Nov 18, 2013

~about Steampunk at German TV~

Today I spent the day at the South-West German TV studios: I was invited to be a guest at the show in.puncto which will be aired in a few minutes at 22.15 (UTC+1:00) at EinsPlus.

The Teaser Picture^^

It’s obviously in German, but maybe you want to have a look at the pictures. Nicole, the moderator, asked me several things about steampunk in general, the German scene, the DIY aspects of steampunk, steampunk events, music and much more. I got to talk a lot about the stuff I like *yay* Besides me at the studio there are short sequences of a longer documentation about steampunk which will be aired next Sunday, 24th November at 22.15, also on EinsPlus. The show is called “Leben!”)
You’ll see some pictures of Violet’s Steampunk Music Video “Prometheus”, this year’s Elfia in Arcen and you also get a glimpse of my flat (for the curious ones).

Here's a teaser: Nicole and me having fun with the bubble gun^^

I hope you have to time to watch it, if you have, please tell me what you think! (And don’t miss the documentation next Sunday! It will be about 20 minutes all about Steampunk which René Habitzl made together with Sven Möller better known as Admiral Aaron Ravensdale from and me.)

And as I’m writing this EinsPlus already made it available here: 

I really, really like how many friends and fellows are in there, too. Wether by name, or appearance or in the case of bands by background music.
To name but a few:
...and of course lots and lots of personal friends, fellow steampunks etc., I can't all name. 
At this point I really want to thank all the awesome people I met during the past three years! I cannot say how much you all encourage me to do all that Steampunk Stuff!

This entry would not be complete if I would thank all the ones that made that interview/video possible today! René, who did an awesome job on the filming at Elfia, Erfindertreffen and my home (and for respecting all those, that didn’t wanted to show up at TV!), Nicole, for letting me shot her with my Bubble Gun, Niko for NOT using that particular still of me for the internet advertisement (seriously, I think it was hilarious >_<’) and of course the whole SWR and the crew I met, for being that nice and making me really enjoy that day! (Maybe I can come again some when…?) 

I hope that all you, my readers, enjoyed that video even if you may not be able to understand German and that you will watch the documentation with even MORE awesome pictures next sunday!
(If that video goes online I'll share it, too of course!)

Oct 22, 2013

~About an interview with Aurelio Voltaire~

(A quick life sign from my hiatus...)

Last Wednesday I had the chance to finally see the artist Aurelio Voltaire live on stage here in Germany. Precisely at the MTC Club in Cologne.

Further even: I got the chance to interview him together with Aleksandr (who took part of the photos) for the Clockworker. As the CW is a German online Magazine, I translated the whole interview, you can find it here, in case you prefer reading it in German.
Right after the interview, taken with my Fujiroid
I really like the Vogelfrey poster in the background, I like their music^^

Well but I thought it's a waste if the original English version just lies on my hard drive, unused, so here it comes for you my dear readers.

Voltaire introduces himself:

My name’s Aurelio Voltaire, and… I am an evil clown. (laughs)
Actually I really don’t know how to introduce myself. I do lots of different things; but most of them involve things that are dark and at the same time humorous. Sometimes it’s songs, sometimes it’s books, sometimes it’s films, sometimes it’s toys.

It’s your first time on the European mainland, I guess?

Well, technically I played a show in Oslo, Norway a couple of years ago but this is truly my first European Tour. And certainly my first time ever in Cologne.

