• .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

» indie

Marina and the Diamonds interview

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Articles, Blog, Interviews, Music | Leave a comment

Marina and the Diamonds was on the top of my interview bucket list for a while now. Actually, ever since I discovered her charmingly bizarre ‘Mowgli’s Road’ song and read her pretty sharp-tongued blog back in 2008. I almost talked to Marina in New York in 2011: “almost” as I didn’t recognized her (she just went blond at the time) and managed to party right next to this Primadonna for the whole night without acknowledging her. I finally got my chance when I was asked to interview her for Interview Russia earlier this spring in time for the release of her ‘Froot’ album.

Read the Russian version here and the original chat below.

 

You always take you album campaigns quite seriously. So what’s the concept behind ‘Froot’?

With ‘Froot’ I wanted the strategy to be distinctive. So I came up with a plan called ‘Froot of the month’, which meant that when you pre-order the album I’d send you a brand new song from the album every month until the album release. So each song has its own visual world, video, all that kind of thing.

So this is the 1st album you recorded on your own?

Yes.

Was it harder or more liberating?

Oh, definitely more liberating! I would say songwriting was easier in a way, because I had this artistic clarity versus writing with other people and trying to come up with the songs that would ‘work’ commercially. I didn’t want to do another electropop album. The production was very different two: just me co-producing everything with one person for three month. It’s actually not my favorite thing at what I do. But I enjoyed it nevertheless, as much as I could.

You do quite a lot of misspelling: froot, teen idle, shampaigne… What’s the idea behind it?

I love words! And I love messing with them. I think with ‘Froot’ spelling it in a way with how it sounded made it look more playful. That’s what I’m interested in as a musician – with my sound blending with natural human sounds and electronic sound. It’s also visually what I do: I really like blending themes of nature with modern life.

Your favorite fruit? Song and an actual fruit.

The fruit-fruit is probably mango and I like lychee as well. And my favorite song off the album changes a lot. I really ‘Savages’ and ‘Better Than That’.

Should we expect you to dress up as a fruit like Katy Perry does?

Ha, no!

You did perform in Moscow. What do you remember from that gig?

It was very positive. I’ve some time in Russia and Ukraine when I was younger, so I was very pleased to go back and to see that I have a fanbase there. I remember I played the same festival as Courtney Love did and I really loved her.

Do people really mistake you for Catherine Zeta-Jones (as you mentioned in your ‘Hollywood’ song)?

No, haha! No we do look quite similar, it’s that Celtic welsh blood.

I remember when you and I do were partying in a small bar in New York back in 2011. And I didn’t recognize you because you just went blonde.

Oh, no, really?! Haha! That’s so funny!

Do you plan any more dramatic changes to your appearance in the future?

I don’t think so, no. These days I look quite similar to how I looked during my first album. ‘Electra Heart’ look was built for that character. And now it’s kind of a relief to not have to dress up, if I’m honest.

What did you learn from being Electra Heart persona?

Most of things I’ve learned was about what I didn’t want to be as an artist and what I didn’t really like about being in this industry. There are parts of the industry which I love but I think if you’re pretending to be a popstar, then you have to go through the popstar system and they talk to you as if you’re quite dumb and as if you don’t write your own music. I didn’t really appreciate that. But I did like being an electropop artist. I’m happy where I am now with ‘Froot’.

Let’s get one thing clear: Primadonna was a sarcastic statement, right? Was there a lot of people who thought you were being dead serious?

I don’t know… I think most of the people knew it was this theatrical sarcastic song. But who knows?

What gets you excited in the current pop landscape?

I really like BANKS, Broods, Childish Gambino, Lykke Li, Clean Bandit.

The blog you ran back in 2008 was very sassy. Will you ever blog again?

Oh, no, you remember! Haha. I am interested in keeping a very genuine direct communication with fans. So I’m doing these FAQs now.

The thing we do here at the Interview magazine is making one celebrity interview other celebrity. So if you were to interview one famous person, who would you choose?

I would choose the photographer Cindy Sherman, musician Daniel Johnston and Marilyn Monroe.

Okay, I’ll see if when can hook you up with those. And if you were to start an ultimate girlband who would you invite?

Oh, wow. I would choose Bjork, my friend Lizzy from MS MR, Brody Dalle from The Distillers and Debbie Harry from Blondie.

I would definitely check out this record!

Well, thank you very much, I’ve got one fan!

A lot of your new songs are rather dramatic and pensive. Does it mean the days of ‘Primadonna’ and ‘Mowgli’s Road’ are over?

Each album is a chapter of your life, some have different colors and moods to the other ones. ‘Electra Heart’ was a very high energy album. I feel more flexible in terms of what I can do creatively now, so who know what’s gonna come up.

Is acting something you’d ever consider trying?

Yes, I would.

Do you still live in the state of dreaming?

It’s good to dream and to think about what you want.

Get ‘Froot’ on iTunes

Russian indie music report for MTV Iggy

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Articles, Blog, Music | Leave a comment

This is my biggest article of 2015 – and my biggest one in English so far. I tried to figure out for MTV Iggy website what it’s like to be an indie musician in Moscow in 2015:

null

Interview with Jeremy from PARAMORE

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Articles, Interviews, Music | Leave a comment

Paramore had a pretty good year. Their fourth self-titled became a huge success and made several ‘best-of-2013’ lists. They toured like crazy – and even came to Moscow for one of the biggest summer festivals. Back in May I chatted with band’s bass guitarist Jeremy Davis for Rolling Stone Russia about his pizza-delivering past, recording a song for ‘Twilight’ and the best gig Paramore ever had.

How are you?

I’m good, I’m currently in Boston. We have a show here tonight.

It’s a cool city. Have any of you ever been to Russia or the upcoming show is going to be your first one?

None of us has been to Russia. And we’re so excited about it. We just started filling out all the paperwork we need for our visas. Russia’s one of those places: I have no idea what it’s gonna be like. It’s really exciting.

It’s been more than 3 years since the last album was released. What did you learn during that time? Was it a necessary break? 

Music is our lives, so to not be playing shows for that long it was really hard for us. But it was nice for us to be home and have normal life. We constantly tour and we’re never home, so it was nice – to act like normal people: watch movies and TV shows when they come out. Normally we watch it all on DVD all the way through, and now we’d watch it like normal people and wait for the next week. That was kinda boring, but the rest was good.

When we got to start recording, we had a lot of plans and ideas. We were very happy that we were able to pull off a lot of things that we did, like having a gospel choir or a strings orchestra on the album. We really had enough time to experiment and try new things.

Read more

Interview with The Raveonettes

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Articles, Interviews, Music | Leave a comment

My recent (bourbon-filled) trip to Saint Petersburg coincided with the first Russian gig of the Danish indie rockers The Raveonettes, who I’ve discovered on the soundtrack for the ‘Ringer’ series back in 2012. I met up with a slightly tired Sharin and Sune a couple of hours before their show to discuss their sweet/noisy sound, latest album (which includes a very nice dreamy ode to New York called ‘She Owns The Streets’), social media and balancing life at home with being an artist. Sharin was doing most of the talking.

Russian version of the interview’s on the Rolling Stone Russia website and the original one – under ‘More’.

Read more