Friday, January 16, 2009

Bonus feature: Lady GaGa interview

I spent a wonderfully filthy 30 minutes on the phone with Lady GaGa shortly before Christmas. The resulting feature went up on the BBC earlier this week [read it here]

But here, as a special treat for you lovely Discopop readers, are the bits that didn't make the cut.

Hello Lady GaGa! How are you?
Hey, it's so nice to meet you... I wish we were sitting down having tea.

That's very British of you.
Listen, I love tea. I must have tea time five times a day.

Have you written any songs about it?
Actually, I wrote the whole album drinking tea and blueberry-flavoured coffee.

What on earth is that?
They make it in America. It’s a Dunkin' Donuts corporate thing – but I can't get away from it. It's so good for you – the antoxidants. So delicious. Love it.

I wrote a song a long time ago, a couple of years ago, called Blueberry Kisses. It's about the coffee because I used to drink the coffee and I was dating this guy and whenever we'd kiss he'd be like: "Oh baby, you taste like blueberries". But it's also about oral sex.

Of course it is. Your album walks a fine line between commercial pop and utter filth. How deliberate was that?
I'd say, from a philosophy standpoint, the pop art element of my work is really important. I wanted the album to sound fresh, but I wanted it to be played on pop radio. Ever since I was 13 years old, I wanted to hear my songs on the radio.

Hold on one second, my tea is here!!

It's nice when they bring it to you, isn't it?
Oh yes. Except, in Canada I'm like quite big over here and I always forget. I don't know why – but I genuinely forget about fame sometimes. And I'm like in my fucking underwear. My hair looks like I just had a good time with a guy.

Have you just had a good time with a guy?
No! I'm alone today. That was a quick response, I'm impressed! But I'm actually quite focused as an artist. I don't really date at all. And if I do, it's very brief.

That's true for a lot of artists.
I just don't care enough about it. My art is so fuckin' important and if I'm going to be with someone, it's gotta be with somebody who understands that. Even if we make dinner plans, I might go mental mid afternoon and end up staying in the studio til four am. And they've gotta be okay with that.

That's quite a tough demand on someone.
It’s a tough demand... but I’m quite a woman to go home to!

You come across as very self-confident. Are there any insecurities hiding inside Lady GaGa?
Well, who doesn't have insecurities? I'm an artist. We're bred out of insecurities.

You need to be in a vulnerable place to write sometimes – Brown Eyes stands out in that way.
Brown Eyes I wrote a while ago. Almost every interviewer in the UK asks me about that song. Probably because it's very inspired by Queen and John Lennon. And I'm always very flattered by that. Because, when I wrote it, people said "oh, it's a bit like Lennon" and I'd say "nobody is going to compare Lennon to a blonde white girl in a bikini, believe me".

He’d have been all for that!
Yes, of course. I've got a peace sign tattooed to my wrist for that man.

Do you get ever get uncomfortable with the looks you get from the guys – or girls – in the audience?
No, they love it. I mean, I don't look naked. And I'm not in my skivs – I'm in fashion. That's the difference with my show now than when I was back in New York, when I was doing real underground pop stuff.

A lot of people don't realise that - that you've been working at this for years...
I've been around for ever! But that’s okay... Truthfully, nobody had any commercial knowledge about me until March because I didn't start touring the US until then. I've been touring NYC, but I didn't have money to get in a car and bring my show all around the country and still eat.

What was the best lesson you learnt from those early days?

This is the best thing I could say to any struggling artist that wants to be a star: You have to put your work in the room. I know you're afraid, I know you think you're still figuring out your sound, or your painting style, or the fashion you want to make – but nobody gives a fuck unless it's in the room. You can make it in your bedroom all you want, and ponder as to whether it's great. But it's not going to matter until you put it in the air. It's like the fabric, and the music and the paint has got to hit the molecules in the air and it's got to bounce off the retinas of everybody in the room. And they've gotta have feelings, and make noise, and make more molecules vibrate. And you'll know when you’ve done it right when the shift is so intense, you'll be like "that’s it. I did it."

You have to fail before you can get it right. Right?
Absolutely. If you never fail, you'll never be great. You’ve got really bomb at least once. I’ve played crowds and it's like crickets, man. Tumbleweed city. I'm 17 years old and I thought "why is everybody not responding" and then I thought "well, I'm bored. I don't even want to listen to me sing right now. I'm singing some nonsense about some guy who broke my heart. Who cares? How many times have you heard a song like that?".

I don't write about love, really. That's what I like about Amy Winehouse – she doesn't give a fuck about love in a certain kind of way. She'll write about it, but she'll write about it in a certain way – it's like love and death.

You can't write about love unless you really know about it. I don't know about it, so I write about sequins and parties and fame and how I wish that modern America was more like Andy Warhol in the 70s. I write about nostalgia, is what I write about.

One last question: In Just Dance, you sing "I wish I could shut my playboy mouth". What’s the last thing you said that got you into trouble?
How big is your dick to some guy – and he took it out... Oh wait, is this for a family publication? Well, in that case, I almost got in trouble with the label because I was asked to choose some props for a magazine shoot and I chose meat on a hook and live animals – a great dane and some live white birds. So I got myself into trouble for art.

Lady GaGa's generally excellent album is out now

Labels: , ,

<< Home

Newer Posts ::: Older Posts

© 2014 Discopop Directory | Contact | Go to the homepage