Marissa Nadler - Aviva - Berlin Online Magazin und Informationsportal für Frauen Interviews im April 2024 - Beitrag vom 22.02.2009

Marissa Nadler
Tatjana Zilg

The American songwriter has just released her wonderful deep emotional fourth album "Little Hells". AVIVA talked with her about her musical influences, her great creativity and working attitudes.

AVIVA-Berlin: How would you describe your music? It has got a very spooky intention to my ears.
Marissa Nadler: It comes from the heart lyrically, it´s quite honest, sincere and pure to me. Sonically, spooky is right on the money.
Let´s say I have a David Lynch obsession. My life-long goal is to marry

AVIVA-Berlin: As I was listening to your upcoming CD "Little Hells", the music spontaneously reminded me of Jolie Holland, Anna Ternheim and Scout Niblett. Do you feel close to these songwriters and how do you like their music?
Marissa Nadler: I am unfamiliar with the latter two. I do like Jolie Holland. I would say closer contemporary peers would be Handsome Family, Jesse Sykes, Beach House, Alela Diane, Mariee Sioux, Josephine Foster, St. Mary´s, Amanda Palmer, Gillian Welch, Lucinda Williams, Joanna Newsom. I love me some lady singers!

AVIVA-Berlin: Where do you see your influences coming from?
Marissa Nadler: Early 4AD stuff, The Smiths, The Cure, Joy Division, Throwing Muses, Belly, Mazzy Star, Kate Bush, Joni Mitchell, Kristen Hersh, Bob Dylan, Nina Simone, Bessie Smith, Leadbelly, Nirvana, Hole, Neil Young, Sammi Smith, Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette, Hole, Babes in Toyland. Guns and Roses!!!!!!!!!!!

AVIVA-Berlin: Which bands and songwriters do you listen to in private?
Marissa Nadler: Crunkified slow jams. No. Um. Heavy Metal and Shoegaze. No. Um.? Kate Bush – Hounds of Love, Joni all the time – she´s my medicine.

AVIVA-Berlin: Do you retreat to a separate space for songwriting or do you get your ideas during your everyday life?
Marissa Nadler: I never leave the house.

AVIVA-Berlin: Where do you get your inspiration from?
Marissa Nadler: My inspiration is right on the surface. Broken hearts and death. Colour and life. Nature. Sex. Longing. Loneliness. All the things that everybody feels.

AVIVA-Berlin: Is there a song on "Little Hells" which is especially close to your heart? Do you have any personal favourites among your songs?
Marissa Nadler: On Little Hells, they are all extremely close to my heart. But, I really like "Mary Come Alive" for its risk taking. I like "The Whole is Wide" for its delicacy and simplicity. Of my older body of work, "Box of Cedar", "Mr. John Lee", "My Little Lark", "Diamond Heart", "Sylvia", "Dying Breed", "Fifty Five Falls" I would consider my stronger songs.

AVIVA-Berlin: "Little Hells" sounds quite expressive as an album title, not everyone might like the religious touch. Why did you choose that title?
Marissa Nadler: I didn´t even think about the religious thing. I don´t think about religion, it´s a geological phenomenon that causes boiling geysers of water to create devastating earthquakes. Like songs, bursting from the seams of my red lips.

AVIVA-Berlin: Your music creates a cinematic sphere, your videos are like little arthouse movies. Do you feel yourself close to filmmaking when you´re creating your music? What signifies a good song and a good movie for you?
Marissa Nadler: My favorite directors are Terrence Malleck, David Lynch, Tim Burton, Jan Svankmajer, Brothers Quay, Woody Allen. I hope these songs get put in movies. They would fit well. I do agree with you that they sound cinematic.
A good song? Um – catchy melody for me, or honest lyrics, or a hot beat?
Movie – one that makes me cry or laugh, or feel intensity.

AVIVA-Berlin: Your songwriting is very emotional. Is it sometimes difficult to go so deep in yourself during songwriting? Was it possible for you to take a break from the deep emotions or were they around you all the time whilst you were working on your recent album?
Marissa Nadler: I was very depressed. I holed up in my little house. A mouse in the house.
The emotions never leave me. They never left.

AVIVA-Berlin: When did you start learning the guitar? What do you like about that instrument most? Which are the special advantages playing the 12-string guitar?
Marissa Nadler: Age 14. I wish I were a pianist. But, I like guitar because I know how to play it. I like 12-string because it sounds so full and pretty, especially in open tunings.

AVIVA-Berlin: How did you persuade your guest musicians to take part in the studio work? There are all very active in their own bands and quite famous as well, like Simone Pace from Blonde Redhead.
Marissa Nadler: Myles is one of my best friends. (Black Hole Infinity) Simone is a friend of Chris´ and liked the demos and said they reminded him of Mazzy Star and that he always wanted to do a project that was “pretty”. Famer Dave got connected because he is one of the best lap steel players around.

AVIVA-Berlin: Where did you meet Chris Coady and what do you like on working with him most?
Marissa Nadler: Chris was recommended to me. I liked the bands he had worked with. I wanted to try something completely different. He was totally amazing and lovely and supporting of everything. Only bad thing – completely nocturnal. We stayed up and recorded the entire record in the middle of the night each night.

AVIVA-Berlin: Which musicians will support you on your European tour?
Marissa Nadler: I am not sure yet.

AVIVA-Berlin: You´re studying Fine Arts. How did you find your way to song writing? Is there a project you´re dreaming of?
Marissa Nadler: I want to be a renaissance woman. Songwriting is pure.

AVIVA-Berlin: Your name sounds German. Do you have a German origin?
Marissa Nadler: Not at all. The last names from immigrants to the US were often changed when they came over on Ellis Island. I am of Eastern European descent.

AVIVA-Berlin: How is the music scene in Boston nowadays? Is it quite big or rather familiar? Are there a lot of good clubs?
Marissa Nadler: I really wouldn´t know. I am always either holed up in my lonely cave or um……on tour…..sitting in a hotel room.

AVIVA-Berlin: How has your visit to Berlin been?
Marissa Nadler: It was awesome. But it was great.

More about Marissa Nadler: und auf Myspace


Beitrag vom 22.02.2009