Disenchanted with American media and publications, Lana Del Rey continues to appear in magazines outside of the US. Lana covered Rolling Stone France in March and Vanity Fair France in April.
Lana Del Rey is on the cover of Rolling Stone Germany’s April cover. In the interview, Lana reveals that she has written an 11 minute poem titled “My Father Told Me If I Went Slowly, I’d Be Safe – But He Was Wrong.” The magazine is available to buy here. Below is a roughly translated snippet from the interview, which is originally in German.
What is a common misconception about you? That I feel attacked for no reason.
What happens to the American Dream when it comes true? For me that means: you know who you are and move accordingly in the world. In my case, a mixture of satisfaction and activism. I fill my own cup, but I also have a lot of people who I support and whom I like to watch grow.
What are you not getting enough recognition for? In my public life, recognition is not particularly important to me. In the bedroom, on the other hand, I like to work hard to collect extra points.
What instructions did you give your producer Jack Antonoff particularly often? “Let yourself go!” “Be wilder!” “More twists at the end of the songs!” And whenever I got stuck, I asked him about chord progressions I could sing on.
What do you like best about Los Angeles? What I love about L.A., of course, is the weather – today, at the end of February, it’s 28 degrees – and the hiking. I love the surrounding area and the many animals.
Lana Del Rey is on the April cover of UK magazine Music Week, which is out from March 16. Part of the interview can be read on their website, but the rest is only available to subscribers. The photoshoot appears to be outtakes by Lana’s 2019 shoot for Q Magazine by Cody Osbourne, with one photo of Lana from 2018 taken by Chuck Grant.
Part of the discussion, of course, includes reuniting with super-producer Jack Antonoff, with Lana detailing how one of Chemtrails’ finest moments, White Dress, came about as a surprise when she heard him “noodling” around on the piano.
“I just stepped up to the microphone and started ad-libbing an entire song, which was only somewhat modified with layered vocals,” she recalls. “That only happens once in a while, and it also started off as kind of a joke [with] me not really knowing what I was saying or singing about. It just brings me back to that good ol’ fashioned feeling of getting lucky and being able to express myself without really having a second thought about needing to edit it. That’s what the sentiment is about, being brought back to a time when things felt the purest.”
“Jack’s technical skill is off the charts musically, his chords are fantastic if you’re ever stuck for inspiration,” she continued. “On top of everything, he’s just genuinely hilarious which is really important. We have each other laughing a lot.”
Also in the feature, Lana Del Rey, Tap Music’s Ben Mawson and Ed Millett and Polydor co-president Tom March look back at her career to date.
“Coming off Norman Fucking Rockwell!, she’s in the best place she’s been in almost from the beginning of her career,” Polydor’s Tom March told Music Week. It is a position, Lana stresses, that has been hard won.
“I know for myself [at the beginning of my career] it took years of walking into the same [kind of] labels I’m signed to now to have a chance to be understood as a person telling a story rather than a trend,” said Lana. “I fought very hard for that and I’m so glad I did. People may get caught up now and then in the fact that I have a strong look or presentation, but at the end of the day what’s important to me is the fact that I’ve been able to tell my life’s stories, dreams and encounters for over a decade, and that in itself is a triumph.”
“We don’t count on hits,” said Ben Mawson. “Whilst being a superstar, she’s not conforming to anything in terms of modern pop. She wasn’t even when she first came out. Video Games didn’t have any drums and it was a big global hit when, at the time, everything was – and still is – dominated by beats. She’s done her own sweet thing musically since the start and it connects.”
“It’s not that I don’t want to have a hit, it’s just that without meaning to, my journey has ended up playing out more like a long-term game,” Lana told Music Week, before outlining the things that have worked for her. “Long-playing records and lots of them! [With] spoken records in-between, and lots of other little interesting projects. I think an artist can have their finger on the pulse of culture without having big hits, but it might end up being something that isn’t metabolised in the form it was meant to be until a later time. At least that’s how I feel like it is for me mostly.”
Lana Del Rey is on the April cover of Mojo, a music magazine in the UK, which can be purchased from their website here. Alternatively, you can read the scans in our gallery if you are outside of the UK.
Lana Del Rey’s new single ‘Chemtrails Over the Country Club’ premiered on BBC Radio 1’s Future Sound with Annie Mac, where Lana gave an interview, on January 11, 2021.
Below is a rough summary of the interview, but please click here to listen to the full conversation on BBC Radio 1.
At the start of the interview, Lana laughed at the surrealism of the moment as she saw her reflection: she had just woken up, she has a broken arm, a popsicle for breakfast and her cat Niko is there. “It’s just one of those mornings, I hope I’m on my game for Annie.”
Lana revealed that she broke her elbow while rollerblading during the filming of her music video for ‘White Dress,’ which will be her next single. “We were in Joshua Tree, the desert, a couple hours away, and I just wanted to relive this cool moment in my life where everything was fun, rollerblading to work, [laughs] and it was fun. And I think I hurt myself then too [laughs]. So not much has changed I guess.”
