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.
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 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.
Lana Del Rey was recently interviewed by Pitchfork. She talks about her past and present albums including their lyrics and her transformation to a happier self. She also touches on criticism, fans and more.
Here is a preview of the interview. Click here to read the full interview.
Pitchfork: A few years ago you were singing lyrics like “I have nothing much to live for,” and now you’re smiling on the cover of Lust for Life. How’d you get to a happier place?
Lana Del Rey: I made personal commitments.
Commitments to what?
Well, they’re personal. [laughs] I had some people in my life that made me a worse person. I was not sure if I could step out of that box of familiarity, which was having a lot of people around me who had a lot of problems and feeling like that was home base. Because it’s all I know. I spent my whole life reasoning with crazy people. I felt like everyone deserved a chance, but they don’t. Sometimes you just have to step away without saying anything.
Your past albums often presented a claustrophobic universe made up of just you and one other person, but all of a sudden it’s like you’ve got your eyes wide open and you’re looking at the world around you.
Developmentally, I was in the same place for a very long time, and then it just took me longer than most people to be able to be more out there. Being more naturally shy, it’s taken stretching on my part to just continue to integrate into the local community, global community, to grow as a person. Also, getting really famous doesn’t help you grow with the community. It’s important to have your own life. It’s hard with how accessible things are. Hacking? Email is just a no for me. I do a lot to make sure I don’t feel trapped.
Your fans are famously obsessive. Do they ever cross the line?
They fucking have. Someone stole both my cars. All the scary shit. I’ve had people in my house for sure, and I didn’t know they were there while I was there. I fucking called the police. I locked the door. Obviously, that’s the one in one-hundred-thousand people who’s crazy. But I [had a hard time sleeping] for a minute.
Fame can be isolating, but you are making a real effort to not let it be.
It’s going to be isolating. Period. Unless you stretch past it. But it takes so much footwork. Getting over the uncomfortability of being the one person in the room who everyone recognizes. The last few years, I’m out all the time: clubs, bars, shows. For years I was more quietly in the mix, always through the back door, do not tell anyone I’m coming. And now I’ve relaxed into it where I’ll just show up. I don’t need a special ticket. I’ll just go sit wherever. It feels a little more like I’m myself again.
Ms. Del Rey, her debut album five years ago was called “Born To Die”, the new “Lust For Life”. Document the album titles where you are in your life?
Lana Del Rey: Yes. I have developed well, as far as overall happiness is concerned. I am still on the road, and growth and chaos will continue to accompany me through life. And yet I feel the change. I have more fun in life than years ago.
Is it in your new song “Change” to these changes?
Del Rey: That’s right “Change” is the last song I wrote for this album. The four words I sung in the chorus basically say everything: honest, capable, beautiful and stable. So I will be. My whole life is shaped by this search, the search to be somewhere to be part of something. In this way I have made a good progress.
What are you up to?
Del Rey: My behavior. And my dealings with people. I have become a lot more relaxed and open. Certainly more self-assured. At the beginning I was very anxious. I often did not know what people were expecting. I watched violently, lived like under a bell that everyone wanted to see.
Del Rey: People were more suspicious of me than many other artists. “Video Games”, my first single, has been totally polarized, I still do not know exactly why, so I had a long time feeling a foot in the door, but I do not have a safe stand in the music world It is no coincidence that I invited more musicians to the new record.
Like Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac, who sings with “Beautiful People, Beautiful Problems.”
Del Rey: Stevie is a friend of my producer Rick Nowels, she was so great, I would call her a girlfriend, Stevie has been playing music for fifty years , Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, the whole sound of that time, I love him idolatry, and since I’ve been living in LA, I’m looking for something new Always after other musicians, at all other people, to the same way.
Have you already met many fans of Sixties and Seventies Pop?
Del Rey: In the meantime, I’ve set up a fantastic group of friends in Los Angeles that shares this passion. Father John Misty and his wife Emma Tillman are among them. Or Miles Kane and Alex Turner, the two guys of The Last Shadow Puppets. We are such a small folk community. We radiate this Laurel Canyon feeling, which I like so much.
Sean Lennon is also on the record, in the song “Tomorrow Never Came.”
Del Rey: I tell the song of my ideal of a relationship, the song is one of the few on the album, not mine I do not know what to do, but I do not know what to do with it I appreciate his music very much.
When did you last dance naked on the “H” of the Hollywood sign of LA, as you describe it in “Lust for Life,” a duet with Abel Tesfaye aka The Weeknd?
Del Rey (laughs): Not at all, that’s full. You do not even come up with a ladder. But close by are a few cool cafes and the Beachwood Canyon, where there are wonderfully quiet, hidden corners.
Her and the voice of The Weeknds fit perfectly together.
Del Rey: Thank you. Chemistry is right between us. Abel was one of the first to post the clip to “Video Games” in 2011, I looked for him and we became friends.
They revealed in an interview a few weeks ago that Donald Trump had a witch curse. Has it shown any effect?
Del Rey (laughs): You do not know. All we now experience with him, we already know from the election campaign. He actually does as much as ever. That is why I am afraid the curse has not yet worked. I would like to have a peaceful, easy time, for example, in the song “Coachella (Woodstock On My Mind”), where it is only the golden hippie season, instead there are threatening scenarios and Trump is pouring more and more oil To the fire He said a few things about which women should really be frightened, I just hope that nothing goes wrong seriously in the next three and a half years.
You’re in the bar, playing guitar
I’m trying not to let the crowd next to me
It’s so hard sometimes with the star
When you have to share him with everybody
You’re in the club, living it up
I’m trying not to let the crowd notice me
~read the full lyrics here~
Earlier today, two new Lana Del Rey songs premiered on Beats 1 Radio in addition to a lengthy interview with Zane Lowe.
