Shortly after sharing the title track of her new album, Chemtrails Over the Country Club, earlier today, Lana Del Rey spoke with Annie Mac on BBC Radio 1's Future Sounds with Annie Mac, as Stereogum points out. They covered a lot of ground, touching on Wednesday's riot at the US Capitol, Donald Trump, COVID-19, Lana's statement about diversity on the Chemtrails cover, and more.
"Before I even put the album cover up, I knew what people were going to say. So when they actually started saying things, I responded and I just said, ‘I got a lot of issues but inclusivity ain’t one of them,’" Lana said. "It just isn’t. You can’t just make it my problem. My friends, my family, my whatever... They’re not all one way and we’re not the ones storming the Capitol. We voted for Biden. My girlfriends come from all over the world, they have children from all different types of people. And I’m mentioning all this, like, to people who are listening because people really wanted even more people of color on my album cover. Which you know is, to a point, a photo just is what it is."
"So you’re saying people pressured you to put more people of color on your album to look more representative, that type of thing?" Annie replied
"That was the issue that was coming up," Lana continued. "But I said that actually half the people in this photo are people of color... I thought about it for the better half of that day and I thought, well, I don’t want to be discouraged because this is what happens often with this, like... I actually am representing a certain thing but people will say that I’m not. It’s kind of like being in opposite world."
"Those women are your friends," Annie said, asking, "Am I right? Those are people that are dear to you?"
"They are my longest-term, nicest friends," Lana said. "I also felt uncomfortable having them somewhat brought into the controversy, but I spoke to them as well and they were like... ‘We don’t care. You should not care about... everything you’re doing... Your friends are from all over the place and you’ve never represented yourself in any other way.’ I thought back to all my songs and videos and starting with more of a hip-hop sound... I mean, I just don’t feel like that’s my issue. There have been certain things that people have touched on that have made me think, ‘OK, maybe I have to look at that,’ but this is not one of them. I wasn’t being preemptive, I was definitely responding, but... I just feel like if that’s really what people are gonna say, I have an answer for them, which is that if you look closer, you will see people of color. It’s a black-and-white image, so zoom in, you know. It’s just weird, you know?"
Later in the interview, speaking about Trump, Lana said, "the madness of Trump... As bad as it was, it really needed to happen. We really needed a reflection of our world’s greatest problem, which is not climate change but sociopathy and narcissism. Especially in America. It’s going to kill the world. It’s not capitalism, it’s narcissism."
"Minus our terrifying death toll, I think it was a huge wake-up call," Lana continued. "Your life is not about what kind of shoes you buy, it’s not about going to Harvard or Oxford. It’s about what kind of person you are. If you’re an asshole and everyone... if you’re a jerk and everyone tells you that you are and everyone tells you that you’re a jerk, then we finally need to address this big issue in the world of what do we do with all these people who don’t know they’re hurting other people? Do we put them all on an island together?"
"You don’t think that?," Annie asked, continuing, "I thought it was very, very clearly obvious that he knew what he was doing the whole way."
"Because he’s got delusions of grandeur," Lana replied. "I think he’s unwell but I think the people who are storming and getting in trouble and then Fox News flashes to them and they’re saying ‘It’s a revolution.’ I know this is a long answer but I think this is really the most important thing I’ll say in this interview. I think, for the people who stormed the Capitol, it’s disassociated rage. They want to wile out somewhere. And it’s like, we don’t know how to find a way to be wild in our world. And at the same time, the world is so wild."
"There’s a line in your song about that," Annie pointed out.
"Yeah, that’s the thing, Lana continued, "in my title track that you played — and thank you somebody for still playing singer-songwriter music, I appreciate that. I say, ‘I’m not unhinged, I’m just strange and wild.’ If I got to the Brentwood Country Mart barefoot or whatever, it’s like, I’m not insane, I’m connected to the earth. Whatever it may be. Again, I think people are having to re-evaluate what is strange and not strange. Watching the people storm the Capitol, everyone gets to go look at that and figure out what Capitols they’ve been storming this year in their own freakin’ lives. ‘Cause everyone’s running amok. You know, half the people I know are just jerks. Like I could picture them being like, ‘Well, we need a change.’ You know, and then other half of the people I know are like watching them with tears in their eyes, in disbelief. And it is sad, it is scary. But it could happen in any country."
Hear the interview in full on BBC Radio 1, and watch the video for "Chemtrails over the Country Club" below.