Perhaps it's time to put aside our differences about Lana Del Rey and band together in concern, because the singer had some super-troubling things to say in a recent interview with The Guardian. One of the more troubling statements? "I wish I was dead already."
There was context to the quote, said in an interview with Tim Jonze. She and her boyfriend apparently share many heroes that are members of the infamous "27 Club," made up of cultural icons that die at age 27. Tim asked Lana, who's currently 27 herself, if she finds death glamorous. "I don't know. Umm, yeah," she responds, followed by that worrisome bit.
She continues, "I don't want to have to keep doing this, but I am … [Not just music], everything. That's just how I feel. If it wasn't that way, then I wouldn't say it. I would be scared if I knew [death] was coming, but…"
Later in the interview, as Lana smoked a cigarette on the balcony of her New Orleans hotel room, she appears to be happier — but quickly the conversation turns to her dissatisfaction. "Family members will come on the road with me and say, 'Wow, your life is just like a movie,'" she says. "And I'm like, 'Yeah, a really f—ked up movie."
Born Elizabeth Grant, Lana Del Rey launched a million thinkpieces after her first huge single, "Video Games," became popular. The buzz around the song, and the album containing it, "Born to Die," was one of controversy: Was her image self-created, or engineered by a label? Did she have plastic surgery? Was her success due, in part, to her family's money? Does it matter?
It's not just the thinkpieces, either — in 2012, after an incident with a hacker, songs-in-progress, financial records, and more private files started to appear online. The backlash against her has been tangible.
"I think there's an element of sexism going on, but I feel that it's more personal… I just can't catch a feminist angle," she says when asked if she's experiencing the same vitriol that often follows solo female artists. "I'm really not [a provocateur] and never have been. I don't think there's any shock value in my stuff — well, maybe the odd disconcerting lyric — but I think other people probably deserve the criticism, because they're eliciting it."
Given that it's hard to mention Lana without reflecting on some super-stressful times, you'd think that "f—ked up movie" referred to her magnetism for controversy. But she says that had nothing to do with it. "I never felt any enjoyment," she clarifies when asked if she was able to briefly enjoy the success of "Video Games." "It was all bad. All of it."
So if it's all terrible — and if, as she says, she "already said everything I wanted to say" on Born to Die — why release her new album, Ultraviolence? "I mean, I still feel [I said everything]," she explains, "but with this album I felt less like I had to chronicle my journeys and more like I could just recount snippets in my recent past that felt exhilarating to me."
One of those snippets got an early start in her 2012 single "Ride," which shows her hooking up, sometimes awkwardly, with a long succession of middle-aged men, including bikers. When asked how much of that was taken from her actual life, she says, "100%." The interviewer clarifies: Hanging out with biker gangs? Hooking up with all those dudes? "Yeah," she says, laughing awkwardly.
Meeting up with strangers, she says, is actually one of her favorite things to do. "I was inspired by Dylan's stories of meeting people and making music after you met them. I met a lot of singers, painters, bikers passing through," she says of some tougher times in her life, adding that she "sometimes" still does this. "They were friends, or sometimes more. All people I was really interested in on impact."
Lana certainly lives an interesting life — and it's pretty worrisome that she's wishing it would end. Whether it's part of her romantic mystique or a very literal death wish, we gotta admit, we're pretty worried about her!
Lana Del Rey's latest album, Ultraviolence, was released today, June 13.
Source: The Guardian