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08-01-2012
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*ana*'s Avatar
 
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I translated the Inrockuptibles interview, it's quite interesting... (French and English native speakers, feel free to correct me)
Quote:
What is your first memory of singing?
I remember myself next to my grandmother, we were singing Donnie Brasco, and for the first time I felt pleasure in singing. I’d also sing at the church, at school, everywhere… But it’s not something I work on. I have no discipline, no technique, I’ve never took any lessons. I just like to play with my voice, from the highest to the lowest pitch. When I listen to myself, the authority of my voice amazes me. It seems naïve to say that, but I love my songs, they move me to tears… When I find myself alone in the studio facing the microphone, I’m so free, capable of anything… I feel safer than anywhere else in these little “boxes” that are my songs. In life, I’m not good at many things: my only talent is to sing. In a song, I know how to express exactly what I feel, even more than in a conversation. It’s really relieving not to have to tell everything, to explain.

How do you explain to your producers the unique sound you want your songs to have?
I ask them, for example, that the chords sound like American Beauty meets Bruce Springsteen in Miami. Or I tell them “Think of a high school girl who escapes to get high."

So you are a director as much as a musician?
Director, yes, that suits me. Especially since the string arrangers that we use come all from the cinema. I’m very sensitive to the sound in a movie, I love, for example, the soundtrack of American Beauty by Thomas Newman, the soundtrack of The Godfather, of Scarcface… Movies are therapy for me. I watch them alone, always the same ones, waiting for their happy endings. They inspire me musically, in particular for the string instruments, but not for the lyrics, ‘cause these are autobiographical: I can’t borrow, can’t cheat.

Why did you create the character Lana Del Rey and abandon your real name, Elizabeth Grant?
There is no frontier, no character assigned. People call me both Lizzy and Lana. When I was younger, I was always writing. Lana was my artistic project, the band I never had. I’m progressing without a mask. Lana hasn’t given me any right, any license.

Do you work a lot?
Francis Ford Coppola once said: “If you sit at an office every day, your muse will know where to find you.” I tried, but that doesn’t work. She comes when she wants to, where she wants to. Sometimes, she abandons me for months. But I no longer fear her absence. I know she’ll come back, that a song will befall me, at once, when I don’t expect it. I don’t need a room or an office, ‘cause I have my secret route, after eight years. It starts on 59th Street, follows the docks up to Canal Street, crosses the Chinese and Italian neighborhoods, then returns by the East Side… I’ve realized that for my mind to wander I must be in movement. I’ve come across Lou Reed many times, apparently he uses the same technique! I’ve always done this, since my childhood in Lake Placid, in Upstate New York, close to the Canadian frontier. So I’d go into the forest, alone by choice… It was very isolated, mountainous, very dark, one side of it was a bit Twin Peaks. Not surprisingly I feel at home in Lynch’s movies! Since I started, my music has been described as “Lynchian”. It seems we both have dark hearts.

When did you start writing?
Very young. Poetry, then short stories, then finally songs, awful ones initially. I studied philosophy and metaphysics. This passion for words I own to my best friend Gene, my English teacher at the time. He showed me, when I was 15, the books by Jack Kerouac, Allan Ginsberg… Suddenly I no longer felt lonely, lost in my dreams. I finally knew that there were people like me, a bit weird, out of it. I really was saved by the beat poets. They opened a huge window for me, reassuring my mental health. In Lake Placid, there weren’t many people who shared my universe, so the books became my close friends. They’d tell me about New York, about people of whom I became close. I recovered this mood studying philosophy, surrounded by people who weren’t ashamed of questioning, of asking “why do we exist?” instead of “what will the weather be tomorrow?”

Why did you choose music?
When I arrived in New York, at 18, a small label offered me 10 000 dollars to make a first record. I spent one year in my bedroom on 42nd Street polishing it, producing it. It was like an outlet. I needed to purge myself of my dark ideas. The result was wonderful. But nobody listened to it, except for a few fans who have followed me ever since. It’s a very dark album, uncomfortable. I was nothing but an 18-year-old young girl, my music has matured since then, but for me there wasn’t a great change between that album and the next one: just a 6 year old black hole. But well, I won’t claim my authenticity, my credibility. Deep down I don’t even feel like a real stage singer… First of all, I’m a writer, then maybe a singer. Being on stage is against my nature, I wasn’t born an exhibitionist.

