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Mario Duplantier of Gojira

Doug had the chance to chat with Gojira’s Mario Duplantier regarding their new album, the world of music, touring, Lamb of God and plenty more. YOU will have the chance to check them out live for yourself at Peabody’s on August 20th.

 

Doug Esper: First off, I will come clean and admit I have no idea how to pronounce the album title, so can you help me out with that?

Mario: Ha. L’Enfant Sauvage.

Doug: Eh, La…infant…sausage?

Mario: No, no…L’Enfant Sauvage.

Doug: You sound better saying it anyway. I read that it means “Wild Child”. Is that accurate, and what can you tell us about how that title came about?

Mario: With our success, maybe we feel that we have to be responsible. We have to deal with business, with life, with our age…we have so many aspects of our life to deal with, but we try to keep the wild child inside us. We want to stay naive and we think it’s very important to keep a certain freedom and certain innocence in our lives and yet, we want to stay connected with something deep inside that is a wild child.

 

Doug: This album is heavy and layered with very clean production and yet none of the edge is lost how do you feel the album turned out and how did you like working with Josh Wilber?

Mario: We love the clean produced sound and we love when you can hear everything, exactly like you said. The American production is very close to what we love in general. We grew up listening to many US bands like Metallica, Korn, all these bands with such clean production, so I knew I wanted to have this kind of sound. When we decided to work with Josh, he knew exactly what we wanted: something clean, powerful, and organic at the same time.

 

Doug: Speaking of Josh Wilbur, you guys had a tour scheduled with Lamb of God that was canceled when their singer Randy was incarcerated. Randy has been really cool to our website over the years and we were shocked at what was happening. What’s the latest you’ve heard and how happy are you to hear he was released?

Mario: Trust me, it was a shock also for us. This tour was very important for the band, but first of all we were very concerned about Randy. We wanted to play so many venues it was very important to us in terms of promotion and to meet the fans. What happened to Randy can happen to anybody, even my brother. He has sometimes pushed some fans in the pit from the stage. You know, it’s an accident, a stupid accident and it can happen to any band. We were shocked and very sad and…everybody decided to cancel the tour.

 

Doug: You had some computer problems during the recording sessions for an ep you were recording for charity. What happened and did you end up losing music when the computer crashed?

Mario: When we released The Way of All Flesh we toured a lot, and after that we had a period without any management or label supporting us. So, at that moment, we felt like everything was open for us. We decided to record an EP. We didn’t want to record an album, just an EP with 4 songs and donate all the proceeds to Sea Shepherd. Have you heard of them? They are like Green Peace, but focus on saving the Ocean. The computer crashed and we lost the recordings, but finally we did release one song from this EP.

 

Doug: How are American crowds different from European crowds?

Mario: This morning I was in Starbucks and a guy came up to me and just started talking to me. He asked “What are you guys doing? Why are you over here in the States?” I was very surprised because he was so natural, like it was no big deal. This kind of thing won’t happen in France because people will look at you like you’re crazy or weird. In the United States the people will scream very loud and cheer us on. It is very spontaneous and there is a raw energy. In Europe, the crowds are more observant and they tend to analyze the music. Sometimes they will not cheer or scream at all. It can be a little disturbing, but deep down, I think, metalheads are the same all over.

 

Doug: Before you ever played Cleveland, Ohio did you have any impression of what our city was like or had you heard any stories about us?

Mario: When My brother and I grew up, we were big fans of the movie Major League, you know, with the Indians from Cleveland. It was a baseball movie that we watched all the time. So, when I think of Cleveland I think of the Indians from that movie.

 

Doug: Sad but true, our team is still that bad in real life. It seems to me that with each release, Gojira stretches the boundaries on how far you will take your sound. Is this something you do to test yourself each recording session, or is it just a natural progression of songwriting?

Mario: I think it’s very natural. We never know what we will be writing next. For example, the next album who knows what directions we may take? We’ve talked about it being more atmospheric, maybe slow with clean vocals, or we may go another direction. I don’t know. Each session we try to just be natural, natural, natural, you know? It’s the only way to compose music.

 

Doug: Is there a reason Gojira’s lyrics are in English rather than your native tongue?

