PopBytes talks with Lady Gaga!

good morning! a few weeks ago i had the awesome opportunity to get on the phone with lady gaga (join her on myspace) who you might already know from her super hot dance hit just dance (also featured here on ‘mashup of week’) she was wicked cool and really fun to talk with it – i got our chat transcribed and over the past few weeks i’ve been editing it into a proper interview which took a lot longer than i expected but i’m really happy with how it all came out! besides the interview there’s a couple of audio ‘gaga’ goodies posted below – and if you haven’t seen the video for just dance – you must watch it below – here’s to lady gaga – ‘changing the world one sequin at a time’ – be on the lookout for her debut album the fame dropping on september 9th! popbytes over & out for now…xxoo

popbytes talks with lady gaga…

MK: Hey, Lady Gaga.

Lady Gaga: Hi, how are you?

MK: I’m good. How are you? Nice to ‘meet’ you! Oh my gosh – I’ve been hearing about you for like I swear six months. About three weeks ago I finally caught your video for ‘Just Dance’ and I’m now obsessed. I can’t even tell you. I get home from work and I play it like ten times in a row while drinking a little red wine – dancing around my apartment in front of my dogs!

Lady Gaga: Wooo. Thank you so much.

MK: I heard the song and I loved it, but then the video – seeing you do your whole thing and it’s just like oh, I can’t even – it’s so damn hot!

Lady Gaga: Oh thank you. I love to hear that cause for me the visual is always important – I want it to change the way people view the song. You know?

MK: Totally! I showed the video to my friend Joey at work today and she was like, “I want a lightening bolt on my face!” You must be super excited about your debut album ‘The Fame’ coming out in September, right?

Lady Gaga: Yeah. I’m really excited. For me it’s all about the work. I’m just really enjoying being on the road, promoting the album – making things, improving the live show. I’m a very hands on person so this is a dream for me to be able to finally be like in the thrust of executing my gaga-vision!

MK: That’s great because I was going to ask you, since some artists when they first come out it seems like record labels and producers try to force an image on them. From what I’ve been reading about you and from what I’ve seen – it’s all you. It’s totally your vibe, your own thing.

Lady Gaga: Yeah. I am so unafraid of being a pop artist. So unafraid of writing pop music and I just think that in pop culture right now and probably since the ’90s pretty much, I’d say maybe like the late ’90s, there really hasn’t been any pop artists that have written their own stuff but have been full visionaries – maybe perhaps later in their careers, but usually never from the beginning. It’s just exciting. Interscope didn’t even sign me as a singer. They signed me as an artist. I’m just trying to sort of explain that I’m a pop artist, not a pop singer.

MK: You’re totally the whole enchilada! So how did Colby O’Donis get involved with ‘Just Dance’?

Lady Gaga: Well, I’ve actually known Colby for a while. Through Akon because I actually started working with Akon – not on my thing but I worked with him writing for other artists. Colby, I met him at a studio when I was writing for Tami Chynn for her album that’s coming out on Universal. And Akon was like, “There’s this guy Colby – I just met him and he’s got this amazing voice and he produces and he writes and he’s very young.”

MK: And very cute too.

Lady Gaga: Very cute. We didn’t talk for a long time, but then when we were looking for somebody to sing that part of the record – Akon and I thought he just sounded amazing. He’s useful plus he’s new too. It was fun for me to have somebody that is unknown and kind of up & coming to have it really be an event record that’s more kind of coming up from the LA radio scene as opposed to just showing a famous face – even though Akon was totally willing to do the track.

MK: It’s so funny cause I get pitched for music all the time. Like literally everybody’s like, “Listen to this – listen to that.” I’m so picky, but when they told me about you and I listened to ‘Just Dance’ I was like, “Okay. I’m totally in.” Instantly – I was like, “Lady Gaga is going to be hot.”

Lady Gaga: Thank you. I appreciate that. You know, it’s like I’ve been doing this for like such a long time.

MK: I was just reading your bio. You’ve been playing a lot in clubs in New York City and paying your dues basically over the past few years.

Lady Gaga: Yeah. I mean it’s so funny. I didn’t even like really see it as paying my dues –

MK: You kind of thought of it as more fun.

