73 Questions With Lorde | Vogue


- [Interviewer] Hey, Lorde. – Hi.
- [Interviewer] So why don’t we explain
why we’re in the Bronx
at the New York Botanical Garden today?
- We’re answering 73 questions.
- [Interviewer] Yes we are.
And first question,
where is your favorite place to perform in New York?
- I like the Apollo Theater in Harlem.
- [Interviewer] That’s a great theater.
And what does New York do better than any city,
not just in the USA, but the entire world?
- Treat them mean, keep them keen.
- [Interviewer] And when you’re traveling
and far away from home,
what do you miss about New Zealand?
- Literally, every single thing,
but mostly the beaches and parks and the food.
- [Interviewer] I can imagine.
And speaking of home,
I heard you have a favorite song
that your dad used to sing as a lullaby when you were a kid,
what song is that?
- “Moonshadow” by Cat Stevens.
- [Interviewer] That’s a good one.
What was the job you wanted to do
when you were five years old?
- I loved “The Far Side” by Gary Larson
and I wanted to be a cartoonist,
which is crazy because I’m not funny.
- [Interviewer] For some reason,
I’m having a hard time believing that.
[Lorde chuckles]
- So what was the first song you loved to sing?
- “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”.
- [Interviewer] And did you always know
that you wanted to be a solo artist?
- I did.
- [Interviewer] What surprised you the most
about pop stardom?
- That’s right when you can afford
to buy anything you want,
you get given everything for free.
And it doesn’t make any sense,
don’t give us free stuff. [chuckles]
- [Interviewer] Sounds pretty good.
- This is so beautiful.
- [Interviewer] It’s gorgeous here,
- Wow! – [Interviewer] I know.
So when did you realize that “Royals”
was gonna be such a big hit?
- [clicks tongue] The first weekend we put it out,
I went on the SoundCloud
and all these people who I didn’t know
were listening to it,
and I think I realized
this is bigger than just me and my friends.
- [Interviewer] It was a lot bigger
than just you and your friends.
And what was it like the first time
that you heard it on the radio?
- [clicks tongue] Well, I was in my parents’ living room,
my sister had called the radio station to request it
and I felt very proud, but very shy. [laughs]
- [Interviewer] You have a lot to be proud of.
And what emotion is central to “Pure Heroin”?
- [clicks tongue] Teen Angst.
- [Interviewer] How about “Melodrama”?
- Ecstasy.
- [Interviewer] And you went from writing about we
on your first album
to I on your second,
why was that change so important to you?
- The first time it was so [clicks tongue] sort of communal,
it was about me and my peers.
The second one was really just
about my experience.
- [Interviewer] What’s your favorite song to perform
from “Melodrama”?
- “Greenlight”.
- [Interviewer] And what sample on the album
still makes you smile?
- There’s a tiger’s roar that we heard in “Sober”,
but I also love Paul Simon saying,
“What is this tape?
This is my favorite tape.”
- [Interviewer] So, Lorde, you have synesthesia?
- Yep.
- [Interviewer] So what color is “Pure Heroine”?
- Green.
- What color is “Melodrama”?
- Violet.
- What color is “Solar Power”?
- Gold.
- [Interviewer] Let’s keep moving.
It’s a beautiful day, we’ve got so much to see.
What is one word you would use
to describe the new record?
- [clicks tongue] Reverent.
- [Interviewer] And what is one word you would use
to describe making the record?
- This is so cool, it’s so
- [Interviewer] I know, it’s gorgeous.
- Zany, acidy.
The word I would use to describe making it,
[clicks tongue] calm.
- [Interviewer] And one awesome detail
is that there cicada sounds on the single.
Are we gonna hear a lot of cicadas
throughout the whole record?
- You actually will.
I started recording cicadas a couple of years ago
in New Zealand.
They really sound like a New Zealand summer to me
but I didn’t know about Brood X at the time
so [clicks tongue] I’m ahead of the trend.
[both chuckles]
- [Interviewer] So what would the videos for “Solar Power”
add to the whole record?
- They helped to build the universe.
- [Interviewer] And speaking of videos,
I struggled a bit on Google Maps,
but are there any hints on where we can find
that secret beach that you filmed on?
- No.
- [Interviewer] I thought I’d try.
[Lorde chuckles] All right, so you chose
the Collina Strada set
for your “Solar Power” video.
Why did you pick that?
- I thought it was youthful, but cool and timeless
and I knew I wanted to wear yellow.
