1) After been a lead singer for the bands Jazzabilly Blues, The Model Millionaires and Mitcho Pelo, how does it feel to be on your own and in charge ?
Marie Fleur : I've always been in control.
2) Are you still in touch with your former band mates since you moved cross-country from Los Angeles to Detroit ?
MF : Oh yes, all wonderfully talented people. I love them all.
3) The new album "Bébé Licorne" is a major step up in your career and a melting pot of new sounds, can you say a few words about it ?
MF : We took some risks I guess but it's a jazz album deep down.
4) Is the song "Bébé Licorne" a preview of what you might do next ?
MF : ha no, it's just a comedy piece but there will certainly be more electronic music. I love the music of a guy named Alfred Darlington aka Daedelus & of course I've always been obsessed with the career/music of Raymond Scott. Also, who doesn't want to be Clara Rockmore?!
5) By the way, were you on drugs when you recorded it? If yes tell us which one, it seems to be pretty effective...
MF : No, no drugs that was just the result of singing for literally 12 hours straight inside of a pyramid. I like to do one song on every album that illustrates how a person feels after being cooped up in a tiny room for hours and hours and working yourself until you're nearly dead. No matter how sane a person is they always have a breaking point where all they can do is laugh maniacally and roll on the floor. Then they get up and continue working as if nothing weird ever happened. I figure if you haven't done this you just aren't working hard enough yet or you're a robot.
6) How did you get in touch with the 30's jazz repertoire ?
MF : Like I get in touch with any era; I close my eyes and time travel baby.
7) Would you say that your music is somewhat nostalgic ?
MF : Of course, but we're also concerned about the future.
8) Your albums always have great cover art. Do you take special care of the visual side of things ? Is that important to you ? Is it like creating a little universe ?
MF : I hear much better than I see but yes visuals are important. The picture must convey the spirit of the piece. It must take a person to a destination. Is it a little universe? I don't know. Is your top desk drawer a small universe?
9) Your hometown of Detroit is a place of major importance in the US music history. Have you been influenced by any Detroit artists ? Do you think that Detroit's influence in nowadays music is still vivid ?
MF : My dad is from Detroit. I am not. I'm a hayseed climbing fruit trees in the middle of nowhere. The only city I really know is Los Angeles but Detroit must have influenced me. I grew up with the Detroit TV stations, Bill Bonds and listening to all my dad's old Motown records. I also heard a lot of old recordings from bands like MC5 & Amboy Dukes. Yes, I think Detroit's influence is absolutely still relevant. Jack White is out there making some golden stuff with Wanda Jackson & others. Eminem evokes a current identity of the city. I don't know anything about Kid Rock's music but my mother taught school with his aunts and they say, "he's a good boy." It's funny about Detroit. Right now in early 2011 I feel like we're on the precipice of a huge Detroit revival. The city is about to boom again because you can't get much cooler than hitting rock bottom.
10) Who are your favorites singers ?
MF : My mom, Eartha Kitt, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Edith Piaf, Lena Horne, Josephine Baker, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Margaret Whiting, Nan Wynn, Patsy Cline, Jane Green, Frank Sinatra, Mildred Bailey, Marilyn Monroe, Bing Crosby, Ruth Brown, Wanda Jackson, Al Bowlly, Annette Hanshaw, Sarah Vaughan, Dolly Parton, Maria Callas, Charles Trenet... there are too many to list!
11) How did you pick up your stage name Marie Fleur ?
MF : It's my real name.
12) Do you like being on stage ? Do you miss it (now that you're "bandless")? When was your last show ?
MF : I love being on stage & of course I miss it. I think my last show was at The Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood sometime before last June. I'll get out there again but I'll have to work up to it. As much as I adore the stage I'm kind of a recluse.
13) How do you choose which song to cover ?
MF : The songs choose me. I'm haunted by them.
14) You often write alternate lyrics, why ?
MF : They used to do that a lot in the past so I just kept it going. I don't think of it as "changing" the lyrics. I just add another chapter to the story.
15) Would you like to write songs ? Do you play an instrument ?
MF : I do love to write songs but I become obsessed with other people's songs. I'm very shy about my own but there's a couple on my first album. They're so personal. I write tons of poetry and letters too. When I was a kid I always played the flute and now I like to play around on this digital auto-harp called the QChord. I wish I could play guitar but my hands are too tiny & I'm certainly not cool enough to play ukulele like Ian Whitcomb or Janet Klein.
16) Is celebrity somewhat scary ?
MF : *laughs* I'm not a celebrity and I hope to stay that way! If I ever became famous I'd certainly change my face, take on a new identity and disappear forever.