Marina Gasolina, Marina Vello and Marina Ribatski are all one person. We know that because we looked it up on Wikipedia. Even with a collection of surnames to choose from, none of them will be as familiar as the name Bonde Do Rolê, which is the band Marina fronted up until a few years back. With a solo album out soon, we caught up with Marina to talk about her solo career, Bonde Do Rolê and Baile Funk. Firstly Marina, how are you today? I’m great! Just got back from Brazil, freshened up for a new year. You seem to have many aliases. What is the meaning behind this – is it that each has a different personality? No. Marina Vello and Marina Ribatski are both my surnames (mother’s side and father’s side), I would just use them randomly. Marina Gasolina is my solo artist name, for I’m doing a rockabilly, spaghetti western inspired album, but that doesn’t mean it is done by a different personality. It’s all part of who I actually am. From what we understand here at The 405, your self-titled debut album is soon to be out following the release of your debut single ‘Leone’. Can we expect a similar sort of sound? The album is no longer self-titled, it’s gonna be called Go Commando and yes, the album is gonna follow the ‘Leone’ vibe. ‘Leone’ is kind of the sad track of the album, there’s more upbeat stuff but all rockabilly/surf music/western inspired. Is this album a project trying to go back to your musical roots? Yes. I grew up in Curitiba, Brazil, white trash city, not what you think of when you picture Brazil haha. I used to play in punk bands during my teenagehood and be a big fan of the psychobilly scene from my city. What are your main influences in this solo career? Does your work with Bonde Do Rolê influence it at all? As I mentioned, my main influences for this album are rockabilly and surf music, along with western movies. But it’s not an album trying to sound like it was made 50 years ago, there are loads of synths, electronic beats and 90s influences.
Was it a hard decision to leave Bonde Do Rolê, especially leaving behind the genre of Baile Funk? Baile funk in my life was more a coincidence than anything, I didn’t really come from this scene. Until I was touring with Bonde I’d only been to Rio once. So, leaving was not that hard. It gave me a lot of experience and helped me to open my mind to any type of music, some stuff I that would never of interested me in the first place. I haven’t abandoned baile funk completely, I still make songs with friends for fun. There’s a track called ‘Funk do Iphone’ by Joao Brasil, I sing in it and it was pretty fun doing it. It’s gonna be out before the summer on Man Recordings. Is there a name you’d give to the genre in the new album? No. I have fountains of inspiration, but not a label for it. When you left, did you immediately know you wanted to pursue a solo career or was it something that you developed later on? I thought I was gonna quit music. I was into the idea of going back to uni, get a literature degree, but little by little I understood my path is clear. Making music is what I love and what I wanna do, literature is my hobby, not the other way around. Your label, Amfetamina – is it intended just for releasing your own records, or do you have designs on signing other artists? For now, it serves the purpose of putting my music out there. But yes, I have plans of putting other artists out at some point. But one thing at a time, first my album, then I can start thinking about expanding my label. There’s so many bands I love in Brazil, and I know that people in Europe would love them, but they just don’t have the opportunity to get out here, this is probably the approach my label would take. What have you been listening to yourself recently? I just got back from Brazil and this time I brought all my CDs that were left there, it’s been quite fun to listen to my old days stuff. Loads of Neil Young, Alice in Chains, PJ Harvey (her new album is also amazing, gonna go watch her concert this month). Big in Japan, X, X-Ray Specs, Rita Mitsuoko…Old stuff. I’m very into this HC band called Ceremony, very crude, honest punk music. There’s also It’s a Fine Line and Fatback Band I’ve been into. Finally, what does 2011 have in store for you? My album. Hit the road. Jogging. Quit smoking. It’s gonna be a long year (I hope so!)