At Home With Lana Del Rey, an Exclusive Shoot & Interview
This cover marks the second anniversary of Galore. We are celebrating with a very special collectors issue staring our favorite songstress Lana Del Rey, who we feel embodies all the charisma and sex appeal that we love at Galore. Photographed by her beau Francesco Carrozzini on the beach in Malibu, and in her home in Los Angeles, California. The classic shoot radiates Lana’s timeless glamour and the poetic and mysterious beauty of her music, we also teamed up with the cool artist collective Faile as they did all the amazing graphics and art for this special issue we hope you enjoy.
Love, Prince + Jacob
Interview by Chuck Grant
Are you working on anything new?
Yeah, I just wrote two songs for Tim Burton and Harvey Weinstein’s film called Big Eyes and I’m working on a new record. I’m also always writing small pieces for independent films etc. Dan Heath and Rick Nowels are two of my dearest friends and producers and we are always up to something.
Where do you live and how many cars do you have?
I live in Koreatown, in east LA and I have two Jags.
Who do you listen to?
I stream KJazz wherever I am on my phone. That is the only thing I listen to.
Who do you f*** with in the music business?
I f*** with Azealia Banks because I have the same artistic inclinations as her and the same taste in men.
Who do you feel you are connected to in music on a psychic and psychological level?
Cat Power and Father John Misty.
Who do you most relate to in terms of your career right now?
What do you love?
I love the beach. I love when I have those rare moments where I just turn off and don’t worry about anything- maybe put the radio on, drive from LA to Santa Barbara. Maybe take a boat along the coast. I also like to write, late at night near Wilshire Boulevard.
I know when you lived in New York for 8 years you said you’d never leave, What happened?
I loved New York. When I was there it was almost my sole source of inspiration, more than any other man, writer or rapper, but it’s harder for me to get around now. I used to take late night walks over the Williamsburg Bridge, go to all the 24 hour diners with $5 and beg the waiters to let me stay all night in exchange for the purchase of one giant slice of chocolate cake. I would sit for hours and read about interesting people like Karl Lagerfeld and listen to books on tape by Tony Robins to keep me company. I would take the D train to Coney Island, take the D train back to the Bronx where I lived on Hughes Avenue.
I wonder how many notebooks you filled on those subway rides…
I remember for the short time we lived together in NYC, I used to come home from work and see the entire wall of our studio apartment covered in weird tropical backdrops from the Party City store. There would be tinsel everywhere and streamers taped to the walls and I was furious because it looked like the most bizarre amateur movie set, plus I was worried for your sanity because I couldn’t see where you were going with all of it. Looking back though, your obsession with strange nick knacks and Hawaiian embellishments were like little hints of colors to come for future sounds and videos.
Yeah, of course I remember those days. You hated my electric fishtank which gave me endless amusement. (She winks!)
For the record, I loved that fish tank, you gave it to me for my 19th birthday. I believe the inadvertant theme was ‘Chinatown.’ Now, I know you don’t love to talk about this because journalists have sort of mythologized your past but let’s talk about the trailer park you lived in for a few years- I shot you there when you were 22 and continued to shoot you there for a couple years while you were writing and entertaining and wrapping up your album with David Kahne. You were so sweet and happy that you had your very own place to write and reside in, and extra money from that $10,000 indie contract. It was also a sad time for you because you separated from Steven Mertens who had originally produced that record and who was your boyfriend at the time. I don’t really have to ask you this because as your sister, I think I already know, but would you say this was your most enriching time as an artist and happiest time in New York (despite the split from Steven.)
Do you remember decorating David Kahne’s studio? I remember sitting next to a decorative Urn during one of your recording sessions. Even now, you’ll bring ribbons or bows or specific iconography to recording sessions. How important is it that your space reflects your personal style or headspace?
I honestly haven’t thought about that in so long. I used to have to have some sort of talisman with me if I was writing. Something connected to the lyrics like a sparkle jumprope or a golden compact mirror- at the time it was really important. Now I have internalized so much of what I’ve come to love that I don’t think about it as much any more.
Why do some people give you a hard time in general?
I choose to write about what I know. I choose not to discuss those stories any further than my music. It doesn’t make things easy for me publicly or in interviews and I do interviews because I believe the music is good enough for me to support it as best I can. Sometimes when the things you say and the way you look don’t add up- people are quick to label you as an impersonator or feel like you’re not entitled to the life experiences you’ve really lived. They’re not deep enough to intuit.
I know you told me in person that you were grateful for your time spent with Jon Parales from the New York Times, what made that experience better than the rest?
For one, he had manners. He was articulate and insightful and aware that I hadn’t done interviews for a year. He did what so many people can’t do which is gauge who a person is through intuition and feeling. Also known as reading between the lines. He has his own internal moral compass and had nothing to gain by telling lies.
Despite the difficulties you’ve had and the tumultuous relationship with the media, it seems like the people who really listened to your record unanimously agree that Ultraviolence is rich with beautiful melodies and uncompromisingly true to your innate aesthetic, describe your process writing this last album…was it significantly different from writing your first?
Not really. When you have a true natural aesthetic, everything comes from the same place and feels the same way as it bubbles up. For me it’s the timing of when I will be inspired that’s unpredictable. The muse I guess you would call it. I could have a lucky run of a flawless string of melancholic melodies that come to me. Or I could wait for years and hear nothing. Of course I always write regardless- but that’s different from being in the flow and effortlessly channeling rhymes and rhythms etc.
What do you do when inspiration is hard to come by?
Talking about inspiration only makes sense when you’re talking to someone whose truly been inspired and created from that place. It’s difficult when I don’t feel inspired and it’s usually a sign that I’m not living right.
We’ve talked a lot this year about our personal connections to a higher power, what kind of role does prayer or meditation have in your artistic process?
I guess I would say that the beautiful thing about feeling connected to something greater is that even at my lowest point I always have a feeling that I’m being taken care of.
I came with you to Nashville this year along with our longtime friend and Electric Lady owner, Lee Foster. Did you enjoy your time there? I know for me it was a dream, us three living in those little cabins in Mount Juliette, that hot tub in the bedroom, trying to get the truck out of the mud, lots of flannel, driving into Nashville each day.. Did you feel like it gave you what you needed environmentally?
Yes, first of all it was away from home so that was influential in its own way. Having you and Lee there and of course the excitement of working with Dan created a good environment. He gave me that fuzz and that buzz. I also met some girls I loved, namely Nikki Lane, who you shot for Rolling Stone I think? She was an amazing girl. I loved her spirit and her voice and all of us going to a couple of house parties together during my time there gave me a good warm feeling.
Dope, so to wrap up, any plans for the future?
[Laughs] Ok, well we should probably focus on the road now, our 250 miles on I-97 is almost up. What episode of Snapped do you want to watch? I’m looking now, it’s between an ex-stripper with three fiancees and a life insurance policy, OR a mother daughter duo whose murder case is probably in the works for a lifetime movie.
We’ve got time for both.
(Car Audio) **It started as an unusual romance between one young woman and three older men…**
Get the special Lana Del Rey issue of Galore here