Mario: My brother loved to speak English since he was a young child. Our mother was an American and we grew up loving baseball. Also, we grew up listening to bands from America, like Metalica. There were also bands we liked from the UK. I can’t write in English, but to my brother it came very natural. We wanted to make it very easy for people to understand what we were saying.

 

Doug: The day I bought the album I was listening in my car and though I knew none of the words I found myself singing and yelling along. While stopped at a red light I was totally busted by people in another car as I was pumping my fist in the air and trying to sing to “The Gift of Guilt”. I love the lyrics, “these vultures from the past, coming in all the hells and worlds, the time has come, delivered from their eyes, I’m leaving this behind, the gift of guilt”. Tell me a bit about how that song was written.

Mario: It started out as a simple tapping riff. Joe and I composed it 5 years ago during The Way of All Flesh sessions, but we didn’t feel it was strong enough, yet. When we started to work on new material, we came back to this riff and rebuilt the song around it. We often love to repeat progressions, so at the end of the song we play the riff over and over. We love the atmospheric feel, so that’s why we repeated it and faded it out at the end. I love the emotional aspect of that song, it came very naturally.

 

Doug: Who are some bands that you think we should check out?

Mario: Meshuggah. I am a big fan of Meshuggah. Also, there is a crazy, death metal band from New Zealand called Ulcerate. I can never remember their name, but you should check them out.

 

Doug: What’s next for Gojira?

Mario: We are going to keep touring. We want to do some headlining shows. It’s not that we don’t like being an opener band, but this is a step for us that we need to take. We hope to have a big tour that we can incorporate our sound, and our own lights, and our own stage set up, you know?

 

Doug: Well, my wife and I just had a daughter born a few days ago. The original due date was August 21st and your show here in town is on the 20th, so it looks like I can be at your Peabody’s show.

Mario: Well, congratulations.

 

Doug: I promise to be at the show, screaming and moshing like a 15 year old kid. I will leave work, and stress and life behind and at the show, I will be a Wild Child.

Mario: Ah, cool. Ha, Thanks.

Dave Davidson of Revocation

Through the wonders of modern science, LarryMac was finally able to catch up with road warriors Revocation and get the lowdown from Dave Davidson on the band, where they’ve been, where they’re headed and the new album.

Photos Courtesy of Tom Couture

LarryMac: First, I know you guys have been touring like muthers, so thanks for making some time for us. How’s the tour so far?

Dave Davidson: Tour is going great so far. We’re halfway through the tour right now, getting ready to crush Denver tonight!

 

LM: You just wrapped up a headlining tour and turned right back around and started opening for Dying Fetus. Which do you prefer, the smaller venues where you’re the headliner or the bigger stages, where maybe you aren’t the main draw?

DD: I like them both for different reasons. The smaller stages have an intimate feel so you can really get in people’s faces and rock the fuck out with them, but it’s also rad to play the bigger venues. When you’re standing on a huge stage you have more room to move around and you don’t feel so cramped on stage. Plus generally the crowds are bigger so there’s more energy to feed off of.

 

LM: You guys weren’t happy with your original demo, so you reinvented yourselves and decided do everything yourselves the second time around, financing your own tour, your own records, etc. Did you just have bad luck the first time out or would you tell other bands that are starting out to do it that way as well?

DD: We decided to change the name because we needed to give the band a re-boot. We never printed t-shirts or even toured with Cryptic Warning so we figured we’d change the name and just start fresh. It definitely was the right decision to make even though we had to start over in a lot of ways.

 

LM: What’s one other bit of advice you’d give to a young band starting out?

DD: Focus on writing good songs, get a good sounding demo and book your own tours.

 

LM: You guys are pretty straight-up death metal, but you’re very technically proficient as well. Are the mathcore bands like Dillinger Escape Plan an influence or is just a because you’ve got the musical training and wanted to mix that in?

DD: I grew up listening to Dillinger so they may have influenced me here and there but they weren’t particularly a main source of inspiration even though I dig their shit. I think we try to incorporate a lot of different influences just because there are so many inspiring musicians and songwriters in the metal genre.

 

LM: Do you want people to walk away after hearing you remembering how brutal your music is or how technically great you guys are?

DD: I want people to walk away from our show thinking “those guys fucking ROCK!” Whether it’s because they think we’re technical or brutal doesn’t really matter to me either way. Some people really focus on the instrumentation others wanna get in the pit and feel the aggression. As long as we can thoroughly rock both types of people we’re doing something right haha.

