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Music Interview

Marina and the Diamonds: 'US producers aren't d**kheads'

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Marina and the Diamonds
On the list of albums we're already looking forward to next year, Marina and the Diamonds' Electra Heart is easily in our top five.

After teasing us with recent single - or "bridge" as she calls it - 'Radioactive' earlier this year, she's prepping for her first proper London gig in 12 months for Mencap's Little Noise Sessions.

Ahead of the show later this month, we called her up to find out whether touring with Katy Perry has calmed her pre-show nerves, and of course, to hear the latest update on her next LP.

What have you been up to this morning?
"Nothing at all, I've just been lying in bed all day!"

We're jealous! So you're part of this year's Little Noise sessions for Mencap; are you looking forward to it?
"I'm sure everyone says they're excited, but I actually am! It's my first show in a year in London and it's the first thing I'll be doing before the second album comes out. The whole set is going to be pretty stripped back. We've hired a wonderful string quartet."

Were you pleased with the response to your last single 'Radioactive'?
"Wow, did that really come out over a month ago already? It was pretty smart of me - releasing a summer song in autumn."

Well, luckily the weather held up, making it the perfect Indian summer song...
"(laughs) Exactly! That's what I was thinking, too. I was really pleased with the response. It was always going to be tricky leaping into a different genre that's popular at the moment. I wanted to make an extreme jump because once you succeed at that, you can do anything you like after."

The song was produced by Stargate (Rihanna, Katy Perry). Did you fear a backlash from some fans?
"Yes and no. Yes - I would have understood if there had been a backlash, especially as I've always spoken out against generic pop music. That said, I think it's hard to criticise a world you don't have a part in. It's safe to say I've learnt a lot of late! I've been pleasantly surprised by the reaction from fans."

Watch the 'Radioactive' music video below:



Did Stargate allow you much control over the tracks you recorded with them?
"Definitely! They're very self-aware individuals and very supportive. People like them and Dr Luke get a lot of flack, but I found them very inspiring. They insisted that they didn't want me to change my singing or writing style. They worked with me rather than against me. It was great! They're not d**kheads - I've got nothing but love for them."

So you've worked with Dr Luke too; who else?
"I can't say! I worked with four producers on this album. Liam Howe, who worked on my last album, produced 'Fear and Loathing' and a few more. That's all I'm saying!"

You recently toured with Katy Perry - have you ever talked about collaborating?
"Supporting her tour was absolutely amazing. The actual show itself was incredible, too. We've never talked about doing something together but you never know. It would be an interesting one, though, especially with the visuals. We're both keen on colourful music videos!"

We can see the clashing wig colours now.
"Exactly, although mine cost $20 and hers was probably about $2,000!"

Your new album is called Electra Heart, which is based on a character you've invented. Can you explain?
"I'm doing this exhibition called 'The Archetypes', which is about illusion and identity. Electra Heart is basically something that represents all female archetypes - the homewrecker, teen idol, teen runaway, suburban housewife, etc. I can't say much more now as it's too early to reveal it all. It should be out in around three months."

We heard your next single was 'Fear and Loathing' - is that right?
"No! Total lies - that song is definitely on the album, though. The new single sounds completely different to 'Radioactive' - it's very pop with the same cold feeling as 'Fear and Loathing'. Sorry, I'm really bad at this. It will all reveal itself very, very soon!"

Marina is headlining Mencap's Noise Sessions on Wednesday, November 23 at St John-at-Hackney Church, with support from Icona Pop & Spark. Tickets are available from www.littlenoisesessions.org.uk.

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