Marina and the Diamonds: The gay interview

Marina22015“This line is so sketchy!” says Marina Lambrini Diamandis (better known by her stage name, Marina and the Diamonds). But despite the fallible international phone connection, the Welsh indie-pop artist’s refreshing truthfulness is not impeded as she promotes her latest album, FROOT.

Marina can be heard loud and clear while serving major dish to Chris Azzopardi on a variety of hot topics: lesbian rumors, Katy Perry parties, interviews she calls “complete shit” and what she thinks of artists who pander to the gay community (Hint: “It’s insulting”).

Dallas Voice: So, your new album, Marina: I cried.  Noooo!

Was the experience of creating the music as emotional of an experience for you?  Yeah. I mean, maybe in a less intense way because I was writing it for over 18 months. With everything I’m very kind of exposed, but particularly so with this one.

How did you end up making an album that’s very much about self-confidence and loving yourself first?  I can’t really tell you. There’s not an answer for the way I got to that point. The relationship you have with yourself — you can’t really orchestrate that or make that happen. It’s more than just a point you get to in your life. It was very gradual. Obviously, I must’ve got to a point where I was inspired enough to write about it for songs like “Happy,” but that was quite late in [the recording stage], so songs like “Immortal” and “Gold” were written on the way to getting to that point, if that makes sense.

So you were working yourself out as you went along?  Yeah, totally.

The album really resonates with me in a way that I think will also resonate with a lot of people in the LGBT community.  A lot of the reason I think I have a gay fan base is because a lot of the themes, and the core of the songs, are usually stemming from something to do with identity or acceptance. I know that I always felt like that and I don’t anymore. FROOT definitely focuses on that, but I suppose, yeah, it is a lot about letting go of certain things. Anyone who feels rejection, prejudice or discrimination in some way would connect to that.

When we spoke in 2012, you were reluctant to gush too much about your gay fan base. At the time you said, “I don’t want to be a cliché pop star saying, ‘I love my gays!’” When does talking about one’s gay fan base become a cliché?  It’s not that it’s a cliché — it’s more that, perhaps, I was cynical about it. I felt that people in pop use that to express themselves in that way for calculated means because they know the gay fan base is extremely loyal and extremely expressive and is a tastemaker demographic. You know what I mean? It’s like, “Oh, god.” It’s insulting to both sides.

I kind of feel the same way now, because, yeah, of course I have a really strong gay fan base, and the fact is that it is a really enjoyable factor for me to have a really strong demographic because it makes the shows a lot more fun, for one, and because they are really expressive. But all types of people should be appreciated. I’m sure the gays would back me up on that!Do you think the appreciation of one’s following can morph into pandering?  On Twitter, I don’t really like it when I see loads of messages from an artist saying [in baby voice] “I love you guys! I love you guys! I love you guys!” because I don’t think there’s any kind of intelligence in that. Also, how can you be genuine and say that so many times? Maybe that’s when it becomes pandering, when you’re dumbing down your fan base.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

WATCH: Marina & the Diamonds at the Granada

Thankfully one of us made it out to Marina & the Diamonds on Wednesday night. Knowing my colleague Chance would be heading out to the Granada to catch the show, I gave him a Flip cam and told him to have at it. Plus, he added his thoughts to the evening — as he does so well.

He did manage to lose the small camera case the Flip was in, so if any of you find that, we’d love to get it from ya. No telling what else fell out of his pants last night.

Chance’s take —

When I committed to going to see Marina and the Stars last night at Granada, I immediately ran to my closet to make sure my teal, skinny cutoffs were clean. Alas they were, but wouldn’t you know there ended up being another ‘mo standing right next to me at the concert in the exact same teal cutoffs. Curses!

I wasn’t über familiar with the band, so I  jumped on their YouTube Channel and spent the afternoon with them playing while I worked. Needless to say, by 5 p.m. I was hooked. By 9 p.m., I was itching for them to take the stage. Marina delivered like Domino’s, as did the Diamonds for that matter. They lived up to all my great expectations that YouTube had set for me. She had a great rapport with the audience and the sizable number of fans seemed to truly appreciate her.

The audience was great too for hipster watching. I was afraid I was going to stick out and that the Greenville Ave. Hipsters Club would be having none of me. My cutoffs and ironic glasses made me blend in just enough to leave the concert unscathed — though I was accosted by several loons at multiple points.  \But I managed to walk away with a new Facebook friend, so I can honestly say that Marina and the Diamonds not only entertained, but also brought people together as well.

—  Rich Lopez

Must see: Marina & the Diamonds, ISHI tonight at Granada Theater

Hump day dance party

We love us some Granada Theater, but even more so when they put a show like tonight’s. Billed as Girl’s Night Out, avant-popster (and cute as a button) Marina and the Diamonds (Marina Diamandis) might be one of the best acts you’ve never heard of. Before you dismiss her as the next pop star wannabe, give her debut CD The Family Jewels a special listen. Her voice isn’t your thin, overproduced product, but instead is rich and deep. Almost husky. Her videos, so far, have been these glorious visual explosions that Miss Britney should take a lesson from. Now let’s see what she can do live.

Local band ISHI is no small deal. The band has been one of Dallas’ biggest draws due to the right combination of an amazing live show and simple but nicely construction dance confections. It only gets better when they turn on the folk switch and deliver an entirely different, scaled back sound as displayed on their debut CD Through The Trees.

Dare we say it — this might even be the best thing you go to all week.

DEETS: Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave. Doors at 7 p.m. $12–$17. GranadaTheater.com

—  Rich Lopez