The set list
What’s been the main factor to come over here, and especially to Germany?
Well, I tour the United States and Canada and Mexico. And I certainly get lots and lots of emails from Europe and my web store gets lots of orders from Europe, so it was a natural progression that I should come and visit the people who are listening to my music.
Did you do any special preparations for your German show? 
Eeh, No. (laughs) I can’t say that I did. Because I think that it should be what people are expecting from me. I think the people who are coming, already know who I am. Do you know what I mean?
So they should get the same show that I do in America. What I do think about is my choice of songs. I have to think a little bit more about what works sonicly for an audience that may not speak English versus lyrically because a lot of my songs are puns and wordplay and that may be difficult for some people who’ve English as a second language. So I have to think about which songs are going to be easier to understand.
I saw on your tour dates that you’re going to have a day of between the concerts. Do you have special plan? Do you want to visit anything special?
I don’t love days off. I’m a workaholic and love performing. So I don’t love days off.
Tomorrow’s not a day off. I play in Hamburg tomorrow. Yesterday was a day off.  I had a day off in Vienna. And it was nice but now I’m kicking myself because I realized how close Prague was. And I think I should have gone to Prague.
But Vienna is a beautiful city. [Actually I was there the week before^^] 
It is a beautiful city.

Now we come to your new album “Raised by bats” which has been crowd-funded. 
Yes… well, to be more honest, I’ve spend thirty-five thousand dollars on that and now I’m crowd-funding the last ten. That’s technically what’s really happening.
Well, how did you come up with the name?
The title track “Raised by bats”, is a song about when I ran away from home when I was seventeen. And you know when dress a little strangely or if you dress in gothic style there’s lots of people out there who want to make fun of you and who want to call you gay Dracula, killer, all sorts of awful names. Although I rather like being called gay Dracula, that sounds very fashionable tome. But anyway I just realized at some point that a snarky reply would be just to tell people that I was raised by bats, that’s why I looked this way.

You know, I’m wearing what looks like a dark pirate costume in my show. And inside the club people really appreciate it. But whenever I walk outside I instantly become Jack Sparrow, to the stupid normal people.
You know there are worse things than being compared to Johnny Depp, for sure. It’s unfortunately just a sign of ignorance when people have to instantly make some kind of cultural reference connection, so that they can feel comfortable about what they are looking at. I think it’s a sign of stupidity, or insecurity.
Your latest album “Bitrektual” deals with several well-known science fiction series, like Star Wars, Star Trek and even Doctor Who (which I am a big fan of… I got my screwdriver with me.)
Actually… In Case my Tardis brakes down I know who to look for. 
Aside from those, which other Science Fiction Series would you recommend?
Ehm… God I don’t know. You know the album “Bitrektual” is a pornographic collection of Star Trek and Star Wars songs. There’s only a Doctor Who Song because Doctor Who fans are such pushy cunts. And they made me do it.
But you know I like Battlestar Galactica. And growing up I watched Lost in Space and the Twilight Zone. If it has a space ship in it, chances are that I will watch it.

Do you know Firefly?
I do know Firefly but I have never watched Firefly. A very good friend of mine, who’s also a singer writes songs about Firefly, his name is Mark Gunn. And Marc gave me the entire series.
But… I don’t watch TV. I haven’t had a TV in twenty years. And if I watched TV I wouldn’t be here talking to you right now, I’d be at home watching TV. It’s because I don’t watch TV that I get so much done.
I had to have an operation and not be able to leave the house to watch the new Battlestar Galactica.
I got my ears pointy and basically wasn’t able to leave the house for a few days so I watched all of Battlestar Galactica.
So the next time I injure myself I promise I will see Firefly.

Well I asked that because Firefly is often referred to as kind of Steampunk or Dieselpunk series, and when talking about Steampunk music, your music is often named, so where would you see the connection to the genre?
I think it’s a really organic connection. Because to me Steampunk is Science Fiction from the perspective of Victorian England. And there are very, very few bands, that use instruments that existed during the Victorian era. So when you look at bands that say we are Steampunk bands but they are playing keyboards and electric guitars and then they have to come up with some crazy philosophy like “we travel time and collect keyboards from the 90s”.
But for ME the most organic thing that can happen when the Steampunk world started developing, was when people said: “what kind of music do we listen to”, the most natural answer for me would have been: music that could have been made in the Victorian Era.
And for me the first two bands that come to mind are Rasputina and Tom Waits. They are two heroes of mine and they are bands that inspired me to make music that also could have been made two hundred years ago. So I think it’s a very natural evolution.

