Sunday, October 10, 2010

EXCLUSIVE! Marina & the Diamonds INTV!

Lady Gaga has her "little monsters," Florence has her Machine and Marina has the diamonds. With a slew of talented, avant garde female fronted acts coming into music these days, their following has become cult like and unlike anything we have seen before. Marina and the Diamonds are no exception. This UK singer with a Mediterranean heritage has been turning heads in Europe for a few years now, though she hates to admit it (you will see in the interview). She has also been turning heads with her headline making statements and crass attitude, Marina is a rising star but speaks as if she is has the bravado of Liam and Noel Gallagher. I spoke with the woman in front of the Diamonds, who makes clever use of her birth name, Marina Diamandis and what started off as a regular interview, gets a bit heated. At points she gets insulted and stand off-ish. It is one of the more rather interesting interviews I have done and she clearly holds nothing back. For those that know Marina, she dishes out and corrects some facts that the rest of the music world has fabricated about her. Take a look!

You hail from UK but have a Greek background. Has your Greek culture influenced your music? Does the Mediterranean region of Europe inspire you while being in Britain?

I have been hugely influenced by Greek music, merely as background music in the my younger years. My dad would play a huge range of music from Romanian folk to Japanese and Russian pop, alongside more traditional Greek music.

You found your talent while attending an all-girls boarding school in Britain, what encouraged you to peruse this professionally?

I definitely didn't find my talent then. I was very un-talented until I was around 21 years old and began to find my sound. There was an English teacher there that kept banging on all the time about how obsessed she was with my voice- but she had never heard me sing. She predicted I would one day become famous.

Now that your debut is released. Do you feel vindication now that it is done?

It is never done. This is the start of a long, embroidered journey. I am so anxious to prove myself as an artist. I just look forward and to what I have yet to do.

The debut is called “The Family Jewels,” were does the title of the album come from, or what does it refer to?

For a while I joked that it was my way of controlling my fears of "people" think I was bollocks, by getting there first. The real reason behind the name was because it looked good, sounded good, was appropriate to the subject matters of the album and of problems in my life. It also captures the tongue and cheek humour which is essential when listening to the album.

Who were your biggest inspirations recording your debut?

Being without an idol and feeling like a totally lonely outsider. Like I was not liked. I am not tremendously influenced by other artists. People would love it if I said I were influenced by Kate Bush but I never will, because it's not truth.

You were working in LA with Benny Blanco (of Spank Rock), what is it like working with him?

He's a good kid but it definitely didn't work out for us. I wrote zilch in the two days we were together.

In just a few short years you have made such a big impact on British music. How do you feel about your success?

I don't feel like I have. I am very insulated and don't think like that. It takes a lot to make a true star.

Female singers have come out strong the past few years – MIA, Lady Gaga, Duffy, Amy Winehouse, Florence, Little Boots, La Roux. How do you differ from those artists and stand apart on your own and not just another female fronted act?

By being bored to death by these questions and by admitting that I am bored to death by these questions. Not gonna sit there and churn out some clich├ęd answer of "oh yeah, I think they're all really sweet and we all exist in our own terms. Female is not a genre'. We all know, even journalists, that the root of this is basically rampant sexism.

You call your fans your diamonds and not your backing band. Do they have a name or is it all under the banner of Marina and we get to sing along as fans as the Diamonds?

My band are diamonds, as fans and people, but I employ them as backing musicians, so I suppose they are under my brand.

I ask this a lot to UK acts I speak with and you seem to be the perfect one to ask due to the fact that there are so many references to America in your music. Is it still a big deal for a British musician to make it big in America?

Yes. Slightly less so because in terms of sales, it's the not biggest territory any more. For me, it's a lot less about success and billboard charts and more about having a true affinity and fascination with American mentality. I love your country. The shows I played there were the most connected I've ever felt with an audience.

Marina video for "Mowgli's Road" (Above) / Marina performing "Hollywood" on Jools Holland (below)