MARION RAVEN Goes Rock; Works With MOTLEY CRUE’s Nikki Sixx
July 19, 2005, 15 years ago
TheStarOnline (www.star-ecentral.com) has issued the following report:
She used to trade in breezy teen pop. Now she’s all grown up and angry. Zack Yusof spoke to MARION RAVEN about her grunge-influenced debut solo album Here I Am and working with MOTLEY CRUE’s Nikki Sixx.
Holed up at a luxurious hotel spa in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, Marion Raven is sitting in a lotus position on a huge, king-size mattress pouring out cups of hot green tea and looking totally contented with life, a far cry from the angry young person who raged against the world on her debut solo album Here I Am.
Marion Raven, formerly of pop duo M2M, has just released her debut solo album, Here I Am. Born in small Norwegian town called Lørenskog, the 21-year-old singer-songwriter first sprang to prominence as one half of cutesy pop duo M2M, the band that she formed with her school chum Marit Larsen. After chalking up several radio-friendly hits and recording two albums, Raven and Larsen parted company to pursue solo careers.
While Larsen decided to explore a more country rock direction, Raven took a different musical route by moving to New York and immersing herself in the heady world of alternative rock. Here I Am – the culmination of two-and-half-years of hard work – roars out of the speakers with the kind of lyrical angst that would not sound out of place on any NIRVANA wannabe album from the mid-1990s.
The 14-track album features collaborations with EVERCLEAR’s Art Alexakis, bassist Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue and female singer/songwriter CHANTAL KREVIAZUK.
At its best – the anthemic lead single ‘End Of Me’ and the growling bass heavy rock of ‘Heads Will Roll’, which was co-written with Sixx – Raven’s polished sounding debut recalls grunge and classic psychedelic rock fused with infectious pop melodies.“The music that I make is always about me, the things that I experience,” explained Raven, who was in Kuala Lumpur recently on a whistle stop promotional tour.
“And also, I love rock music. I’ve been listening to a lot of it lately and that’s why I think the album ended up like that. Lately I discovered Nirvana, which changed my thinking a lot, as well as stuff like LED ZEPPELIN and THE DOORS. I’ve also got into JANIS JOPLIN recently.”
Lyrically, a lot of the songs concern broken relationships, infidelity and the loss of innocence and reads like highly personal diary entries that were written straight from the heart. “It’s an angry record,” admitted Raven. “It’s a little bitter and a little sad as well. I got my heart broken really badly and because I always write about things that I experience, the record just kind of ended up that way.“It’s a personal record. Sometimes, I think that it’s too personal. When I get sad or angry, that’s when the lyrics really come out. I would write songs when I’m happy too but I just haven’t been happy lately.”
Writing songs with the likes of Motley Crue badboy Nikki Sixx was a truly unforgettable experience for Raven. “It was amazing, “ she enthused. “He’s a very talented man and he has had a lot of experience. I didn’t know anything about Motley Crue so I got that best-selling book about the band (the infamous warts-and-all biography The Dirt) and it really freaked me out. I wrote an e-mail to Nikki and told him that I think I should stop reading the book. He wrote me an e-mail back and he said, ‘Keep on reading.’”
Given the angst-ridden nature of her debut solo album, does she ever pine for a return to playing the carefree pop of M2M?
“Not at all. Being solo is very inspiring but then again, it has always been like that,” she said. Marion Raven’s Here I Am is now available through Warner Music.