SEPTEMBER MOURNING is one of the most intriguing bands to emerge in the past few years. The alternative hard rock act is releasing music in conjunction with art content. They opened for MARILYN MANSON tour recently, and they have been described as a cross between the latter and LADY GAGA. We interviewed the front woman to find out what that band is about.
For those not acquainted with SM, could you tell us the story behind the band ?
Emily : SM is a « project » I started a few years back. I don’t call it a band because it started as an art project and the band became its center. The band started a little over a year ago. When we reveal the entire package you’ll see what I mean for sure about it being an art project… For now we are keeping it under wraps until it’s all set to go.
What are you referring to with the name SEPTEMBER MOURNING ?
Emily : The name draws upon the core of the project. There is a sense of melancholy sadness to it. It has character that is dark but hopeful. The rest of the definition will become clear once the project is unveiled in the fall. 😉
Where does the band draw their influences musically from ?
Emily : We have many different styles combined together to create what we call « popcorn », which is basically an amalgamation of metal, electronic and pop.
Obviously, you have an eclectic taste in music.
What sorts of things do you look for in music or artists ?
Emily : As far as singers are concerned, I tend to respect those with more of a distinctive quality to their voice or those that do something a bit different. Music wise I tend to be drawn to catchy melodies, big chorus’s… Heavy guitars. Lots of guitars. I love heavy music, always have.
SM is a young band, are you surprised at how far you have come in such a short period of time ?
How would you explain your success ?
Emily : We are a young band, but the players in this band have been doing music since we were really little. We work really hard at what we do, and love every step of the way. We have all had our ups and downs in this biz but this project is like my family and I think when you have that bond between members and that passion for making it happen, there’s no stopping you.
Moving on to the subject of touring.
What have you learnt from touring around with such established bands ?
Emily : I love to tour. Put me on the road for years with no coming back and I’d be the happiest girl in the world. Manson was amazing to tour with. I learned so much from him. He’s super intelligent and an amazing artist that has remained in the limelight for years successfully. Each tour we do we learn a bit more about stage techniques, what works what doesn’t… We learn more about each other and how to perform as a unit. There’s always something new and different to deal with at each show… there are never two shows that our exactly the same.
You opened shows for lots of bands.
How do you manage to make a lasting impression while only having a few selected songs to play ?
Emily : You hit the ground running. I’ve always been an aggressive performer. First impressions make the greatest and longest lasting impressions. We chose the songs that punch you in the face and hit you in the heart.
What do you want people to take away from listening to your music ?
Emily : We make music for the underdogs, the beaten down, the hopeless.. we make music for the kids who have the opinions but are afraid to voice them… we make music to give people hope. Our music is aggressive and heartfelt. it is violent but empowering. It is a juxtaposition of many emotions… It reflects the different facets of our listeners.
Tell me more about this demo you recorded in 2009. Where is it available for sale ?
Emily : We did a demo with Carley Coma from Candiria and Mike Barille. We sell them at shows, or sometimes give them away, if you start a street team in your hometown. We are heading back into the studio this summer/fall to complete the EP we began back in January with Chris Vrenna. Stoked on that. It’s gonna be awesome.
When should we be expecting a true full-length album ?
Emily : That will definitely be in the works after the EP is released. We have over 25 songs written that we can choose from for the full length. I can’t wait to get to the point where we are recording it !!
You are currently working with Chris Vrenna.
What is the writing and recording process like for SM ?
Emily : Vrenna is amazing. We are super fortunate to be working with a talent such as himself. We have a lot of fun in the studio. Vrenna usually has a TV on with the sound off in the studio. I remember tracking guitars with the boys one day and we saw the old Batman movie from the 60’s with Adam West was on TV. All of us are such Batman nerds, we bonded by taking a break and watched the entire ending… « some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb »
What influences the lyrical content ?
Emily : Again a lot of this stems from the « art » side of the project… which you will see in the fall… But for the majority of my lyrical content I tend to write about a core emotion. Weather it be pain or loss, or hope ad joy, or love… The lyrics are the tiny paint points in a pointillism painting when viewed from afar, takes the shape of something truly moving.
You have a wide range of vocals.
What is your warm-up routine ? Do you have any vocal screaming tips ?
Emily : Thank you. I am constantly trying to improve my range. I do many different exercises from different teachers and i practice them everyday. For my screaming technique I rely on Melissa Cross (google her if you don’t know her), who is the screaming Guru when it comes to metal music. There’s definitely a technique in screaming to keep your chords from getting shredded. I do not have vocal problems on tour because I practice these techniques. There’s a method to the madness.
You are a creative person, you sing and do a lot of modelling.
Do you see yourself exploring other artistic options ?
Emily : I’m a painter, and I draw. I designed and made my entire wardrobe stage outfit myself. I make clothes and design them. I recently pitched a project to a tv studio that has been greenlit into production. I write a lot. I am an artist. All i do is create on all different mediums, and I love it. This project encompasses a bunch of different mediums and I cannot wait to share them with the world.
What else should fans be expecting from the band in 2010 ?
Emily : We’re gearing up for something big. We’ve been working hard to deliver is correctly and I hope we will get that chance before the year is through.