- [Interviewer] I mean, I think a lot of people
wanted to wear yellow
because it’s sold out after the video was premiered.
- I heard about that.
- [Interviewer] It’s crazy.
And what do you hope those people do with their summers?
- Make out. [laughs]
- [Interviewer] Lorde has spoken.
How has your style changed since “Pure Heroin” dropped?
- I would say I wear less black,
although I am wearing black today.
- [Interviewer] Can you describe your style?
- Half black. [Interviewer chuckles]
- [Interviewer] Can you describe your style today
in three words?
- [clicks tongue] Meticulous construction, sandals.
- [Interviewer] Okay, that’s a unique.
[Lorde chuckles]
And what item of clothing do you always have on hand?
- Sandals.
- [Interviewer] And what’s singer, living or dead,
has the best style?
- David Bowie.
- [Interviewer] That’s a good answer.
Now, what item of clothing
would you say makes you feel most confident
when you’re taking the stage?
- Pants.
- [Interviewer] And what about in real life?
- Suits.
- [Interviewer] What was the first song that made you cry?
- “Perfect Day” by Lou Reed.
I’ve never felt anything like that before.
- [Interviewer] Mmm. Every time I think of that song,
I think of drinking sangria in a park.
- Yeah.
- [Interviewer] And who is the first musician you met
that left you totally star-struck?
- Honestly, Taylor.
- [Interviewer] No surprise. [Lorde chuckles]
And what album have you listened to
the most this year?
- I’ve spent a lot of time with “Abbey Road”.
It’s a good one.
- [Interviewer] “Abbey Road” is are really, really good one.
And what is the album that you understand
on a different level now
versus when you were just 15 years old?
- [sigh] I’ve thought about this
and I feel like I had a pretty good handle
on everything I liked when I was 15,
but I’ll keep thinking about it.
- [Interviewer] Okay.
And “Graceland” was a major influence on “Melodrama”, right?
- Yeah.
- [Interviewer] And what was your favorite song
off of that album?
- I mean, “Graceland” or “Homeless”.
- [Interviewer] Now, people were surprised
that Don Henley also was an inspiration for you.
Who is an artist reference on “Solar Power”
that might surprise them?
- Natalie Imbruglia.
- [Interviewer] Yeah, interesting.
And what is the best concert you’ve ever been to?
- I wanna say Arcade Fire at Coachella.
I was 17 and I was in the crowd
and I’d never seen anything like it.
It was incredible.
- [Interviewer] They’re tremendous performers.
- Very good.
- [Interviewer] And what is the song
that you wish you’d written?
- “Graceland”.
- [Interviewer] Who’s an artist
that you’re dying to collaborate with?
- I kinda wanna talk to Harry Styles.
- [Interviewer] I do too. [laughs]
And what is the best album cover of all time?
- “All Things Must Pass”.
- [Interviewer] What’s the most important thing
that you’ve learned about producing your own music?
- To always trust my instincts
because they’re always right.
- [Interviewer] Now, speaking of producers,
what’s the best advice that you’ve ever gotten
from Jack Antonoff?
- Once he said to me, “Don’t let me ruin your life
more than I already have.” [laughs]
- [Interviewer] Now, that is valuable.
- Isn’t that? [laughs]
- [Interviewer] And what’s the one rule
of pop music that you never ever break?
- I don’t know if there’s any that I would never break,
but kind of a personal rule is,
if I’m not feeling that special alchemy
when I write a part, – [Interviewer] Yeah.
- it’s gotta go.
Even if it’s right on paper, it’s gotta go.
- [Interviewer] Right. Right.
And what do you think your fans would see
as the most surprising thing that you bring with you
when you’re on tour?
- Expensive shades. [Interviewer chuckles]
- [Interviewer] And when were you most vulnerable on stage?
- Oh my God. I had this really bad chest infection
on tour in Europe once.
I was in Oslo, the Norwegian royal family were there
and I couldn’t breathe
and I started to panic.
I just felt so kind of broken and raw.
It was really tough.
- [Interviewer] Yeah, but you got through it.
- I got through it. So here. [laughs]
- [Interviewer] You are. – Throat infection’s gone.
[laughs] – [Interviewer] That’s right.
And how do you get ready
for a big or important performance?
- I light a candle and I like to try
and set an intention,
think about what I wanna get out of the show.
- [Interviewer] Right. Right.
And what song are you most excited
to dance to off of your new record?
- “California”.
- [Interviewer] I can’t wait to hear that,
as well as every other song on the album.