 

LM: Whenever people try to nail down your sound, you’ll usually get bands like Exodus or Megadeth. Who is an influence that most people wouldn’t guess?

DD: Martyr are a huge influence on us but a lot of people aren’t aware of them. They’re from Canada and they are one of the most unique bands in death metal right now. Really mind blowing stuff.

 

LM: Why does the east coast scene continue to thrive compared to the metal scene in the rest of the States?

DD: Not sure but I think metal isn’t only thriving on the east coast alone. The west coast has got a great metal scene and there’s plenty of places in the south that have a killer scene where we’ve always had good shows.

 

LM: What’s been the best, non-hometown response you guys have gotten on the road?

DD: Hard to say since the response seems to be getting better and better each time we go out. If I had to pick one place that consistently shows us love it would probably be NYC.

 

LM: Tell me about the new album. Existence is Futile was called one of the best pure metal albums of the year. How do you go about topping that?

DD: Really we don’t really think about “topping” a record that came before. I think each record is its own thing with its own unique songs. Often times bands want to out do each record by making it more technical or faster than the last. We just want each record to be different and kick ass in its own way. Our ultimate goal is to have each release be unique but still sound like Revocation.

 

LM: You’ve got one track off the new album that the label is going to push hard. Which one do you pick? And do you pick it because it best captures your sound or because it’s an awesome track that will blow people away and make them buy the album (or both)?

DD: I think we try to choose a track that fits both of those aspects. The song off Chaos that we used was “No Funeral”, which I think really encompasses our sound as of right now.

 

LM: Which is more important when you’re writing a song: trying to say something lyrically or writing awesome music?

DD: We write the music first and then usually write lyrics to fit he vibe of the song but we definitely want our lyrics to have integrity and be meaningful in some way. Even if the lyrics are based around something fantasy related we still want to approach them in a creative way. A lot of our lyrics have to do with our personal experiences though so they naturally hold a lot of meaning for us.

 

LM: Once this tour wraps, who is one band you’d like to share the stage with?

DD: Metallica.

 

LM: So what’s next for you guys?

DD: Tour, tour, and more tour haha!

 

LM: That’s all I’ve got. Any parting words? Any shout outs?

DD: Check out our new record Chaos of Forms and come check us out on the Shockwave Festival this summer!

Joakim Broden and Robban Back of Sabaton

LarryMac had the opportunity to sit down with Sabaton’s Joakim Broden and Robban Back while the band was in town on their “Swedish Empire” tour. Find out what they had to say about the band’s lineup changes, music, the weather and more!

Sabaton live - Joakim and Robban

LarryMac: I’m here with Joakim Broden and Robban Back, from Sabaton. Thanks for taking the time to sit down and chat with us and welcome to Cleveland. How’s the tour so far?

Joakim Broden: So far, so good. Nice people MOST of the time. (both laugh)

 

LM: How is it that so many great bands come out of Sweden?

JB: Probably because it’s so fucking cold there’s nothing else to do but drink and play heavy metal during the winter.

 

LM: I spoke with the guys from Hammerfall the last time they came through here and they said that you guys from up north have it easy because you don’t have that wind coming in off the ocean.

JB: That’s bullshit. They don’t really know the true cold of the northern plains of Sweden.

 

LM: Would you say that you guys were influenced more by the Swedish acts like Amorphis or the power metal acts, like Manowar and Saxon?

JB: I think, in our case, it would be more Manowar, Saxon…Accept, Judas Priest. The old school 80s stuff.

 

LM: You guys recently overhauled your lineup. With so much change, was it hard to get everybody on the same page quickly?

JB: It was tough to find decent people on such short notice. Everybody wants the same thing when you’re 18 and starting a band – everyone wants to be a rockstar. Once you get above 30, priorities change. One of the guys just didn’t want to play anymore, some have got kids, wives, getting married. We knew there was going to be a lineup change, even before we announced it. When it came to Robban doing the drums, that was a no-brainer. He was the first one I thought of because he’s been replacing (former drummer) Daniel (Mullback), when Daniel had knee problems about a year ago. Robban came down; we called him and said “hey, can you be in Vienna in like seven hours?” and he was like “sure, why not. Why?” (both laughing). We told him “you’ve got to do a show tomorrow” and he said “you’re kidding me…okay send me the set list”. So he just plugged it into his iphone and practiced on the plane down and he played it.

