Interview Roundup: Katy Perry, Azealia Banks And Skrillex
Posted by Newson 03/02/2012 at 3:43 PM
What are you doing this weekend? Wait, don’t answer that; we’ll probably feel inadequate. But might we suggest something? Something in case you’ve got an hour or two of downtime between flitting among parties. Something of particular interest to Katy Perry, Azealia Banks and Skrillex, or of in-depth artist features. Check out the highlights, click through for the full things, and make your weekend that much more musical.
In which Azealia Banks gets dubbed a “rearview-mirror dingle-dangle of a woman.” But worry not, this feature’s a lot better than the now-infamous Lana Del Rey thing the magazine did, largely because Banks is such an on-point interview subject. You could, at this point, spend entire days going through all she’s said on debut album Broke with Expensive Taste–which is really impressing considering it isn’t even out yet.
When I mused that I probably wasn’t the ideal audience for songs like “212” and “L8r,” Banks observed tartly that half of her fans were, like, middle-age white guys. I suppose I could’ve bridled at this stereotyping: in common with most middle-age white guys, I have delusions of being sui generis — but she speedily set me straight, pointing out that for a long time her songs existed only in the iTunes libraries of record company execs, and that, as I was no doubt aware, most of them are indeed middle-age white guys.
Even Katy Perry skeptics will probably like this interview. Why? Well, first of all, this is Interview Magazine, so another celebrity’s carrying out the interview honors, and in this case, that celebrity is Kristen Wiig. Kristen Wiig makes things awesome. But Katy Perry shines equally–turns out when she’s given room to talk at length, as opposed to delivering cartoon-smiley statements with a smile and a chest spritz, she’s got a lot to say. For instance, she talks about her career-that-might’ve-been as a Hotel Cafe acoustic act (think Sara Bareilles or Ingrid Michaelson), a certain chicken/backpack incident, her “really fucking dark” upcoming record and her influences like Fiona Apple, Patty Griffin and Edith Piaf. It’s all much more fascinating than I expected, and it’s starting to make me seriously reconsider my stance on Katy Perry. Really.
I actually started playing in Santa Barbara at the farmers market when I was 13. I’d take my guitar and would test songs out on people there. … It was more like a very organic, hippie-dippie kind of atmosphere, where on one corner there’d be a violinist with a case where you have money thrown in, and then I would be on the other corner playing my own little original songs and people would throw in pistachios or avocados—or, if I was lucky, a dollar bill. I’m sure along the way I got some kind of hepatitis from a dollar bill being on an avocado.” (Ed. note: Mea culpa. Avocado hepatitis qualifies as roots. Also, this post is now the only site on the Internet with the phrase “avocado hepatitis” that isn’t full of hepatitis-like viruses, so yay us.)
The interviewer here’s also notable, albeit a lot less unanimously loved: Neil Strauss. From that, you can probably gather that this interview’s a tad more gonzo. Skrillex wanders around town, has an awkward run-in with a neighbor who doesn’t know he’s Skrillex, talks about his relationship with Ellie Goulding (it began with fan mail!), grumbles about how he “doesn’t want to be anywhere,” lets the interview build up to the point where he mentions the drop, then finally gets incoherently drunk.
Four cocktails and two shots into the evening, Skrillex suddenly turns on his barstool and asks, “Are you light-switched off or light-switched on?”
What do you mean?
“Because what’s the point if there’s nothing else?” he continues. Evidently, the topic is whether or not there’s life after death. “If I woke up tomorrow, and I knew there was nothing else at the end, I’d think, ‘Then why am I more significant than the shit she wiped off her ass this morning? Or what difference is there between me and a stuffed animal? Or what makes a serial killer or a rapist wrong?’”
These are deep questions. Worthy of only the finest margarita and highest-grade medical marijuana. He isn’t religious, but he does believe in “spirit” and that “we’re part of something bigger.” He also, as he puts it, “likes aliens.”
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