Singer’s infatuation with pop culture inspires work

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Music Monday

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.

DT: Pickles?

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.