Lana Del Rey is on the April/May cover of Rolling Stone UK, which is currently available to purchase, including a second cover which is a black and white version. The photoshoot was shot by Lana’s sister, Chuck Grant, with styling by Joseph Kocharian. The interview was conducted by Hannah Ewens. Lana later shared some outtakes from the shoot, though they are photos of a computer screen.
By retreating, she believes she has begun to see the culture more clearly. Her albums have followed suit, increasingly humorous and observational in their commentary. Meanwhile, regardless of genre, her sound has distilled into something that is pure Lana: classic and glamorous with her trademark airy, theatrical vocals. She found a fellow partially off-grid companion in Antonoff. “Jack Antonoff and I are super similar in the way we know about so much that’s going on culturally, but we have no idea how. We definitely don’t read that much about it or hear that much about it, but all of those turning points in culture, somehow we’re always aware,” she explains. Often, she and Antonoff will sit together in the studio and discuss what they’re doing to try to survive the negative waves of trends in tech, self-promotion, music and society. “I think even if I was in a remote area, I would always know what’s going on and I’ve always had a little bit of an intuitive finger on the pulse of culture,” she continues. “Even when I started singing, I knew it wouldn’t completely jive right away.”
A spiritual instinct is ever-present in Del Rey, the person. As soon as she sits down, we’re laughing about astrology and the time she tweeted her birth time and everyone realised — along with her — that she’s a Cancer, not a Gemini. “Once I had a thousand dollars, I bought this beautiful Gemini medallion which is no longer relevant to me,” she hoots, clapping her hands together. She’s so impressed with her regular psychic that every time someone tells her that she must be proud of her music, she thinks, “‘You should see what these people in the wellness community can do’ — especially in LA, it’s the mecca.” Singing is a talent too, but psychic abilities to her are magic. “It’s so validating when I meet someone like that because it’s very affirmative that there’s so much more going on.”
This fascination with the otherworldly began when she was young growing up in Lake Placid, New York. “I had fun playing sports and meeting new friends, but I was concerned about why there were no television shows or talks from people and parents about where they thought we came from and why they thought we were here. It deeply troubled me from the age of four,” she remembers. “So, my parents did have their hands full with a lot of esoteric questions. I think that’s just a predisposition.” Attending a Catholic elementary school only encouraged this search for knowledge, as did her philosophy class at age 15. In the mid-00s, she went to Fordham University in the Bronx to study for a degree in philosophy with a specialism in metaphysics. “I tried to get as many questions answered in four years as I could,” she says, sagely. “And then I was taught that philosophy was a study of questions, not answers. There were no answers, which almost made things worse.”
Read the full interview at rollingstone.co.uk.