Absolutely! Right on all accounts. I am afraid it is in my nature to try and give anything steampunk a solid definition. I feel like a fairly good judge of a musicians influences (I am a fan of many more varying genres then the Goth/Industrial family tree) and mood to know when I spot elements that have a steampunk influence though, and Emilie Autumn (like you mentioned as well) doesn't really come close to that. I mean look at The Cassettes, they are a really good example of music that could easily work in a steampunk setting. But they don't sound anything like what I would imagine Steampunk music to sound like. Regardless I can not argue that they don't belong under the Steampunk genre (because they really do).
I am totally open to new interpretations of Steampunk music at all times. I think a lot of people may see me as being biased towards a particular sound or style, and I have noticed many people who have told me that my own projct doesn't capture their idea of steampunk. I would like to point out one major difference with my music as compared to say Abney Park, Doctor Steel, The Cassettes, Dresden Dolls, or any of the other current bands that Steampunk fans listen to and have accepted as part of the genre... and that is that:
Vernian Process (unlike the aformentioned bands) was created with the singular goal to provide music that would be suitable for a Steampunk setting/environment. All of the other bands got the Steampunk tag either from fans identifying them as such, or as an after thought. That is why while some of my music doesn't quite make someone think of steampunk, I find it hard to believe anyone could really listen to any of my pieces and watch any kind of steampunk visual accompaniment, and not feel that the two gel together. I am not saying that my project defines steampunk music in any way at all. But I am saying that it was created expressley with Steampunk in mind.
And to address your last point, you are totally correct. The more people that become aware of the genre the better. The only problem with that (much like what happened to the G/I scene) is that eventually the new guard will misunderstand the roots of the genre, and it will mutate into some hybrid that has very little in common with the the true definition of Steampunk (much like Goth music mutated into Futurepop which has nothing at aall to do with the origins of that scene).
How I love Steampunk, and have loved it for the past 20 years or more!
I only look forward to finding new artists that capture the same spirit of adventure.
I agree that clothes alone do not make one steampunk. Neither does a few retro-tech in a movie, nor the description of a locomotive in a book. One must be more than a fleeting or superficial part to claim the whole of steampunk. Miss Autumn is not steampunk, her music selections range from medieval topics to rhythms found in modern R&B/pop. She does have pieces that seem to be close to "dark cabaret", but these are not the popular ones.
Now before we send her off to the gallows, I would like to bring up one point. Steampunk (even with its honorable literary history) is still an emergent culture, and it is bound to see people reaching out in all directions to test the boundaries and definitions of what steampunk is
. And, as was mentioned in the wonderful article on <a href="http://www.geocities.com/soho/9094/STEAM61.html
">steampunk music</a> from Victorian Adventurers in a Past that Wasn't!
, a solid definition of what is steampunk music have yet to be settled on.
Also, try to focus on the service she is providing. She may not fit our definition of steampunk, but by putting name out there, she is attracting more people to the culture. We most likely won't enjoy what the "n00bs" do with the culture, but whenever has the old guard thought that the next generation was doing anything but destroying the world? The more people who know and join the culture, the more the culture will find itself.
Anyway... enough ranting. You may send the clockwork gnomes to drag me away now.