 

LM: You guys are using recorded tracks for the keyboards, right?

JB: Yeah. The keyboardist actually decided to get back with his ex-girlfriend. They broke up because she’s from Poland and didn’t want to move to Sweden because we’re never home anyway. And she said “well, if you weren’t going to tour all the time, I could move up if you had a regular job”. So, I was on vacation in Iceland when I heard “ah, I can’t do it, I gotta get my girlfriend back”. (Joakim slaps his forehead, shaking his head) Seriously? How the fuck are we gonna get new visas in time? But we’re on friendly terms, so he said “I’ll record the stuff for you, so you can have it on tape”. So, until we find a keyboarder, he’s with us in digital form.

 

LM: Now, YOU were originally the keyboardist, right?

JB: Yeah. I got into the band in ’99 and they didn’t have any songs at all. Turns out I wrote music and I was the keyboard player. So they asked if I could sing the melodies, so they knew what I had in mind. I screamed into the microphone, it sounded like shit and they said “okay, you’ll sing until we find a singer”. The lazy fuckers never did. (laughing)

 

LM: Why does metal continue to thrive in Europe while over here it just scrapes by?

JB: I never felt that actually. It’s a little underground in Europe, in certain places as well. In Finland, it’s the biggest, it’s the major music style in Finland, which is our neighbors. In Sweden, it’s not THE biggest, maybe, but among the bigger ones. Iron Maiden will pull 55,000 people for a show. Other bands that would not be pulling any people here at all are huge over there.

 

LM: Yeah. Over there you have all the huge festivals and then come over here and we stick you in a bar.

JB: It’s different, but I don’t mind at all actually. It’s going back to the basics. I do enjoy to be able to lean out and touch the audience. Sweat, blood and heavy metal. It’s cool to do the big shows and I want to do them, too, but I want everything.

 

LM: You guys are who you are because of the war songs. What made you pick that as your niche?

JB:We never planned it really. I think it started when me and Par (bassist Par Sundstrom) were writing the lyrics for “Primo Victoria”. We had the vocal melodies, had written the harmonies and everything, and we’re sitting there thinking, we need some…this has a huge epic sound to it. We need something that fits it. D-Day! We, of course, knew that it was the 6th of June, 1944, but we had to do some research to make sure we didn’t fuck up. When you go into fantasy, you can say whatever you want, but when you go into history, you’ve really got to check what you’re doing. All of a sudden, while doing that, we realized that writing lyrics wasn’t a necessary evil. It was fun, more engaging, interesting and, come to think of it, in our music, you have all of the emotional spectrum that are in war. You have euphoria, sadness, depression, hatred; everything in it that can connect it to the music much more easily. So we decided “hey, let’s make an album about war” and here we are, a bunch of albums later still singing about war.

 

LM: Now, with the new album, you’re taking a step back and looking at the 17th and 18th century. Was that just a change of pace, change of direction, or you just got tired of doing the war stuff?

JB: It was actually you Americans’ fault. On the past two tours when we were here, it was kind of common that people would say “yeah, yeah, yeah, but why do you do what you do, singing the history of us? Why don’t you sing about the Swedish empire? We’d love to hear some of that; that’s YOUR history”. And we thought “yeah”. We’ve been singing about the Germans being the bad guys for a couple of albums now, let’s give them a break.

 

LM: Do you ever worry that by focusing on that sort of music that you’re going to start to get type-cast? Eventually, you’re going to want to do a power ballad and people are going to say “what the hell’s that”?

JB: Yes and no. It seems like most Sabaton fans are really open minded. As long as it’s a good song and it’s within the range of hard rock/heavy metal, they’ll accept it.

 

LM: Also, focusing on wars and history, do you get dragged into political debates ALL the time?

JB: It happens, quite a few times. But it’s kind of easy – we’re telling history, we don’t spread political propaganda. We allow all kinds of fan videos. We don’t remove anything from the internet, unless it’s connected to a political or religious group. At that point, we’ll go after them with all our fucking lawyers. But if somebody’s playing “Call of Duty” and has “Primo Victoria” on there, that’s fine. He’s doing it because he wants it. He likes the music. Somebody tries to make money off it or make political or religious propaganda, then it’s a different story.

