THE willingness to be vulnerable and to mould personal tragedy into resonating material has made Amanda Palmer the artist she’s always wanted to be.

She’s had three abortions and suffered great loss but here she is on stage extending her hand, reaching out to people who are just as bruised and hurting from their own life experiences they’ve either overcome or are overcoming.

Her fans adore her for that. They shed tears in the aisles, hug perfect strangers and indulge in the unique setting they find themselves a crucial part of; sharing pain and other feelings they never knew they had before repackaging those emotions into fits of giggles and mass hysteria.

In the slipstream of her first solo album in six years, her autumn tour supporting the release of There Will Be No Intermission arrives at Dunfermline’s Carnegie Hall on November 1.

And in an interview with Press:ON, she has a reassuring message to those sceptical about whether an Amanda Palmer show is one that’s for them.

“I always worry about the danger of giving off this impression that everything is so bleak and morose over in ‘Amanda Palmer world’,” she dispels dryly.

“It’s not. You do not need to be initiated into some bizarre club of the painfully emotional. Just buy a ticket and we’ll all take care of you.”

You can perhaps understand the trepidation facing a potential audience member when Palmer’s material features topics that are routinely – and quietly – discussed behind closed doors.

But the former lead of the dark cabaret duo The Dresden Dolls has no time for this, and explains: “From personal experience, the more painful it is to make the material, the more likely it is that people will respond to it.”

And she finds the experience of writing about a wide range of ‘taboo’ issues cathartic, with the final outcomes providing her with a great deal of satisfaction.

“Mining your own experiences into art and making yourself vulnerable is not easy,” she states.

“If it was easy, everyone would do it. It’s difficult for a reason. But when you get through the other side of it and can especially bask in that moment of mutual recognition with your fellow human beings, I dare say that there’s nothing quite as satisfying. That’s speaking both as an artist and as a human being.

“Life will always be filled with suffering, that will never change. But there’s something satisfying in the face of that suffering when you can stand on that stage, look someone in the eye and share those experiences in a form of comradeship. But it does take a certain kind of faith. Before you have that audience, you need to work on your material and have faith that it will work out.

"That’s usually what separates the people who become artists and are actually crazy enough to do it, and those people who have a faint idea about doing it but realise it’s going to be too scary and uncomfortable so they end up taking a desk job!”

Reviewers and critics commonly refer to her as “brave” for being the uncompromising performer she is.

They praise her for this quality but how does she feel about having the bravery tag applied to her?

“Bravery can only really exist in the face of fear,” the New York-based Palmer ponders.

“So, you need to be willing to be afraid and willing to be vulnerable in order to be any kind of brave. That means you just have to live in a potentially uncomfortable space. Once you get used to it, those layers of ‘uncomfortableness’ peel away. As an artist, when you’re writing material like this, you stop feeling brave and start feeling useful!

“You don’t need to be brave any more because getting up and weeping about your abortions has become so second nature. You can put your material on like a uniform and work boots and go out there and liberate people with less effort than it used to take.”

Having that liberating effect on her loyal fanbase – a following that entirely funded her latest 20-track record on Patreon, with 14,000 fans donating – is a feeling she cherishes and doesn’t take for granted.

The relationship she has with them creates life-lasting memories but it would be a “disservice to the whole community to single out just one”, the 43-year-old affirms.

“The truth is that I couldn’t write this material if I didn’t have an audience like them. It’s important to remind everybody how symbiotic this relationship is. I didn’t just burst out onto the scene with an album this intense. I’ve been at this for 30 years!

"Their feedback and emotional recognition has spurred me on to become riskier, more forthright and less metaphoric in my songwriting because I know they’re there to be brave and receive this material.

“I have been holding and hugging and weeping with so many people on this latest tour who have lost children, who are grieving recent deaths, who have survived suicide. It’s an endless parade of humanity!

“In saying that though, one thing I want to remind people of is that this community and my shows are really funny.

“This is one of the most f***** hilarious and accessible shows that I’ve ever toured. It has to be, given the material!

“It makes everything feel more approachable, including my community being able to approach each other at shows. I’ve seen so many people laughing with each other as well as passing Kleenex and hankies down the rows as someone’s sobbing about this, that or the other thing. All of that really just confirms to me that I’m actually helping.

“I’m able to take some of my grief and processing and turn that into a form of palliative care for other people.

“The nice thing about my stage shows is that there’s a wide-ranging relief that at least no-one is having to keep up appearances about how ‘fine’ everything is!”

There Will Be No Intermission pulls no punches and, in her own words, reveals the “naked truth” of her experiences.

A fitting remark when you factor in the accompanying album artwork which features Palmer standing nude and wielding a sword that she fundamentally believes is of a Highland heritage; referencing her grandmother who was born on the Isle of Skye.

She revealed to the Press that the chosen image was never meant to be the final cover for the record but once her graphic designer saw the photo – which had been taken at the end of another photoshoot designed for publicity shots – there was no going back.

This was despite Palmer herself producing an intricate and expensive photograph that featured friends and loved ones in costume which would later be used for the coffee-table book that partners the album.

“What I had to contend with was the fact that I had staged my own expensive photo but when I looked at this picture of me naked I had to shake my head, nod and say, ‘Yes, that’s pretty much what the album’s about!’.”

  • Amanda Palmer performs at Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline, on Friday, November 1. Tickets cost £25 via the venue’s website and theatre box office: 01383 602302.