Annie asked Lana if she knew what this album wanted to be. “This is probably the first album where I would say I knew what I wanted it to be, but I didn’t know if I got there. Norman, I knew. I wrote a couple songs, the title track, and also a song called ‘Love Song’ and I was like ‘I know what my album is, I know where I’m going. I think with this album, it feels very much like when you’re reaching in a relationship, when you’re beckoning it, you’re like ‘Oh I just want it so bad.’ I felt very much like that with ‘Chemtrails’ but not so much with the title track. I feel like the title track and then songs like ‘White Dress’ are really really good.” She went on to say she wanted more from her and Jack and this is the first time where she doesn’t have 4 songs that she loves to make up the beginning of her next album.
Annie stated that as an artist you have to push yourself as a person, which Lana agreed with, adding that it’s hard when you’re writing your own music too. “I think some people are obsessed with growing and learning, and I’m more just trying to find where I’m happiest, but for me I think it’s just very tricky because you put out there that you’re putting out a record and you get such mixed feedback.” “Like what?” Annie asked. “Like don’t,” Lana laughs. She anticipates what the controversy is going to be this time, but just wishes people would focus on her music.
Annie said that there is a sense of Lana pre-empting criticism when announcing her album on Instagram when it should just be this really wonderful thing. “Before I even put the album cover up, I knew what people were gonna say. And when they actually started saying things, I responded and I just said, you know, I got a lot of issues but inclusivity ain’t one of them. It just isn’t. You can’t just make it my problem. My friends, my family, whatever, they’re not all one way and we’re not the ones storming the Capitol. We voted for Biden. My girlfriends come from all over the world. I’m mentioning this to the people listening because people really wanted even more People of Colour on my album, which, you know, it just kind of is, a photo just sometimes is what it is. That was the issue that was coming up, but I said that half of the people in this photo are People of Colour. I don’t want to be discouraged because I actually am representing a certain thing, but people will say that I’m not. It’s like being in opposite world.” Lana added that the people on the cover of her album are her closest friends.”
Annie asked about music producer Jack Antonoff, who Lana made ‘Norman Fucking Rockwell’ with, and she revealed that he also worked on ‘Chemtrails’ apart from the track ‘Yosemite’ which she did with her songwriting-producing partner, Rick Nowles. “Jack is great for so many reasons, mostly because he’s just so darn funny. And also because sometimes he’ll just be noodling around on the piano and he’ll come up with some extremely insane riff and you’ll be like, ‘does that belong to anybody?’ and if he says no, it means you get to freestyle some great cool chorus over it, which happened about twice probably on this album. And then most of the other songs I think I just brought to him, I’d say even partially or completely. Just on the iPhone.”
As with most guests on the show, Annie asked Lana how she has coped with 2020. In response, Lana said: “I mean I always thought something like this would happen much sooner. From a total, like… first of all, pandemic wise I always wondered how, with what 8 billion people in the world, this had not happened sooner. When they got rid of the contagious disease sector of the white house I was like ‘we’ll never make it.’ So that was one, because I’m like a bit of a fatalist, you know [laughs] I’m like scared. So I thought ‘well something’s definitely gonna happen there.’
And then, also, what I’m saying again about in terms of that wider picture of the government that you see on TV or whatever, you know, being a reflection of what’s going on in our homes. I was not surprised that the second epidemic that came out of the pandemic was household violence and general upset. It’s like 911 calls going up like 350% in every state. People had to look at themselves and live with themselves with just probably television that wasn’t live like to cope. I’m way ahead on the train of coping. I’m like prepared for a pandemic because I’m crazy. [laughs] I got a shelter, I got my meds, right? I’ve got my girlfriends that like totally get it. And you know I’m realistic.
You know, I think the madness of Trump, as bad as it was, it really needed to happen. I mean we really needed a reflection of our world’s greatest problem which is not climate change, it’s the problem of sociopathy and narcissism, especially in America. It’s going to kill the world. It’s not capitalism, it’s narcissism. And I wrote a very tiny but pretty book called ‘Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass’ an I had a little poem in there that’s called ‘My bedroom is a sacred place now there are children at the foot of my bed’ and it’s all about because I got a crazy person out of my bedroom. I was just surprised we didn’t have sort of a live-television psychopath crazy person as a president a long time ago because that’s what we see on TV, and that’s what we see on Instagram, and a lot of really self obsessed influencers etc. Not to say there’s not some really cute, great, happy-go-lucky influencers who have taught me many things about crockpots and Target hauls and all the things that have totally cheered up my life.
I think it was actually, minus our terrifying death toll, a huge wake up call. Your life is not about what kind of shoes you buy. It’s not about going to Oxford or Harvard. It’s about what kind of person you are. And if you’re an arsehole and everyone tells you that you are and you have no idea that you’re a jerk, it’s like now we have to finally address this big issue in the world: what do we do with people who don’t know that they’re hurting other people? Do we put them on an island together? I once had an novelty call with George K. Simon who wrote a book called ‘A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing’ and it was all about people who didn’t know they hurt other people. Like Trump. He doesn’t know that he’s inciting a riot. I believe that.”
