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Lana interview with The Age, May 10, 2014

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Hello everybody, I found an interesting and recent  interview with Lana. If this was posted on LB before I ask the mods to delete this topic. I really enjoyed this interview. Discuss

 

 

Few pop singers divide audiences like Lana Del Rey. Just what is it about the sweet-voiced, doe-eyed chanteuse that attracts such extreme opinions?

 

When I meet Lana Del Rey at a cavernous rehearsal studio in Hollywood, the 27-year-old singer is dressed all in denim, wearing torn blue jeans and a western-style denim shirt with canvas sneakers. Del Rey has just finished a day of rehearsal for her upcoming tour, which begins in Las Vegas and takes her across the US and Europe. Her hair is dyed a dark reddish-brown, pulled back from her face, and she pulls absent-mindedly at long strands of it as she speaks. Her face is free of make-up, and her pale skin has an enviably healthy glow, even under the dreary light of the rehearsal space.

 

 

The overall dressed-down effect is offset by a huge set of false eyelashes, left on from a photo shoot with a French magazine the previous day. This contrast seems somehow of a piece with the disjunctions that define her style, a mix of innocence and artfulness, childish naivete and knowing glamour which she's described as "gangster Nancy Sinatra" or "Lolita got lost in the 'hood".

I've showed up ready to believe the rumours (which she denies) about the plastic surgery that produced her remarkable pout, but she looks convincingly natural. She has a model's face, more subdued in life than on film, where the camera throws her clearly defined features into sharp, exaggerated relief. The standout feature is not her much-discussed lips but her big, kohl-lined eyes, with their unusual dark-forest-green colour.

 

 

Del Rey speaks in a low-pitched voice with an upstate New York inflection, and talks in hesitant, wandering trains of thought. She didn't do press for two and a half years, she says, exhausted by what she saw as persistent misrepresentations of herself and her story. "Read everything and assume the opposite, then you'll really know who I am." She gives a thin smile. "It really doesn't matter what I say." Tattooed on the side of one hand is the word "Paradise" - a recurring idea in her work - on the other, "Trust no one".

Lana Del Rey's sharp rise to fame began in mid-2011, when her melancholic love song Video Games attracted millions of views on YouTube in a matter of weeks after she posted it. The self-produced video mashed together nostalgic archival film with other found footage and webcam film of Del Rey, with her big eyes and sad, beautiful, blank face evoking an updated Valley of the Dolls.

She was born Elizabeth Grant, and had performed for years as Lizzy Grant, playing small venues and open-mike nights in New York; she recorded an album with producer David Kahne (Paul McCartney, the Strokes, New Order), released in 2009, which didn't sell. Titled Lana Del Ray aka Lizzy Grant, it shows her beginning to experiment with the artistic persona that she brought to fruition a couple of years later, with the release of three tracks on YouTube that consolidated her moody, retro pop sound and distinctive visual style: Diet Mountain Dew, Blue Jeans and Video Games. "I didn't have any offers," Del Rey tells me, "and then I got all the offers on one day - on the day Video Games was played on the radio."

 

 

She'd already been in conversation with John Ehmann at record label Interscope, who had championed her since seeing the video for Diet Mountain Dew on YouTube well before the huge success of Video Games, and she signed a joint recording deal with Interscope, Polydor and Stranger. Her subsequent album, Born to Die, debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard charts in February 2012.

It is common for performers to change names and play with personas - one has only to think of Bob Dylan (born Robert Zimmerman), David Bowie's many incarnations, or more recently, Lady Gaga. But something about Lana Del Rey's self-presentation, straddling pop accessibility and indie artistic aspirations, struck a nerve, and she was quickly accused of being a fake, a manufactured pop product, with no authentic agency of her own. Somehow it was impossible to believe that this young, preternaturally beautiful woman could actually be "in the driver's seat", as Ehmann describes her role. "The vision is all hers."

 

 

Ehmann plays me some of the tracks from Del Rey's new album Ultraviolence, out later this year, at his Santa Monica office, where a large picture of Del Rey seated on a throne, flanked by tigers, hangs over his door (it's a still from the video for Born to Die.) He scoffs at the widely held belief that Del Rey's contract was arranged and bankrolled by her father, Robert Grant. "The first time I met or spoke to her father was roughly six months after I signed her, at one of her first shows," he tells me.

 

 

The criticism reached new levels of intensity after Del Rey's appearance on Saturday Night Live in January 2012, with clips of her clumsy performance circulating widely online. No other performer inspires a comparable level of animosity. Feminist website Jezebel asks, "Why do you hate Lana Del Rey? I do not know why I hate Lana Del Rey." In a carnival of schadenfreude, the website Buzzfeed compiled "Twenty-six Meanest Quotes from Reviews of Lana Del Rey". Sites on Tumblr such as I Hate Lana Del Rey subscribe openly to the idea that the singer's success is due to canny promotion of her sex appeal: "Cash comes quick when looks can kill," explains the heading of another Del Rey "troll" blog.

