World-class violinist. Singer. Composer. Author. Actress. Artist. Fashion icon. Famously bipolar. The list goes on, but one thing is certain: We're talking about Emilie Autumn.
With appearances on Leno and Letterman as part of Courtney Love's former band, glossy magazine covers throughout the world, and guest spots on albums by such artists as Love, Otep, Billy Corgan, and TV's 'Metalocalypse', not to mention her starring role in the musical film phenomenon that is Darren Lynn Bousman's (SAW II, III, & IV) 'The Devil's Carnival' under her corset strings, Emilie Autumn is not your ordinary rock singer.
Ever the paradox, the Los Angeles-born artist's formal education ended abruptly at the age of ten when, as a child-prodigy violinist, she was removed from school to begin her life as a performer, yet her debut, self-published novel ('The Asylum For Wayward Victorian Girls') is cited in text-books used as part of the psychology curriculum at Oxford University in London. Her literary skill, historical knowledge, and ability as a uniquely dynamic singer with a virtually operatic range were self-taught, but remain the three hallmarks of her notoriety. Emilie's poetry, published in her early twenties, has been used as the basis for original works created and publicly performed by New York's Rochester Ballet Company, using her spoken-word and teen-age classical violin recordings as the score. Her role as an activist for mental health care reform as well as her outspoken views on gender equality and animal rights have contributed to her reputation as an unapologetically controversial young woman.
Emilie originally intended to begin and end her career as a classical violin soloist and composer, but gradually became aware that, in order to express herself completely, she must use her voice as well as her fingers. Naturally, once she opened her mouth, she never shut up. Now armed with an electric violin, a shockingly powerful singing voice, and self-taught skills as a digital programmer able to record and produce her own multi-genre albums (she has been made an official representative for Steinberg's Cubase, the industry leading digital recording and programming software), Emilie Autumn was ready to get loud.
Upon the release of her 2007 Shakespeare-influenced concept album, 'Opheliac', Emilie found herself an overnight star in Germany's industrial rock scene, and began touring extensively. With her then bright red hair (she has since gone platinum blond), fetish for tightly-laced corsets, and signature heart painted on her cheek (a unifying symbol devotedly replicated by her global fan base known as "Plague Rats"), Emilie fast became a sensation throughout Europe and the United Kingdom not only for her music, but also for her eccentric fashions and highly theatrical stage show, for which she designs and sews all of the costumes by hand. Soon, Emilie was welcomed to South America, where, to her sincere surprise, a large following was already waiting, and, finally, back to her home country of the United States, where she is still often thought to be, oddly enough, a European import. A prolific writer and never one for sitting still, while touring for 'Opheliac', Emilie released several singles, EPs, a cover of Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody', and a double-disc album of instrumental work, the violin extravaganza, 'Laced/Unlaced' -- one disc featuring her classical work, the other her industrial/metal electric violin pyrotechnics.
Then came the literary creation that would alter the course of Emilie Autumn's career and change the perception of who she was in the minds of both fans and friends -- an illustrated autobiographical novel weighing in at nearly five pounds, entitled, 'The Asylum For Wayward Victorian Girls'. Culled directly from Emilie's real-life diary entries, the story begins with Emilie's suicide attempt and prompt imprisonment inside a psychiatric hospital. Sparing no detail, Emilie shows the reader exactly what goes on inside this house of horrors, exposing secrets that the general public could never have guessed at. The tale takes an unexpected turn when, whilst still in the psych ward, Emilie discovers evidence of a parallel dimension -- a world that soon becomes indiscernible from her own. As the days drift on, the seemingly disparate worlds of the story's two lead characters (Emilie and Emily, her Victorian counterpart) begin to merge, leaving the reader, as well as the book's author, rather confused as to whether the accounts are truly autobiographical or whether Emilie has managed to seamlessly morph from true-life tale to extremely well-researched historical fantasy fiction. 'The Asylum...' is a reality-bending psychological thriller as well as a profoundly empowering saga of suffering, sisterhood, and revenge that culminates in what has been called one of the most suspenseful cliff-hangers of all time. Emilie has held hundreds of book readings and performed scenes from the book across Europe and the United States.
With the release of the oft mohawk-sporting singer's latest album, 'Fight Like A Girl', Emilie Autumn pulls her listeners ever deeper into the realm of 'The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls', the fantastical alternate reality described in her magnum opus. The title track of 'Fight Like A Girl' launches the adventure with an anthem for the underdog, calling upon females of all ages to realize they are in fact 51% of the population, and to take back their power at all costs, using whatever means necessary. From there, the struggle of both modern day and Victorian insane asylum inmates is enacted with Emilie taking on the voices of varying characters, ending in the ultimate fight to the death, 'Time For Tea', and the encouraging and universal message of what it takes to transform from victim to victorious in 'One Foot In Front Of The Other'. Part musical theatre, part industrial rock, part historical horror story, on 'Fight Like A Girl', Emilie makes her Broadway intentions ever more clear. Like her live stage show, this is not rock, but rock opera, and proud of it. Emilie continues to tour the world in support of 'FLAG', most recently appearing on stage in Russia.
Since it's release, 'The Asylum...' novel continues to increase in popularity as readers around the globe cover themselves in tattoos from its art and words, dress up as its colorful characters, put on their own stage plays taking place in the 'Asylum' world, and incorporate the story into their own lives in virtually every imaginable way. Aiding the phenomenon, the famed Vans Warped Tour will feature "Emilie Autumn's Asylum Experience" in the Summer of 2014, wherein festival-goers will enjoy an interactive, day-long immersive theatre experience in Emilie's signature environment, and featuring twice daily performances by the ringmaster, Emilie Autumn, herself.
In addition, Emilie's followers eagerly await the theatrical stage musical version of 'The Asylum For Wayward Victorian Girls' presently in the production phase, with an anticipated staging in 2015.