I may lose my Steampunk Membership card, because my new album is a Goth Rock album and it’s the first time I’m using electronic instruments. Electric guitar, electric bass, keyboards and things like that. I hope I will always be at least be an honorary member of the Steampunk world. 

Which song of yours would you suggest to be your most Steampunk-y song?
The Mechanical Girl.
When I made that album “Riding a Black Unicorn Down the Side of an Erupting Volcano While Drinking from a Chalice Filled with the Laughter of Small Children” I actually asked my constituency what kind of album do you want to hear me make and people said folk, and people said cabaret, and somebody said Gypsy punk, and somebody said Steampunk and someone even said acoustic heavy metal. And I said: Okay.
And I did them all. So that album, not only was it named by a fan, but it was kind of dictated and suggested by fans. So “The Mechanical Girl” was really very conscious attempt on my behalf to create the Steampunk song on that album. So if I do a Steampunk convention it’s guaranteed that I’ll play “The Mechanical Girl”.

You often play at Conventions like Dragon Con…

15 years in a row
… but too far for us…
I may be fixing that. There’s talk about me performing at a Steampunk Convention in England next year.
Back to the question: I just wanted to ask: At those conventions you also see Steampunks, so what is your main reaction to them?
I mean Steampunk is something that is very natural to me. You have to understand something: I’m ooold. But even I am not older than Steampunk. People think Steampunk is new. But when I was a small child, my favourite film was “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, which is a purely Steampunk movie, and then there was the series “Wild Wild West” which was a purely Steampunk show. This philosophy of creating Jules Verne inspired science fiction from the Victorian era is not new only the cultural phenomenon of people gathering, doing cosplay and listening to bands, that part is new.
When I was small child we had a very baroque brass lamp and it broke. Well I should say it baroke. And I asked my mother: can I have it? And she said: sure, why would want this piece of junk? And I took it apart and I built a space ship and it was the most ornate brass space ship you’ve ever seen. So it brings together things that I already very much love: Science fiction and things that are antiquated. So… I forgot the question… Oh yeah: What do I think when I see Steampunks? I see people that are into the same things that I’m into. My brothers and sisters.
Voltaire with Aleksandr
 Some last words for your German fans?
It’s really really exciting after many many years of wanting to tour in Germany it’s really really exciting to finally be here and really look forward to meeting people who’ve been listening to my music for years and I’ve never gotten to meet in person and I hope this will be just the first of many many meetings to come.
We hope that, too. Thank you for that interview!
My pleasure! Thank you very much.

I hope you enjoyed reading that ;)
Man, I was so damn nervous doing this! (Sometimes even so concentrated on my questions I didn't got the jokes Voltaire made >_< (If you read this: I'm still sorry!) )

If you ever get the chance to see one of his shows: Go see it! It's totally worth it!
Although he himself only describes them as "Watch an old pirate getting drunk"
And to be honest: I never met an artist that was so close to his fans and took that much time to answer questions, take photos, sign CDs etc.
(During the show, we even got on stage to sing with him.)
And another Polaroid picture
Yep, that man is tall! (Okay, and Yes I am small...)
So to come to a conlusion, you might notice, that I'm still totally amazed, so well: Go see him, listen to his music, buy the CDs and really try to see him live on stage!

Voltaire's Homepage

Sep 2, 2013

~about a lolita dream coming true~

I think it's kind of every lolita's dream to get into the Gothic Lolita Bible once and for me this dream came true at the current issue (49)!

Yesterday, when I got home from a Steampunk meet-up, the new issue had arrived (thanks to the awesome service of me-shop!)
So I skimed trough the pages, searching the Wave Gotik Treffen Snaps, and there it was:

My Steampunk Lolita Outfit! Yay!
You can't image how happy I was, I really felt like dancing trough the flat ^_^

Okay, the "Bratwurst" sign in the background is kind of misplaced, but hey you can't everything^^
(It's kind of ironic that this outfit got rejected at the German Comm but ended up at the bible...)

