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Interview:
Change is refreshing for Marina and the Diamonds
 

By GARY GRAFF
for Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

What's the difference between touring with Coldplay and touring with Katy Perry?

"Oh my gosh -- a few less gingerbread men, I suppose," says Marina Diamandis, whose group, Marina and the Diamonds, is on the road with Coldplay this year after playing dates on Perry's California Dreams tour in 2011.

"It's funny, because they're obviously on opposite ends of the spectrum. But I think that fits me well; I'm in the middle of both of them, sound-wise and fan-wise as well. It's been pretty good."

Diamandis, meanwhile, has done her own bit of spectrum straddling over the course of her two albums.

Her second album, "Electra Heart" -- the follow-up to 2010's "The Family Jewels" -- debut atop the charts in her native U.K. and also marks a stylistic sea change for the singer. Assisted by the hit-making likes of Dr. Luke, Rick Nowels, Greg Kurstin and others, it's more pop and electronic flavored than its predecessor and also introduced Diamandis, 26, to a new creative process.

"On the first album I was very determined that I didn't want to accept ideas from other people," she explains. "I bought into the idea of credibility by writing completely on my own...but I think that's kind of cutting yourself a bit slim if you don't want to pen your eyes to how other people work.

"Once I got over that, I was like, 'OK, now I'm actually going to work with people people who almost care me,' which were people like Dr. Luke, 'cause they're so successful. That really freed me up from a lot of anxiety, and it was a big surprise for me. I just thought nothing good could come of it, and I wound up with some of the best songs I've ever written."

There are, of course, those who feel differently. "I've become kind of the Antichrist of alternative music in the U.K., 'cause I changed," Diamandis says with a laugh. "Of course, they basically (hated) my first album, anyway, and now they're like, 'Why couldn't you have done your first album again?!' Some people you can't win with.

"But obviously the fans get it -- otherwise it wouldn't have the success it's having. And now I feel liberated. I feel like I can go into any genre I want and people won't expect a certain something from me. That's a nice feeling as a songwriter."

Marina and the Diamonds perform with Coldplay and Emeli Sande at 7 p.m. Wenesday, Aug. 1, at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Tickets are $49.50-$99.50. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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