Writer - Annemarie Failla
While most teenage girls have their minds set on school, boyfriends and the latest juicy news, Norwegian pop sensations M2M have their sights set on world music domination. Marit Larsen and Marion Raven are the adorable duo that is M2M - two incredibly young and talented songwriters and performers of today. Recently in Australia to promote their debut album 'Shades of Purple', Girl.com.au had a chat with sixteen year old band member Marion. Girl: How did you girls get started in the music industry?
Marion: We met when we were five years old and we became good friends. We both liked music a lot and would audition for professional musicals and we would get the part every time. These musicals led us to other musical work, like doing session work in studios. When we were eight, we formed a band and toured kindergartens and schools. One of the teachers present, who saw our performances, came up with an idea to record an album for children. We were eleven and twelve at this time. When we were thirteen and fourteen we had the idea to make an album that was more adult as we were now listening to a lot of pop and rock music. We started writing our own songs because we didn't feel comfortable singing a song that was written by an older person, as we couldn't relate to these songs. We got a record deal in June '98 and then started working on our album 'Shades of Purple'.Girl: Do you still attend school?
Marion: I have a teacher who travels with me when I'm on the road and I get set homework tasks and exams by my school back in Norway. The positive thing about having a private teacher is that you have that teacher all to yourself. What my classmates back home learn in one day, I learn in two hours. The negative aspect of it is that sometimes I find it hard to make the time to do my schooling because I work a lot with M2M. But I want to do well at school so I have something to fall back on if my music career doesn't work out.Girl: What is the meaning behind your current single 'Mirror Mirror'?
Marion: The song is about a girl who has had a fight with her boyfriend and now she is regretting what she said to him. She is thinking, 'I should have listened to that voice inside of me' and she is looking into the mirror and saying 'you don't have to tell me who is the biggest fool of all'. So the song is really about having regrets.Girl: Who thought of the concept for your 'Mirror Mirror' music video?
Marion: Marit and I got the idea from one of my favourite movies called 'Now and Then', which is about four girls who hang out in an attic. We told the director of the music video about our idea and he liked it. The attic represents memories and we had the rain effect to make the video have a sad mood.Girl: Being in the world spotlight now, how are you handling the fame? Has it affected you in any way?
Marion: I don't feel like I'm famous, but I see that a lot of people know who we are. I do this because I love music and not because of the fame.Girl: Do your parents accompany you on your world travels?
Marion: Yes I always have a parent with me, at the moment it is my dad, but sometimes it's my mother or brother.Girl: Obviously they fully support your music career?
Marion: Yes they are really happy that I am following my dream because I have always been interested in music. Girl: Out of all the countries you have visited, what has been your favourite?
Marion: Norway will always be my favourite but I don't think it is very fair to pick a favourite country as we don't really get to see that much of each country. Maybe when I get to see more, I will then be able to comment.Girl: Who have been your musical influences?
Marion: My dad has always played records by The Beatles and Cat Stevens inspires me because he wrote really good songs. And right now my favourite bands are Hanson and Oasis.Girl: Is your debut single 'Don't Say You Love Me' based on a particular experience?
Marion: Yes it is actually. We wrote the song over a year ago, when a lot of our girlfriends were complaining that guys our age say 'I love you' when they don't really mean it. These guys think that if they say 'I love you' they can rush girls into going to bed with them and then just dump them, because they didn't really mean it in the first place. The song is saying that you shouldn't do something that you don't want to.Girl: Your current debut album is titled 'Shades of Purple'. Is this title significant in any way?
Marion: Well both of us really like the colour purple, and we designed the album cover ourselves. By doing this, we really wanted to show people that this album is really personal and a reflection of ourselves; like you are looking through our eyes - our purple shades, and the title sounds nice too!Girl: Now you worked with an impressive line-up of producers on your album, what was that experience like?
Marion: It was amazing to work with those people, it was like the best music school ever. We got to work with great songwriters and I learnt so much from them.Girl: How much creative control do you have over the direction of your music career?
Marion: We have a lot of control because when we were making the album, we were always involved in each decision because it is important to us, to remain ourselves. In terms of our image, we don't really have one. Our image is just to be ourselves and we are really satisfied with the album, as there is nothing on it that we will regret later in life.Girl: Is it important to you to be recognised not only for your singing talents, but also for your playing and song writing abilities?
Marion: Of course it is, as a lot of people come up to us and say that they can really identify with our lyrics, and that is really great to know, because I just write about things that I care about.Girl: What do you girls like to do when you're having time-out from M2M?
Marion: When I'm home I like being with my friends and just being in my room. It's kind of weird when you travel, because you miss the little things you had before and may have taken for granted. I also like going to the cinema, and shopping of course! As well as being on the internet which is where I chat to my friends and family back home.Girl: What would you like your fans to gain from your music?
Marion: Well I hope they like it and can get something out of it by identifying with our music. It would be really cool if they could respect us for our music and remember it and not dismiss us as just another band.GIRL'S 60 SECOND QUIZ
Fave Food: Italian food and peking duck
Fave Film: The Sixth Sense
Fave Band: Hanson
Describe yourself in 3 words: Nice, Energetic, and Wise
Best Feature: I'm a very open and friendly person
Worst Feature: I can hold grudges for a long time
Person you would most like to meet: Celine Dion
Hobbies/Interests: Music, being with friends and having fun
A talent you wish you had: I wish I could play the guitar and drums
The best advice given to you: To be myself and accept who you are
** For further info visit http://www.m2mmusic.com **
- Annemarie Failla