 

LM: Over the past couple of years, you guys have put together some intense live appearances – playing with a full re-enactment at the site of the “40:1” battle and now reportedly working on a performance at Normandy. And the video for “Uprising” used re-enactors. What’s that like? Is it a rush or is it pretty somber and intense?

JB: (speaking of Normandy) That’s my biggest fucking dream. Doing the video is usually very fucking boring. The “Uprising” one was different, though, because that was almost like a movie set. Professional actors and extras and you see the scenes. But the regular video recording, where you stand in the room and headbang and sing and the rest is added later, that’s boring. Actually being on the battlefields, playing live, that’s one of the coolest things. When we played in Wizna, the battle we sing about in “40:1”, you can see the remains of the bunkers a hundred yards away. There’s 8 or 10,000 Polish people there, singing along, and it was exactly 70 years since that battle.

 

LM: So what’s next for you guys?

JB: Well, we’ve got kind of a packed schedule. I remember when we told Robban and the new guys we had something to do and showed them the tour plans, he said “all right, I guess I’m going to be living on the road for some time”. Finishing this North American tour, then we do a show in Mexico, go over to Poland on the release date for the album. We have a release party here in L.A. and one in Poland. Then festival summer in Europe, a European headlining tour, and we’ll keep on doing that, visiting all kinds of places, until September 2013. Maybe October 2013. So we’ve got at least, I’d say 170 shows.

LM: And only one of you had a hard time selling that to the girlfriend? All the rest were like “yeah, fine, see you next year”? (all laughing)

 

LM: That’s all I’ve got. Any parting words? Any shout outs?

JB: I’m so useless. 50% of interviews, “do you have any final words?” and I never do. Do you have anything, Robban? It’s fun to be in Cleveland.

LM: How are you liking Cleveland? We even made it a little colder for you guys than usual. It’s the end of April, but these guys are from Sweden, so let’s turn the heat down a little bit.

Robban Back: Yeah! Warm welcome for the Sweidsh guys!

Emilie Autumn

Emilie Autumn

After their previous discussion, Emilie Autumn was gracious enough to answer a few follow-up questions with Tim. Here’s what she had to say.

Tim Rader: What are your plans for the rest of the year? I see of course you’ll be touring. Are there any projects or surprises in the works?

Emilie Autumn: Absolutely there are. For one thing, there’s the debut of “The Devil’s Carnival” series of films in which I play “The Painted Doll”, something of a murderous, singing circus performer with a smashed up porcelain face that took five hours in the FX makeup trailer every day to apply. There is quite a lot planned besides that, but I’ve got to keep some secrets…

T.R.: Your music and look are very sensual, lush, and colorful. Was that also developed at a younger age? Was it something that just happened as you grew into your artistry?

E.A.: That was always with me, as I grew up in a theatrical environment. The freedom and the knowledge of exactly how to express this has taken years however, and is still something that develops more every day. I can’t wait to see what I’ll have become ten years from now…it’s going to be out of control, and probably illegal in some states!

T.R.: Do you think of yourself as “sexy”? Do you think women in rock, or music in general, get treated differently than guys in that respect? How would you label yourself in that respect?

E.A.: Hmmm…sexy…that’s a tough one, isn’t it? At times I do, when I’m feeling very powerful – when I’m on stage for example. When I’m up there, I know very well that I am exuding strong sexual energy, even during the creepier, nastier songs, and so I’ve come to separate “sexy” from “pretty”.
Women in rock, in music in general, or in virtually any aspect of life are treated differently than men. When I think of it, being treated differently isn’t the problem, being treated worse is. It’s like the whole “colorblind” concept. Being blind to people’s racial differences isn’t the answer, and isn’t even a positive. Those differences should be honored, respected, and celebrated, as differences in gender should be. I personally don’t label myself as anything. I’m just me, doing what I do. I stand for art, beauty, and individuality. And rights for rats.

T.R.: Do you get groupies? How do you handle fan interaction?

