One of my favorite musical artists is Emilie Autumn. This may have to do with the fact that she is a fellow Chicagoan, makes fairy wings, draws little hearts on her face, plays my favorite instrument (the violin) with an intensity of passion and verve that is unmatched, has a voice that is totally arresting in its eeriness and haunting nature or has refused to conform to the expectations her industry set for her. I admire her attitude and fearlessness and appreciate the enchanting darkness she speaks of in her music.
I recently discovered an interview with her published in December 2009 in Glide Magazine. It had so much substance in it and fascinated me so much that I thought I would pick out some of my favorite quotes and assemble them here.
I like my art to challenge me. If I’m going to watch a movie or a performance, or look at a painting, I want to think.
To learn something! Yeah, I don’t want to go to feel better. I want it to f--k me up a little bit – even if something is so beautiful that it makes you cry. That’s perfect, that is the point. You can’t be afraid to do that, and if you do, you’re going to be unpopular some of the time. You just can’t care, and if you care, then you just don’t want it badly enough and you should be doing something else – and that’s great.
I don’t mean to sound like a complete ass, but I really believe that the world is divided into the people that should be onstage and the people that should be in the audience, and both are equally valuable. [Emph mine.] We both need each other; we can’t have one without the other, and both are part of the show. I think that so many people wouldn’t want the job that I or that people much bigger than me actually have - it’s not that glamorous.
" I mean, I’m a weirdo who draws a heart on their face every day; how can I take that seriously? I know it’s crazy, but it makes me happy, and I love it, and old ladies smile at me on the street, as do four year olds, because they think I’m a Muppet."
Explain the term “fantasy rock” – like, how did you come up with that idea?
It doesn’t so much apply now; it applied back in the day with the “Enchant” record, before the whole Asylum thing happened, before I was locked up. Obviously, once that happens, you’re never ever the same person again. From then on, when I got out, I looked different, I sounded different – a completely different voice - I thought differently, everything was different. You never, ever can go back to before once you’ve been in, you never really get out, and that’s why I have my cell number tattooed on my arm. Don’t even try to pretend it didn’t happen; don’t even try to run away from it, own it. Say “Yeah, if you’re gonna call me crazy, I’ll show you crazy, and I’ll make a career out of it, and I’ll make crazy pay for the gas on my fucking expensive tour bus.” [Emph mine.]