Lady Gaga: Yes!

MK: Who would like an ideal duet partner for you like somebody that’s on the scene right now or even maybe somebody from the past?

Lady Gaga: That I would like to collaborate with? I really want to work with Lil’ Wayne. That’s kind of like my goal right now is to get in with Pharrell and maybe do something with Lil’ Wayne. I really like Santogold

MK: She’s playing in LA on Monday. I’m going to go see her – you and Santogold right now are like my two things that I’m going back and forth on so it’s so funny you mentioned her.

Lady Gaga: She’s cool. I wasn’t sure like at first cause I thought she was like total M.I.A.

MK: Yeah. I agree. But once get to kind of listen to the album it’s definitely different.

Lady Gaga: Yeah. I’ve only heard the one song so I feel like if I just kind of get into it I’m going to like really the album – but I dig her vibe. I am really hard to please when it comes to new music actually –

MK: Me too.

MK: Well, do you have any opinion on somebody who I write about a lot on popbytes that I just love to pieces (as my readers know) Amy Winehouse. I still can’t wrap my head around how the situation is just a total shame because she’s so talented, but at the same time the girl can barely stand up sometimes. It’s sad. You know?

Lady Gaga: Sometimes drugs can be like a creative journey. And I’ve done it and it’s –

MK: Yeah, I have too.

Lady Gaga: Some stuff’s really amazing. But it also can totally ruin like your whole life and can take over you so – I would never encourage anybody to go on that kind of creative journey. It’s really a personal choice. And Amy I think now it’s much more of an addiction than it is a creative outlet.

MK: Yeah. A few months ago it was kind of cute. Like, “Oh, she’s messy but super talented.” But now it’s like, “Oh, girl.” It’s too bad.

Lady Gaga: Yeah. Well, I think that it’s real. And I think what everybody’s seeing the media is that that’s not a shtick. Like she’s not pretending to be drunk. She’s got a problem. I’m not mad at her. You know, the whole world is watching and she has to deal with herself. I think she’s incredibly talented and I would encourage her to embark on a new journey for herself just for her health. And I also don’t believe because I’ve been in similar – I mean never as intense as her, but I’ve been through my – everybody’s had their drug thing. And creativity comes in so many different forms. You just need to learn how to unlock different parts of your brain in other ways. But I get a rap for that even already in the press that I’ve had. “Oh, in her video she looks like drunk.” I’m a performance artist. That record ‘Just Dance’ is about being wasted and so is the video. And it’s – a lot of it is me in dramatic interpretation – humping an orca.

MK: Oh my word – that’s the best part of the video!

Lady Gaga: That’s performance art. You know what I mean? It’s not – I don’t know that I would do that at a party for real. I would if I was performing. You know. Actually I probably totally would. People will discover that about me. They’ll say things like, “Why is she holding the microphone that way?” Or, “It’s weird the way she licks her finger,” things like that. And I love it because I’m already like tapping into their comfort zone. And they’re going, “What a shocker.” It’s pop shocker for them and they’re going, “Ooh, what is that?” And really it’s my interpretation of the record in a performance way instead of doing just a music video.

MK: Yeah. Exactly. So what can we expect for the rest of the album? Is it sort of along the same vibe, very dancey – are there ballads on there?

Lady Gaga: There’s definitely a lot of dance on the record. There are a couple ballads. It’s super dramatic. We went theatrical. And expect a lot of visuals and inventions in the future that are meant to kind of alter the way that you digest the album. You know, it’s really all – it’s interactive and together. And I – it’s so funny. I don’t mean to like not be just about the music – cause I’m about the whole thing. I want – I want people to really like – when you’re a fan of Lady Gaga like it’s your life. Not that I’m your life, but that kind of music and that kind of artist is like what you personally believe in. I want to inspire people to be inspired. If that makes any sense at all.

MK: It totally makes perfect sense. No, it’s like even when I was walking home from lunch today, cause I’m at my apartment now. And I like put on the ‘Just Dance’ in my headphones and it just gives you that sort of like strutting. Like I just feel fierce when I’m walking down the street and I listening to it. I’m like, “Woo.” You know? Girl, I’m telling you it’s just the best track right now!

