While Lana Del Rey has built her well defined aesthetic around iconic American nostalgia, don’t expect the singer to perform in front of Old Glory anytime soon.
Speaking with Pitchfork in a new interview about her fourth album, Lust for Life, which is out Friday, Del Rey expressed deep concerns with the country’s direction under Donald Trump’s presidency and how that is having an affect on her songwriting and visual identity. When asked about whether it’s hard to be romantic about America when Trump is president, she replied, “It’s certainly uncomfortable.”
“I definitely changed my visuals on my tour videos,” Del Rey continued. “I’m not going to have the American flag waving while I’m singing ‘Born to Die.’ It’s not going to happen. I’d rather have static. It’s a transitional period, and I’m super aware of that. I think it would be inappropriate to be in France with an American flag. It would feel weird to me now — it didn’t feel weird in 2013.
“All the guys in the studio — we didn’t know we were going to start walking in every day and talking about what was going on. We hadn’t ever done that before, but everyday during the election, you’d wake up and some new horrible thing was happening. Korea, with missiles suddenly being pointed at the western coast. With ‘When the World Was at War We Kept Dancing,’ I was posing a real question to myself: Could this be the end of an era? The fall of Rome?”
The issues span to women’s rights as well as war and Trump — a subject Del Rey said she hasn’t felt she needed to focus on with her last albums.
“It’s more appropriate now than under the Obama administration, where at least everyone I knew felt safe. It was a good time. We were on the up-and-up,” she said. “Women started to feel less safe under this administration instantly. What if they take away Planned Parenthood? What if we can’t get birth control? Now, when people ask me those questions, I feel a little differently…. When you have a leader at the top of the pyramid who is casually being loud and funny about things like that, it’s brought up character defects in people who already have the propensity to be violent towards women.”
She continued, “When people asked me the feminist question before, I was like, ‘I’m not really experiencing personal discrimination as a woman. I feel like I’m doing well. I headline shows just like the Weeknd does. I got tons of women in my life, love women, support women.’ I just felt like, Why don’t we talk about the music first? I can tell you that what I have done for women is tell my own story, and that’s all anyone can do.”
Read the full interview here.