September Mourning are an L.A. based theatrical hard rock band combining comic book fantasy into on stage characters with storylines and intricate costumes playing music that lands somewhere between Evanescence and a hard rock Stevie Nicks. Vocalist September is a human/reaper hybrid character while her band mates are scavenger reapers in print, playing side by side in real life. They’re currently on their Fall Soul Collection tour finishing right before the holidays.
Recently they played a show in Newport, Kentucky. The following is a transcribed post-show interview with vocalist September.
On the meaning behind the band name, “The actual term September Mourning comes from a personal experience, during September a while ago,” she says. “It hit me so hard that I decided when I created the whole concept to dedicate it to that person. Kind of like a living memory. In the comic book it’s actually the character’s name, so September Mourning is the name of the human reaper hybrid that came from me.”
The storyline of September is, she was meant to be taken by Fate one night while sleeping and instead of taking her life; the reaper fell in love with her and decided to give her eternal powers that give her super human reaper hybrid abilities. She can swap souls and give people second chances in life.
It takes her three hours to become the beautiful creature you see on stage and about an hour to change. The appearance is influenced by Japanese and anime. “I put her all in white because the story was very dark and surrounded by death, very gothic but not gothic per se,” she says. “It’s more of an enlightening second chance kind of story so I put her in white because I wanted to make her this Valkyrie of the living. She’s the last thing you see before you die but she’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen. So it’s kind of a dichotomy of sorts.”
They started in L.A. playing all the famed and infamous venues recently playing the Whisky with Otep.
“We have a core fan-base that follows us around in different cities and its growing. It’s really cool to see it grow.”
As for future releases, in comic book fashion, they’re sticking with the numbers game, so we’ll be awaiting Vol III next year. “It could go on forever.” They’re probably going to add another member next year too.
They’d love to tour with Bring Me the Horizon, Slipknot, Disturbed, Halestorm, Rob Zombie or Korn.
“I like playing with females and males,” she says. “With us, it’s so theatrical it blurs the line. It’s this creation of this character. I’ve done other pop projects and production things but this is the main band I’ve done.”
On which coast has the biggest scene for musicians, “It changes from New York to L.A., back and forth but right now it seems like its L.A.”
Fans keep the show rolling, whether by attendance, tour support, word of mouth or stories of how the music has affected and helped them. “We have a lot of very passionate fans who bring us gifts and follow us city to city,” she says proudly. “We have people in the audience that’ve seen us three times on this tour. We have that, at least one or two people every night that’ve seen us multiple times so that’s a really good sign for a band.”
She’s grateful for everyone that comes. “That you have fans that follow you from city to city, we love our fans, they take care of us,” she says. “It’s really important to us. They’re the only reason you survive, you have to be down to earth, their family. That’s how you survive. Like your fans are your blood, they’re the blood of the project, they make us work.”
On their early Melancholia demo, “We did it ourselves.” One of the songs on it “Lost Angels” September didn’t write. “That song was written by Gardner Cole, he wrote for Madonna and he wanted to write a song for me and it was so random. We said, sure, why not, it’s very pop driven.”
On their version of “Stand by Me,” “We changed the tempo, the time signature and made it heavier. We made it into what we like to do.”
They’re looking for that one record that establishes them in the eyes of the public. “We’re gonna start writing again soon and I’m really excited because I have an idea and I’m really excited to get it into the production phase.”
They’ve played many different venues on the road but they enjoy the festival circuit as well. “We played an Austin festival recently, it was a huge crowd and we did very, very well. They loved us a lot and gave a lot of love and I’m hoping we can do more festivals like that in the future.”
On being recognized by fans incognito, “No they don’t, which is amazing, that’s my favorite part, I remember I got a message on Facebook, saying I think I saw you at a truck stop but wasn’t sure it was you.”
“It’s kind of like what Kiss did back in the day. What does Gene Simmons look like without the makeup, which couldn’t be done today in a technology rich society.”
She grew up with an eclectic musical pallet. From Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure, Prince and Bowie to jazz and gospel rounding off with death metal, her family ran the musical gamut.
Being around famous people she says, “I’ve met a lot of people. I know people who are bigger than any musicians. I don’t wanna toot my own horn but I know a lot of actors and actresses that do movies, I know people like that, they’re just people. What they do at their job makes them important. To me, they’re my friends, I go to their house, they cook me pizza. It’s like, it’s really cool and it’s cool to have friends like that.”
As for idols, all the people she would want to meet have passed on.
On the awe factor of her appearance affecting people, “I don’t really notice it. I guess its part of the job description,” she says. “What they do in their creative element makes them special. We’re all just people. If the zombie apocalypse came tomorrow it wouldn’t matter if someone had a hit TV show. That’s how I think about it. I watch The Walking Dead and we’re all just people. We’re all skin and bone, blood and bone. So we should treat each other with respect and love like that.”
September believes that people should go back to the basics showing more love and respect to each other with everyone having a clear cut understanding of who they are. Everyone has different, special skills they can use for the betterment of society. In the comic, September has all these great God-like, potentially positive powers but they sometimes conflict with her humanity which makes for interesting lyrics and storytelling.
On a potential dream tour for herself, casual and hardcore fans, “I’d love to tour with Evanescence. She’s one of my favorite bands. Amy Lee is one of the most talented musicians, at her core, in a very long time.”
September sends a final message to all the Children of Fate, “Thank you to our fans, we literary couldn’t do this without them and cherish them so much. We just feel grateful that they’re out there, rooting for us.”
Images by Mike Ritchie