E.A.: It’s funny you ask because, although we do generally have the greatest audience on the face of the planet, after a show just a few nights ago, I was in the bus getting changed and I heard a group of girls outside shouting some pretty lewd things at my crew boys as they were loading the trailer. They certainly had the goal of snaring one of the boys into getting them onto the bus, which, obviously would never happen in a million years – we are not a standard rock band of guys that would be cool with something like that, be it about boys or girls. We’re a bunch of classy dames! It was hilarious, though, to see my crew experience what it was like to be a girl for just a moment.

T.R.: I’m sure there’s more I could ask. Hopefully in the future we could get time again to chat.

E.A.: I so hope so! You’re a darling, and I hope to see you soon!

 

Emilie Autumn

Emilie Autumn is coming to Peabody’s Feburary 24. Tim Rader caught up with her for a peak at her and her art. Also, we’ll be getting a little preview of what will be in her show when she comes to Cleveland.

Photos Courtesy of Emilie Autumn

Emilie Autumn: What’s the best part of your day?

Tim Rader: Talking with you today.

E.A.: Great, mine too! This started so well! Let’s have a chat!

T.R.: So, do you consider yourself “Steam Punk”? Or do you go beyond that?

E.A.: There are definitely elements between what I do and the Steam Punk world. Which I don’t mind. The Steam Punk aesthetic seems to be about gears, clocks, and old technology meshing with new. In that way it’s very similar to my style.
It goes with the story “The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls” (Emilie’s book , available on her website). It’s about this house that’s alive. It’s a gigantic machine, and gears, and a clock. The story is about these machines. So, yeah it’s very much has the Steam punk elements. It crosses over easily. We get a lot of people in the audience who like to do their favorite thing which is to dress up. It’s a lovely thing that it unintentionally appeals to people in all these different cultural and fashion scenes. It’s very much like Disneyland with all the different people all dressed up.

T.R.: When did you get started in the different styles of art that you do? Also, I love the great violin work that you do. Amazing work.

E.A.: Thank you, that’s very sweet of you. Yeah, the violin is one of the most difficult instruments to learn to play. You spend the first few years making lots of shrill noises. It’s a big investment in time. One day it starts to sound good, and I’m glad I did that. That’s where it all started, with the violin.
I feel that if you are creative in one aspect that it will easily cross over into other aspects. If you can write good music, or paint, then you can apply that to other areas of art. For me it doesn’t seem to be hard for me to apply my creativity to many areas. For the first years though it was all about the violin.
Then when I was 14 or so, I began to become impatient with only playing one kind of music. I just started to experiment with other styles of music, play other types of music. I grew up in this little glass bubble where you only listened to the one style of music because it would ruin your training and your career if you were to play other styles. I just began to need to do more. I loved playing classical music, but I needed to find my own voice. I just didn’t want to play what other people wanted me to play, or play other people’s music. Everything began to develop quickly, playing jazz, playing rock, just different things. And, eventually the boundaries didn’t matter anymore. I will do what I want to do. I don’t want to compromise on anything, that I find anyway to play any type of music that I want. To bring them all together so I basically don’t have to make a choice.

T.R.: Do you have a major influence? A particular band or composer?

E.A.: Big question. It’s difficult to say in the classical world, ’cause they are all so fucking amazing. How can you choose between a Bach, or a Mozart, or a Beethoven? There is nothing that compares to what they did. I am truly privileged that I have the ability to play it.
As far as the modern world, there wasn’t any band or artist that “this is the person I want to sound like”. There is a common thread of people that I admire, like David Bowie, Queen. You know like Freddie Mercury, yeah. That’s who I find I think about in the most respectful manner. Musicians who were great artists, great writers. Also, they were amazing performers.
Because that’s what I try I to do. It’s not just make a record, but to make something into a show. And when you take people’s time and money and play onstage in front of them, you go and put on a show, not just play like a band on stage playing the record. It’s about completely starting from scratch, making a totally Broadway theatrical performance. That’s what we are doing now. It’s not just songs about this story, or the book or this girl or whatever. It’s an actual musical that we created, but what we are touring with is the partial soundtrack that this musical is going to become. This is going to be a real thing. We are basically testing it out. Testing out what this is going to become with these performance pieces. It’s really crazy.

T.R.: I’ve seen some of your stuff online, it gives you a small idea of what you do. So, it’s gonna be interesting to see your show.

