PopMatters: Thank God for the internet. Now a tricky question: a lot of people were surprised when you opened for Katy Perry last year. Naturally, it makes good sense for exposure, but many would argue she’s a strong example of what’s “wrong” with the music industry today: an almost cartoonishly-attractive woman with a voice that wouldn’t get her past the first audition rounds on American Idol who is about to dethrone Michael Jackson for most number one singles because of a slick writing and production team—including Dr. Luke, who produced your single “Primadonna”—and the gift of auto-tune. Your records both pretty blatantly critique this very thing. How do you reconcile the content of your music with the choice to go on that tour?
Marina: It’s quite a controversial question and maybe the answer I’m about to give is as well, because it really was quite hard for me to make the decision.
I had been kind of rallying against that [very thing], and I had to ask myself why I was doing the tour. [Katy] asking me to support the tour really made me question a huge amount of things I had been thinking about music. I was one of those people really who was like ‘oh this kind of music is not good, it doesn’t have weight or credibility.’ But I don’t think that’s something she’s ever claimed to have.
And I think people who love her know that she is a real artist, maybe just not in the way you or I think of it. And also, let’s not forget, she’s only on her second album. You don’t know, in ten years what kind of music she’ll be making.
So I kind of weighed it up and thought, well, the thing that’s stopping me from going is that I feel slightly hypocritical. And then the thing that makes me want to go is that I think I should go, and kind of challenge my own previous beliefs. So I did go. And it did change a lot of things for me. Not necessarily her and her show, but just the whole experience of it. And yeah, I think she’s fabulous. I think she’s fucking excellent at what she does. I don’t think career wise we’re on the same trajectory at all, though.