The stage, is it never a pleasure?
I’m too focused to let myself go, I’m afraid of mistakes, so I control everything. When I see images of Jeff Buckley, this extraordinary freedom, I tell myself that he really incarnates music. I don’t. I don’t let myself evade. Music was his life. I constantly think about him. Also about Elliott Smith. But I had to get rid of all of his albums, I felt a certain hostility [from them], an evil side…

Are you a dreamer?
I was when I was a child, until now, that I refuse to escape from reality, that I’ve accepted to see its beauty. I was awakened and I love this world. My music is very hazy, dreamy, so I compensate with raw lyrics rooted in everyday life. I don’t deceive. I was raised with traditional values, but since then my life hasn’t been very orthodox. I’ve always listened to my instinct, followed a complex but personal route. The only values that I keep and claim are honesty and integrity. At school, teachers quickly understood. I was free, they let me learn by myself, in my rhythm. I’ve always lived like this, in my head, asking me questions without answers. And I was afraid: of making music, of not achieving my goals.

Your life really started when you arrived in New York, at 18?
There was never a conflict with my parents. As children, even if we didn’t have many records at home, we sang all the time by ourselves. But my learning of music, on stage and on record, I’ve actually had when I arrived in New York. I discovered, at the same time, Sinatra, Dylan, Jeff Buckley, Nina Simone, Elvis, Nirvana… And I stayed there – I found happiness. Since then I’ve constantly listened to the same albums, obsessively. There’s rarely a novelty. The last one was the hip hop collective Odd Future.

Do you analyze a lot what you listen to?
I don’t analyze anything, my brain filters things in a natural way. That doesn’t serves me musically anyway. Other people’s music doesn’t inspire me for mine. Besides, I’m quite unable of describing my music, its influences. It’s just… too weird. I like it when me and my songs are one, I felt that when I wrote Video Games. Then I wrote Blue Jeans very quickly at the beach in Santa Monica, and there I knew that that would be the vibe of the album: summery and dark at the same time, the joy of the summer light and the sureness that it wouldn’t last. I immediately knew that Video Games would be an important song for me, it gave a sequel to Yayo, my first record’s last song that I loved. But I never imagined it would become so popular – it’s too long, too personal.

Like in all of your songs, this mixture of cerebral and animal…
(She interrupts)... Yeah it’s exactly that. Even though I’ve spent most of my life confined in my head, I’m haunted by physical pleasure. I love Born To Die because of this: in its arms, I feel the passion of my lover, a true neurological metamorphosis. It feels really good to escape from my mental reality. I like to juxtapose this feeling of ecstasy with this fixed idea that everything will end with death… I don’t know any combination better than animal and cerebral.
By the way, according to cede.ch, the complete tracklist of Born To Die is:

1. Video Games
2. Blue Jeans
3. Born To Die
4. Diet Mountain Dew
5. Million Dollar Man
6. Radio
7. Summertime Sadness
8. Carmen
9. Off To The Races
10. This Is What Makes Us Girls
11. Lolita
12. National Anthem

Deluxe edition:
1. Video Games
2. Blue Jeans
3. Born To Die
4. Put The Radio On
5. Million Dollar Man
6. Diet Mountain Dew
7. Summertime Sadness
8. Carmen
9. Off To The Races
10. This Is What Makes Us Girls
11. Lolita
12. National Anthem
13. Without You
14. Dark Paradise
15. Hundred Dollar Bill

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Last edited by *ana*; 08-01-2012 at 10:39 PM.
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09-01-2012
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Very nice interview and amazing translation ana! I love the bit about Jeff Buckley, so true

 
09-01-2012
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In the interviews Lana came out as a many-sided personality, a really profound person. She's charismatic and enigmatic. Still, I can't help but perceiving her a bit as a "fictional character", even if she claim she's not wearing a mask. That would not be necessarily a bad thing about her, 'cause being an artist, a performer, is offering "a dream" to the audience, and genuineness in art is not always about being 100% yourself.

Beside that, it's nice she has her skills without studying, but at this point she should start to, 'cause her live performances are sometimes disappointing.

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09-01-2012
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Lana Del Rey Performing 'Video Games' live at Corinthia Hotel London


 
10-01-2012
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She seems so shy

 
10-01-2012
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She sounds and looks much more relaxed in the video..I like it a lot. I hope the stress won't get to her during her SNL appearance.

 
10-01-2012
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The Ballad of Lana Del Rey
Photographed by Karim Sadli
Styled by Jay Massacret



issuu via tarsha

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10-01-2012
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^ It's from V Magazine #75, if anyone wonders.

