Lady Gaga on Whether 'Perfect Illusion' Is About Ex Taylor Kinney: 'This Song is Not a Hit Out Against Taylor'
Lady Gaga had a lot to say about her upcoming fifth album on Monday morning (Sept. 12), sitting down for a string of radio interviews in which she discussed her inspirations, collaborators and fears about the isolation of fame. But when it came time to talking about her ex-fiancé, actor Taylor Kinney, Gaga wanted to be very clear on one point: First single "Perfect Illusion" is not a revenge track.
"I love Taylor so, so much and this song is not a hit out against Taylor," she told SiriusXM host Andy Cohen about the rock-influenced track. "This song is just about... I'm sure not only feelings that I've had but that he's had, that my friends have had, my sister has in her relationship... it's a record about all of us. And I would never use my song or want to use the public to hurt anyone that I love so much."
Speaking to another Sirius host, Shade 45's Sway Calloway, Gaga said "Illusion" is very much about living up to an "illusion that people have of me every day... and I think that that's transferred to everyone with social media. Now we all have these perfect illusions that we get to create on our different accounts and you feel like you've got to live up to that in real life," she said.
"But this song's also just about being so intoxicated by love or lust... the lyrics, 'dilated, falling free in a modern ecstasy/ Where are you, 'cause I can't see/ But I feel you watching me.' The song is about waking up one day and realizing you were so intoxicated by something but it just wasn't real and the rage you feel about that," she explained. "It's a song about being angry when love doesn't work out."
Gaga is not revealing the album title yet, but she said once she does it will totally make sense. "On this album, I'm my father's daughter, I'm my mother's daughter, I'm my sister's sister, I'm my friend's friend and every lyric, everything that I've put into it is from the perspective of not just my life but wanting to sing to this very particular person I had in my head," she said.
The vision of that woman is obviously very clear to Gaga, since she repeatedly painted an image of her unnamed muse over the course of her morning interviews. In her vision, Gaga is onstage performing at an amphitheater and this "typical middle American girl" is all the way in the back on the lawn watching it all.
"Hair's back, no makeup, heirloom family jewelry or maybe something from her aunt, or her grandma's ring," she began her description. "She's got a Hanes cheap sweatshirt on from Duane Reade, rolled-up jeans, kid in one hand, Pinot Grigio in the other, two kids running around her, no man in her life... just crying her eyes out singing along to every word and going, 'I can't believe that I can relate to Lady Gaga.'" That girl could never imagine relating to someone like Gaga, because celebrities are so fake and her life is so different from Gaga's, the singer speculated.
"But then, by the time I finished writing the record I realized that girl was me," Gaga said. "And I was writing to myself as if this had never happened."