Lana Del Rey’s third album, Honeymoon, is out today, just 15 months after her sophomore release, Ultraviolence, solidified her place in iconic American history. This past year she has proven her staying power both as one of the most beloved pop singers in the world,and one of its most candid speakers. When she talks to the press, an activity that is becoming increasingly rare, she seems to inevitably ignite conversation. Notable examples this past year include her comments about dying young and being disinterested in feminism—both of which Kim Gordon responded to with some choice words in her memoir—as well as meeting inventor/mogul/future-enthusiast Elon Musk.
When I interviewed her for the cover of Complex’s August/September 2014 Issue, we touched on the media. But Lana was less concerned with the chatter, and more concerned with finding a group of collaborators who respect her artistry and perspective as a writer, “like the way Bob Dylan found his friends.” From the outside, it looks like she is closer than she’s ever been, working with her sister, photographer Chuck Grant, for the Honeymoon promo art, teaming up with “Shades of Cool” director Jake Nava for the literally explosive “High by the Beach” music video, contributing to the debut solo album of close friend Emile <Haynie, who executive produced Born to Die, and finding new artistic synergies with artists like the Weeknd.
The more we learn about Lana, the more complete a portrait of a living, breathing human being we are able to piece together. In celebration of the release of her third album, we revisit some of the unpublished quotes from our interview that took place May 12, 2014, on the roof of Brooklyn’sWythe Hotel. Read them below.