These songs are “Summer Bummer” featuring A$AP Rocky and Playboi Carti and “Groupie Love” also featuring A$AP Rocky.
A few hours later, the songs premiered on BBC Radio 1 with Lana giving a brief interview to Annie Mac which you can listen to below.
The entire “Lust For Life” album will be released on July 21, with the vinyl, cassette and boxset versions to be released on September 28. You can pre-order now and get “Summer Bummer” and “Groupie Love” now.
Pre-order “Lust For Life”:
Here are some highlights from the interview with Annie Mac:
On Working with A$AP Rocky
“He’s gotta be one of my top two favourite rappers in the whole world. He’s just really smart and I have so much fun watching him work and sometimes if I have a track and I play it for him he can put something down right now, and it’s always just so different.”
On the Process of the Album
“It took a little bit longer than I thought and I feel like the record sorta ended up in a place that’s different from where I thought it would end up sonically. But I’m really happy with it. I feel like this sound… I feel like the narrative and lyrically it moved forward just a little bit, which I’m proud of.
I was glad that the tracks as I was writing them were sort of… I felt like they were different from the last few records. I think the last song I wrote on this record was called ‘Change’, which I thought was really cool. I did start to get the feeling that I wanted to change the sound a bit, not in a big way. You know, again, just have a moving forward feeling. Now I’m kind of excited to see what the next thing I’ll write will be too. But I had a good time writing this one.”
On Working with Stevie Nicks
“I was so honoured. Probably about 4 or 5 months ago we were trying to finish the record, Rick Nowles and I, who by the way is just the most fantastic producer; he’s been kind of my partner for the last five years, we were talking about what women would be great to have on the record. We kinda looked at each other and I was like ‘I wonder if Stevie would do it.’ And funny enough, he grew up in the same town as Stevie and he had her number already and he called her up. She was so amazing, she just said yes straight away and went into the studio a few days later. She was definitely one of the people who I wasn’t sure what would happened when I called.”
On Who She’d Love to Work With
“I love Rae Stremmurd, I love Swae (Lee), from that group. I really love Lil Yachty, just as people, you know, they make me smile and I just think they’re such amazing artists. I love Marina (and the Diamonds). I love Bat For Lashes, I love Natasha. Florence I really love.”
Lana also shared the artwork for the back cover of “Lust for Life.”
White lights and black beaches
And blood red sangrias
We traveled for weeks
Just to escape your demons
But you’ve got your reasons
In making me crazy
~read the full lyrics here~
The upcoming album by Lana Del Rey – “Lust For Life” – is finally available for pre-order. Two new songs are also available for immediate download when you pre-order the album.
The two songs had their worldwide premiere on Beats 1 Radio. The first song is titled “Summer Bummer” and features American rappers A$AP Rocky and Playboi Carti. The second is “Groupie Love” which also features A$AP Rocky.
“Summer Bummer” was produced by Boi-1da, who has also produced work from artists such as Drake, Eminem, Rihanna and Kendrick Lamar.
The entire “Lust For Life” album will be released on July 21, with the vinyl, cassette and boxset versions to be released on September 28.
Pre-order “Lust For Life”:
Lana spoke to Zane Lowe on Beats 1 Radio. You can listen to the full interview here on Apple Music, however here are some highlights:
On Relationship with Rocky
“He was in my video for National Anhtem and I’ve been in touch with him since then. He travels a lot but whenver he’s in town.. I’ll come down to the studio and see what he’s working on, do background vocals on his tracks. There probably are lots of tracks sometimes that we’ve both worked on. We do them and forget them.”
On Groupie Love
“I think I had four tracks I wanted to play for Rocky. I played them for Hector first (one of ASAP’s producers). He thought out of all of them, Rocky would like Groupie Love. I played it for Rocky and Rocky loved it. He came down and he did a verse. A couple months later he decided he wanted to do it different so he did a different verse, then we changed up the production a bit.”
On Her Tracklisting
“My tracklisting changed a lot in the past few months. The middle section has a lot of fire in it, even though it’s not that fast; the beats are hard.”
On If She’s Awkward
“Yeah, I can be so awkward. Depending. I mean I don’t really care that I’m awkward.”
On A World Tour
“I have five one off shows that people probably wouldn’t know about. It’s weird with the festivals because it almost feels like a tour, but it’s not. I really want to go out with somebody that I love. I want to go out on the road. Like I did with Courtney Love. 2 Years ago.”
“I’ve done so much with Miles Kane. The guys from TLSP were Working on a side project. It was like December through March. It seemed like a good idea, but after listening to all the songs I felt like they were really for Miles. For his solo stuff. I hope they keep the tracks that we did. We did so many of them. I was doing some stuff with a couple of people but I don’t really want them to come out. [..] We were talking about Marina before, we always say we’ll do something but I don’t know what she’s gonna do with her music.”
“It’s a track I spoke about online and in interviews and it’s just not on the record. It’s too happy. We’re just not there yet. JK. That was a weird thing to say. I’m getting to the place I was singing about in Yosemite, and I’m just not there yet.”
Here is the complete tracklist:
2. Lust For Life (feat. The Weeknd)
3. 13 Beaches
5. white Mustang
6. Summer Bummer (feat. A$AP Rocky & Playboi Carti)
7. Groupie Love (feat. A$AP Rocky)
8. In My Feelings
9. Coachella – Woodstock In My Mind
10. God Bless America – And All the Beaches
11. When the World Was At War We Kept Dancing
12. Beautiful People Beautiful Problems (feat. Stevie Nicks)
13. Tomorrow Never Came (feat. Sean Lennon)
16. Get Free
Candids > 2017 > At Beats 1 Radio Studio in Los Angeles, California, USA (July 12)
x— 5 pictures were added —x