By Eve Cheesmur
Amanda Fucking Palmer.
Some say she's an arsehole, some say she's a genius. Either way, it doesn't seem to phase Amanda Palmer who is all about the music, the art, her fans and pushing boundaries.
The flamboyant cabaret/goth/feminist/pianist/lyricist/singer/...../..../../......./......./............./ .... (what doesn't she do) and The Grand Theft Orchestra are touring their album Theatre Is Evil and will be heading to the land of the long white cloud for a long awaited visit.
New dates for the tour to see the phenomenal 8ft bride and orchestra perform are: Wellington 4th September at San Francisco Bath House and 6th September at the Kings Arms in Auckland.
How are you Amanda Fucking Palmer?
Good, tired, tired but happy. I've just finished a show in Edinburgh and I am so, so excited about coming back over those ways. The original shows were delayed, so I'm even more excited and filled with anticipation about coming to New Zealand and Australia now.
Can NZ audiences look forward to you getting your breasts out on this tour?
No, my breasts only come out spontaneously and of their own will. I have no control over them.
Do you feel that any media coverage is good media coverage?
As long as people continue to come back to my music and don't just talk about my boobs, I'll be happy.
What do your parents and family think of the life path you've chosen?
They've gotten used to it and they're very proud. It took them a while to adjust the fact that I wasn't going to be a normal person with a normal fucking job. They're wonderful and have always been really supportive, the interesting thing about growing up in my family is that they weren't artists but they've always been really supportive of my desire to become one and everyone should be so lucky.
People love you, people don't love you. How do you protect yourself from the controversy in your acts?
I can't protect myself which is part of the job. If I could protect myself from it then I wouldn't be putting myself at risk in the first place, but I also wouldn't be getting anything done. So, it just goes with the territory that you have to deal with the negativity along with the positivity. You just get used to it after a while. When public option of an artist like me goes so wildly up and down, you learn not to live your life on the yo yo train, because it could just drive you absolutely crazy if the quality of your life was being controlled by whatever way the wind happens to be blowing on anyparticular day. The more shit storms I weather and the more I go through people calling me an asshole and a genius, the more I realise the important thing is to just ignore it and make art. The criticism is ephemeral, it doesn't last and it doesn't stick and it doesn't matter ultimately. What matters is what I make and how people actually respond to the things I make in a real concrete way. And there's the art that I make and then there's the words around it, and the words around it aren't important as the art itself. So, you just learn after a while, to ignore the words and focus on the music.
How do you draw inspiration for your lyrical genius?
Musicals that I was in as a teenager. I came totally out of the closet, on my blog on this song I wrote for the Daily Mail and I ripped that melody straight out of Evita, and I was not ashamed to admit it. Webber and Wrights is like the melodic gift that keeps on giving.
Is keeping creative ideas fresh a challenge?
No it's not hard, because I don't sit around trying to think up original controversial ideas. That's not my occupation. When I get a good idea, I run with it and when I don't have a good idea, I take a walk and make a sandwich, it's as simple as that. One of the difficult things about being me, is that perception that I'm sitting around drafting evil plans to create controversy, which is never true. When it comes to defending myself, I do like to be creative.
I showed your Daily Mail retort to my mum who commended you, you're quite a fan here with the female audience especially.
I feel really, really happy that a lot of my fans have finally turned their mothers into Amanda Palmer fans.
Where does your love of the antipodes come from?
I just fucking love it down there. I love everything about it, but I mainly just love the attitude of the people. It's so classic, especially the woman are so independent, and strong and emotional and I just fucking that, I love that kind of energy. You get instances of that in America and Europe, but I've never felt more at home with a group of people that in NZ and Australia. There's something about the general cultural attitude down there that really resonates with me. It's a two way street. When I first started touring in Australia and I noticed there was a real resonance, it's almost just like a good human relationship, we gravitate towards the people we 78resonant with. I've only ever felt that down there, it's a real kinship.
Would you like to come for dinner while you're over?
Best last question I've ever been asked by a journalist. I would fucking love to come over for dinner.
I had best dust off the recipe books.