We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Emily Lazar aka September of September Mourning. She called us from the road during a rare day off in St. Louis to talk about the tour, their current project and what it’s store for 2017 from September Mourning.
For those who might not know, September Mourning is the transmedia brain child project birthed from Emily Lazar and Marc Silvestri, comic book creator, publisher and current CEO of Top Cow Productions. September Mourning is musical, visual, theatrical, literary and so much more. September Mourning just released their first full-length album Volume II this summer via Sumerian Records in conjunction with a series of comic books through Top Cow Productions. They’re currently touring with Hed PE.
Lazar and I chatted about the tour. “It was kind of a last minute tour, but it’s been good crowds so far.” As she tells me about their tour, I ask about who she feels their key fanbase is they are seeing out at these shows. “There’s not really a key person,” she explains. Essentially September Mourning is a project that crosses market, and as a transmedia project there are elements that appeal to a variety of people. “We just played a show in Danville at this really cool comic bookstore store with a cool stage,” Lazar tells us. “There were definitely two distinct groups, an older fan base and younger fan base. The older crowd is that Marilyn Manson fan and the younger fan might be more into anime and comic con,” she explains.
That is what is so intriguing and unique about September Mourning – it doesn’t fit into one category or one genre. It’s complex and diverse, which seems to be serving them well as they are gaining popularity and recognition across genres and across media outlets. She goes on to tell me more about the tour and the fans that they are seeing at these shows. Anyone could walk into their show and enjoy the music she explains. “If people like the music, they like the music. If people like the comic books, they like the comic books. The ideal of course is both,” she says. “It’s fun because people come to our shows just knowing the music. But then they come to the merch table and they see the comic books. And there are almost all these little Easter eggs to discover along the way.”
This relationship between the music and the comic books is a special ones. I ask if she feels the music is the thing driving the story or does the story drive the music. “It goes both ways. For this album, we sat down and scope out the story. We finished the comic books before writing the album. Then we go through and figure out which elements on the story we want to focus on.”
As someone entering into the world of September Mourning, one might ask themselves where they see this story going. What was intriguing about September Mourning as a project is just that – where is this going? Does it have an end? “The way the story is constructed is open ended. It’s something that could go on forever. September is an everlasting being, she is ageless,” Lazar tells us. “Of course her origin story has a start and a finish but as a creature of eternity, it’s a story that could go on as long we wanted.”
September Mourning deals with themes that are universal, which also speaks to the wide appeal of this project. Lazar speaks so insightfully and so eloquently about the inception and creation of September Mourning. “I’ve always been kind of obsessed with death,” she tells me. “It’s this universal thing of wanting a second chance at life. In everyone’s life there is always that moment of wanting a do-over, and I wanted to expand on that and develop that.” On this level, September Mourning is about so much more than music or comic books or art. It’s about the human experience. It’s about life and death and the questions we all wrestle with at some point or another, about existence and our eternity.
September Mourning as a concept was born about six years, back in 2010, Lazar explains. And the band as it is came into fruition about two years ago. From the story and the band then came costumes – which is another element of September Mourning that jumps out. “We’re based out of Los Angeles. Everything is done out of Los Angeles. The costumes are all custom, the makeup is all custom.” This entire interview could have been based around the complex and beautiful costuming and makeup of September Mourning.
I ask Lazar if she considers herself more of a rocker or more theatrical, is there one element of this project that she feels like she identifies with more, or comes more naturally. “Back in the rock, rock and theatrics went hand and hand,” she tells me. “Rock today has become more t-shirts and jeans. I don’t know if that’s because people don’t have the budget anymore, or I don’t know what that is.” She delves into a rock history of bands that were just that – rock and theatrics – Alice Cooper, KISS, Marilyn Manson, David Bowie. She also references these as some of her influences. “I grew up on Bowie. I was so sad when Bowie based this year, so tragic,” she interjects when discussing her influences. Just from the shift in her tone it’s clear Bowie did have a deep and profound impact on her and her art. “Siouxsie and the Banshees, my parents loved them,” Lazar mentions as another one of her musical influences.
But the other element to Lazar is of course the visual influences. “I went into the art world and this is what I wanted to become. Which is different than most artists,” Lazar explains. September Mourning visually is influenced a lot by Japanese art she tells me. But there is this unique blend of the visual and the musical and the result is something complex and chilling and beautiful.
So what’s next for September Mourning in 2017? “More music and more comic books. Lots of touring. Development of other media outlets,” Lazar says both confidently and proudly. Stay tuned for what is next from September Mourning because it’s bound to be big.