same question three years on – what message would you like to give to your PRs around the world?
And I’d love to answer it! Dearest Plague Rats around the world and beyond, we have come so far together. We’ve grown up together. Someone had to write some songs, but you’ve created a community that I am proud and privileged to be a part of. Gratitude. Gratitude. Gratitude.
Thank you so much to Emilie for taking part in this interview! She is, and always will be, on of my favourite people in the world and I hope to meet her for tea again soon 🙂