- Thank you.
- [Interviewer] What did you learn about “Pure Heroin”
while touring?
- That I had made an album that it was
sort of tricky to dance to.
- [Interviewer] And what about “Melodrama”?
- That I had made an album that
it was really easy to dance to.
- [Interviewer] [laughs] Good observation.
Now, recently I heard that you stopped,
you decided to stop releasing music on CD.
- Yes. – [Interviewer] Now, why was
that something that was important to you?
- Because everything that I make physically,
I want it to be something that I would have in my house
and I don’t have any CDs in my house.
- [Interviewer] That makes sense.
And what is something that you do
to connect with nature every day?
- I go for a big walk.
I pretty much do the spot.
I don’t look like this and it’s not always this pretty.
- [Interviewer] I find it so cool
that you took a trip to Antarctica.
What was the most important thing
that you learned on that trip?
- It’s honestly kind of hard to put into words,
but I feel like I got more of an understanding
of the work that the scientists are doing there.
They’re not trying to prove climate change,
they’re just checking out the science,
taking the measurements, observing
and telling us what’s up.
- [Interviewer] Yeah.
- And also just the raw power of nature.
- [Interviewer] Well, it seems absolutely beautiful.
And what is a cause that you’re most passionate about today?
- Things that affect New Zealanders.
I think about child poverty,
bettering the systems that protect marty
and our climate legislation.
- [Interviewer] Yeah. That’s really cool.
- This is such a dope flower.
Absolutely love.
Don’t mind. – [Interviewer] I don’t know
what flower that is, [Lorde chuckles]
but who is your favorite living artist?
- Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.
- [Interviewer] And what’s your favorite piece
of art in your home?
- My Kaye Donachie painting.
- [Interviewer] All right.
And your mother’s a writer, right?
- Mm hmm.
- [Interviewer] How would you say that this impacted you
and what did this teach you about writing?
- Just that it’s a practice.
It’s something you have to do
over and over to keep being in touch with.
- [Interviewer] Now, speaking of your mom,
I heard that she holds on to all your memorabilia
from your tours.
Is that true?
- Literally everything. It’s all in our garage.
[Interviewer laughs]
- [Interviewer] Now do you know what you’re gonna do
with all of it one day or?
- I have no idea. – [Interviewer] No.
[both laugh]
- [Interviewer] Good luck.
Now, which friend of yours makes you laugh the most?
- My friend Francisco.
- [Interviewer] And which friend would make
the best fishing partner?
- My dad.
- [Interviewer] Now, why would you say it’s important
for you to hibernate in between creating records?
- Well, I just have to go and live my life
so that I have stuff to write about.
So it’s just sort of mooching and taking time.
- [Interviewer] And what’s your favorite thing to do
while you’re hibernating?
- I like to cook and I like to be very available
for my friends and family,
because I missed a lot of birthdays when I’m working.
- [Interviewer] That is a very, very good answer.
- Gotta do it.
- [Interviewer] Now you described your work
as being a conversation with yourself.
Are you ever surprised when it resonates
with so many other people?
- Constantly. It’s insane.
- [Interviewer] Yeah. It means a lot to them.
And what do you hope stays the same
in your work as you grow as an artist?
- That it’s still just me [sirens blaring]
trying to one up myself.
Hear this sirens? New York City? [chuckles]
- [Interviewer] I noticed the sirens.
It’s like Grand Theft Auto over here.
Aisle seat or window seat?
- Window.
- [Interviewer] New York or Los Angeles?
New York.
- [Interviewer] New Zealand summer or American summer?
- New Zealand.
- [Interviewer] Restaurant or room service?
- Restaurant.
- [Interviewer] Fleetwood Mac with or without Peter Green.
- Great question.
I’m gonna say without, but with is also [clicks tongue]
incredible. – [Interviewer] I’m hoping for
a reunion tour and last question,
question number 73, sunrise or sunset?
- Sunset.
- [Interviewer] And that’s a wrap.
Thank you so much- – Hey.
Can I ask you a question before you go?
- [Interviewer] Absolutely.
- This is kind of a little weird,
but I always wondered what the person
doing this was seeing when they’re doing this.
[Interviewer laughs] Can we show them
what I’m seeing? Is that okay?
- [Interviewer] Yeah, I think – Okay.
- it’s fine but,
how about we keep this thing
a secret between you and me?
All right, Lorde.
Thanks so much.
- Thank you.
- Okay, bye bye.
- Bye.