“Go,” the huge streaking pop song that Grimes wrote for Rihanna and then released herself, was a deeply divisive song, especially around this corner of the internet. Your Stereogum staff loved it, but many fans were put off, wondering if this meant Grimes was going in more of a straight-up pop direction after achieving such oblique beauty on Visions, her 2012 breakthrough. But according to a new interview, Grimes noticed all the negative reactions to “Go.” And in fact, she’s scrapped the entire album she’d been working on, saying that the new album “sucked” and that, since then, she’s “started again.”
In a new profile in The New York Times Magazine, Grimes talks about her idea to become a behind-the-scenes songwriter, even going to a “group songwriting boot camp,” but she’s since abandoned that plan. And from the sound of things, she took the wildly mixed reaction to “Go” to heart: “It upsets a lot of my fans, and I get why it upsets them. Everybody was like, ‘Oh, Grimes is pandering to the radio.'”
She’s also moved from Vancouver, where she was keeping to herself and recording reclusively (“that’s always worked for me in the past”) to Los Angeles. In L.A., she’s built her own studio, and she says she’s been “hanging out with people and bouncing ideas off my friends. I’m just making way more music.”
She also talks about her refusal to take the ALS ice bucket challenge because of the ALS Association’s animal testing, and the fallout from that public stance: “I tried to do the ALS ice-bucket challenge in a way that I thought was good, and all these people with ALS were like, ‘You’re the worst person ever.’ I was crying for days.” She says she’s gone through media training to learn “how to stop saying stupid things so I stop having all these constant dramas,” but she adds that she “didn’t really learn anything.” You can read the whole profile here.
[Photo by Holly Andres for The New York Times.]