MY QUEEN Diana Anaid
MY QUEEN Diana Anaid
By Ian Browne Shamrock News
.....and no more barking dog solos!”
While living in Nimbin back in 2006, I heard some live music hollering its way out from the Rainbow Café, and upon investigation, realised that the woman playing guitar and singing beside me was none other than Dianna Anaid! I knew she frequented Nimbin, but I also knew she had her share of fame in the U.S. not so long before this, and I was happy to be able to soak up the moment in the town she calls home. Anyway, it’s time I did a story with Diana, and what better moment than within the wake of her single release BETTER GIRL from her album MY QUEEN, especially as the launch of this latest chapter in Diana’s musical journey arrives to Nimbin in April.
Describe your experience in the U.S. with the explosion of Last Thing in 2004; the connections you fostered and the journey’s rewards.
It was a little bit of vindication to have some of the movers and shakers of the international music world fall in love with my demo’s and then with the final product, the Beautiful Obscene album. Two of the demos were co-written with electric guitarist Nathan Correy and that was the beginning of a great song writing partnership that includes new tracks Into The Empathy and My Queen. At a time when downloads were just starting, Last Thing became the #1 song on iTunes and AOL, as well as reaching #26 on the Billboard Charts- quite an achievement for an Aussie independent act at the time. Last Thing was the bridge from I Go Off (1997) to Better Girl (2017), allowing me to cross over into a more mainstream musical format, while still keeping a torch burning for my original fans and lovers of lyrically driven alt-rock. I now consider the USA to be one of my strong audiences and go back for tours and festivals often.
Describe your love for hometown Nimbin and its people.
Nimbin and the people of Nimbin have a large place in my heart. Arriving in 1987 as a homeless family, my dad and us three kids were quickly taken in by locals, given a place to stay and food to eat. I made friends quickly and never wanted to leave. The locals were always ready to offer advice and support (and lyrical inspiration!). A melting pot for the wise (me!) and the caring (me!), the crazy (yep-me!) and the disenfranchised (also…ME!), I don’t think the world would be the same (as good!) without Nimbin. The markets, local shows and social events, nature, waterfalls, forests- the pure spirituality of the Northern Rivers and the Rainbow Region, that we are fortunate enough to share with the traditional owners of the land.
How does the region influence your sound?
I call my albums a ‘tool-kit for survival’ and the lyrics have elements of protest and defiance. There is a lot of tolerance, love and forgiveness that I associate with the area, and my songs reflect those qualities.
How has your song writing evolved since your time/experience in the U.S?
I think my songs have mellower moments, and more intensity to the intense moments. The lyrics are more carefully thought out and the structure of songs more refined- no more 2 minute long bridges or songs that have no chorus (and no more barking dog solos!)!
Your latest album ‘MY QUEEN’ saw the single success of ‘Can’t Apologise’ and you touring Oz with ‘Adam and The Ants’. What does your new material tell us about who you are today?
With this album I am really taking back my power as an independent musician and as a female in the music industry. With songs about the death of my mum, the near death of my sibling Tao, and the transformation of my sister Heya, as well as songs about my inspirational best friends and muses (you women know who you are!) this album is an honest insight into my life and is a little window into my soul.
Your second single release from ‘MY QUEEN’ - Better Girl – explores themes related to gender & marriage equality. You described how your own sister’s transgender journey influenced this song. Is Better Girl a song of sadness, or one of self-empowerment within a sometimes difficult life?
The latter. It is all about making the world a better place through compassion and equality. It asks the question “How can I be a better person? How do I reach out for help? How can I help my fellow humans and our wondrous planet?”
How do you anticipate people’s reaction to Better Girl, do you feel it will be as well
appreciated as Can’t Apologise? What radio stations will be playing Better Girl?
When people see the video clip for Better Girl (which my talented son Stone has made!), they will fall in love with the song all over again. Same for if they come to see it performed live (Album launch party at NIMBIN BUSH THEATRE, FRIDAY APRIL 20th with Essie Thomas plus a QnA with producer Steve James). Although TripleJ should like it, I hope to get love from the other radio stations (although commercial stations can be a bit tough in amongst all the pop stars!) Just request it on whatever radio station that you listen to and they will play it I’m sure. Keep requesting it over and over and over again and they will add it to their play list!
As a Siouxsie & the Banshees fan, I am curious as to how your connection to Better Girl’s producer Steve James began.
I was put in touch with Steve through my publisher, who thought that Steve and I might hit it off…gee was he right! I also am a fan of Siouxsie & the Banshees, Torah Willcox, Screaming Jets, The Sex Pistols, Skunkhour- this producer has some seriously good albums under his belt, and it’s a massive kudos that he considers My Queen to be in his top 10 records that he has made.
Can you please pour praise over long-time friend, guitarist and co-song writer, Nathan Correy.
Oh that is pretty easy J Nathan has co-written some of my most loved songs including Blaring Out, Beautiful Obscene, Black Rainbow and the new My Queen, as well as helping me flesh out ideas for the live shows and being a totally original and kick-ass electric guitarist. He gives me all of his best riffs and song ideas, I am very fortunate… He is one of my biggest believers and staunch supporters.
You chose the Nimbin Bush Theatre as the ‘belated release’ of MY QUEEN - 20th of April. Why is a hometown christening so important to you, and does Nimbin and the region continue to support your passions and creative endeavours?
I am always supported and bolstered by the Nimbin community, and the Bush Theatre holds a dear place in my heart. I recorded my first song there at Bush Traks (The Voice) and did my very first album launch there. I also snuck upstairs as a kid and found some seriously saucy porn mags…inspiration!
How can we get our grubby lil hands on MY QUEEN?
Anywhere that you usually pick up/download/buy/stream/listen to your favourite new songs/albums, or at the Greenbank in Nimbin.