The free preview of
Diamonds and Junkfood has been removed. However, you may listen once again as Diamonds and Junkfood will be released by The Meaning of Life tomorrow, February 18!In an exclusive interview with PW, Marta, The Meaning of Life's singer and bassist, Marta spills all about their newest work.
PopWrapped: In "Please Don't Go," a line says that you are “blessed with love.” Is this a religious reference?
Marta: It's a cover of KC & the Sunshine's later hit "Please Don't Go." The band might have secular and non secular roots such as gospel. We just liked the song and always perform a cover in our live set to be playful to the audience. We will be playing NIN's "Closer" which may or may not have references in carnality. ;)
PW: "She Never Screams" is much faster and upbeat than some of the other songs. Did someone different write this song? Did you have a different inspiration?
Marta: Agreed, it makes you wanna jump up and down on your bed. We are making a music video for it and the folks starring in it are all dancing and singing karaoke along without direction to do so. The riff is Rolling Stone inspired with Tom Petty drums.
PW: In "River Phoenix," it sounds like you're using a vintage microphone. Do you use one, or do you have any other special recording equipment?
Marta: Great geeky ears you have! That one was recorded entirely live improv lyrics/melody with our instruments. Chris had this riff way back when and we did it in an hour with a dash of reverb during mixing. We really like the way it came out and might approach the next recording this way. Kind of analog Brill building sans me neurotically pro tooling my vocal tracks and getting hacking phlegm.
PW: As your songs are very diverse from one to the next, which is your favorite kind to share with your fans? Which do you prefer to perform live?
Marta: It depends on how late, how drunk and who we are playing with. Upbeat ones are a given but we've reissued some of the slower ones. It's important to be versatile, give people's ears a little break too.
PW: What is your favorite song off of this EP?
Marta: Tie between "She Never Screams" and "River Phoenix" but apples and oranges. I like the pureness of "River" it's like Wicked Game meets Mazzy Star. "She Never Screams" is sunny but the lyrics are mostly inspired by frustration.
AB: Your music isn't like a lot of pop/rock music today, where the vocals tend to overpower the rest of the instruments. Do you mix the sounds like this on purpose?
Marta: We try not to bury the vocals but I guess you are referencing Katy Perry type production? We don't auto tune and we try not overplay or over arrange in recording. I'm a lower range, quieter singer - I guess I got it from trying not to wake up my mom when she slept during the day who was a night nurse?
PW: With echo effects being used on different aspects at different times, do you record together or individually?
Marta: All in the studio courtesy of our engineer - Mitch Rackin (Seaside Lounge). The delay one of my vocals in "I want to do with you..." I call twisting the titty, because the effect manually has to be executed by twisting manual delay knob when mixing.
PW: "Wow Wow Wow," my favorite song off the EP, sounds like a '70s summer beach theme. What did you envision when writing it? What do you envision now when performing it?
Marta: Thanks. We thought of The Ravonettes-meets-girl-group-doo-wop. It's about the tensions and togetherness of the sexes with some sun and pyramids tossed for good measure.
PW: So... what IS the Meaning of Life?
Marta: Humor, love and French fries. Big helpings of each. Be sure to check out The Meaning of Life “when the tundra thaws” on their Midwest tour! “It will be like the Muppets Don't Take Manhattan”! The EP releases on the 17th of February.
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