I was accused of being a Satanist a few times this year. I spent May through June opening for Lana Del Rey and 70 percent of the crowd probably hadn’t heard of Grimes. When you’re performing a really aggressive set in broad daylight for a crowd of sober 13-year-olds and people wearing flower crowns, it’s like a test. I wanted to win everyone over, but there were times when I just thought: “Shit. Sorry, guys.”
But it was touring with Lana that I think I finally got good at playing live. I never walk onto the stage and worry that something might go really wrong now. Although I did get seriously hurt when we did a show in Toronto. My brothers and a whole group of friends came onstage during my set, and I fell down at one point. I was having so much fun that I didn’t notice I had twisted my ankle and torn my ACL. We all drank beer and watched Lana’s show, and I danced on the injury for the entire time. It was the best day ever — and then in the middle of the night I woke up and had to go to the hospital.
The toughest part of the year overall was finishing Art Angels. It’s hard to make your hobby your job. It had been two-and-a-half years since I’d put out something new, and I had been casually making songs that obviously sound very, very different. The whole time I had this feeling like it might all blow up in my face and people might hate it. I worried that what I was going to put out into the world might be the worst decision ever.
When a notion like that looms in your head for such a long time, it becomes a huge source of stress. I just needed to get it out so I could not have that feeling anymore. Then, at least, you know the outcome. The not knowing is worse.
But I also think that experience might be the most difficult thing I will ever have to go through on a creative level. Because I now know people accept change. In a way, the future becomes less daunting.
For now though, I just really want to focus on doing more music videos and being more ambitious with them. Learning how to ride a horse would be pretty sick, too. And if I get the chance, I want to go to Mongolia. I’m really into Genghis Khan right now.
*As told to Brooke Mazurek
This story originally appeared in the Dec. 19 issue of Billboard.