 

 

"None of it ever seemed to make any sense," Del Rey says, reflecting on the intensity of her reception, halting between words. "I'm not a provocateur. I love to write. The written word is one of the last forms of magic we have. I love rhyming and writing. For years my focus was on building a beautiful visual world and beautiful sonic world and yeah, having such a strong reaction was ... surprising? I don't know."

 

 

She went through a painful period of writer's block while touring after the release of Born to Die, "trying to write things that I thought would be more accessible," and for a while she doubted whether she would release another record. "It's this feeling that comes over you, like falling in love," she says of the inspiration to write. "You have to get that sensation."

That feeling returned when she met Dan Auerbach, of rock group the Black Keys, who wound up producing her new album. Del Rey had been feeling for a while that there was something missing from her sound, "a fuzzy guitar tone that I couldn't bring on my own". Upon meeting Dan, she thought, "Maybe this is my guy!"

 

 

The album has taken a while to put together - two and a half years - due to Del Rey's hands-on approach. "I'm involved in the process, from the mixing to the mastering. Every single part of it has to be right."

Del Rey was born in New York in 1986, and grew up in Lake Placid, a small town on the northern edge of upstate New York. "It's the coldest spot in the nation," she says. "It's very insular, very quiet. There were no main stores, we didn't have TV." Her parents, Robert and Pat Grant, had abandoned lucrative careers in advertising in New York City; Robert became a real estate agent and later an internet entrepreneur, while Pat became a schoolteacher. Del Rey was the eldest of three siblings, and her younger brother and sister, Charlie and Caroline, now share a house with her in LA. Caroline, an accomplished photographer, is responsible for many of Del Rey's most well-known images and cover art.

 

 

Lake Placid was a tough place to be a teenager with artistic ambitions, Del Rey remembers. "I really wanted to be a singer. It was hard because ..." She trails off and starts again. "I don't like to say anything bad about it because it's my home, but I love cities. Living in the Bronx was heaven. I lived in New Jersey, I lived in Brooklyn, and that was when I really came home."

By the time she was 15, she says, she'd started acting up. "I was misdirecting my energy. I started going out all the time and skipping school a little bit and yeah, I got in trouble." Conflict with teachers at school, where her mother also taught, led to her parents sending her to Kent, a private boarding school in Connecticut; her uncle had recently taken up a position there as admissions officer, and he helped to arrange financial aid.

 

 

"I was lonely," she says, but "I had this teacher who was my only friend in school. His name was Gene. He read us Leaves of Grass and we read Lolita in class, and it changed my world, which was a really solitary world. I didn't have a connection to anyone in class and when I found these writers, I knew they were my people." Gene was just a few years older than her, fresh from Georgetown University. "He would sign me out and we would listen to Tupac and stuff in his car," she remembers, "and he would teach me about old movies like Citizen Kane. He taught me everything."

 

 

Since then she's become a collector of early editions of classic books, including a signed first edition of Howl by Allen Ginsberg. Names of her sources of inspiration are tattooed on her body, all in elegant copperplate: "Whitman" and "Nabokov", tributes to the writers Gene introduced her to, on her right forearm; "Chateau Marmont", the famous Hollywood hotel, on the other. "Nina" and "Billie" are on her left upper chest, for Billie Holiday and Nina Simone, her favourite singers. "I just like the idea of keeping them close. I like the idea of them coming on tour with me." She laughs. "It makes me happy."

After high school, Del Rey attended Fordham, a university in the Bronx where she finished a BA with a major in philosophy, but felt out of sync with campus life. "I had my own world going on," she says, "and it was really different from people who just go out every night."

With the $10,000 she received for her first record deal, halfway through college, she rented a trailer in the New Jersey town of North Bergen for $400 a month and dedicated herself to songwriting and video-making. Her parents, she says, had "traditional expectations" for her career that were "geared towards keeping me safe" after her troubled teens, so "most of my musical world was kept under wraps ... I don't want to say it was a frivolous prospect, but we have nurses in the family, and teachers, and that was more of a reliable profession."

 

 

The shift in style between the blonde Lizzy Grant days and the auburn Lana Del Rey is disconcerting to some people, who suspect it was engineered by others. But people who only compare Lizzy Grant with Lana Del Rey, she says, "don't have a reference for where I was coming from even before that. I was always singing and always changing - the timing of it hit when I was in a particular phase. It could have hit three years before that, and then they would have been going back to the era when I wasn't platinum, and I was in my natural hair colour." In that case, she guesses, the critics would have said, "Now she's trying to be Marilyn; she's performing in cherry earrings and high heels."

