Q&A with Ida Maria

By: Brent X Mendoza

TONIGHT: Norwegian import Ida Maria lands stateside for a special KCRW showcase here at The Roxy Theatre.

The pop punk princess has already conquered much of Europe with her delightfully catchy and remarkably well crafted ear candy and is now catching some well deserved buzz here in the U.S. Get to know the spunky songstress that’s the talk of the tastemakers.

What’s the music scene like in Norway? How ‘bout that Norwegian Black Metal?

You’re right, there is a lot of “black metal” going on, but the bands are more famous in the rest of the world. There is definitely that subculture in Norway, but they don´t get much airplay. I love them though, especially GORGOROTH!!! Check out this documentary to get an idea of Norwegian black metal and Norwegian culture.

Also, here´s some of the more (comparatively) “well-behaved” Norwegian bands to check out: Kaizers Orchestra, Röyksopp, and Ane Brun.

Tell us about the new album. Where does the title come from? What was it like working with producer Butch Walker?

With KATLA I was ready for something completely different. I had been touring with Fortress Round My Heart since forever and although I still love it, I was aware that if I went and made another “pop” oriented album I would bore myself to death. So we just opened the doors of the fortress and the eruption began.

“Fortress” was a dogma album, in the way that all the songs were in major keys, (except “Keep Me Warm”) and the colors were bright green, yellow, and black and white, plus a little rosy.

KATLA has one dogma: no dogma! It´s all the colors of the rainbow just like the gay flag. And it was recorded in Santa Monica, with Darren Dodd on drums, Jake Sinclair on bass/engineer, Stefan Törnby on guitar, and Butch producing and playing guitar.

What was your favorite song as a child?

Went through different favorites, but Toccata & Fugue in D Minor by Johann Sebastian Bach was a huge favorite. All kinds of classical music; that and Diana Ross´s “pink album,” and Morten Harket´s (frontman of 80’s new wave band A-ha, also from Norway) “Wild Seed.” I was SO in love.

Who/what was the inspiration behind “Bad Karma?”

Money people! People who do NOT care about life, love, music, art, summer, winter, our planet, our nature, our forests, our oceans, our animals, our collective soul.

What were your impressions of the The Sunset Strip growing up?

I didnit know anything about The Sunset Strip, all I knew was Pamela Anderson, and David Hasselhoff (don´t hassle the Hoff), and Jeremy Jackson (Hobie!).

I sent a letter to Jeremy with a chocolate bar, cause I read in a Norwegian teen mag that he loved chocolate. It probably melted and he probably never read the letter: “Hello Jeremy! My name is Ida and I am a twelve years old girl from Norway. I love Baywatch. I give you chocolate. Goodbye. From Ida.”

We have a couple of surprises for the people coming down to the Roxy, I am nervous to say the least! Hope Jeremy Jackson is gonna be there!!!


KCRW presents Ida Maria, Chasing Kings, Holland Greco, and DJ Kevin Bronson tonight, June 30. Doors open at 8 p.m. Get more info here