What music first captured your ear and got you interested in music?
Classical music, definitely. From the very beginning, as a child, I knew I was meant to be a violinist, and a musician in general. It was very apparent that my brain was set up in just the right way for that to be the dominant force in my life, and a future career.
What was it about the violin that made you choose it as your instrument?
Honestly, I saw it in a shop window and thought it was a very pretty thing. I had to have it, and I haven't put it down since. It was like finding my voice. I was very shy and antisocial and had a difficult time talking to people, but through this piece of wood, I could express everything.
Where are you from? How does living there affect your songwriting?
I'm originally from Malibu, California. It's an intensely beautiful place, and, while it doesn't have any direct influence on anything I do, I suppose that it would have had at least an affect on my sense of aesthetics and love for nature. There is also a certain sort of poetry in living by the sea, and also a definitive sense of melancholy that I have always been characterized by, since the day I was born and brought home from the hospital. My mother said, "This one sings in a minor key." And how right she was.
What's the song you're most proud of writing?
I've always felt it was "The Art Of Suicide," from my "Opheliac" album. While I still feel that this is the most personal and truthful representation of me and my way of looking at life and death, I would have to add the song "Girls! Girls! Girls!" from "Fight Like A Girl," my new album, to that list. It's a complete farce, a Vaudevillian comedy piece in a true Broadway style, that involves me taking on the character of a male host in an insane asylum selling tickets to gawk at the abused female inmates. It's one of the most fun bits to perform that I've ever created, and it's all hilarious because it's true. This really happened back in the day (the 19th century), and it's a perfect showcasing of the absolutely absurd views on women at the time that are in fact creepy when you realize that those views are not even close to obliterated in 2012.
Are you working on any music right now?
Always. With "FLAG" being readied for release, the real work is only beginning...the album is actually part of the soundtrack to the Broadway musical that my book, "The Asylum For Wayward Victorian Girls" will soon become, and the completion of this musical is a massive project, and one that will be consuming me for some time to come.
Have you played any great live shows lately?
Being presently on N. American tour, every show is a wonderful experience, each a unique opportunity to tell this crazy story and to raise my rat claws in unison with all the Plague Rats in every city. It's something I will never not be honored and grateful to do with my life.
You've worked with many talented artists, what has been your favorite collaboration?
Otep. She is a marvelous musician, a true artist, and a strong woman with true power and a true purpose. No one else I've collaborated with even comes close.
You're also an accomplished writer, how does the experience and process of writing text differ from writing music?
It doesn't really. It all comes from the same place.
What do you have planned for the future?
Everything. The world dominating rise of my tea company, The Asylum Emporium, the launch of "The Asylum..." musical, and a million other impossible dreams that I will deny sleep to make into realities.
What is your favorite movie?
I'm extremely fond of psychological thrillers from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, the Hitchcock era...it's difficult to choose just one...but "The Dark Crystal" is pretty far up on my list as well.
What do you like to do for fun?
Be alone, talk to trees, bake muffins, and curl up in the back of my tour bus with the Crumpets and touch each other inappropriately.