Interview: Tina Parol
Mon, 02 Nov 2009 09:25:06
Tina Parol Videos
"Oh my God! Buzz Lightyear just walked by. That is so cool," laughs Tina Parol.
Tina's standing near the Santa Monica pier, watching "a little parade of tiny pre-schoolers dressed in Halloween costumes" walk by. What the sprouts don't know is that they're in the presence of pop's next iconic "bad girl." It's time for P!nk to move over, because Tina is about to redefine "attitude" for girls everywhere.
On her debut EP Bite My Tongue, Tina delivers punchy pop music that's undeniable, dangerous and real. First single "Who's Got Your Money?" melds bouncy and bright melodies with razor sharp lyrics and a decidedly cool sex appeal. However, Bite My Tongue is only a prelude to Tina's 2010 debut, Shrinking Violet, which will no doubt cement her in the collective consciousness.
In this exclusive interview, Tina sat down with with ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino to discuss Bite My Tongue, the warning sign on her nails, maintaining creative control and why she's a Steel Magnolia for life!
What's your Halloween costume this year?
I love Halloween more than anything; I'm a huge obsessive Halloween fan. I'm going to be an egg and my boyfriend is going to be bacon. I'm going to be like a slutty egg though [Laughs].
Would I be "far off" calling your music "badass pop?"
[Laughs] No, you're not far off! I've always been a tough chick. I was a tomboy growing up, and I happen to exude that. As much as I like to be girlie, I can still kick your ass if I need to [Laughs].
So you don't fuck around?
No, I don't fuck around. For example, my nails are painted and my middle fingers are always a different color.
Just so people know not to fuck with you, right?
Exactly, it's like a warning sign.
What's the warning color today?
The warning color is hot fuchsia pink, and all of my other nails are a blue-green teal that way the pink really stands out.
How do you imbue the music with that edge?
On top of the fact that my voice is super loud and I can scream over any screeching guitar, I don't like to hold back lyrically. If I'm pissed off, I make it known. Especially in the newer stuff I'm doing now, I'm not holding back in any aspect. When I recorded the EP, I was 19. Now being 21, a lot has changed. I've grown up a lot. I live on my own—no longer with my parents. I'm more comfortable with myself and my sexuality and every facet of sex. I'm getting even more vocal about it.
Have you been able to embrace that edge more as you've grown up?
Yeah, totally! I've been able to grow into it more and get even more comfortable with it.
Is "Who's Got Your Money?" a good example of that?
I think it's a good example of that when I was 19 or 20, but I've evolved since then. I'm always growing, and I think it's definitely a great example, but the new stuff will take on an even different life. We'll probably record ten total and then pick and choose what we want to put on the album. Bite My Tongue is a good introduction. A song like "Crazy" is where I'm venturing off to lyrically. I wrote that in four minutes. I was so pissed that the song wrote itself. I've been writing in a stream-of-consciousness manner—not holding back or not thinking too much. I'm not chasing what's necessarily on the radio because I want to sound like someone else. I'm doing my own thing. If I like it and I think it's hot, then it's going to work. It has to be me or else I'm going to be miserable promoting it. I learned that quickly. If I ever gave advice to an artist, I'd say, "Make sure you're happy with your art first because we live and breathe this stuff." Our careers are 24 hours per day. It's never-ending, and it never will be. I like that. You have to be proud of it or else you're never going to be happy.
As a writer and producer, do you feel like you have a better grip on the music's direction?
I'm always there on top of everybody making sure the music is exactly what I want. I guess I'm kind of a control freak [Laughs]. It's hard to keep your own vision, especially as a young, fresh, pretty chick in the industry. A lot of dominating male producers will be like, "We're going to do it my way! I know what's hot!" At the end of the day, if I'm selling my music to other girls my age, I'm going to know better than a 45-year-old producer. I studied record engineering and production in college; I know what I'm doing.
A lot of artists don't have that control.
No, they don't. It's something I had to fight for. If I work with something and they don't want to accommodate to my vision, then they're out. On to the next…I think of producers as the people that manifest the vision—not necessarily the creators. Some artists are more "entertainers" than they are "artists," and they're great at it. Someone like Christina Aguilera takes everything by the balls, and that's definitely more the category that I fall into.
As a New Yorker, do you like coming out to L.A.?
I do! I definitely like the beach areas more—Santa Monica, Venice, The Palisades or Malibu. I like staying by the water because I'm a Pisces and I need water. I get very creative out here. In New York, you write a different song when it's a rainy day. The moods can change a lot out there, which I like. Out here, I'm writing a lot of up-tempo songs, and it's a great environment for that.
If Bite My Tongue were a movie, what would it be?
This is going to sound weird, but it's the first thing that popped into my head so fuck it, right? Steel Magnolias—those bitches were Southern and all nice on the outside, but they could cut a bitch if they had to [Laughs]. I don't know. It just popped into my head. They had a lot of heart and a lot of soul and they went through shit, but they could cut a bitch. They all had husbands that were these big Southern dude, but they ran the show.
Check out Rick Florino's new novel Dolor available now for FREE here…