Del Rey's retro-glam style may appear consciously crafted, but "I don't really feel that way," she says. "I wear jeans every day, so I won't wear them on stage." She rejects the idea that her style is dictated by anyone. "I'm a very independent agent. I run my own show, it's my world. There's never that many talks about, you know, 'When you go on tour, what are you going to look like?' because they know it's going to be as it is - I'll put a dress on, I'll do my hair. My public perception is different from my personal life, which is a very easy, natural way of going about things." Meanwhile, she says, "there are pop stars who are regarded as really authentic and innovative who spend hours putting their outfits together".

 

 

Authenticity, the issue that obsesses her critics, "isn't an interesting concept for me," Del Rey explains. "It's interesting that they're not asking that question of people who don't even write their own stuff." The truth is, she says, "I've always been really at home with myself and maybe that turns people off. Maybe that's a problem for people. It's funny - I ended up following my gut instinct and that's led me to where I am."

At her San Francisco show a week later, palm trees, giant floral arrangements and gothic candelabras adorn the stage. Del Rey strolls on in a short, white baby-doll dress, wearing flat slip-ons. She kicks them off at one point and performs the rest of the show barefoot. She runs her hands constantly through her hair, which she wears in natural-looking waves. There are no costume changes, and the presentation feels less slick and choreographed than most performances on Australian Idol. The 7000-seat auditorium is filled with young men and women, many of the girls wearing flowing dresses and flower garlands in tribute to one of Del Rey's defining looks. They know all the lyrics, singing along in an eerie backing chorus to every track when they aren't screaming in excitement. "This is f...ing awesome!" Del Rey calls out. "I really feel a connection!"

 

 

Towards the end of our conversation in LA, we head outside to the car park for a cigarette break. "It's part of my process, unfortunately," she apologises. She took up smoking at around the same time she gave up drinking, when she was 18. "I used to drink a lot and now I don't drink at all," she says. Was there a catalyst for that decision? "My whole life was the catalyst. It was a mess." She thinks for a moment and says, "I did lose my car, my family's car. That was not a good thing. I guess that was a catalyst." I wonder if this is a euphemism for crashing it, but it's more prosaic. "I forgot where I put it." She sighs and smiles ruefully.

While she was getting sober, she says, "I spent a lot of time figuring out my life's path, which was being of service to people around me. It's still a part of my life." She lives on the edge of LA's Koreatown, she tells me, where a lot of homeless people need help getting their lives back together. "My time [off] is spent doing outreach-type things. I don't often go into it because it's yet another facet that's so kind of jarring," she says, referring to preconceptions of her as a person whose head is filled only with "vintage dresses". "I've learnt to keep things I actually do sort of to myself."

 

http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/lolita-in-the-hood-20140505-37r6n.html

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"her uncle had recently taken up a position there as admissions officer, and he helped to arrange financial aid" I was sure before that she's not from a billionaire family but this is pretty shocking that they didn't have the money and she needed financial aid. And her mother a teacher? I know how "well" paid teachers are... so that's a big blow to the manufactured with daddy's money story

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Since then she's become a collector of early editions of classic books, including a signed first edition of Howl by Allen Ginsberg. Names of her sources of inspiration are tattooed on her body, all in elegant copperplate: "Whitman" and "Nabokov", tributes to the writers Gene introduced her to, on her right forearm; "Chateau Marmont", the famous Hollywood hotel, on the other. "Nina" and "Billie" are on her left upper chest, for Billie Holiday and Nina Simone, her favourite singers. "I just like the idea of keeping them close. I like the idea of them coming on tour with me." She laughs. "It makes me happy."

 

So Nina Billie not Nina Bella

but i didn't know about her Chateau tattoo


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"I was lonely," she says, but "I had this teacher who was my only friend in school. His name was Gene. He read us Leaves of Grass and we read Lolita in class, and it changed my world, which was a really solitary world. I didn't have a connection to anyone in class and when I found these writers, I knew they were my people." Gene was just a few years older than her, fresh from Georgetown University. "He would sign me out and we would listen to Tupac and stuff in his car," she remembers, "and he would teach me about old movies like Citizen Kane. He taught me everything."

["Prom Song (Gone Wrong)" starts playing softly in a distance]

 

If you're lonely, baby, hold me

You're my only one

Watching television, kiss until we see the sun

 

You played me Biggie Smalls and then my first Nirvana song

So even though when no one's friends we're really serious

I knew you loved me by the way you looked in second period

 

:judgingu3:

 

 

Since then she's become a collector of early editions of classic books, including a signed first edition of Howl by Allen Ginsberg. Names of her sources of inspiration are tattooed on her body, all in elegant copperplate: "Whitman" and "Nabokov", tributes to the writers Gene introduced her to, on her right forearm; "Chateau Marmont", the famous Hollywood hotel, on the other. "Nina" and "Billie" are on her left upper chest, for Billie Holiday and Nina Simone, her favourite singers. "I just like the idea of keeping them close. I like the idea of them coming on tour with me." She laughs. "It makes me happy."

