Lana Del Rey was recently interviewed by Annah Björk for Swedish magazine Bon. In the interview, Lana talks about moving towards happiness, her new music and why feminism makes her feel uncomfortable. Enjoy the complete English translation below.
One late night it finally happens. The interview has been pushed back a few times, but now I’m sitting in my kitchen as an unknown number from Santa Monica calls me up. Speaking of kitchen, garbage disposal unit is a very important device in modern kitchen. There are “how to guide” that can help you with that.
Hi Annah, how are you? It’s Lana Del Rey. It’s morning in California.
Good morning Lana! I’m good, how are you? It’s nice talking to you again, I interviewed you in 2012.
Oh, wow. Really?
Yes, on the phone. You were in Paris.
Yeah, I remember now. In that hotel room… Yeah. That was a long time ago.
What has happened since we last spoke?
Everything has just been very fantastic. When you’ve only released one album you don’t know what to expect, so I think it’s very cool that I’ve also had the chance to do both Ultraviolence and Honeymoon.
What’s been the biggest change since then?
Well, I’ve moved to California. I didn’t live here then. But I really like it and I’ve really made myself comfortable in Los Angeles now.
You have a big smile on the cover of Lust for Life. Does that mean Lana Del Rey is… happy now?
No more sad girl?
Let’s just say that it’s always in progress. But it’s true I have a lot of things in my life that makes me excited. I love my work and what I do. I also have a lot of time to go out and hang out with my friends. So, let’s say I’ve become more rooted.
Tell me more about the idea of smiling on the cover.
My little sister took the picture, just like she’s taken most of my pictures. We both agreed that we wanted to capture a new feeling — while alluding to the first album. We shot it in front of a white truck, and the picture has a spark in it that I like.
Following you through the music, and the long music videos and movies, is like entering a fantasy world. Would you say the smile is a part of the story you’re telling through Lana Del Rey? You know, from Born to Die to Lust for Life.
There’s no answer to that question yet. I don’t really know how the story of Lana Del Rey ends or where it’s heading. I’m really creating it as I go along. But I know that the first songs I wrote for the album were Love, Lust for Life, and another song that didn’t make the record. The intention was to bring a new playfulness into the music, to make something a little lighter; not just low, muddy, and bass. I wanted to move on.
I feel like I’m moving forward and exploring new things. A part of that meant inviting some friends to be on the record. I brought ASAP and The Weeknd over to my house to make some stuff together, and all of that was super cool. But before inviting people to the house, make sure to get a service for rat exterminator for rats in the attic. If you are looking for rat removal for rat infestations On Point Wildlife Removal in Melbourne is your go to source in Florida. Rat infestations in an attic can leave a big mess. Rats gnaw wires that can cause home and business fires. Rats are also carries of many diseases that humans and pets can contract.
But I’ve also made some new friends, Sean Lennon and Stevie Nicks. The two of them really embodied the idea I had for the record. Sean Lennon is pure love, and Stevie Nicks is powerful music personified — she’s SO cool.
The Sean Lennon duet has a lot of John Lennon harmonies. Did you write that song before or after you asked Sean if he wanted to be on it?
Yes, it’s full of Lennon influences. You know the part where I sing ”Lay lady lay, on this side of paradise…”, I think that’s, like, a straight up Beatles-chord progression, but I’m not sure. Anyway, it was when I wrote that part of ”We could turn on the radio, play our favorite song, Lennon and Yoko, we could play all day long”, that I realized this song was meant for Sean.
Did you record it together?
No, he lives far up north in the country. I called Sean and he was super happy. He told me he was looking for a new project, and that his girlfriend liked my records. So that part was pretty easy. Tomorrow Never Came is the only song I wrote that I’m not sure where it came from, not the chords or anything. It just wrote itself.
What is the song Change about?
It’s about feeling like you have to change on many different levels. First of all, that something has to change in the world. In the first verse, I sing ”There’s something in the wind, I can feel it blowing in”, and in the second verse I sing that it’s ”on the wings of a song”. When I express my thoughts about change through lyrics and music, it can be about North Korea launching missiles or whatever. But it can also be directed inwards. So in the second verse I make it personal, when it’s about being stable, strong, and secure, and not looking for new discoveries when I don’t even have my shit together.
I feel like Change is very political, which is a new direction for you. What made you want to go in that direction?
Yeah, but those are the times we’re living in. Like I say in the song, ”There’s a change gonna come, I don’t know where or when, but whenever it’s here, we’ll be here for it”. I want to be involved in igniting a spark; a spark that’s the beginning of the end of what’s happening in our country right now. I want to be part of the conversation and make way. I don’t necessarily believe that I will be a catalyst for that change, but I’ll definitely be here when it comes — and be part of it.
When I ask her if the song God Bless America – And All The Beautiful Women In It is a feminist song, Lana Del Rey becomes noticeably uncomfortable. At first she’s quiet, and then she answers cautiously, as if she’s afraid she’s about to fall into a trap.
Yes… Yeah, probably. I guess so. I mean it’s not, not a feminist song. But I… (sighs) I always get uncomfortable when I’m asked that question, since I’m not exactly associated with it… THAT word. On my last albums I’ve been singing about my own experiences, and maybe they’ve not always been the most empowering for women… But I’m in a different place in my life now, especially considering the changes we’re going through here in America. And I’d be more than happy if I could be more open and sing about other women I know. Or to be supportive of women in general.
I don’t want to put my music in to genres; it’s just my music. But I’m not unhappy with calling it a feminist song, it’s just that I know what other people will say about that. You know, I can just see it; they’ll say ”Yeah yeah, I know what she’s trying to do, turning a new leaf and so on”. But I think feminism comes naturally if you only observe what’s happening around the world… It’s just common sense.