Bruno Mars is Rolling Stone’s latest cover star.


Photo: Mark Seliger for Rolling Stone

Bruno Mars is Rolling Stone’s latest cover star.

Mars is flying high since releasing his album title track “24K Magic.” He rocked the stage on Saturday Night Live and has performances lined up at the AMAs and the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. He also recently sat down with Beats 1’s Zane Lowe and now lands on the cover of the famed music magazine.

And there’s more work to be done.

Mars admits 24K Magic isn’t finished yet, despite the album dropping on Nov. 18.

“It’s right there, man,” Mars said. “I’ve got to finish one song and tighten up the bridge on another, and I’m pretty much done. I want to be finished by the middle of next month. I do have a deadline. And this **** ain’t cheap!”

He enlisted Skrillex to help finalize the unfinished song.

“[Skrillex] is a sonic genius, and his version is amazing,” Mars says. “There’s just something that’s still not happening for me. The groove ain’t right, or we’re not doing something on the chorus – I don’t know the exact math. I’m just trying to figure out why I’m tuning out in certain parts.”

Mars’ last record, Unorthodox Jukebox, debuted in 2012; he forgot about the nerves that go with the initial launch. “We’re at the point now where we’re losing our ******* minds,” he says. “My engineer’s going crazy; he wants to kill me. This process is just such a weird process. Sitting in this freezing-***-cold box trying to come up with songs.”

He adds: “Coming off the biggest song of my career [“Uptown Funk”], it was super-daunting to come in here,” he says. I don’t know if people are going to love this ****. I don’t know if radio is going to play it. But what I don’t want to have happen is I put it out and say, ‘Damn it, if I’d just done this and this, maybe it would have had a shot.'”


Photo: Mark Seliger for Rolling Stone

He also mentions collaborating with Adele on her 25 track “All I Ask,” disagreeing on a particular lyric with the songstress.

“We were aiming for that big, diva, ballad thing – that’s what I envisioned,” Mars says. “But ‘lovers’? I don’t know if anybody really says ‘lovers.’ ‘Yeah, we’re lovers.’ ‘This is my lover.’ I was like, ‘Should we rethink that?’

“But [Adele] was so gangster about it,” he says. “She was like, ‘Nope. That’s what it has to be.’ And she was right. It’s this grand word that makes the song bigger because no one says it. Because nobody talks like that, it pops out. It’s not ‘what boyfriends-and-girlfriends do’ – it’s this over-the-top ‘lovers.’ Sometimes I play it on the piano, and I look forward to singing that part. It’s ******* perfect.” The lesson: “Don’t try to be cool. Let it be what it wants to be.”

“Some of the slickest **** we ever wrote,” he says. “But I will use that line one day,” he vows. “You’re gonna hear that on the fourth album.”

Read the full interview here.

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