We were a bit bored of people asking 20-year-old Lorde the same old things about fairly heavy topics, so we thought we’d send her some lighter, but no less important questions. You know, ones about what songs she obsessed about as a child, what she does when she sees a nun or whether she’d kick someone out for walking dog poo through her hallway. Pop music is supposed to be fun, after all.
If you were tasked with putting together a girlband, which other four members would you pick?
Me, Kali Uchis, Carly Rae, Sza, and Charli. I actually shiver thinking about our combined melodic strengths.
Can you juggle?
Who or what is the biggest threat to the music industry?
Data. There are some great butterflies that you just can’t net and take into the boardroom in a jar.
Could you ever be a coach on The Voice?
I think no. Because I’m 20 and an asshole.
Could you ever be a politician?
Also no. Same reasons.
How do you feel when you see a nun?
Into it! Love The Sound of Music. Also was super into those nuns who grew all that weed a few years ago.
Have you ever worn double denim?
Yes. Into it.
What was your position on the netball team?
Goal defence, but the coaches took me aside and said very gently that maybe I should try basketball. Lots of contacting.
You can have five people at your dream dinner party, alive or dead. Who are they and why?
Well, it’s a fantasy life goal to get Rihanna and Marie Antoinette in the same room. Then I’d add Barthes, my school friend Tim, and Theo Wenner and his dog Santa. Fun party.
One of your dream dinner guests accidentally walks dog poo through your hallway. Do you ask them to leave?
Your album Melodrama’s been out for a few months now. Do you ever miss it being your little secret?
More than you know, and more than I thought I would. Letting go is hard. But I’m so grateful I could cry, too. People are kind.
How did you celebrate it being the number one album in America?
The night we played Glastonbury, our crew went to a little country pub in the area and drank beers, and that was the night we found out it had gone Number One, so it was a nice quick little moment with my parents and people I’ve worked with for years all eating crisps out of each others’ packets.
The little pause just after “in your car the radio up” at the 1:35 mark in ‘Supercut’ is the most thrilling musical moment of 2017. Discuss.
Oh thank you!!! That little pause was actually Joel [Little]’s idea. I knew I wanted him to add some production vibes to ‘Supercut’ almost as soon as I wrote it – it felt like a sister to ‘Ribs’, which is such a Joel-and-I torch song. There are a few producers on that song, we sent it to a few people and then got everyone’s sessions and I added and subtracted my favourite sounds. That was Joel’s main idea that ended up on the song, and I thought it was so smart.
My friend’s three-year-old daughter refers to ‘The Louvre’ as “the boom boom boom one”. Cute. What song were you obsessed with as a kid?
Cute!! I loooved ‘One Love‘ by Blue when I was five, ‘Bleed it Out‘ by Linkin Park and ‘Stronger’ by Kanye when I was 10, and ‘Tik Tok’ by Kesha and ‘O.N.E.’ by Yeasayer when I was 12. ‘Thanks For The Memories’ by Fall Out Boy floats around somewhere in there too.
Writer In The Dark’ manages to fit “pseudoephedrine” into a lyric. Did you give yourself a little high five when that worked out?
Ha! I had written that “slow like pseudoephedrine” line in the bath at the Greenwich hotel six months before – you always have a few golden nuggets you end up finding places for towards the end of a record. One of my favourite things to do as a songwriter is to juxtapose classic form with current phrasings – a little graze up against lean in a piano standard is right in that wheel house.
You’re at a house party and someone plays one of your songs, what do you do?
I am basically allergic to hearing any of my music out loud around people. Very, very hard for me. So I guess that would be a strong moment to call the Uber.
What was the last film you walked out of?
I have never walked out of a film! I watch films, and go to the cinema, very infrequently, and it’s kind of this magic experience for me; I laugh and cover my eyes and gasp like the first cinemagoers watching a Brothers Lumiere. But I do have to take earplugs like a grandmother. That shit is loud.
Have you ever cried watching an advert?
