1. For music fans who may not yet know much about you, could you
give us some background information on your musical past / tell us about
when your love of music first began?
Well, I was the cantor in my church choir when I was younger and
I was in choirs all throughout highschool. I didn't listen to much popular
music when I grew up but I did watch a lot of movies, and I was always
writing music. When I got into highschool I listened to a lot of rap
and techno and eventually found different types of music that I loved
like elvis and van halen. My teacher in highschool Mr. Campbell, taught
me who all the greats were in every genre and eventually I came to know
what good music was.
2. Was it a conscious decision to be a solo artist, and where does
your stage name Lana Del Rey come from / why did you choose to use this
instead of your real name?
No. I wanted to be a band but the label I was with and the team
I had around me absolutely wanted me to be a solo artist. Lana Del Rey
came from a series of managers and lawyers over the last 5 years who
wanted a name that they thought better fit the sound of the music. My
music was always kind of cinematic so they wanted a name that reflected
the glamour of the sound.
3.Turning old-school for a moment, if you were to make a Mixtape for
me, including one of your own songs, what would you put on there + title
It would be called 'Sex on Ice' and I'd probably put Gangsters
Paradise on there
2.Flamingos 'I Only Have Eyes For You'
3.Britney Spears 'Hit Me Baby One More Time'
4.The Godfather Theme
5.Lee Hazlewood & Nancy Sinatra 'Some Velvet Morning'
6.Lana Del Rey 'Hey Lolita Hey'
7. Scarface Theme
8.Ennio Morricone 'Once Upon A Time In The West'
9. Mickey Avalon 'So Rich So Pretty'
4.Why do you think you are so drawn to vintage 50s / 60s
I don't know if I'm drawn to 50s music, but I'm drawn to the quality
of the recordings just as I'm drawn to the quality of the way movies
were filmed in that era. There's a feeling of lasting integrity and
beauty in most of the 50s music, but I suppose what mostly draws me
to that musical era is that there were good singers. Today, anyone can
be a singer, but back then, you had to have something special, a shining
personality, whether it be good or bad.
5. At the moment, youre currently based in London, when and why
did you decide to relocate here?
I relocated to London because there were a lot of writers
and producers who wanted to work with me. I've written in L.A. and New
York, but because what I'm doing is darker and more classic then most
American Pop, London is the right place for me to be. They don't expect
me to dumb anything down here. They're all about the smart.
6.When did you first realise that you had such a special voice /
how do you take care of it, and is it important to you to keep pushing
Vocally I never did anything to take care of myself. I'm on the
run, I'm always screaming and I eat tons of chocolate and milk, so I
shouldn't be able to sing the way I do. Thanks for saying I have SUCH
a special voice.
7.What was the first instrument that you ever owned, and is there
anything that you always play when trying-out a new instrument before
buying it, or any chords that never fail to fill you with inspiration?
Other than a kazoo I guess the first instrument was a guitar.
If I'm looking at a new guitar to buy, I just play one of my songs I've
written. But I'm shitty at the guitar so I don't find that much I can
do that inspires me musically. I'd rather have Frank try it out for
me and play a Van Halen Riff or something.
8.Do you adhere to any rules when writing and recording, in terms
of how a track will sound musically, melodically or rhythmically + is
there anyone whose opinions on your songs you value greatly?
Um, I go back and forth sometimes, I'm like Maria Callas, and
sometimes I'm like Bob Dylan. Dylan is a 3 take man. I can usually do
exactly what I wanna in 3 takes. But sometimes I like to take a long
time and piece a lot of different takes together like Maria, especially
if I'm working in some kind of operatic bridge.
9.If you could ask a musical hero anything, who would it be and what
would you ask them?
I would ask Elvis if he would kiss me.
10.Does writing lyrics come naturally to you and is there much revision
involved or do you trust your initial instinct + can you tell us about
your homemade videos, as for me, visually and thematically, they seem
to have been sparked off from your lyrics?
Yeah writing comes naturally to me, I spend most of my time writing
and lately I edit everything because I'm working with so many writers.
But my first record, even though it took years to write, was very instinctual.
Yess indeed I can tell you about my homemade videos, writing songs first
~ movies next, but the songs first come from memories I have. So then
I go online and try to find footage that is the equivalent to my life
experience. It's usually super 8 footage that you can tell means a lot
to whoever it belongs to. I like to take it, make it mine and mix it
with footage from my own actual past. I love making movies, it's my
passion. I like it as much as I like singing. The editing is the part
that makes the movie special, the timing of the scene changes and use
of brief flashes of light or scenery.
11.As you like metal and because your songs are much softer than
this musical genre, from all of the artists / bands that you admire,
what are some of your favourite noisy and gentle tracks?
Um, well Nirvana is my first love. I was in love with kurt and
the band as soon as I heard them. In terms of softer songs I like, the
flamingos, a beautiful doo wop band who sounds like heaven.
12.Youre currently in the studio working on your new album,
so will this be a continuation or an evolution from your debut long
Well at this point, I've written so many songs that I don't know
if I'm regressing or evolving. But I do the same thing I've always done
~ I write about what I know and I try and find the most beautiful melodies
13.I read that you live in your songs, so what does it
mean to you to play your songs live and have there been many memorable
shows for you to date?
I do live in my songs, and so I love singing them at shows or
at home alone. The shows all just blend into the rest of my life since
I sing all day long. But they are always memorable since I have so many
weird and sexy people who come to say hello. It's always a freak show
and I enjoy every show.
14.If you had to go shopping for someone and buy a record, a book and
a film what would they be and why?
I would buy the same things for anyone. I think everyone should
have the book "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill. The
movie "Don't Look Back" by D.A. Pennebaker, and for a record,
I would get "Agnus Dei" composed by Samuel Barbe.
15.Lastly, chips or cream buns?
I would truthfully do both. I'm an American girl and I'm the junk
food queen. I still have a banana split almost every morning and I have
french fries for dinner. I have the same tastes that I did when I was
a little girl.
A very special thanks to Lana and to Ben @ SSB, for
all of their time and help.
Let me put on a show for you