Interview: Marina and the Diamonds
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Marina Dimandis' rise to fame has been impressive. In the last three years she's gone from releasing her own album on homemade CDs to headlining her own tours under the stage name of Marina and the Diamonds.
She supported megastar Katy Perry on ten dates of her California Dreams tour and most recently has played on Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto tour.
Marina credits the Katy Perry tour with relieving her of some of her nerves about playing stadiums.
“I think that helped to prepare for Coldplay, we were playing for 80,000 people some days but I never really got nervous,” she says.
“Obviously Coldplay are like the nicest rock band in the world, I'll be very sad to go.”
2012 has been a hectic year for the 26-year-old and there's no end in sight with extensive tours of the UK and Europe on the books, as well as the final dates supporting Coldplay.
You might think it would get old, but Marina doesn't seem to have tired of it yet.
“I've just come off the American leg of the Lonely Hearts Club tour and it was probably the best thing I've ever done in my life.”
Although she seems enthusiastic about being on the road, Marina says that it has taken some of the enjoyment out of seeing other live music for her. “I don't really go to that many gigs,” she laughs when I ask her who she's enjoyed seeing live, “It kind of feels like work to me at the moment.”
“But I've got three tours coming up in the next few months [...] I'm excited. Very much so.”
'How to be a Heartbreaker' is the second single from her second album, Electra Heart and it's released in the UK next month.
Whilst Electra Heart won mixed reviews on its release with some criticising the poppy turn that Marina has taken, she is clear that she sees herself as equal parts pop artist and songwriter.
“I think I bridge that difficult gap between Britney Spears and Joni Mitchell.”
“Some of the songs especially on the first album are very singer-songwriter-ey, but then I also have a huge love for pop culture, I love using humour and I don't think there's anyone else out there who kind of does that.”
Much of the most recent album was written whilst on the road in the states two years ago and was heavily influenced by Marina's personal life at the time.
“What was going on at the time was that I'd fallen in love with someone and I'm just not used to being in a relationship where you're not loved back.”
“I was pretty shocked by the whole thing. I'm glad it happened beause when you love someone so much it really inspires you to write albums and albums.”
“A lot of the album has a lot of humour, which is reflected in the live show. Songs like 'Homewrecker', 'Bubblegum Bitch' I suppose go back to the time I was writing it but I was trying to avoid everything I was feeling. I was trying to do songs that of toyed with the idea of being someone who's in control in love and who kind of doesn't need people and breaks hearts.”
Marina's new single, 'How to be a Heartbreaker' is out on 15th October and a UK tour starts at the end of September in Leeds.