Marina and the Diamonds spend the summer with Coldplay
For Marina Diamandis, who fronts Marina and the Diamonds, it doesn't get any better than touring with Coldplay.
"It's a pretty luxurious life with Coldplay," Diamandis whispered into the phone. "You get fed really well. Get beautiful dressing rooms. It's pretty luxy. It's like a little holiday for me, really."
The Welsh-born beauty is currently touring the U.S. with Chris Martin and Co. to support her new album "Electra Heart." Even though she cringes at the term, she agreed that the collection is a "concept album."
"I wanted to kind of personify heartbreak," Diamandis said. "The topic of love is fascinating to me. It's kind of what music and art are built on -- at least in pop music. I've never written about love in such an explicit way before. In a word, it's about a fictional character called Electra Heart, which I used as a vehicle to write songs about my tragic, disappointing love life."
Diamandis explained that it was easier to write songs using a character as a cover.
"It's almost like you can say absolutely anything, like the meanest, truthful stuff and not really take the blame for it," she said. "The crappy part is when people think it's disingenuous because you put a character in it. It's a strange thing of having a character or playing with the idea of a character for your album."
A pop and electronic album, "Electra Heart" shows a new direction for Diamandis, who previously dabbled in indie pop and New Wave. She said that came about during the songwriting process, which started a month after the release of her debut, 2010's "The Family Jewels."
"I was quite disciplined in that, on tour, I started writing a month after the first album," she said. "I wrote throughout the year of touring and I would take my shitty plastic keyboard every day and I would write. In that way, it was disciplined.
"If I didn't write, I would actually go mental. That's the only way my brain is stabilized. Some people really hate it. They feel they don't have the energy to do it. I guess we're all different. I guess it's lucky for me as well because there's only one of me. I write whenever I like to."
Although touring with Coldplay, Marina and the Diamonds have their own shows scheduled after that run. Diamandis is proud of her headlining shows, for which she shopped at flea markets and thrift stores for props.
"I have to say my own shows are more fabulous because I've got my own stage," she said. "The whole concept of the stage design is based on dirty honeymoon suites. It's the Electra Heart Motel. It's a very John Waters-like kitsch, campy theatrical show. Lots of pink and purple lighting. I have a nice wedding veil that I walk in on for the 'Homewrecker' song.
"Coldplay is kind of more toned down because I can't put all that on stage -- but I try my best, you know," she said in a hushed tone.
23, 24 - Toronto, Ontario - Air Canada Centre (with Coldplay)
26, 27 - Montreal, Quebec - Bell Centre (with Coldplay)
29, 30 - Boston, MA - TD Garden (with Coldplay)
1 - Auburn Hills, MI - The Palace of Auburn Hills (with Coldplay)
3, 4 - East Rutherford, NJ - IZOD Center (with Coldplay)
7, 8 - Chicago, IL - United Center (with Coldplay)
10, 11 - St. Paul, MN - Xcel Energy Center (with Coldplay)
14 - Washington, D.C. - 9:30 Club
16, 18 - New York City, NY - Webster Hall
17 - Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of the Living Arts
28 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Parken National Stadium Denmark (with Coldplay)
30 - Stockholm, Sweden - Olympic Stadium (with Coldplay)
2 - Paris, France - Stade de France (with Coldplay)
4 - Cologne, Germany - Rhein Energie Stadion (with Coldplay)
6 - The Hague, Netherlands - Malieveld (with Coldplay)
12 - Munich, Germany - Olympiastadion (with Coldplay)
14 - Leipzig, Germany - Red Bull Arena (with Coldplay)
16 - Prague, Czech Republic - Slavia Stadium (with Coldplay)
19 - Warsaw, Poland - Stadion Narodowy (with Coldplay)
22 - Hannover, Germany - AWD - Arena (with Coldplay)
30 - Leeds, England - Metropolitan University
2 - Dundee, England - Fat Sam's Nightclub
4 - Liverpool, England - O2 Academy Liverpool
5 - Preston, England - 53 Degrees
6 - Manchester, England - Manchester Academy
8 - Leicester, England - O2 Academy
9 - Wolverhampton, England - Wulfrun Hall
11 - London, England - HMV Forum
14 - Lincoln, England - Engine Shed
15 - Oxford, England - O2 Academy Oxford
17 - Dublin, Ireland - Olympia Theatre