Interview : September Mourning

September Mourning might be a new band to many people out there, but the origins of the band began in a storyline quite a few years ago in the creative mind of Emily Lazar. She could have easily chosen the route of sex sells and fronted a band while wearing skimpy outfits and pushing style over substance. No, that wasn’t going to be the way that she did things and she began developing the multi-format storyline of September and her reapers who collected souls. She pitched the storyline to comic book artist and CEO of Top Cow Productions Marc Silvestri and he didn’t hesitate to get involved. The pieces really started to fall into place and the vision started to really take shape.

Fans have been treated to glimpses of music from the band over the years including an album entitled Melancholia that was released on Repo Records (Germany) in 2012. Fans of TNA Wrestling may recognize the band because in 2012 the company used their song “Before the Fall”, along with parts of the band’s music video of the song, in a commercial for their Hardcore Justice PPV. In 2013, the band was signed to Virgin Records and began working with producer Howard Benson (Papa Roach/Halestorm/My Chemical Romance) on their new album. The band, consisting of September on vocals, Wraith and Riven on guitar, Stitch on drums and Rasper on bass, recently made their Rock on the Range debut to an audience mixed with many who knew who the band was, combined with quite a few who had no clue, but couldn’t turn away because of how compelling their stage show was. I was able to steal a few minutes with lead vocalist/reaper September after their set that day.

That was pretty awesome out there today! How would you explain what we all witnessed today to someone new to the world of September Mourning?

September: It’s nerdcore; it’s a graphic novel come to life, you know, the story of September Mourning. When I’m on-stage, I try to tell a story and I try to communicate with the audience. I try to engage them and pull them in as well and create an emotional connection. I think that’s really important, especially nowadays in rock; it’s really important to make that connection.

At one time, nerds were picked on and seen as uncool, but things have really changed. Were you always nerdy and into comics as you were growing up?

I’ve always loved stories, whether it was comic book, movies or books. One of my earliest favorite readings was The Hobbit and also Lord of the Rings and things like that. I’ve always been into fantasy and things like that, so for this part to come out of me is quite natural. It is what it is and it’s a part of who I am.

You could say it’s an extension of yourself.

Yes, exactly!

I was looking at your dates and it looked as if you booked a little mini-tour to get you from the West coast to the East coast for Rock on the Range. Are there any other dates lined up after this?

No, this is the last show and then we’re going back home for a bit. We are playing Download in the U.K. in June.

Oh wow, that‘s pretty impressive. Have you ever played over there before?

No, I’ve never been, but I know it’s going to be a lot of fun.

There are many of us who are anxiously awaiting the release of your new album and I understand that it’s almost upon us. Can you give us a little teaser of what to expect?

We recorded it with Howard Benson and it should be coming out late summer or early fall. It’s like Lady Gaga meets Marilyn Manson with a little Otep thrown in there. There are a lot of different colors and flavors on this one. You know, it’s very colorful, just like the storyline.

You recently released your cover of the classic Ben E. King song “Stand by Me” which got you quite a bit of attention. How did that come about?

It was actually for a video game, but we couldn’t get the rights to the music or the song, so they couldn’t use our version and they went with something else. We loved this song so much that we had to go ahead and record it. Then, Revolver Magazine picked it up and premiered it. The same day that they released it, he died, which is a little spooky since we’re reapers and we take souls.

Yeah, that’s the first thing that I thought about when I read that he died. Read into that what you want to people, but it is a bit creepy. I noticed someone here in the crowd who was dressed up a bit and may have been a fellow reaper. Have you seen many people at the shows getting involved and dressing up?

We have noticed it and especially so at the all ages shows in some of the smaller cities or at the comic conventions. They love it, the costuming, the hair, the makeup; they really seem to want to be involved and try it.

So, you have an album about to come out, your comic book is finally about to be released and you’re doing the massive Download in the UK. Everything really seems to be coming together for you after many years of working on this and I am especially happy for you. Did I leave anything out?

We’re also playing Aftershock in October and we’ll be doing more touring in the fall, so stay tuned!

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