MUSIC | Six questions for Marina and the Diamonds


Diamonds are a girl’s best friend—especially if by “diamonds,” you mean “devoted fans.” And that is indeed what you mean if you’re singer-songwriter Marina Diamandis, who records and performs dance-pop under the moniker Marina and the Diamonds. She calls her fans “diamonds” as an affectionate nickname, akin to Lady Gaga and her “little monsters.”

Diamandis is not widely known in the U.S., but in her native U.K., her 2010 debut The Family Jewels hit number five on the album charts. Marina and the Diamonds are bringing their—that is, her—smart dance-rock to the Triple Rock Social Club on September 10. Via e-mail, Diamandis discussed her influences, her fans, and her favorite tweeter.

You’ve emphasized, and listeners have commented on, the uniqueness of your sound. Which artists, if any, do you consider your peers in terms of what you’re trying to accomplish musically—and how you’re trying to accomplish it?
I think artists like Fiona Apple, PJ Harvey, Kate Bush—though I am loathe to say the latter because of the constant comparisons. They all never compromised musically.

21st-century technology, from GarageBand to MySpace, allowed you to produce music and find an audience independently before signing to a label. You’ve also spoken admiringly of outsider artists like Daniel Johnston, who didn’t have those resources available. How do you think technology is changing the game for musical artists outside the mainstream?
Giving them power and freedom, if their sound doesn’t necessarily adhere to the aesthetics of radio and mainstream media. If your music’s good, you will be found, I promise. Very few slip through the net. People are so hungry for good, genuine music, and love finding it.

You’re still making a name for yourself in the U.S. How are you approaching this tour, your first tour of the U.S. with a proper album in hand? Have American audiences been reacting to you differently than U.K. audiences?
I’m ready, bringing everything I have in my heart, giving my all, and laying the rest in the kind hands of fate. American audiencs are so much more free. Very vocal and physical and open and honest. I love them. Love them, love them, love them.

This is your first show in Minnesota. Do you have any knowledge of, or expectations for, the Twin Cities music scene?
I won’t lie: I have no knowledge. No expectations. Just want to meet the diamonds.

Who are your favorite people to follow on Twitter?
Dev Hynes, a.k.a. Lightspeed Champion!

In order of musical awesomeness, please rank these decades from most awesome to least awesome: the 1970s, the 1980s, the 1990s, the 2000s.
1980s, 1970s, 1990s, 2000s.