Annie said she thought it was “very very clearly obvious that [Trump] knew what he was doing the whole way,” but Lana explained that he has “delusions of grandeur” [a hallmark symptom of narcissistic personality disorder], which Annie understood. Lana continued, saying “I think this is actually the most important thing I’ll say in this interview: I think, for the people who stormed the Capitol, it’s disassociated rage. They want to wild out somewhere. We don’t know how to find a way to be wild in our world and at the same time our world is so wild.”
Annie said, “There’s a line in your song about that isn’t there? About not being unhinged or unhappy, but wild, is that the word that you use?”
“Yeah that’s the thing, in my title track that you played, I’m not unhinged, I’m just strange and wild. If I go to the Brentwood Country Mart barefoot or whatever, I’m not insane; I’m connected to the earth. I think people are having to re-evaluate what they think is strange and not strange. Like watching the people storm the Capitol, everyone gets to go look at that and figure out what Capitols they’ve been storming this year in their own freakin’ lives… because everyone’s running amok. You know, half the people I know are just jerks. Like I could picture them being like, ‘Well, we need a change.’ And then other half of the people I know are like watching them with tears in their eyes, in disbelief. And it is sad, it is scary. But it could happen in any country.”
Annie says things are “very polarised, it feels very extreme, one way, the other way, black, white, good, evil with a lack of nuance that’s very important,” which Lana agreed with, adding “sane and insane” as another example.
Annie asked if Lana feels a sense of relief that all of these things we’ve been dreading and catastrophising and finally realising that we’re not mad in thinking they could happen. Lana said: “The world is an insane place, relationships are very very hard. Like ‘welcome to real life, you can be a very happy, beautiful, thoughtful person in the midst of chaos.’ You know, for me, it’s not hard to be good in the midst of the bad, it’s like all my money from my books I donated to different Native American charities. It’s my freakin’ pleasure. Anyone who calls me upset feeling a little nervous that day, a little off in their relationship, it’s my pleasure to take that phone call, or to make that phone call, but I just think that there’s… Yes, I feel a relief but I want people to understand that I didn’t want to be that jerk in 2019 when they were like ’20/20 clearer vision,’ I wanted to be like ‘oh you don’t get it yet do you? This is not over, this is beginning’. I head it said well by an anchor on CNN at some point: are these the dying cries of an old regime, or are they the birth pains of a brand new division in the country of chaos? I’m pretty sure it’s that one. I think people are gonna be super pissed at the new ultra democratic wing, but ultimately the important thing with any of these situations is that people are just clearer about what’s going on and now what I think some of the higher ups and the people who are thinking can really see is ‘Ok. So we’ve got a problem now. We didn’t know that we had half of the country who wants to shoot up the Capitol. We didn’t really know that because we never got to see it. I think this gave us an opportunity to see where our level of mental health is at and our level of dissociated rage.”
Lana Del Rey is on the cover of Interview Magazine. The issue was going to be revealed next week, but Lana stans got to it first – oops! The photos were taken by Chuck Grant and styled by Mel Ottenberg and the interview with Jack Antonoff will be available on September 8 (Update: click here for the interview)
Lana originally said her next album, ‘Chemtrails Over the Country Club,’ would be released on September 5th. While this didn’t happen, the interview says the album will still be out sometime this month and we can’t wait!
Lana Del Rey recently spoke to LA Times about how she reinvented herself and modern day rock stardom. Below is a snippet from the interview:
It feels like you’re being a lot more public during the release of “Norman F— Rockwell” than you were for your previous albums. Was that always your plan for this one?
No. It’s just that people like it. I’m like, “Alright! Let me tell you about the album!” I remember when I made [the 2014 album] “Ultraviolence,” I put so much work into it. I mixed on my own console for months. And then I did extensive interviews and no one cared that I mixed anything. So I stopped promoting after that. I was like, “Honeymoon,” “Lust for Life” … just take them.
You’re renowned for your lyrics, but you probably had your biggest radio hit since “Summertime Sadness” with your cover of Sublime’s “Doin’ Time,” and you also covered Donovan’s “Season of the Witch” for the recent horror film “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.” Would you like to record more covers?
Somewhere in the back of my mind, I’ve been coordinating this concept covers album called “Pacific Blue.” It would be a very low-key thing, like acoustic Beach Boys stuff, Elvis, Chris Isaak. People usually think your career is over when you record a covers album or a Christmas album. But my musician friends and I are always playing covers. We could probably do that album in a week.
Like Linda Ronstadt when the Eagles backed her, before they became the Eagles.
I wanted Don Henley to be a guest at the Bowl show, but I think he’s in Texas. Also, it’s Don Henley.
Lana Del Rey stopped by 94.7 Alternative and 101.9 KINK FM radion stations in Portland, Oregon on October 3. Later she performed at the Moda Center. Click here to listen to KINK FM’s ‘Coffee Date with Lana’.
Candids > 2019 > At 94.7 Alternative and 101.9 KINK Radio in Portland, Oregon, USA (October 3)
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