Lady Gaga worked with a cadre of talented musicians on her upcoming new album Joanne, which comes out this Friday, but the details about who worked on what have been a bit fuzzy until now. But in a new interview with Rolling Stone, executive producer Mark Ronson sheds some light on who did what and how Kevin Parker, Father John Misty, Josh Homme, and Beck all came into the fold.
First, some background on how the Kevin Parker-assisted lead single “Perfect Illusion” came about:
“Perfect Illusion” started with a Parker demo for a song he called simply “Illusion,” which Gaga and Ronson expanded on when they sat down with a piano and guitar, respectively. “The message in that song is quite personal for her,” Ronson says. “It’s this bastard love child of [Tame Impala’s] ‘Let It Happen’ and ‘Bad Romance.'” (As for the similarities to Madonna’s “Papa Don’t Preach” that some have pointed out, Ronson says, “Obviously, that was some kind of accident.”)
He goes on to mention that Father John Misty plays drums on the album, though doesn’t specify on what tracks — he helped write “Sinner’s Prayer,” though — and Ronson reached out to Josh Homme to add a guitar part to “John Wayne,” which he then ended up co-producing and playing drums on. On Beck collaboration “Dancin’ In Circles”:
[It] began when Ronson ran into Beck and invited him to the studio. “For Gaga, it was like meeting her idol,” he says. “Beck is pretty much her favorite influential artist of the past 20 years. She was a fan girl at first.” The song morphed from an unplugged Beck song into what Ronson calls “classic Gaga, like ‘Alejandro’ and some of the stuff from Fame Monster.”
Joanne is out this Friday. She just put out another new song, “A-YO.”