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6th April 2012
METAL DISCOVERY: Because the new showís a lot more literal than symbolic, did you feel you could be more provocative in that way to more effectively communicate your message rather than presenting everything allegorically?
(Emilie Autumn on looking forward to her theatre residency in London's West End in 2014 )
"...having a proper makeup mirror that you can sit down to and get ready every day and a shower that youíre not afraid to step into at allÖthat would be an absolute incredible relief and luxury so we are way looking forward to that!"
Emilie Autumn onstage at Rock City, Nottingham, UK, 10th March 2012
Photograph copyright © 2012 Mark Holmes - www.metal-discovery.com
Interview & Photography by Mark Holmes
Emilie Autumn Official Website:
Your Sugar Sits Untouched (2000)
Thanks to Nina Potthoff for arranging the interview
Enchant (2003)
Liar/Dead Is The New Alive EP (2006)
Emilie Autumn Official Facebook:
Opheliac (2006)
Emilie Autumn Official Twitter:
Laced/Unlaced (2007)
4 o'Clock EP (2008)
A Bit O' This & That (2007)
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun & Bohemian Rhapsody EP (2008)
The Opheliac Companion (2009)
Opheliac - Deluxe Edition (2010)
Emilie Autumn Official MySpace:
EMILIE: Itís funny because Iím not sure if it was when you saw it last but it had undergone some extreme developments in the very recent past where it was still the ĎOpheliací title but it had gotten quite provocative and I think thatís just something that developed andÖI realised that it was actually quite as important as anything else and that itís meant to be provocative in all kinds of ways. Thatís why, in particular, considering now, more than ever, weíre telling the literal story and the literal story is very much about the repressions of the time and how any sort of improper behaviour would get one locked up.
So definitely any sort of, to be vulgar, girl-on-girl action on stage is a definiteÖlike that in itself is a huge reason why completely non-crazy people would be locked up for either being lesbian or even not wanting to get married because that would indicate some sort of aberration because thatís supposed to be your goal in lifeÖas itís still in a lot of cases, a great deal of pressure in marriage and procreation to this moment to where some of the girls on stage who, while liking their relationships with gentlemen a great deal, donít feel the need to get married or procreate at any point in their life. We still face, in our own personal life, a substantial amount of pressure and that is kind of wrong and a very strange way to go about things. It seems shocking that would even matter but the point that it still does is very, very strange. Anyway, I know thatís kind of beside the point but, yes, it is a very definite, meaningful thing as much as it all seems frivolous, and silly, and sexy and all that, to be a bit aberrant in those ways because thatís really what itís all about is to look at all these ridiculous ways that could get someone now, and then, into a very compromisingÖlock up.
MD: I think, for me, the messages in this new show are a bit more immediate because everythingís more literal. So I think itís more provocative in that sense; provoking people into thinking about things more through the literal nature of it all.
EMILIE: Yeah, Iím glad and Iím glad that you noticedÖitís probably hard not to, I guess!
EMILIE: But Iím really glad actually because itís also a big act of just enjoyment on stage with the girls that Iím with and beautiful to be able to perform in those ways and confidently get, as I know that it will, more extreme as the message becomes even more extreme. Again, as opposed to what the three hour musical will be with the whole cast and orchestra and everything like that, itís still an extremely mild version of parts of the book because, in a lot of ways, we just donít have the capacity to bring everything on stage to have all of the things that really are not appropriate for absolutely every audience; that are not appropriate for a general rock club situation.
So what is going to happen, the book in itself is pretty hardcore and itís rather gory at times and very, very disturbing along with, you know, being lovely and adventurous and a fun novel and all of that, but itís definitely very graphic in some unpleasant ways. Those are things that will certainly come out but we donít want to start with getting into that waaaay too much, then people who are going to enjoy a rock show are expecting, so weíre just trying to break into that and kind of toe the line a bit and definitely get there to where, by the time in 2014, in London, when we debut the full thing I think it will definitely make sense in as much as any other thing. I mean, if you have ĎJekyll & Hydeí and ĎLes MisÖí and all of those things, they tackle some pretty crazy issues as well so Iím not too worried about it in that situation because itís much more expected. I mean, if you can do the gore of the French Revolution, you can definitely do an insane asylum for girls. So itís gonna be okay in the end.
MD: Definitely, itís going to come to fruition at last, I guess, and as it should be.
EMILIE: Definitely.
MD: Two years ago you said to me, if I can quote you, you said: ďI have no interest in rock shows, I want a fucking Broadway musicalÖand thatís what I work towards every day.Ē From what you told me in Nottingham last month and what weíve just talked about, obviously that dreamís finally going to be realised the year after nextÖ
EMILIE: It absolutely is!
MD: Öbut do you have any apprehensions about the whole thing?
EMILIE: Of course I do in that these productions are ridiculously but, then again, appropriately expensive to create. Itís going to be two years of massive work for me in creating the score, and casting, and designing and finding the right directorÖI have a shortlist but, still, the decision is difficult. In all of this, I mean, itís so massive that, of course, thereís that chance thereís many shows, musicals, whateverÖthe odds are that you will fail. I absolutely cannot do that so itís gonna be an intense amount of work to just guarantee something that is undeniably good and that can stand up to things that I find genius works.
And yes, so I would be incredibly arrogant to not be worried about if I can make something this good. Then again, I figured that, in my life, the amount of growth or just the things that I have accomplished Ė again, not meaning to be arrogant in any way, but more humble Ė the things that I have accomplished from the beginning to this point are a lot crazier and more unlikely and more difficult than from this point to the end result of a successful musical production on a large scale. But then, once Iíve remembered that, I think, ďfuck, this is easy!Ē
MD: Exactly! The musical will be a breeze!
EMILIE: [laughs] This is just a delight!
MD: So in terms of making the transition from a touring artist to having a theatre residency, are there any apprehensions there?
EMILIE: Oh, actually, thatíll be a great relief to know that youíre in the same venue for at least a month at a time. You can actually count on itís going to be sounding the same; definitely a lot easier on the sound people and crew, and knowing also that you can count on a clean bathroom every day which is certainly not always the case now. Yeah, this is not nearly as glamorous as anybody who hasnít done it can possibly imagine but thatís part of the rock Ďní roll lifestyle at this point and we are grateful and have learned so much, and have been flattered and humbled at the same time by many, many things and realised how hard this actually is to where we talk about this all the time. Like having a proper makeup mirror that you can sit down to and get ready every day and a shower that youíre not afraid to step into at allÖthat would be an absolute incredible relief and luxury so we are way looking forward to that! Itíll be, in so many ways, easier than how we do things now.
MD: Marvellous!
EMILIE: Yeah, I know! I canít wait for the cast party where you will be an honoured guest and maybe even allowed to take a shower in the very clean showers!
MD: [laughs]
EMILIE: You know, these things can happen! We have a great friendship and long relationship to look forward to. On that note, Iím being told I have to run immediately to get back to work but I hope that Iíve been able to answer anything and Iíve definitely enjoyed being able to talk to you again.
MD: Likewise, and thank you very much for finishing off the interview. Good luck with the rest of the datesÖ
EMILIE: Thank you.
MD: Öand looking forward to seeing the show again in Manchester which will be equally as good I hope!
EMILIE: Yes, weíre gonna make it five times more provocative because youíre there and just because I know that youíre noticing! Itís gonna get pretty hardcore; just look for it!
MD: Marvellous!
EMILIE: Itís all for you, my friend.
MD: Right, thank you so much.
EMILIE: Thank you very much and see you soon, my love.