 
10-01-2012
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Thank you bilQuis. That's beautiful. The whole set and styling fits perfectly what I imagine for Video Games (also Yayo and Born To Die), this kind of 50s glamour (the microphone! ).

Her SNL performance is next saturday (14), right?

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Last edited by *ana*; 10-01-2012 at 11:18 AM.
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10-01-2012
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Yep! With Daniel Radcliffe hosting.

 
10-01-2012
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I love watching her perform live. I agree she will need to continue to grow and improve, which makes it that much more interesting to watch her with each new performance. I can't wait to see her on SNL.

 
10-01-2012
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I really liked the performance at Corinthia Hotel. I'm not an exepert and I don't claim to have such a great musical ear, but I liked the way she managed to control her voice this time. The little margin of uncertainty in this case seemed functional to transmit a delicate sense of vulnerability that really fits the song.

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11-01-2012
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I'm in love with her. I don't find any aspect of her to be a falsity or deceiving. Her look isn't really offensive either, nor does it clash with her style of music. Lana's femininity and vulnerable expression really sell the nonchalant summer/reverie. And what's more is that beautiful interview above the page, I've never read something as poignant. She's really succinct in her answers and more than that, inspiring and humble. I can appreciate that in any artist.

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12-01-2012
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She is extremely beautiful. The baby Ann-Margret demeanor suits her very naturally. I'm glad there's a new refinement in pop after all the messy and silliness of the pop starlets of the last few years. However, can't help but hear Hope Sandoval v2.0 in her voice and musical style.

 
12-01-2012
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Quote:
January 12th, 2012 | 11:30 am
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Artist On The Verge Lana Del Rey Talks SNL, Coachella And Paz De La Huerta’s T*ts
by Mark Graham



Lana Del Rey is almost nothing like you’d expect her to be. Let us explain.

In just under six months, Del Rey has gone from being a virtual unknown to landing a highly coveted gig as the musical guest on this weekend’s episode of Saturday Night Live, an opportunity that some artists work their entire careers for and never achieve. The booking of this artist, best known for her uniquely sexy voice and a cinematic style of music she describes as “Summertime sadness,” totally makes sense, though. While it’s true that she hasn’t even released her album yet —Born To Die streets on January 31— Lana has already experienced a career’s worth of buzz (and, subsequently, backlash) in indie blogosphere circles, mostly stemming from questions regarding her quote-unquote “authenticity.” This, in combination with the mysterious persona she projects in her videos and her somewhat defiant performance at the Bowery Ballroom back in December, led us to believe that she might come off as being cryptic and guarded during her interview here at VH1 HQ in New York City yesterday. The Lana Del Rey we met, though, was anything but: During the 45 minutes or so we spent with her, she was happy, effusive, relatable and totally forthcoming about the rocket ride that she’s been on for the last half of the year.

“You wanna hear a little story?” We’ve been talking to Del Rey for a few minutes about her self-made, self-edited, collage-style music videos for “Video Games” and “Blue Jeans”, the treatments of which propelled the indie chanteuse from obscurity into the spotlight, but that were also initially met with puzzlement by clueless suits at record labels (“For a long time, nobody thought that anything fit together. I brought things into different labels and to different people and they all thought it was really f***ing weird. They thought that the videos didn’t have a strong narrative and that they were creepy.”). We raise the issue of Paz De La Huerta, an actress who, depending on your vantage point in life, is either a hot mess or your spirit animal. Footage of a clearly overserved Paz made its way into Del Rey’s cut of “Video Games,” an intriguing creative decision that lends a zeitgeist-y and almost Lynchian-circa-Mulholland Drive feel to the video, underscoring the overlap in the Venn diagram of Hollywood where glamour, darkness and tragedy meet. So, we posed, did Lana ever hear from Paz herself?

“I was singing in Paris a couple months ago for Thanksgiving,” Lana regales with a slightly mischievous glint in her eye. “There’s this girl in the audience and she’s gorgeous. I can kind of only see her silhouette, she’s getting, like, her t*ts out. I’m like, ‘God, that’s unusual.’ So I go offstage [after singing 'Video Games'], I go upstairs, and my manager’s like, ‘You’ll never believe it, but Paz De La Huerta was getting her t*ts out to the song!’ I was like, ‘My vision is complete. My life is f***ing made.’ And so I’ve been at peace ever since that moment.”

