Every now and again you hear a song and think they get me. That's how I felt the first time I heard "I Am Not A Robot" by Marina & The Diamonds. It perfectly sums up how I've been feeling lately - overwhelmed and suffocated. As much as I loved the song, I had a sneaking suspicion that Marina might be a bit too cool for me. I don't read NME, can't fit into skinny jeans and would rather listen to La Toya than La Roux. As it turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong. Marina's music is quirky but it's still pop and positively oozes beautiful melodies. When she surprisingly agreed to an interview, I thought I should dig a bit further and stumbled across her blog. The more I read, the more I loved her. Marina is so raw, funny and uncompromisingly honest. This post is one of the best commentaries on the music machine that I've ever read. So what do you ask such a maverick? Read on to find out.
1. Hearing "I Am Not A Robot" for the first time was like being tea-bagged by Jesus. I felt like I had been touched by greatness. Did you realise it was special when you wrote it?
Yes. Because I was cringing as I wrote it as I was having to be really uncomfortably honest. Yuck/yikes.
2. I guess the lyrics are open to interpretation. What's it all about?
About pushing yourself too hard and as a result getting miserable/unproductive and not achieving anything in the end. About not being good enough. About trying to be good enough. About (cringe) an endless battle against yourself and the inherent self loathing that lies within all of us (it happens to all of us at some point in our lives - no point trying to deny it and going all hippy "self lurve" etc etc).
Robyn also has a song out about robots at the moment but it's a bit shit in comparison.
I love that song. It's weird there are 3 songs out at the moment about robots. It wasn't intentional. I wrote the song a long while ago. How embarassing.
3. The video is startling. Was it fun to make? Every tranny in Sydney will be after that sequined lipstick!
It was one of the best days that I've had in the past 5 years. Dreams turning into reality. The black oil giltter took 40 minutes to strip/scrape off. My skin was in rashes after the shoot.
4. I love reading your blog because you're so scathing. Are there any celebrities that you actually approve of?
Oh yes. Plenty. I am just a cynic and see badness in everything. I'm sure people have plenty of criticisms about me or WILL HAVE.
I think I open my mouth as I feel disappointed with most people or feel like I am on my own/can't find people who think along same lines as me. General perception of world = we all seem to be prioritizing the wrong things. No family values, style over substance reigns supreme in everything, etc etc. See? am nothing but a cynic. Maybe if I changed my ways I would not be disappointed with self/life.
5. Do you get sick of the comparisons with Kate Bush? I guess it's better than being compared to someone vile like Kate Nash. Who are you biggest influences?
Kate Bush is a most flattering comparison so will not say anything. I didn't really listen to music until 19 so my knowledge is limited. Sometimes I state Kate Bush as an influence just to please people as I know that is what they want to hear. In reality I love the Distillers, Patti Smith, PJ Harvey, Daniel Johnston and vintage No Doubt.
6. Your live cover of "What You Waiting For" is brilliant. Can you please stick it on your next single as a B-side?
7. The continued success of Girls Aloud is a sure sign that the apocalyspe is nigh. True or false?
8. Who are the Diamonds? I've read that they're not a band but your fans.
The Diamonds are the fans. I wanted/always wanted this to be a collective experience. I am a solo artist so it can't really be a band I'm referring to.
9. What do you make of music blogs and their role in the greater music machine? You've received a lot of online loving.
Their role = picking up on music 8 years before the masses and spreading the good stuff. I like blogs. Fact.
10. When is the album going to drop? Will it include "Robot", "Obsessions" and "Mowgli's Road"?
Yes it will. It will drop in Jan '10.
Thanks so much for your time!
Marina's EP "The Crown Jewels" is out now in the UK. It features the amazing "I Am Not A Robot" (below) and is available to download from iTunes. There's no news about an Australian release as yet.