Welsh-born pop songstress Marina Diamandis, in her vintage letter jackets and vibrant skirts, would probably look right at home among the pages of a pop art comic book.
While Marina and the Diamonds’ debut album, The Family Jewels, pokes fun at the material world and culture of the Millennial generation, a culture Diamandis admits an infatuation with, the content on her follow-up album still remains hush hush. No release date will be set until she decides it’s fabulous, Diamandis said. Until then, she’s touring stateside on the flippantly named Burger Queen Tour.The Daily Texan had the opportunity to speak to Diamandis on the phone about her current tour, burgers and fashion sensibilities.
The Daily Texan: Why is your tour called the Burger Queen Tour?
Marina Diamandis: I’m obsessed with trash culture! The Family Jewels was about the excess of it — gossip magazines and things that look really good but don’t have any values. I love pop art and Americana. It’s the essential album for that kind of taste.
DT: Do you actually like burgers, though?
MD: I like good burgers. I don’t go to McDonald’s unless I’m really hungover and want some fries. Usually, I stick to gourmet burgers.
DT: Our main music writer, Frankie, likes to ask people what their perfect sandwich is, but since you’re the burger queen, what’s the perfect burger?
MD: The best burger I’ve ever had was at the bar in Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood. It had your regular toppings, like caramelized onions, bacon, cheese, jalapenos and gherkin. I can’t remember what you call gherkin over there. They’re like cucumbers.
MD: Yes, I think so. Gherkin, which is a disgusting word, looks so vile but tastes amazing.
DT: Has anything bizarre happened to you while on tour?
MD: To be honest, my threshold of bizarre is off the rocket. Life just seems like a fluffy blur, and nothing can really weird me out. I’m not freaked out by hard-core fans; I love that stuff. I’ve lived an unusual life. I moved around quite a lot. My dad is very eccentric, and my mom is a free spirit. They were very nonjudgmental, and I’ve seen a lot of different things.
DT: The Family Jewels is like this tongue-in-cheek commentary on American pop culture. What made you want to write about that?
MD: It’s not just about American culture, but a lot comes from that. If you don’t get the tongue-in-cheek stuff, you won’t get the whole album or me as a person. It’s just how human beings cope with tragedy; we turn it into humor. I like picking up all the dark things and making something jovial. You either commit suicide or become a pop star.
DT: Pop music can get a bad rap sometimes. How do you respond to critics who have called your music bubble gum?
MD: I love hearing that! At the moment, I’m so ambitious that I’m half delusional. I want to be massive, and I think I will be. My songs aren’t just “Hey babe, I fancy you,” but I don’t think it’s out of left field to call it bubble gum. I wish my songs got more play on the radio, though, in the U.K., as well. I think pop is incredibly powerful. Really, if it’s catchy, you can get away with anything.
DT: You have a very colorful, graphic sense of fashion. Who or what inspires your style?
MD: I suppose it’s the balancing of masculine and feminine. Humor inspires me. I think with British people in general, the humor is so tapped in our culture. I can wear leather and studs, the heavy aggressive stuff, with a pair of fluffy marabou slippers.
DT: Wait, what kind of slippers?
MD: Those porn star slippers! I just bought like five pairs in Hollywood. It’s bad news.
DT: It’s been more than a year since your debut album was released. What’s in store for the future?
MD: I’m a quick writer, so I already had half of it done by the time The Family Jewelswas released. I’ll probably start talking about the new album later. It’s still a bit too soon. I know my instincts say it’ll be bigger than my first, but I don’t know anything else. I just want it to be really big. Everything else will fall into place.