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5 Things We Learned About ‘Lust for Life’ From Lana Del Rey’s ‘Dazed’ Cover Story

Dazed Magazine
Dazed Magazine

As anticipated, Lana Del Rey‘s cover story for Dazed — accompanied by an interview with the legendary Courtney Love — is as in-depth and fascinating as one would hope a conversation between the two kindred spirits might be.

While showering each other in praise, the Live Through This rock icon and the Queen of Coney Island tackle all sorts of subjects, from Lana’s latest single “Love” (“I was just feeling like I wanted a song that made me feel a little more positive when I sang it”), to touring together, to the strangest scenes in which they’ve found themselves while living in Hollyweird. (Courtney’s frequent name-dropping is especially incredible.)

Along the way, as the two nerded out about mixing and mastering and lyrical tropes (watch for Lana to swap out “red” with “whore” in the near future), Lana supplied a few more tidbits about her forthcoming studio record — which is apparently coming out very soon. (Eagle-eyed fans briefly spotted an Amazon listing with a release date of May 26 before it was pulled down.)

Read the whole thing at Dazed because it’s an essential interview, but for now, here are some of the juiciest morsels.

1. The album was, as always, executive produced by longtime collaborator Rick Nowels — and it’s got a bit of “a sci-fi flair.”

Rick Nowels. He actually did stuff with Stevie Nicks a while ago. He works really well with women. I did the last few records with him. Even with Ultraviolence which I did with Dan (Auerbach), I did the record first with Rick, and then I went to Nashville and reworked the sound with Dan. So, yeah, Rick Nowels is amazing, and these two engineers – with all the records that I’ve worked on with Rick, they did a lot of the production as well. You would love these two guys. They’re just super-innovative. I wanted a bit of a sci-fi flair for some of the stuff and they had some really cool production ideas.

2. “Lust For Life,” the title track of the album, features The Weeknd.

I also have Abel (Tesfaye), The Weeknd. He is actually on the title track of the record, ‘Lust for Life’. Maybe that’s kind of weird to have a feature on the title track, but I really love that song and we had said for a while that we were gonna do something; I did stuff on his last two records.

3. “Lust For Life” was the first song written for the record, but needed a lot of work to get to its final form — including a trip to Sweden for a consultation with the Pop God himself, Max Martin. (!)

I felt like it was a big song but…it wasn’t right. I don’t usually go back and re-edit things that much, because the songs end up sort of being what they are, but this one song I kept going back to. I really liked the title. I liked the verse. John Janick was like, ‘Why don’t we just go over and see what Max Martin thinks?’ So, I flew to Sweden and showed him the song. He said that he felt really strongly that the best part was the verse and that he wanted to hear it more than once, so I should think about making it the chorus. So I went back to Rick Nowels’ place the next day and I was like, ‘Let’s try and make the verse the chorus,’ and we did, and it sounded perfect. That’s when I felt like I really wanted to hear Abel sing the chorus, so he came down and rewrote a little bit of it. But then I was feeling like it was missing a little bit of the Shangri-Las element, so I went back for a fourth time and layered it up with harmonies. Now I’m finally happy with it. (laughs)

4. She’s also done a song for the record called “Tomorrow Never Came,” which features Sean Lennon — and it even name-checks his father.

It’s called ‘Tomorrow Never Came’. I don’t know if you’ve ever felt this way, but when I wrote it I felt like it wasn’t really for me. I kept on thinking about who this song was for or who could do it with me, and then I realised that he would be a good person. I didn’t know if I should ask him because I actually have a line in it where I say, ‘I wish we could go back to your country house and put on the radio and listen to our favourite song by Lennon and Yoko.’ I didn’t want him to think I was asking him because I was namechecking them. Actually, I had listened to his records over the years and I did think it was his vibe, so I played it for him and he liked it. He rewrote his verse and had extensive notes, down to the mix. And that was the last thing I did, decision-wise. I haven’t mixed the record, but the fact that ‘Love’ just came out and Sean kind of finished up the record, it felt very meant-to-be. Because that whole concept of peace and love really is in his veins and in his family.

5. We won’t have to wait too long: Lust For Life is coming this spring.

There’s an album that’s gonna come out in the spring called Lust for Life.

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