Regarding her statement about being “at peace,” sure, she was being slightly facetious in her response, but during the course of our time with her yesterday, we didn’t see any behavior to belie her off-the-cuff statement. She strolled into our offices here in Times Square looking as gorgeous as you’d expect, but definitely not glammed up to the nines by a squadron of stylists or anything. She was dressed casually in a pair of jeans, brown flats and a black leather jacket, and not looking even the slightest bit nervous about her big moment on SNL this weekend OR the least bit bummed that she was inexplicably snubbed by the organizers of the Coachella festival when the lineups for the 2012 shows were announced earlier this week.

“I’m probably not the best candidate for f***ing Coachella, you know?”, she self-deprecatingly confessed. “I stand there and sing. I’m not that exciting.” A smile slowly creeps across her face as she admits that, “That’s probably why they weren’t like dying to have me on stage,” and then she breaks out in laughter. As we told her in the moment (and as you’ll see in the video above), Coachella, it’s your loss.

Speaking of her live performances, it’s clear that one of the things she’s concentrating on is working on getting more comfortable on stage. Most artists get to hone their craft over months and years of playing in front of small audiences, but not the artist known as Lana Del Rey. It’s not exactly a secret that before she adopted the moniker Lana Del Rey, she performed for audiences in and around New York City as Lizzy Grant —you can even find her since-shelved “debut” album, produced by David Kahne, on file-sharing services if you’re halfway decent at typing words into Google— but ever since her first official concert as Lana Del Rey back in September, the eyes of the knives-out indie blogosphere have been on her. Amrit Singh of the popular indie rock blog Stereogum noted that her show at Williamsburg’s Glasslands was performed in front of “a crowd of folded arms,” and took a snarky shot across her bow when he flatly described said show thusly: “She chewed a lot of gum.”

That slam didn’t dissuade curious concertgoers from snapping up tickets to her December show at the Bowery Ballroom, a concert which sold out in minutes. We were in attendance that night, and can comfortably report that Del Rey possesses the ability to transfix her audience, but even she admits that it wasn’t her finest hour as a performer.

“To be honest, I wish it had gone a little differently at the Bowery,” she explains. “I’ve played a lot of shows in Europe and they were all amazing, to my surprise, ’cause I could hear myself really well. But at The Bowery, as soon as [my band] started playing, I felt the drums and the bass reverberating up into my microphone. So when I started to sing, all I could hear was bass and drums. So that really freaked me out, because I couldn’t hear myself.”

However, rather than crawl in a hole and pity herself, Del Rey persevered and ventured back to Europe to work on her stage game. She performed on a number of major European television programs (“The only thing you ever think about on live TV is ‘Don’t f*** up’”), played a number of well-received gigs across the pond, and became a darling of the rabid UK music press (she’s currently on the cover of Q Magazine). Her single “Video Games” climbed into the UK Top 10 Singles chart, and now she’s prepared to launch her album here Stateside with a flurry of television appearances. She told us that she’d also be heading out on the road later this year, where she’s planning a couple of festival appearances, followed by a small US club tour in the fall.

However, at this point, the question on everyone’s lips is whether or not America will warm to Lana Del Rey’s slightly left-of-center musical sensibilities. Her record label, Interscope, is certainly making a big bet on her, booking her on Saturday Night Live and shelling out for a big budget video for her current single, “Born To Die” (which, btw, has been streamed over 10 million times on YouTube). The song, like “Video Games” and “Blue Jeans”, has that a very cinematic, widescreen kind of sound, featuring sweeping, lush instrumentals paired with huge, hip hop beats courtesy of producer Emile Haynie. However, even Del Rey herself admits that “It’s not like a hit song or anything. It’s not like an uptempo or traditional pop song, but it’s my favorite [on the album].” In other words, she’s not overly concerned with chasing chart glory at the expense of her artistic vision.

It’s exactly this kind of self-awareness that bodes well for Lana Del Rey, both as a person and as an artist, in the long term. She seems innately comfortable in her own skin, supremely confident in her musical vision, and not the least bit caught up in the tornado of hype that’s been swirling around her for months. “I’m not a star, I’m not famous,” she professed early on during her conversation with us yesterday, one that ended with a vigorous discussion of her love for reality TV (Mob Wives and the Real Housewives Of New Jersey are favorites) and why she wouldn’t even dream of ceding control of her social media presence (“Obviously I run my own Facebook and Twitter accounts, that’d be f***ing weird if I didn’t!”). While she may not be a “star” yet, one thing is certain: By the time Daniel Radcliffe says his goodbyes from NBC’s Studio 8H this Saturday night, hundreds of thousands of curious SNL viewers will certainly be heading to Google to find out more about her.
vh1.com




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Last edited by *ana*; 12-01-2012 at 06:37 PM.
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