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.

Lorde recently released her new album Solar Power and David Byrne recently included one of her earlier songs, "Tennis Court," on his "Songs That Make Me Cry" playlist.