If you are curious: this is my outfit round-down:

shoes: an tai na
tights: C&A
underskirt: Bodyline
dress: Orsay, tea-dyed by me
fur: vintage
shirt: Karstadt
glasses: vintage
pith helmet: ebay
goggles: painted by a friend, customized by me
clock bag:

Some friends of me got into the Snap, too but I'm not sure, if I'm allowed to post their pictures here.
There are really awesome outfits in the snap so I'm more then happy mine got there, too side by side with those grandiose creations! Chapeau to everybody!

Aug 15, 2013

~about some thoughts on Steampunk Music~


I think this is an important thing so I’ll do this one in two languages again. For the German version please scroll down (and click "Read more")

Für die deutsche Verion bitte nach untenscrollen (und "Read more" klicken). Ich empfehle aber die Englische Version ;) 

(And for those understanding both: German and English, I recommend the English version, I think it’s more understandable, then the German translation >_<‘)

During the past few weeks I heard from several people, the sentence „I don’t like Steampunk music.” That made me think about the term “steampunk music” and I recognized for myself: There is no such thing like steampunk music!
The term itself indicates that Steampunk is also a genre of music, which it isn’t (in my eyes). There might be steampunk bands, nobody would disagree on that! For example bands like Abney Park or Steam Powered Giraffe.
The important thing on those bands is the steampunk aesthetic, they look like steampunk. But even within the few bands that there are at the moment, they interpret that steampunk very individual (which is the key element of steampunk in my opinion: individuality) and that not only by their look but also by their music genres.

What they might have in common is that they make steampunk-THEMED music, with texts dealing with steampunk themes. But that doesn’t make a whole genre.
Just think of the themes “love” or “grief” which nearly every music genre covers but they are still their own genres.

Just within some few examples (scroll down) you can see that Steampunk Music doesn’t exist! There might be Steampunk Bands or Steampunk-themed music, but no Steampunk Music! 

Maybe those people saying they don’t like steampunk music only don’t know very much steampunk bands, so they think that all the steampunk music out there is like Abney Park or like SPG (which was true for one of the people I heard that sentence from)… but then they could just say, they don’t like AP (or SPG)…

I have to admit, that I don’t know many Steampunk Bands either (most of them are very small, mostly German ones), but the few that I know sound really different. I’ll give you some examples, so you can see (or hear) what I mean: 

Abney Park (USA):
Violet (D):

So yeah, in my opinion Steampunk Music does not exist! A style that has such a wide range of creativity and individualism just can’t have only one music genre! I admit, that I think some genres work better for Steampunk then others do but there is no way that only one kind of music can express the Steampunk feeling!

Btw: I once heard somebody say that Steampunk Music would be, if the music would be produced with steam power, but to be honest, I’d just call that Steam-powered music…

So, what do you think? Does Steampunk Music exist, what is it for you? Do you know more Steampunk Bands I should know? 
Please let me know your opinion in the comments, I’m really curious about what fellow Steampunks think about this.


Jun 14, 2013

~about International Steampunk Day~

Info from the Facebook Group:
"There is International Pirate Day, Ninja Appreciation Day, Dress like a Goth Day and Mock an Emo Day, but there is no steampunk day. I suggest we remedy this and have a offical Holiday where we get to dress up like Steampunk Characters, watch steampunk movies, play steampunk video games, read steampunk books and just bask in the glory that is the steampunk genre. So bust out your goggles and your ray guns, your felt vests and your steam gaskets and imagine a history that might have least for one day."
So Happy Steampunk Day!

My octopelius and me celebrated together ;) 

We both dressed up for the occassion 
(I had to work all day, bit at least at home I could change into steamy clothes^^):
His outfit: 
top hat: made by me
My outfit
Skirt: taobao
belt: C&A plus added keys
curtain tassel: taobao
blouse: Primark, dyed by me
gloves: H&M
glasses: Vintage
jewelry: Atelier Tausendschön, Six, Poor Man's Gold Label 

So what did you do at Steampunk Day 2013?

