Lorde and David Byrne interview each other for ‘Rolling Stone’
Rolling Stone continue their Musicians on Musicians series -- where two artists interview each other -- with a conversation between Lorde and David Byrne. They talk about songwriting, stage fright, food, social media, and more. Here's an excerpt:
Byrne: I have a question for you. I’m jealous of songwriters that can put specific things in a song. On your new album, on “California,” you mention the Laurel Canyon Country Store. I lived there in the mid-Eighties, so I know what that’s like. That’s where you would go for some groceries or pizza.
Lorde: Good pizza.
Byrne: Yeah. It paints a whole picture. I try to do that, and it’s very difficult for me. I tend to write in generalities.
Byrne: I think I default to more ambiguous, abstract lyrics. I realized I love a song that’s all questions, but I don’t write too many of them.
Lorde: I love a question in a song.
Byrne: I read something the other day, like, “Is this the real me? Or am I putting on a performance? And if I’m putting on a performance, are you putting on a performance too? And what if you put on my performance and I put on your performance?” It was just a series of questions that went down a rabbit hole.
Lorde: That’s cool. You’re also so good with what I think of as a pop melody. Have you always been drawn to that, or is that something that’s been easy to access as a songwriter?
Byrne: I always liked it. I had no fear of pop melody or being accessible. I don’t think in the beginning I was able to do it—
Lorde: I think you were.
Byrne: Well, thank you. I listen to earlier things and I sound a bit desperate, trying to get across, which is a good thing too. I remember, probably like a lot of people, buying these songbooks from different artists, just kind of learning the songs. Sometimes things I didn’t really care for that much, but I thought, “Let’s see how this is done.” Maybe learn to play this on a guitar, and sing along, just for myself. And through that, I would learn, “Oh, look, you can go from this chord to that chord, and it has this kind of emotional lift to it right there. I should remember that.”
Read the full interview here.