What’s the biggest misconception about you?
Probably that I’m super self-assured or think I’ve got it all figured out. In truth, I’m constantly walking around with my mouth hanging open being taught and uplifted and mindblown by the world. I’m extremely hard on myself as a writer and a maker, and it’s my forever goal to constantly get better at telling stories, unpacking the experience of being alive. I just want to make good stuff, work that looks like my heart does in that moment. So yeah, deeply un-clued-up. Deeply wanting to be schooled by life.
If you had to go to a 2017 themed Halloween party what would you go as?
I want to go as the little girl in a “hippity- hoppity” mood who walked in on her dad’s BBC broadcast!!!!
I am basically allergic to hearing any of my music out loud around people.
Can you describe the feeling of being on stage to me please.
Oh god, I often think of it like an alternate dimension; a diorama, a snow globe, a tiny town somebody built and displayed in a church hall with mountains with snow on them and forests and little trains. The environment is not of this world, I think, because the energy exchange is so different. You really have to be a conduit up there. Now more than ever, it’s not enough just to dance or smile at a show – as a concertgoer, I want my life to change. And this tour I’ve been working on being super mindful of the exchange of energy going on, and the magic of all those bodies in one place. It was crazy at the Governor’s Ball this year when Jack joined me onstage – singing to dozens of thousands of people and also whispering in my friend’s ear; it was like we had pulled the Matrix around us and made a little fort.
What are your favourite and least favourite words?
I love magic, I use it every day. I also love chicanes lately, the street diverter things, I roll that word around in my mouth all the time. I think the good words are often just simple ones that contain a whole world – Arctic, violence, secrets, summer, and those things. Least favourite? Wipe.
Do you get jealous of your friends?
All the time.
Is music journalism pointless in 2017?
No, but I do think it’s colour more than like, actual news delivery. I love beautiful long form, I’ll always read it.
Are you a dog or a cat person?
Dog!!!!!! All the dogs!!!! :-))))))) <3 <3
Whose album are you most looking forward to hearing as 2017 continues its rapid descent into a dumpster fire?
Hmm! I’m not even sure what’s supposed to be coming out… I’m hoping it’s a new artist that eats all of our lunches.
Do your family ever call you Lorde?
My little brother does it sometimes to piss me off. It’s weird, I love the name I chose for myself, but when someone calls me by it I instantly dislike them. Makes me feel like a shiny new gadget, or a plastic water bottle.
When we last spoke it was just before your 18th birthday and you celebrated by having dinner with your family. What did you do for your 19th and 20th birthdays?
19 I spent in New York with Jack. I’m not good at doing birthdays, I feel like when you’re a pop star every day is kind of your birthday, and maybe that’s a pain in the ass for people? He bought me a Momofuku birthday cake on Postmates and we devoured it in his kitchen in between writing a pre chorus. That was a lovely time. For 20, Taylor (who is low key the queen of all celebrations big or small, they’re always tasteful as fuck and she thinks of everything, she should probably just be a professional party planner) actually threw me the most perfect party at ZZ’s next to Carbone in New York – it’s like a tiny 15 person oyster bar, and all my best friends in the city came, like a bunch of weirdos who I adore, and we danced to pop music, and ate yum food, and Aziz made sure everyone drank Penicillins all night, because those are my favourite cocktail. And if that isn’t true love, I don’t know what is.
Do you still avoid going on trains in New Zealand?
The train actually doesn’t go where I’m headed most of the time. It’s a weird train system down there. I did get the ferry the other day.
Is it even more important for musicians to be political now?
I think it’s important for everyone to be political, not just musicians. I do think musicians and famous people are caught in a bit of a paradox where we want to be educated and thoughtful but also we just have to say the right thing in 140 characters, and that kind of activism can be dangerous. I’m a big believer in privileged white folks like myself voicing the no-brainers as loudly as possible, and zipping our mouths and listening, learning, and trying to elevate voices from affected people or minorities for the more complex issues as much as possible. Does that make sense?