Lana Del Rey Dishes On ‘Lust For Life’ To Courtney Love For Dazed Magazine
Lana talks The Weeknd, Sean Lennon and Max Martin.
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Lana Del Rey’s new album Lust For Life drops this spring, and the pop star is opening up about it.
In her new interview featured in Dazed mag, the pop star chats with Courtney Love. Their unlikely friendship gave Lana the security to reveal album details she would ordinarily keep a secret until the eleventh hour, including the lead single, working with Sean Lennon, The Weeknd and Max Martin. Let’s get right to it.
■ On “Love”
“I’m glad it’s the first thing out. It doesn’t sound that retro, but I was listening to a lot of Shangri-Las and wanted to go back to a bigger, more mid-tempo, single-y sound. The last 16 months, things were kind of crazy in the US, and in London when I was there. I was just feeling like I wanted a song that made me feel a little more positive when I sang it. And there’s an album that’s gonna come out in the spring called Lust for Life. I did something I haven’t ever done, which is not that big of a deal, but I have a couple of collabs on this record.”
■ She has a song with Sean Lennon (John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s son) on Lust For Life titled “Tomorrow Never Came.”
“I don’t know if you’ve ever felt this way, but when I wrote it I felt like it wasn’t really for me. I kept on thinking about who this song was for or who could do it with me, and then I realised that he would be a good person. I didn’t know if I should ask him because I actually have a line in it where I say, ‘I wish we could go back to your country house and put on the radio and listen to our favourite song by Lennon and Yoko.’ I didn’t want him to think I was asking him because I was namechecking them. Actually, I had listened to his records over the years and I did think it was his vibe, so I played it for him and he liked it. He rewrote his verse and had extensive notes, down to the mix. And that was the last thing I did, decision-wise. I haven’t mixed the record, but the fact that ‘Love’ just came out and Sean kind of finished up the record, it felt very meant-to-be. Because that whole concept of peace and love really is in his veins and in his family.”
■ The Weeknd is featured on the album title track.
“Then, I also have Abel (Tesfaye), The Weeknd. He is actually on the title track of the record, ‘Lust for Life’. Maybe that’s kind of weird to have a feature on the title track, but I really love that song and we had said for a while that we were gonna do something; I did stuff on his last two records.”
■ Working with Max Martin.
“So basically, ‘Lust for Life’ was the first song I wrote for the record, but it was kind of a Rubik’s Cube. I felt like it was a big song but… it wasn’t right. I don’t usually go back and re-edit things that much, because the songs end up sort of being what they are, but this one song I kept going back to. I really liked the title. I liked the verse. John Janick was like, ‘Why don’t we just go over and see what Max Martin thinks?’ So, I flew to Sweden and showed him the song. He said that he felt really strongly that the best part was the verse and that he wanted to hear it more than once, so I should think about making it the chorus. So I went back to Rick Nowels’ place the next day and I was like, ‘Let’s try and make the verse the chorus,’ and we did, and it sounded perfect. That’s when I felt like I really wanted to hear Abel sing the chorus, so he came down and rewrote a little bit of it. But then I was feeling like it was missing a little bit of the Shangri-Las element, so I went back for a fourth time and layered it up with harmonies. Now I’m finally happy with it (laughs).”
■ Rick Nowels executive produced the album.
“He actually did stuff with Stevie Nicks a while ago. He works really well with women. I did the last few records with him. Even with Ultraviolence which I did with Dan (Auerbach), I did the record first with Rick, and then I went to Nashville and reworked the sound with Dan. So, yeah, Rick Nowels is amazing, and these two engineers – with all the records that I’ve worked on with Rick, they did a lot of the production as well. You would love these two guys. They’re just super-innovative. I wanted a bit of a sci-fi f lair for some of the stuff and they had some really cool production ideas. But yeah, that’s pretty much it.”