I actually wasn’t going to buy elusive chanteuse Lana Del Rey’s first Rolling Stone cover. I was just going to read it at the bookstore and then put it back on the magazine shelf so I could buy a book. But then I read the story and decided this might be the most interesting artist profile I’ve read of 2014 (much thanks to writer Brian Hiatt’s vivid scenes and Del Rey’s madness). Sure, there is some unneeded exploitation of Del Rey’s dark mood towards the end that dampens party, but the awkward slow dance of a cat and mouse game between Hiatt and Del Rey is exhilarating to read.
Del Rey is probably the one star closest to the always imitated icon Marilyn Monroe. And I actually think she’s completely unaware of it. She’s sad, she’s mysterious, she’s beautiful and we never know if she’s lying in that soft, baby voice of hers.
Read on for my picks of her best and darkest moments:
5. Hiatt innocent asks if Del Rey feels successful, even after being viciously attacked by bloggers and the Internet: “It doesn’t feel like success,” she says. “Because with everything that could have felt like something really sweet, there’s always been something out of the periphery of my world, beyond my control, to kind of disrupt whatever was happening. I’ve never felt like, ‘Oh, this is great.”
4. Discussing her indifference to Ultraviolence being a commercial success: “It’s not meant to be popular. It’s not pop music. The only thing I have to do is whatever I want. I just hope people don’t ask me about it. So I don’t feel a responsibility at all. I mean. I just don’t. I feel responsible in other ways, communitywise–to be a good citizen, to abide by the law.”
She continues to lament that she doesn’t care about the sales because she’s got enough old money: “I’m not selling the record,” she says. “I’m signed to a label who’s selling the record. I don’t need to make any money. I could really care less. But I do care about making music. I would do it either way. So that’s why it has to be on my terms.”
3. Del Rey knows what makes her crazy, so stop asking if she wants to kill herself or see a therapist, okay? “There’s nothing anyone could tell me that I don’t already know,” she says. “I know everything about myself. I know why I do what I do. All of my compulsions and interests and inspirations. I’m very in synch with that. It’s the other stuff that I don’t have control over, just what’s going to happen on a daily basis. My interactions.”
2. The writer then asks Del Rey what drives her: “Now? Nothing,” she says flatly. “I don’t have any drive anymore. But I do enjoy making records. Before, I felt drive, but now it just feels like an interest.”
The interview does eventually turn sour and Del Rey begins to plead with Hiatt to not run the story. “I feel like maybe we should wait until there’s something good to talk about,” she continues in an airy tone. “You know? I just wish you could write about something else. There has to be someone else to be the cover story. Like, there has to be. Anybody.”
Hiatt maintains that it will be a good feature and, wrongly,offers that her “crisis of confidence” shouldn’t matter. This does not go over well, WHICH LEADS US TO:
1. “It’s not a crisis of confidence, it’s not,” she says standing in the doorway. “I am confident.” Her eyes are ablaze with hurt and pride. “I am.” She says goodbye, and shuts the door. *END INTERVIEW, END OF THE STORY*
I have to give Del Rey credit for ending an interview on the most in tension-filled moment. In fact, I’m kind of waiting for a movie to be made about this interview? It could be similar to My Week With Marilyn only in this one a suicide attempt is not made; she just kicks out the writer in a fit of rage when he questions her confidence and her upbringing.
The whole story is actually pretty great, and I encourage all of you to read it. Hiatt writes up some vivid scenes of Del Rey’s vicious mood change and there’s bits of unintentional humor thrown in. Mostly though, I think this story just exemplifies why Del Rey courts so much madness around her: she’s a walking contradiction (purposefully, in my opinion), she never gives away too much information about herself which only makes us more curious and she always pulls through in giving great, old-Hollywood-esque quotes.. She’s too busy smoking her Marlbolo Lights and reading about outer space to be concerned with what your opinions are of her.