So "The Other Woman" might be a thing after all, huh? 

 

There's never that many talks about, you know, 'When you go on tour, what are you going to look like?' because they know it's going to be as it is - I'll put a dress on, I'll do my hair. My public perception is different from my personal life, which is a very easy, natural way of going about things." Meanwhile, she says, "there are pop stars who are regarded as really authentic and innovative who spend hours putting their outfits together".

Interesting. Sounds so legit :usrs:


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She thinks for a moment and says, "I did lose my car, my family's car. That was not a good thing. I guess that was a catalyst." I wonder if this is a euphemism for crashing it, but it's more prosaic. "I forgot where I put it." She sighs and smiles ruefully.

we've been looking at it all wrong...K = her family's Kia. her entire discography is dedicated to the lost car

 

 

:godlaugh:

 


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Wow, this is really one of the most revealing interviews EVER. :O And one of th best overall. FINALLY

 
  • Talking with John Ehmann at interscope since Diet MTN Dew was uploaded
  • More stills from Born To Die video need to leak ASAP… :oprah3:
  • Period of writer’s block while touring after Born To Die 
  • Her mom taught at the school she attended
  • Mr. Campbell name drop :O
  • "Nina Bella" tattoo is actually "Nina Billie" after Nina Simone and Billie holiday
  • Rented trailer halfway through college for $400 a month
  • "don't have a reference for where I was coming from even before that. I was always singing and always changing - the timing of it hit when I was in a particular phase. It could have hit three years before that, and then they would have been going back to the era when I wasn't platinum, and I was in my natural hair colour.”
    Lizzy Grant and Sirens tease  :creep:
  • "there are pop stars who are regarded as really authentic and innovative who spend hours putting their outfits together".
    Even some “shade”  :deadbanana:
  • [smoking] "It's part of my process, unfortunately," she apologises. She took up smoking at around the same time she gave up drinking, when she was 18. "I used to drink a lot and now I don't drink at all," she says. Was there a catalyst for that decision? "My whole life was the catalyst. It was a mess." She thinks for a moment and says, "I did lose my car, my family's car. That was not a good thing. I guess that was a catalyst." I wonder if this is a euphemism for crashing it, but it's more prosaic. "I forgot where I put it." She sighs and smiles ruefully :bye2:

wtf I pictured the teacher to be middle aged, him being just a few years older than her changes everything  :dafuq:

I wouldn't trust Lana when it comes to describing ages  :creep:


"It's 2011, and we should all be aware of exactly how fast technology is developing" - Lana Del Rey

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I wouldn't trust Lana when it comes to describing ages  :creep:

 

Aside from that, wasn't he her history teacher or something? Historically speaking, ten years -- even twenty -- is like nothing at all. :P


ɪ'ᴍ ʏᴏᴜʀ ʟɪᴛᴛʟᴇ ʙᴀʙʏᴅᴏʟʟ

 

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ʏᴏᴜ ᴍʏ ᴍɪsᴛᴇʀ ʀᴏᴄᴋ'ɴ'ʀᴏʟʟ

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Amazing interview. I love her and the fact she will be 27 forever  :usrs: 

"It really doesn't matter what I say." yes it does babe!

 

 

"her uncle had recently taken up a position there as admissions officer, and he helped to arrange financial aid" I was sure before that she's not from a billionaire family but this is pretty shocking that they didn't have the money and she needed financial aid. And her mother a teacher? I know how "well" paid teachers are... so that's a big blow to the manufactured with daddy's money story

 

I guess her dad made a lot of money after or just when she was a teen. Lana is 28-29..so if you think domains got a lot of value during the early 2000's it fits with her teen years


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I really like this interview, it feels honest rather than a lot of pretentious stuff that used to come out of other ones. I think she sounds good on paper for the first time in a long time! It's interesting  :creep:  that teacher is so inappropriate tbh but 'is it wrong???' 

 

 "I'm not a provocateur. I love to write. The written word is one of the last forms of magic we have. I love rhyming and writing. For years my focus was on building a beautiful visual world and beautiful sonic world and yeah, having such a strong reaction was ... surprising? I don't know." - that's why I don't have much love for pepsi cola pussy/fucked my way to the top, I understand the song will probably be a fuck you to the critics or whatever, but it's not Lana.  Also I really like what she says about writing "It's this feeling that comes over you, like falling in love," it's true. 



 


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