September Mourning are a band that are taking multiple media waves by storm and won’t be stopped.
Emily Lazar of September Mourning sat down with Loud Hailer to discuss the origins of the band, the character September, having comic books, and so much more in this jam-packed interview.
LH: The more tours you do and the more that you evolve, so does your character September. How do you guys feed off of each other?
Emily: I don’t really think it’s a feeding off thing, I mean it’s like September is a character that I play on stage so it’s kind of like if you were to ask Robert Downey Jr. how does Ironman feed off of him, he’s going to say “in no way, because I’m acting and playing a character.” You know? That’s kind of what goes on with this band is that I’m playing this role, I’m playing this character. It’s like this theater rock thing. I guess her personality does come a little from me, you know obviously because I wrote the story bible and the character bible, but she’s a superhuman hybrid thing and I obviously don’t have superhuman powers (laughs). I’m not really going around stealing souls. That’s a little bit different. It’s basically just playing off the character and developing a storyline. We have the third issue of the comic book coming out; well, it’s actually out right now through digital platform. You can get it at our shows on a flash drive with all three issues. The fourth arc of the story will come out on January of next year; it’s going to be a graphic novel image comic so we are really excited about that.
LH: I am a big nerd myself. I think that it’s awesome that you have written a story while combining lyrics that we as humans can relate to and definitely get through to people. How do you craft such an amazing production to write a story, but also musical song lyrics that we can relate to? In my opinion, that is very hard to do and that is something that you pull off amazingly.
Emily: Well, the whole thing with September Mourning that I wanted to do, you have all these little pieces that fit together to form a picture like when you put a puzzle together, but when you take the puzzle pieces out separately, they have their own little things going on in each piece. So, it’s kind of like that. We wanted to do something where the music could be stand alone. So, if someone really isn’t into comic books or they are not really into graphic novels, but they love the music, they will just go listen to the music. Where somebody that loves graphic novels but are not really into the music, they can just go get the graphic novels. If someone likes the whole thing together then it’s even stronger together as one. The song lyrics some of them pertain to the actual storyline, but for the most part, they are based on emotions that the characters have and the emotional core response to what’s going on in the story, which is a very generalized format because the emotions that these characters are feeling is very universal. What they are going through might be what they are going through, but what they feel is very universal. Pain, heartache, and things like that, that’s the universal language. I took that and made the lyrics scope to what would become September Mourning.
LH: I’m very impressed at how amazingly it all comes together.
Emily: Well, thank you. There has been a lot of work going into this project.
LH: Well I can understand that. You guys had your start in 2009-2010 and between everything and your demos; it just kind of took off.
Emily: Well, I had started conceptualizing the idea then, but I really didn’t have all the pieces together and I needed to take some time to put all the pieces together. So, that took a couple of years to do, you know, getting the comic books together, getting the story together, the bible, the costume, and all the songs. That kind of hit altogether around 2015 is when I’d say that we really started launching the band as a trans-media project and putting it all together. It was about five years of conceptualizing the project. It did take a lot of work. We had help from other people, but when it’s kind of on the shoulders of one person, it takes a while to do, something that is so large.
LH: I know that it’s got to be a good feeling when all this came together, the fans started feeling your songs, and all that. However, what is it like to be, in a way, outside looking in and seeing all your fans really feel the role that you portray and for the role to come alive in so many different media outlets. What is that experience like for you?
Emily: The only thing I could compare it to, is like having a kid or birthing something, you know? It’s something that started in my head as a concept as an idea. It just grew and grew and now it’s a physical format comic book that I can pick up in my hand. I can sing these songs on stage and people sing them back to me. It’s crazy. Everything is kind of like working together now and that’s such a cool feeling. It’s almost like your kid graduated high school…I guess (laughs). I know when I graduated I kind of came into myself, you know? I feel like the character is coming into her own. That’s the only thing I can compare it to.
LH: Now, do you feel as you evolve, does your character evolve? Do any of your personal experiences reflect what the character of September goes through in her story?
Emily: I don’t know, you know, that’s a really tricky question, because she’s not me. She’s a story I wrote. September is going to do what she does. I might write a storyline that would be out of the norm because of something I went through, but it’s not going to reflect in her base core personality because I wrote a story bible for her and that’s her story.
LH: I’m a big wrestling fan, so I have to ask, in 2012 the demo for your song “Before the Fall” was featured in TNA wrestling. Do you happen to remember that and how cool it was to see your song used in another outlet that you might not have expected?
Emily: Well, songs get picked up for different things. We made that song trying to figure out our sound or what genre this whole thing was going to take place in. We weren’t even going to release it, but somebody on my team got a placement for it and the money was good. The wrestling company was awesome and the people involved were very cool. It found itself a home, so we thought you know what? Let’s put it out there. Even though it’s a demo, let’s put it out there and kind of get people a little bit more entranced on this whole thing and unveil a little bit of the mystery of what this whole thing is. That’s what that acted as and then we kind of like fell back and started really focusing on the sound, completed the album, and went on from there.
LH: What was your experience like working with Howard Benson?
Emily: It was cool. You know we were signed to Virgin Records for a minute, but the deal unfortunately fell through. The person that signed us to the label was terminated from his position. So, a lot of the bands that were on the label tended to fall by the wayside, which was unfortunate. But that’s kind of where rock music was at the time in 2014, or something like that. You know, it happened. Rock was a still is a niche market and the label wanted to go more pop/alternative and that definitely wasn’t us or a lot of the bands on that label. So, we opted to go with a label that was a little bit more catering to the marketplace that we wanted to be in which was Sumerian. So, we decided to go with them, but the Howard Benson thing was during that time that we were with Virgin, and you know he’s really cool and he’s a great producer. It was really fun to work with him
LH: My final question would be, what was the biggest influence behind the character September and what was your biggest influences growing up with music?
Emily: Well, my parents listened to Bowie, Kiss, and a bunch of classical rock bands. So, there was a lot of that in the household I was in. So, I think that is what influenced me growing up, but I got into metal like Dillinger Escape Plan, Norman Jean, and heavier stuff like that. Then I got into pop and hip-hop. I’m kind of all over the place. I just like good songs. If the songwriting is tight and solid, that’s what I like tend to go towards. That’s what I tend to go to when I go to music.