Lady Gaga: When you bring all of the components together and experience what I’m trying to do, I promise you like that feeling that you’re feeling is going to start to permeate your body and really change you. I mean I talk to a lot girls that I dance with in LA and all around the country right now and like we’re performing and then we do vogue battles like in clubs all the time. Half the time I ask, “What’s it been like working with me?” And they say like, “You’re a for real artist and I feel like I’m changing and my confidence and my inner like strength is different than it was before I met you.” Because it’s this concept and it’s this idea and it’s not about me singing about like, “Believe in yourself.” It’s about like – it’s inspiring people. And there might be a lot of panties and a lot of sequins and the designer sunglasses. And me humping orcas. Once you put all the visuals and all everything together with the record, it really is like a serious contribution. So I just want to like highlight that. I don’t know why I’m in like a – that kind of mood today, but I guess I am.

MK: Oh, no. I totally get what you’re saying. So my last question – cause I could talk to you all afternoon…where does the name Lady Gaga come from?

Lady Gaga: From the Queen song Radio Gaga. It’s a nickname from an old friend, who I worked with back in the day, who I did a lot of my earlier more underground stuff with. He was like, “You are so Freddy Mercury. You just feel like a gay man trapped in a woman’s body.” And he said, “You’re so gaga. So radio gaga.” And then he just started calling me Gaga. And then I stuck the Lady on the front because it’s a total contradiction to what Gaga kind of makes you think of. And that’s the idea is that I’m totally 100% woman and strong, but I’m a little crazy.

MK: And a little crazy – oh that’s great! Oh, girl, you gave me the best interview. I’m so excited. I’m gonna get this transcribed. It’ll probably be on popbytes in the next few weeks.

Lady Gaga: Oh, that’s great. Thank you.

MK: I can’t wait to tell all my readers about you.

Lady Gaga: You are so amazing. And I love your blog. I’m a fan – I’m laughing today reading your post on Lindsay Lohan possibly being a lesbian. Is she really a lesbian or what?

MK: No. And I think she probably knows that they’re writing about her so like, “Hey, let’s just hold hands for fun a bit just to see,” see cause then everybody’s like, “Oh, she’s a lesbian,” And I’ve just never got that vibe from her. You know? Like I just can’t picture her being like she’s gay.

Lady Gaga: This is what it is. I think she’s always been quite the media monger. Total attention grabber. So if they were really together they’d be making out and stuff.

MK: Yeah. I feel like they’re just friends and it’s just like – people just read too much into everything these days…

Lady Gaga: Yeah. We’re like buddies already. I’m like chit chatting with you about Lohan!

MK: I know. Oh my gosh!

Lady Gaga: I never do this. I’m always like, “Okay. We’re done.”

MK: I really appreciate you taking the time to talk with me! Hopefully I will get to see you perform at some point soon.

Lady Gaga: I tell you that this project is like a quadruple feature. It’s like every time you see something you’re gonna be like, “Oh, that’s what it is? Oh wait, but I thought it was that. Oh, but then it’s that…” It just keeps changing.

MK: Wow – I can’t wait to see one of your shows! If you ever need to get in touch, my email address is on popbytes – just shoot me an email. I’ll be supporting you big-time!

Lady Gaga: All of my little LA secrets I will tell you…

MK: Cool and good luck. I know you’re going to do well – I feel you’re going to be be really successful and I’m so excited to see you break onto the scene.

Lady Gaga: Oh, you’re so kind and generous to say that. I thank you and I just want to just work hard. You know?

MK: Yes. Exactly. I agree. You have yourself a great rest of the afternoon and thank you again so much. It was cool. Thanks Lady Gaga – bye!

Lady Gaga: Thank you!

About MICHAEL KNUDSEN 5716 Articles
MK (Michael Knudsen) first started PopBytes back in September of 2003—while trying to make a website for his design portfolio, the site quickly turned into one of the premiere online destinations for all things pop culture! A native New Yorker, he currently resides in Los Angeles with his partner Ivan along with four dogs, four cats and two parrots. Follow him on Twitter @PopBytes.