Emilie Autumn; poet, writer, singer, classically-trained violinist, pianist, fashion designer and all-round multi-talented post-apocalyptic fairy-tale neo-Victorian princess. Debates rage all over the interwebs about whether or not EA's ever-changing brand of music can be considered truly 'Goth' - but whether it falls definitively into the Goth category or not, most of us don't really care, and a lot of us like it.
Emilie began learning the violin at the age of four and attended several prestigious music and performing arts schools, including the Indiana University School of Music, where reportedly she left after two years due to clashes with teachers over her long brightly-coloured hair and alternative music and clothing preferences.
After leaving uni Emilie and her friends created her first band, Ravensong, and in 2000 she created her own record label, Traitor Records, to release her classical violin recording, On A Day... Traitor Records has since been home to the music of EA's lesser-known alter egos and side projects, namely Convent and the Jane Brooks Project.
Emilie's career has been star-studded and varied; she has worked with musicians from Smashing Pumpkins to Courtney Love (as part of the all-girl band the Chelsea and on Courtney's first solo album; she was in fact known as Courtney's 'anarchy violinist') and has performed music for the animated show Metalocalypse. It's unusual to hear about an underground artist with such a grounding in mainstream rock. She also contributed to the soundtracks of Saw movies 3 and 4, and has played violin on a track for the band OTEP.
When working with Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins, EA was running a fashion label called WillowTech House, purveying her own unique 'punktorian' fashions and accessories, and so she created the costumes for Billy's single Shade.
Following the horrific events of 9/11, Emilie also released a charity single entitled By The Sword. The proceeds were donated to AmeriCares and the American Red Cross.
Emilie's fashions have always drawn a great deal of attention from the alternative music scenes; her full-length debut album under the Emilie Autumn moniker was entitled Enchant, and its 'fantasy rock' sound was echoed by her faerie-inspired clothing and long pink hair, often teamed with fairy wings and a spiked collar. The album that brought her such great attention from the Goth scene, however, was the Victoriandustrial release Opheliac, coupled with corsets, combat boots, bloomers, stripes and assorted neo-Victorian asylum-inmate paraphernalia. Her deconstructed wardrobe is predominantly made by herself or her friend and fellow performer, designer Vecona.
Vecona is linked to Emilie via EA's merry band of stage performers, an ever-changing group of musicians and alternative models who are collectively known as the Bloody Crumpets or Emilie's Wayward Victorian Girls.
But the truly amazing thing about Emilie's life, as revealed in detail via her semi-autobiographical, heavily illustrated tome The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls is that she has achieved so much whilst suffering from bipolar disorder (manic depression). Traumatic events in her life led to Emilie being sectioned after a suicide attempt; a terrible experience which she recounts to her fans in her own handwriting (the entire book is written by hand, filled with photos and Emilie's painstaking illustrations).
Essential Emilie Autumn...
Track: So many to choose from! I'm going to go with 4 O'Clock, I think...
Other purchase: The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls book.
Random fact: Emilie's own Asylum Tea will soon be available via her website.
If you like Emilie Autumn, you might like: Hannah Fury, The Dresden Dolls, Leandra, Scarling, Rasputina, Vermillion Lies, Johnny Hollow, Switchblade Symphony.
Get more Emilie: http://www.emilieautumn.com/