Jun 5, 2013

~about the Aethercircus~

One event report before my WGT review:
From 3rd to 5th May the Steampunk Expedition Camp set up their tents at the Aethercircus in Stade. The Aethercircus is the first German Steampunk Convention and takes place at the Festung (fort) Grauerort.
After the first try at the last Steamcon Anno 1900 in Luxemburg it was the first real expedition for the S.E.G. (Steampunk Expeditions Gesellschaft = Steampunk Expedition Company).
Thomas and Vala on our way to Stade
Our group (Vala, Thomas and me) arrived around 16.30 at the Festung. Nici and Stefan were already there and had set up their Caravan, as well as Jochen (Horatius Steam) had set up his tent. Shortly after us arrived Sylvia and Klaus, so we could discuss how to set up the camp as a whole.
We had some issues with the ground so in the end we used a hammer drill to get the hooks into the ground.
The rest of the Company arrived until 20.00 so we could go buy all the food for the weekend at Stade. Back in the camp we did a barbecue and a lot of other participants of the camp joined our fire.
The Camp at night
Saturday was the first day with visitors. Since I volunteered for the Fashion show and had to change clothes around noon I went for a simple outfit first and chose my Victorian Bathing Suit. Since the Elbe was directly behind the fortifications Sylvia, Nici and I decided to do a small photo shot down at the water. We also made a video I call “Victorian Baywatch” (we made a lot of videos that weekend, so I will make a special post just about that). 
Philomena Farnsworth
Nici advertising our Steampunk Camp
Diana Bianca from Atelier Tausendschön had a booth at the vendors’ room and so I asked her if she could do my hair again. Not only is she an amazingly creative person concerning her jewelry but also an awesome hairdresser! 
After the fashion show I changed back into more comfy clothes.
Some guys (and girls) of our camp had occupied some big Nerf guns so we decided to do some videos around the fort. We had a lot of fun hijack the entrance cash point or the little train which surrounded the fort. When I’m finished with cutting the videos I will definitely post them here ;)
Preparing dinner
For the evening we had planned to make a vegetable soup so we prepared the stuff for it. Since we had some drummers as visitors at the camp we used the opportunity to dance around a bit. Claire filmed that and already uploaded it here so enjoy: 

Beside the different vending rooms, the organization of the Aethercircus had organized different readings of Steampunk authors and of course also some music acts. My two favorite were Violet SteamExperience (I had already seen in Eindhoven) and Aeronautica with which I’d done an interview for the Clockworker but never seen live on stage until then. 
Aeronautica live on Stage, more pictures
Unfortunately I couldn’t take good pictures of Violet, they all turned out blurry, but the ones I took of Aeronautica are not too bad. You can find all of them on my flickR.
Because of some delays Aeronautica could only play for 25mins instead of a whole hour, which was really a shame because they really rocked! I hope I get the chance to see them a bit longer soon.  
On Sunday Nici took my place in the fashion show, so I could wear something more elaborate. Nici and I decided to do a Burlesque/Saloon Girl/Steampunk cross-over together. The guys occupied the Nerf guns again and together we went walking around the event area: The girls and their security team. 
We had a lot of fun, especially because the vendors cooperated and that way we got free drinks at the bar (for example). One pair of shop owners declared themselves creatures of the night and that our normal weapons would not help against them, so we got the vampire hunter kit from Horatius!

Vampire Hunters in Action
Bianca from Violet filmed us, you can see our operation at the middle of the video (around 4:30)

In the late afternoon it was already time to pack our stuff and leave :(
It was an awesome weekend and I’m really looking forward to the next camp at the Dutch European Steampunk Convention in Meppel (and Aeronautica^^)!  

Nikolaus von Krähenfeld started a thread at the Rauchersalon were all the links to photo galleries are collected, so if you want to see more pictures have a look here. The rest of my pictures can be found here.