Lana Del Rey interview with Urban Outfitters

approved pub shot

About A Band: Lana Del Rey

Cameras snapping, celebrities crashing to the ground after a long night out, classic movie scenes in black and white—the old Hollywood image was there from the very beginning, when Lana Del Rey’s big bouffant and even bigger voice nearly broke the Internet the moment the opening bells of her debut song, “Video Games” tolled.

“With Born To Die, a lot of the concepts were about wanting to be free and not actually being free, and the road it took to bridge that gap,” Lana tells us of her debut. Her art has always been filled with contradiction, towing the line between the glamour and sadness of fame, between the intimacy and loneliness of love.

Her latest album, Honeymoon, is no different.

“With this record, there was a slight visual commentary on voyeurism, or rather, anti-voyeurism,” she says. The first single from the album, “High By The Beach,” puts this theme front and center. The video shows Lana wearing a flowing mint nightgown and pointing a machine gun half her size at the nosing helicopter of gawkers buzzing overhead to get a peek of her in her giant, all but deserted beach house.

Of course, the image is an exaggerated look into what it must be like to actually be Lana Del Rey. Air espionage may or may not factor in to the New York-born songwriter’s day-to-day life, but one thing is for certain: There has been no lack of attention on the woman who has managed to bring edgy elegance back into the spotlight; and Honeymoon doesn’t disappoint.

On the eve of her third album release, we spoke with Lana Del Rey about recording the new record, touring with fellow leading ladies, and what she can’t leave for tour without—read our exclusive interview below and pre-order Honeymoon on limited edition UO vinyl here.

What was the biggest learning you took from Ultraviolence—be it writing, recording, or touring—and applied to Honeymoon?
I think the biggest lesson I learned was there’s never a wrong time to write. Sometimes it takes years to make a record, and sometimes you write something right after you’ve released a record, but you’re crazy not to take advantage of the lyrical muse if it comes to you. Also, to not second-guess the direction that a record naturally takes itself—or a title for the record—if it presents itself to you.

What was the most memorable part of recording Honeymoon?
I have so many fond memories of recording this record, mostly because I love the producer I recorded it with, Rick Nowels. I guess just being able to go back-and-forth from the beach to the studio, and taking my time with the production, and mixing over the last 12 months—plus lots of early-morning coffee and vocal sessions.

What’s your secret to building a cohesive narrative on your record?
My secret is how much I love to sing. Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to be able to do my favorite thing every day. It can get tiring trying to build a cohesive world if a lot of people looking in on it don’t really see how it all fits together—but with me, it usually works out in the end. For me, it’s never been about sales; it’s about the vibe, and everyone I work with on the records gets that.

Ok, so someone’s picked up a copy of Honeymoon—where should they immediately go to listen to the album? Is there an ideal location?
[Laughs]. If they get the vinyl, maybe in their bedroom, if they have a vinyl player. Or in their living room next to a fire, since it’s almost going to be October. If they have it on their phone or on a CD, they could listen to it in the car while they’re driving down a long highway.

Your music videos are always works of art in and of themselves. What’s the one music video by another artist that has had the biggest impact on you?
Probably “Heart-Shaped Box” by Nirvana.

What are three things you always pack to take with you on tour?
My favorite jeans, my favorite leather jacket, and my record player.

Now that you’ve finished recording the album, what is the music you’re listening to?
I listen mostly to a radio station based out of Long Beach called K Jazz, and the Beach Boys and Connie Francis.

Whether it’s soundtracking a movie or modeling for a brand, how do you decide which outside projects to be involved in?
I try to only do things I’m interested in. It hasn’t been that hard in the last few years because I’ve had so many great opportunities. I was really excited when I was talking to Disney about singing the song for Maleficent.

You’ve toured with some incredible women, from Courtney Love to Grimes. What’s been the favorite thing you’ve learned from them while on the road?
Well, the thing I really loved about Courtney was she was up for anything. She’s played a lot of shows before [and] made a lot of great music, but she’s a real performer through and through. I always felt like she played each show like it was going to be her last, and gave everything she had to the audience. In that way, she was really inspirational to watch. Grimes is amazing, too, because she’s so eclectic and does so much by herself.