Lana Del Rey Bonds With Billie Eilish Over Being Hated as Young Artists: ‘For Me, It Was Trial by Fire’
“No matter what you do to redeem yourself, it doesn’t matter,” Eilish lamented to Billboard’s 2023 Women In Music honoree.
Though Lana Del Rey and Billie Eilish rose to indie pop stardom and mainstream fame, respectively, a decade apart, the two share a lot of common ground — and not all of it is easy terrain. In a new piece for Interview Magazine ahead of the former’s March-slated new album Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd, the singer-songwriters bonded over being the targets of harsh criticism as young artists in two different eras of pop culture.
Back before she was regarded as one of contemporary pop’s greatest innovators (and Billboard‘s 2023 Women in Music Visionary Award honoree), Lana received some heat when her career first took off in the early 2010s from critics who deemed her persona and lyrics anti-feminist. While being interviewed by Eilish for the Tuesday (Feb. 14) piece, the “Born to Die” singer reflected on the real-life consequences she faced as a result of the negativity surrounding her image.
“All of a sudden, I was walking down the street as I always did, and people would throw elbows at me,” she recalled. “I was like, ‘Oh my god, no way did that actually happen.’ Someone recognized me and gave me a shove. Or in San Francisco, I was eating at a bistro and a woman threw a book about feminism at my face.”
“Everyone gets their fair share of thinkpieces, but there were definitely some 60-page articles about me being the face of feminine submission and the pro-domestic whatever,” Lana continued. “That was quite tough, because at the time, I was just trying to figure things out.”
“For me, it was trial by fire,” she added. “It’s definitely a different era now.”
True as that is, Eilish could still relate. In fact, just the night before she interviewed Lana — whose picture, she revealed, was the wallpaper for her very first cellphone — the “Happier Than Ever” singer says she stumbled upon a harsh TikTok criticizing her character. “I swipe to the next one and it’s a video with millions of likes and it’s something about how I’m a horrible person,” Eilish said.
“And all these comments are like, ‘I’m so glad that you guys are seeing through her.’ And I’m like, ‘Damn.’”
“They don’t ever let anything go,” Eilish also said. “You literally can’t make a single mistake ever. No matter what you do to redeem yourself, it doesn’t matter. They decide that’s who you are and that you deserve death.”
At other points in the interview, the two stars spoke at length about songwriting, Lana’s 16-track new album (out March 24) and their greatest musical influences — with Eilish insisting that her interviewee is one of hers. “You really paved the way for everyone,” the “Bad Guy” singer praised Lana. “People have been trying to look and sound like you since you first started. You changed the way the music industry hears and sees music, and you changed the way people sing.”
Read Lana Del Rey’s full conversation with Billie Eilish here.
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