Lady Gaga sat down with Musicians@Google for an uninterrupted, high quality hour and 13 minutes of revealing, insightful interview. Set up as a Q&A, she tells the story of how she mailed Def Jam employees hand-painted disco balls and gummy worms precisely 1 month before she was dropped from the label in 20006, discusses the Springsteen/rock influences on Born This Way and her plans to co-direct the video for her next single, “Judas.”
However, perhaps the greatest moment of this interview (for me) occurs when she name-checks MY OLD NYU DORM while referencing an old college friend who now works for Google:
“Andrew was an RA at Third North where I went to college [NYU], and he wrote me up for drinking in my room. So we go way back, Google.”
Anyway, some highlights of these must-see 73 minutes:
Why she only tattoos the left side of her body:
“It was actually per my father’s request. He asked that I remain, on one side, slightly normal. So, I only have my tattoos on my left side. I think he sees this as my Marilyn Monroe side and he sees this as my Iggy Pop side.”
The rock sound of the Born This Way album:
“I would call it avant-garde techno rock. There’s a lot of rock influences on the album, but not in a ‘This is a rock music record’ kind of way. It actually is quite steadfast in that it is an exploration in electronic music and in techno sonics. But I have sort of created a genre of metal dance techno pop music with a lot of rock anthemic choruses because that is the music that I love. I’m actually really obsessed with Bruce Springsteen. My father used to play a lot of Bruce Springsteen records when I was a kid, and he was blue collar America. And in a way, I related to Bruce because I watched my father, a blue collar American citizen, relate to Bruce and I think that in a social way, my fans feel blue collar. They feel like they’re the underdogs that will someday be the winners. And I took the influence of Bruce on my father in my life to create this album. Lots of really big, almost big Def Leppard-style melodies in the choruses, but it’s electronic dance music. It’s very hard and very edgy, and I’m very excited for you to hear it.”
How the processing of her Grandpa dying inspired the Bruce Springsteen-esque, “Edge of Glory”:
“One of the songs on the album that is truly one of my favorites, it’s called “The Edge of Glory” and it’s kind of a sad story. Sorry to be a downer. But my grandpa died about five months ago, and my dad and I were going to say goodbye to him at the hospice, and I got out a big thing of agave tequila and my dad sat next to me at the piano and we started doing shots back and forth, and I wrote ‘The Edge of Glory’ on the piano and my dad and I cried. The song’s about your last moment on Earth, the moment of truth, the edge of glory is that moment right before you leave the Earth. So that song can be played on the piano, but it’s actually set to this giant, huge techno rock Springsteen-esque dance beat. I actually had Clarence Clemmons from the E Street Band come in and play saxophone on it. It’s fucking beautiful.”
On reality television:
“You will never see me do reality television. Don’t even ask. It will never happen. It’s just, I’m not that kind of person. My whole life is a performance piece. So I don’t need to get my picture taken to feel like I’m in a moment of art.”
On ‘How do you find time for Stefani?’
“I love this question. Who are you looking for? I’m right here. Stefani is also who I am. Gaga is my nickname. It’s like when you’re a kid and your mom calls you ‘Skip.’ I really make no separation between Stefani and Gaga.”
On second single “Judas”:
“The song is about honoring your darkness to bring yourself into the light. And, it’s really fun to dance to and sounds like it could be a pop [Judas] Priest record.”
“When he comes to me I am ready
I’ll wash his feet with my hair if he needs
Forgive him when his tongue lies through his brain
Even after three times he betrays me,
I’ll bring him down, a king with no crown”
She also took the time to meet fans dressed in full Gaga-regalia for the occasion:
Here’s the video from last week where she invites fans to submit questions via YouTube and Twitter. I like how the video looks like it was buried in a time capsule and recently unearthed. A fancy iPhone app of some sort, probs? You kids and your technology.
As always, thanks for this. I have loved her music from the first time I heard her and recognized quickly the enormity of her talent.
I think what a lot of her fans don’t get, is how grounded she is in her family, something that comes through in the interview as well. On the road she talks to her family daily and it clearly plays a big influence in her music and her life.
For me this is the most attractive thing about her and gives me confidence that inspite of the enormity of her talent and embracing many of the trappings of a pop life, she’ll not burn out the way others have.
….she’s one beautiful lady….
I want to know what everyone things of this:
I like that it exists, in demonstrating that not EVERY person who is gay loves Gaga. However, I think the blog takes itself (and perhaps Gaga) too literally and possibly too seriously.
also i dont hear any bruce springsteen influence whatsoever…are there even any real instruments in these songs… bruce is the new “david bowie influenced me 4 lyfe” of the past few years. I LOVE YOU BRUCEEEeeeee
I hadn’t seen that. Interesting. My reaction to it is actually comforting: I hate the notion that “gays run in packs” or that there is gay stuff and non gay stuff. I admire that they put this out there to provoke and get people to think.
Proof in point: I consider myself 100% gay, no bi-tendecies yet the more flamboyant Gaga gets, the creepier it feels to me. I love the music, but I can barely watch some of her videos all the way through, just feels a little too weird. One of my favorite videos of hers is Eh Eh Eh, she just comes across as a fairly normal Italian girl.
Btw: I found the whole bruce springsteen thing really interesting…I don’t hear any of that in her music, but whose to say what people pull from where.
Oh thank god. Now I know I’m not the only gay that doesn’t worship Queen Gaga. At the risk of being verbally abused, I just want to say I have problems with a wealthy, skinny, conventionally attractive, white girl who apparently had lots of friends in high school, telling me that she’s a freak that doesn’t fit in.
hoodie cat makes your comment all the more lulzy
i lived in third avenue north for the summer of 2001!
We very well might have crossed paths in another life then! I miss 2001 (mostly cuz there was no facebook then).
favorite part? – “I actually had Clarence Clemmons from the E Street Band come in and play saxophone on it. It’s fucking beautiful.”
I loved the interview but the interviewer was, um…what’s a semi nice word so that I don’t sound like a total asshole? She was no Oprah, and her segues fell short.
I’m so glad Gaga explained the whole skeleton in the suit thing. I was so lost on that one.
On ‘How do you find time for Stefani?’
did anyone else immediately think this was referring to gwen stefani? i totally had a moment of omg gwen&gaga!?!?
I had a dream a few months ago that Gaga was actually Gwen Stefani playing a big trick on all of us. I miss Gwen.
contextually oblivious hi five!
I watched the whole thing and love Gaga even more. She so down-to-earth and smart and the interaction between her and the audience was really entertaining!! Even though the interviewer wasn’t very skilled, I thought Gaga’s answers were fabulous.
lol kitty in a hoodie! i think this is the best icon yet
I FOUND an article with pictures of all Lady Gaga’s tattoos only on the left side of her body: http://bit.ly/f2tC0O
I loved the interview and I’m seriously intrigued by the Judas song now