E.A.: I really hope you enjoy the show. It’s a horror story really. It’s very heavy and scary and all that. Each song will be done as it needs to be done. It’s about characters. In this part you sing like one way, or in another scene you’re an 80 year old man. It completely changes all the time. It’s a very character driven thing that the girls and I have put together. If nothing else, we are going to entertain. That we can promise.

T.R.: What gets you excited the most? What gets you fired up?

E.A.: Having a story to tell. Whether it’s bipolar suicidal thoughts. It isn’t about who’d miss you. But, ultimately what about all the stories you didn’t get to tell. Even in the most unglamorous of times, which are many. Because nothing in this world is what it looks like from the outside, probably for any of us. Things look so much more sparkly when you aren’t actually in that situation. So, all of that comes down to, what if you didn’t do anything? What would happen to all those stories that you didn’t tell? Or song that didn’t get sung? So, that’s what is everyday is one more story. I love writing, I love story telling.
The reason I think that things are going really well – or why you would want to talk to me – it’s the authenticity behind the stories. I believe that at the soul level we can tell when something is real. If something is that real, then the audience will get that. Like the “Plague Rats” (Emilie’s major fans) which are so completely unique among fans. They are so hardcore because this is so personal to them. It has become, they are sharing in this lifestyle, in the asylum world. We’ve created a sanctuary.

T.R.: Tell me more on the telling of your stories and the importance of honesty in your music.

E.A.: It’s all on the strength of just complete freedom and honesty, and be fearless. Of, course we aren’t completely fearless. I try my best to, for the sake of, telling the truth or telling a story being completely honest about it. In the end, I have nothing left to lose. Sometimes it’s “fuck what you want to see, this is who I am!”

T.R.: Is there anything the fans should be excited about? Can you give us a sneak peek at what we’ll see at the show?

E.A.: There’s an awesome choreographed fight sequence in the show. Also, there’s a demonstration of medical tools. I am an avid collector of antique items. We got to bring a large part of my collection on the road. So, you get to actually see what these things were. It’s actually kind of scary seeing these tools as they were used. I have an electroshock machine. Even better is that I get to dress up as a boy during the show. It’s my favorite part, being dressed in drag as it were. I think that’s what people need to know. I’m dressed in drag and there are medical tools.

T.R.: So, is your next project Fight Like a Girl being released, or has it been released? I haven’t seen a date on it yet.

E.A.: It’s finished, but we’re doing it kind of backwards – putting it out there without people actually knowing the songs. In the past five years, regardless of where we were, people already knew all of the songs 100%. So, if this were a Broadway musical for example, people would see the show, then maybe go find the soundtrack or whatever. When they went to see the show, they’d be experiencing it for the first time, not having heard this. That’s how I wanted to present for this tour. Of course, realistically I knew it’d end up on YouTube anyway. What I try to do then is add a new song at different cities, as I go along, to change it up. Like “Here’s something new motherfucker”.

T.R.: So, you’re coming to Cleveland at the end of February. Are you looking forward to the cold out here? Even though it has been decent so far.

E.A.: Totally! Despite all of this, I realize how completely luck I am. To be able to do any of this is an honor and privilege. Especially the new stuff even though people will know it because of fucking YouTube!T.R.: How do you feel about the whole downloading thing?

E.A.: Thanks for asking that. No one has asked me that before. It would be odd of me to say I don’t have a problem with that. It’s a situation that I accept as once the technology goes that direction, you can’t just shut this shit down and start prosecuting people for something that is readily available. What you need to do is simply focus on a new way to make money. Or release things to people through new means.
From the business side of it, digital downloads are available to anyone for free. So, I have to start offering things that someone can’t get through those means. I have to be creative in what I put out. So, at the end of the day I can still pay my rent while being able to create the art I love. What’s amazing is that I sell a very good amount, for example through iTunes. I mean no one really needs to pay for music, but they are at least buying my music. That they respect it to buy it. Also, the artwork, the packaging is also important, because that isn’t included in the free stuff. Plus, you know if they download, at the shows they end up buying the posters, or the book, or shirts. So, in the end it all works out.

T.R.: Speaking of merchandise, do you create your own? Is it more than just the t-shirt and hoodie kind of thing?

E.A.: Well, I create all of my own stuff. I don’t feel I need someone to come in and reimagine the things I have already done. It’s all connected.

Thanks to Emilie for spending her time with us. Come check out the show!

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