Oyster Premiere: Fatal Jamz' Glam Rock Odyssey 'Sex Angel'
Jam to this.
LA-based singer songwriter Marion Belle of glam rock outfit Fatal Jamz has just put out a new video that's more like a mini-art work than a film clip. Shot on an iPhone 6, the lo-fi video shows Marion performing to empty rooms in Hollywood and rescuing a mysterious blonde from the mean streets.
Co-created with artist Rahel Ali, the song made such an impression on us that we hit up Marion to talk sexuality and his upcoming album.
Justin Moran: Describe the world as you see it.
Marion Belle: When I was 13, I worked as a CIT at summer camp. There were swimming pools there, and one day I got stranded and needed a ride. There was a girl who was a senior and a counsellor, she was probably 17. She was blonde and mature, a little dark and tough. She took me home in her Volkswagen. Her hair was wet and I could see her nipples in her white t-shirt. She smoked and drove with the windows open. We maybe talked a little. I remember her open pack of Parliaments. The music was loud and it was crucial to her. The song was, 'Jane Says' [by Jane's Addiction].
How important is sexuality in your work?
It's not my main focus, everything's in the service of creating an experience of ecstasy through music. I'm in touch with my body and the world around me just seems very prudish, and I got into rock 'n' roll to not have to hide those parts of me. Marilyn Monroe said if she was going to be a symbol of something it might as well be sex; I can relate to that.
Talk about the 'Sex Angel' opening monologue.
The character can't shrug off the film 'Sex Angel' that he's just walked out of because he knows it will lead him somewhere he needs to go. In LA, the movie palaces and streets outside are on a continuum. What you just see and your own reality are immediately merged, just as your life is merged with the ghosts of your idols, some of my idols like Edie Sedgwick and Klaus Kinski are invoked in this video.
How does 'Sex Angel' fit into the forthcoming LP, Gigolo?
Gigolo is going to be the first part of what I call my LA trilogy — I wasn't born here, but I've been here a long time and it's where I found my voice. Each chapter will deal with my experience as a lead singer. The record has had a lot of starts and stops. I went to London and Rome and when I came back I knew I wanted to work with Nicholas Allen Johns to finish the vision of a record where the song 'Rookie' leaves off, and to make something that felt as good as that song, from start to finish. Every musician who played on the first Fatal Jamz record is all over this one, plus Don Bolles on guitar for two of my favourite tracks. The album ends with a song called 'Touch the Flame' which may be the best thing I've ever done.
What is your dream performance environment?
Making hot love to groupies from coast to coast, playing hard with my absolute favourite musicians and friends, and giving the people and the art everything I have.
Photo: Abigail Briley Bean