Lana Del Rey Talks Billie Eilish, Kanye West, And Donald Trump In New Interview

Lana Del Rey’s new album, Norman Fucking Rockwell!, is out in a couple of days, and a new interview with the pop star just went up over on The New York Times. She hits on a lot of hot current topics, including Billie Eilish, Kanye West, and Donald Trump, as well as the necessity of protest songs (like her recent “Looking For America”) and even indie rock. Some highlights:

• On Billie Eilish: “I love Billie Eilish, and I feel like I’ve been waiting for this time in pop-music culture. I personally am very discerning. I can tell if a female pop singer, for instance, has a generosity of spirit or a playful fire in her heart. With Billie, she’s prodigious. I needed to hear one line of one melody and I just know.”

• On Kanye West, who she sings about by name on her recent song, “The Greatest,” with the line “Kanye West is blond and gone”:

I don’t want to elicit a response. You never feel better for having written something like that. But Kanye just means so much to us. And by the way, I’m grateful to be in a country where everyone can have their own political views. I’m really not more of a liberal than I am a Republican — I’m in the middle. But it was more like the mood and the vibe around, Yo, this man is the greatest! Really? The greatest? It hurt me. Did I have to say anything? No. But it’s more just a line that represents a lot of things.

• She addresses the date with Moby that Moby wrote about in his memoir, which happened in 2006 when Lana was still going by Lizzy Grant, saying that’s basically what happened. (What happened is that, during the date, Lana called him “The Man,” as in “the person they guillotine in the revolution.”)

“I don’t know how he [expletive] remembers,” Lana told NYT. “…He must have a mind like a steel trap. I don’t even remember what was going on. I think I was a backup singer and I was opening for people and yeah, we went on a date.”

• She also talks about the need for protest songs, and why she felt emboldened to release one herself:

I think there was a great period of not being sure what was going on. I was there when Obama got elected in Union Square. Under that administration, it felt like a dream had come true-ish and we could focus on the arts and it was a time of reprieve and we didn’t have to talk about certain things. But of course there was a lot going on.

One portion of the dots that people are connecting is: “Is it possible that this presidency is engendering this idea that it’s O.K. to be more violent?” And a lot of people are saying yes. Someone who says “grab ’em by the pussy,” that does make someone else feel a little bit more entitled to bring his rifle to school. If there wasn’t a time for protest music, there absolutely is now.

• She’s asked about the line “we miss rock ‘n’ roll” on “The Greatest,” and says that “maybe I should’ve said indie rock”:

It’s more about the concept of actually just chilling and listening to music for no reason. I was thinking of when I was 19, 20, 21 and had my first real boyfriends in this [expletive] apartment and just listening to Kings of Leon, that song “Milk,” or like White Stripes and the Strokes. We were trying to get into this secret bar they had on the East Side and no one would ever let us in. It was so fun. Maybe I should’ve said indie rock.

• And to cap it all off, when asked about whether she cares about the Grammys seeing that Norman Fucking Rockwell! is being released a day before the deadline for Grammys eligibility, Lana said: “Uhhh … yes, I care. But I’m better staying in the process of things. What day is the Grammys deadline?”

Read the full interview here.