*Update: Hey Nimrods! Check out this interview with folk-pop vocalist Marie Miller. Enjoy!*
Nimrod Street: I sense a real country feel for “Boardwalk” and a high energy electro-pop sound for “This Side of Paradise”, so can you tell us what genres and artists influenced your sound for either this album or in general?
Marie Miller: I grew up listening to a wide range of music, from bluegrass to classic rock to musical theatre and everything in-between. I describe my sound as pop/folk which I think is the best description of it.
NS: What was it about bluegrass music that made you gravitate towards it?
MM: I love the energy and tradition that comes out of bluegrass music. Growing up in the Shenandoah Valley, bluegrass music has always reminded me of home.
NS: Do you have any pre-songwriting processes you do before you pen a song or album? I
MM: Don’t. Most of my songs are written on my parents porch or music room and generally in the evening. I’m not a great co-writer, but I am excited about my co-writes on this album. I was able to write with some amazing writers that really pushed me as a songwriter.
NS: Since you like classic literature, have you considered writing a book as another artistic outlet?
MM: I often think about that. Currently I have a blog called Surprised By Beauty which has been a great artistic outlets for me and forced me to continue writing. Hopefully one day I’ll write a book!
NS: What modern writers as well as recording artists are you into at the moment?
MM: I am currently obsessed with Sara Barielles and the musical Waitress. I am honestly not too up to date on modern writers besides the big ones like J.K Rowling and Suzanne Collins. The Hunger Games has been an amazing book/movie series for me. I basically think I am Katniss now.
NS: How did you score the chance to perform for the Pope?
MM: It was crazy! The promoter for the event heard my song on SiriusXm and just called me up and asked if I wanted to perform for the Pope and 750,000 people. It was one of the most exciting nights of my life, and I will never forget it.
NS: You wrote your first song at 12 years old about something you read in Lord of the Rings - one of my favorite books - but have you considered including it in a future album?
MM: That song morphed into a song called “The Road” which I did include in my first EP. I try to incorporate as much Lord of the Rings as I can in my music. In my new album my song “Story” has a line, “There’s a ring to be destroyed.” I am kind of obsessed.
NS: What are the top 5 essentials you need to have with you on tour?
MM: 1. Coffee, 2. A book/audio book 3. Wine 4. A sharpie for set lists and email sign ups. 5. Hopefully a friend or sibling to keep me company.
NS: You’ve had a rich musically fulfilled life, but if you could go back in time, what would you have done differently?
MM: I probably would have focused more on my music and less on goofing off with my friends. I wasted a lot of time as a teenager, but now I am extremely focused. Then again, those experiences led me to write music, so maybe I wouldn’t change anything except some of my fashion choices.
NS: What’s next for Marie Miller, the pop star extraordinaire?
MM: I am super excited for the album to come out and to starting performing the new music live. I have two release shows coming up April 27th and 28th in Washington DC and then my hometown. I am really looking forward to that
Here's a vid of Marie singing "This Side of Paradise"!