Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Stevie Nicks Interviews Lana Del Rey

In anticipation of her fifth album, Lust for Life, which comes out on July 21st, Lana Del Rey recently sat down for an interview with V Magazine, conducted by Stevie Nicks. Here are some of the highlights from that interview:

SN So, let us start here on your new record. But let us first touch on the fact that your first record was called Born to Die. Now this [record] is Lust for Life. In between that, what is it that affected you enough to go from Born to Die to Lust for Life? Because Born to Die is pretty dark and Lust for Life is pretty light. If you have a lust for life, that’s a pretty strong statement.

LDR Yeah, they’re complete opposites, and it’s funny because when I chose the title, I didn’t think about it right away. It was the title of the first song I wrote for this record. But there are so many things that have gotten me to the point that I’m at now. One of them is just time. And because I do write everything myself, I just wanted to chronicle how I was feeling honestly, in the moment, for each record. So, I had a lot of stories that I wanted to tell that I hadn’t told yet up until this point. And now, through the last four records, I got out a lot of those stories and a lot of those feelings, and for the first time, I’ve caught myself up to real time. And now, I’m at this place where I feel like I’m really present, and when I’m reading the news, I’m really reading it, whereas before I was a little bit in my own head. So, there’s definitely been a feeling of freedom and lightness being in the present moment. That brings on that lust for life feeling, when you don’t have all of those feelings about the past weighing you down. I remember an interview that you did once where you said, “Around every corner there’s an adventure waiting to happen,” and I’m kind of in that zone right now. I just feel like whatever each day brings me is something that I need and I want. It’s just time. Time has brought me here.

SN The way that we write is like we’re writing a diary as our songs go. If I listen to all the songs from Bella Donna, and then I listen to all the songs from Wild Heart, all the songs from Rock a Little, and then I get to The Other Side of the Mirror…I was just thinking about this one song I called “Doing the Best I Can (Escape from Berlin).” It goes, [begins to sing] “It’s all right, baby, I’m doing the best that I can.” I named it that because of this idea of escape. Something horrible was going on in Berlin, and I was also finding my way. I was in a drug-filled fog at that point, fighting for survival. I look back on it and go, You were really trying to survive in 1989. And then I actually went to rehab in 1994 to get off that horrible tranquilizer, Klonopin—from there, I start watching my life come back around, starting with a record I did called Sweet Angel, which was about the aftermath of rehab and coming back into the real world. And from then on, my path started to go up. And if I had not written all those songs, even reading all my journals from that time, they wouldn’t have really told the story, but the songs really told me the story of how bad that whole thing was. And I could watch, through the songs, my life start to come back to me. I think that we put out this running commentary on not just what’s going on in our lives, but what’s going on in the world at the same time. It’s a parallel thing. So, I see you doing the same things as I did.

LDR It’s a delicate balance because you’re chronicling your own story and then you’re also reflecting back what you see. It can take work not to let your world get too small, so that you’re still in both worlds. You’ve got your world with your own inner dialogue and your own narrative and the way that you write, and then there’s everything else. It’s funny, it’s been a minute since I’ve gone through my records, but I did do it recently and I hear so much of my own self and my own stories, but I don’t get as much of the outside world as I thought [I would]. This record is really different. When there were the women’s marches, I was writing about that. There was enough space in my mind to really absorb everything. I think I was very much in the mix of culture in California over the last five years, but it feels good to feel more connected to a wider world.

SN I think we’re all much more connected with what’s going on right now.

LDR That’s true. Regardless of where someone is at personally, the current landscape jolts you into being present, if you’re not crazy. If you’re a normal person, you’re suddenly aware and watching everything.

SN I think as songwriters right now, there’s a lot of songs I’d like to write that wouldn’t be very nice songs, but I’m not going to do it because we’re not going to help anybody by doing that. Then we’re just going to be in with the masses and we’re not going to be above the fray. Write your songs, but remember that we’re the ones that are here to lighten, to lighten life, to light the lanterns and the little fairy lights, and try to keep people going. We have to have hope. We have to believe that this will all end up okay and that we’ll all end up okay. Because if we don’t do it, then who the hell is gonna do it?

LDR You’re right, there’s no other way. As far as I’m concerned, there’s really not another way to sensibly think about it. I was never a huge self-editor—I wrote songs and then I felt like, Okay, well that’s that. And now, I’ve found in the last two years that I’ve really been editing some of the language of some of the songs in light of the political landscape, [because] I don’t want to be a part of anything that adds to that negativity.

Read the full interview at V Magazine.

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