Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Marianne Digs || Meet the Artist

 When I was little all I really wanted was to be able to play the harmonica. I mean, you can buy them for $2 at discount shop and some people just make them sound amazing. (And I was never encouraged to play the ever-screeching recorder...Sorry Mum.) I never quite mastered the harmonica, but Marianne Digs would put me to shame either way. The Australiana feel, harmonica playing and killer lyrics is a recipe for amazingness (sorry to my English teachers for the made up word). Take a deep breath, it's getting real.

Marianne Digs is a pretty unusual stage name for a group, where'd it come from?
It's actually one of the songs off the upcoming EP. We should probably invent a mythos rich back-story about why we chose to also make it the name of the band, but honestly it just came down to 1) We liked the way it sounded and 2) When we Googled it the only thing that came up was a list of things Marianne Faithfull likes ("Marlon Brando, Woodbine cigarettes, poetry, going to the ballet and wearing long evening dresses"). We thought that was a good sign.

What about the actual group? How did it start?
It was the fusing of two separate groups who used to gig together, blue-rock band The Velvets and The Thrusts. When The Thrusts broke up, songwriters Brendan and Tom (the guy writing all this) wanted to keep writing and playing songs, but they had become more interested in singing catchy love songs than screaming at punters' faces. Though to be fair we still sometimes find an excuse to scream.

I Will Love You Till I Don't Love You Anymore has quite an Australiana-feel to it. Is this the type of music you listen to and are inspired by?

We definitely listen to a lot of Australian music (The Go-Betweens and The Drones are definitely big influences) but honestly I think we sound that way because we're Australians, who don't feel the need to sound like anything else. We speak with Australian accents about Australian places. To do otherwise would seem kind of pointless.

 Do you have a favourite lyric from this song - why is it important to you?
Probably "I know the book it tells us that it's easy to be kind/But it's easier to fail and gets easier every time". I didn't want to write a breakup song of heroes and villains. There are a million songs where the singer has been irrecoverably wronged by their lover and so they leave righteously and gloriously. There's fewer about the day to day struggle of not just loving, but being kind to the person you love. Even when it's all falling apart.

Is it hard to put relationship anxiety into a song?
If I'm honest it's hard not to write about relationship anxiety of one kind or another. I'm an anxious guy. So the writing part's not hard. The releasing part is a little dicey, though. Makes me kind of anxious.

When you're writing a song, where do you start?
There's no one answer. When I started this song I had this opening verse written about a couple running through these suburban streets, then the song veered into this relationship breakdown. So for weeks I kept trying to change the first verse, but for some reason it never worked. It wasn't until I gave up on fixing it that I realised it was actually the perfect opening. This couple in love and on the run.

Which is your favourite part of the writing process?
The part where you finish and dopamine floods your brain because you didn't f*ck it up. Often when I'm writing it feels like there's an unseen countdown clock. You'll be in the middle of fixing the bridge when you realise the song [has] died an irreversible death. You're just left with disjointed, embarrassing couplets that haunt your notebook. So when you realise an idea has survived to become a song, it's pretty gratifying.

How do you personally know when a song is finished?
Me personally? Brendan tells me to stop f*cking with the lyrics.

Is there anything you can share about your upcoming EP?
It'll be out in early July and it's got stuff to dance/drive/cry to. Honestly, we could've chosen any of the five songs to be the lead single. We're crazy proud of it. Like us on Facebook if you want updates on upcoming gigs/film clips/news about the EP. Like us telepathically if you want some good vibes.

What else should we know about Marianne Digs?
We don't really believe in telepathy, but we do love you very much. Also, you can buy I Will Love You Till I Don't Love You Anymore at http://mariannedigs.bandcamp.com/releases for a buck (!) or for slightly more on iTunes.