Sepiachord went right to the source for this interview with SkyCaptain Cedric "Greyhawk" Whittaker and 1st 1st Officer Dr. Jasper Ashton...
SepiaChord: This will be the first commercially available compilation to self-consciously use the term "steampunk". Are you trying to define the contentious term "steampunk music"?
AirShip Isabella: Both we are looking to market this world wide and to have our CD release party simulcast around the world. ASI Productions plans to release TEN compilation CD's in order to define Steampunk as a sound recognized by all. As all knows this is sometimes hard due to the many different styles and eras of each artist and what's steampunk and what's not. We have gather artist from around the world and have a great surprise for the community when this project is released. I cant go into marketing strategies as of yet but at the right time all will be informed. This first Cd will me a mix of all types and genera of Steampunk wrapped into one awesome delivery. Taking you on a mental journey in your mind....If anyone has looked upon The Airship Isabella and her crew you will all know we are not your typical Steampunkers. WE are NACS...... Nacs are an anachronistic genre of people, events, and technologies out of place in time. Extreme ideas, sound, fashion, engineering, and art brought from the future and the past, this universe and the next, and presented to you by the Airship Isabella and her crew.
SC: When you announced the CD you called for submissions from "DJs and Musicians". What do you expect to get from DJs? Will your CD feature remixes of artists?
ASI: What I expect from DJ's will be original tracks, created with the steampunk flare. We will have some remixed songs of featured artist. We are encouraging the musicians that are featured on the compilation to create original tracks related to steampunk or the crew of the Airship Isabella.
SC: So far you've announced the following participants on the CD: Abney Park, One-Eyed Doll, Ben Steed, Wet Glass Ro, 22 Chillies, and Damian Sicks. Most folks are familiar with Abney Park as they are the highest profile self-styled steampunk band. What can you tell us about the other artists?
ASI: The other artist listed have really captured the essences of steampunk but we would like to say they are NACS... Who as artist are willing to branch out into the steampunk world, to work with us on this compilation CD, in order to give it a wide spectrum of different and unique sounds. Which will help to identify a genre which has yet to be given to the world with a new sound.
SC: I'm a big fan of One-Eyed Doll but they seem to be more of a straight-up rock band. What makes them say steampunk to you?
ASI: Kim as a personal friend of the crew is very interested in this NACS movement which we have created. Yes she can be categorized as rock but with One-Eyed Doll her look and feeling goes way beyond a rock title.. Steampunk brings to mind no boundaries and with her feel she has embraced what in essence is NACS..You will be very surprised, her song being used for the Compilation as an exclusive track personally for Airship Isabella.
SC: Are you in discussion with other bands who've identified as steampunk like Vernian Process, The Men that Will not Be Blamed for Nothing, Ghostfire or Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys?
ASI: Yes we are, as a matter of fact Vernian Process has been added to the compilation. And I have been contacted By the Army of Broken Toys. They haven't signed as of yet, but i feel we are getting closer to having them aboard. We have however, added Shanklin Freak Show, and we are in talks with Dr. Steel's people to have him added to the compilation. We are still looking for two more artist to complete this mission.
SC: Any word on who's going to be doing the artwork?
ASI: We have a wonderful and very talented up and coming artist for the artwork, posters and T-Shirts. J. R. Fleming with Concept & Illustrations. This artist has really captured the image of Steampunk. Visit her at jrfleming.com plus she is one of the Crew.
SC: Will this collection be self-released or are you shopping around for a label?
ASI: In the beginning of this project there were talks of this being self-released, but with the demand of the steampunk community we are considering shopping around for a label.
SC: Where can interested parties go to learn more about the CD and keep up with new developments?
ASI: We will be launching www.airshipisabellaproductions.com our Official website very soon. And can be informed of our current Steampunk Compilation CD. Our mission is to take up and coming DJ's and Musicians and give them a chance to be in front of a 2000 plus crowd. Then its all up to them. Our site will host our several talents and ventures Aboard The Airship Isabella. Be sure to keep you eyes on the sky. ASI Productions is not only in to Music Productions as our services span from Hosting full scale 2000 plus parties, Private Parties for Corporate and Personal Gatherings,Weddings, Set and Stage Design, Movie Props., Seamstress, Costume design, and Live Charter improvement. You name it ASI can do it a Gear Above The Rest.
We have several artist on staff here at ASI that create the most fantastic designs. These guys have a real talent and eye for steampunk designs (goggles, jewelry, leather work, clockwork or any mod you can think of). Their is no limit to our artist creativity. If you want it, they can, and will build it!!!!
Thanks for your time and your interest in The Airship Isabella. We hope to see you at our next landing.
From the Desk of,
SkyCaptain Cedric "Greyhawk" Whittaker
1st Officer Dr. Jasper Ashton