Sunday, November 16, 2008

Interview: Gaga for the Lady

Lady Gaga cavorts in couture. She only dons platinum wigs that suggest the presence of radioactivity. And she yells for you to dance, all in tribute to her favorite muse -- fame.

Louis Virtel writes:
The racy Lady Gaga, née Stefani Germanotta, entered hard on singles charts (particularly on iTunes) with the Colby O’Donis-aided single Just Dance off her recently released debut, The Fame. Now her candor and showmanship have earned her a Billboard Top 20 album. Gaga sees celebrity behavior as ritualized art form, a Noh drama in which limousine arrivals, saucy Maxim interview quotes, and prison mug shots are all equally rehearsed and mastered.

Though Gaga looks like a Gwen Stefani take on T. Rex, her intentions, to some degree, are as serious as a textbook. She believes pop music is vital, never lowbrow. And maybe she would know best, having worked with and written tracks for Britney Spears, the Pussycat Dolls, and New Kids on the Block. The Advocate phoned Lady Gaga to discuss her influences, her raunchy persona, and the salacious lady she calls her "total girl-crush." Oh, and the story behind that highly suggestive "disco stick" she brandishes onstage like a titanium emblem off a homosexual spaceship.

Advocate: You approach fame like a pop archaeologist, studying its bizarreness and machinations. Now how does it feel to experience fame so suddenly?

Lady Gaga: Oh, it’s really overwhelming and very exciting. It’s interesting, because you usually think about fame a certain kind of way in your head, but I really didn't have a real moment of it until I saw myself on iTunes at number 1. Because that's your music, you know? So that was a really different moment for me, as someone who analyzes fame and celebrity obsession and media culture and, you know, fame as an art form -- it was kind of a real moment for me to have my first real dose of it.

Advocate: Your bluntness and defiance are signature attributes. What made you this way? Do you always seek to defy?

Lady Gaga: No, I guess it’s just that New York girl in me. I've got a pinch of some punk in my blood. I've always been that way; I was always pretty bad-ass growing up, trying to stay out late. I was always in bands with boys. I just always wanted to be independent, making music, and a free woman. It’s just kind of always been in my blood.

Advocate: I take it we can only expect your gay following to grow exponentially in the near future?

Lady Gaga: I want to keep making great music, and what I love about the gay community and my gay fans is there’s no getting anything past them. It’s either great music and a great artist and a great dress or it’s not, you know? [Laughs] The gays are never afraid to go, "Honey ... I didn't like that outfit." There’s a real honesty and trust with my gay fans.

I'm always going to be 150,000% percent loyal. To me, it doesn't matter if I make it big-time as a pop sensation, Top 40, playing in clubs, and selling out arenas all over the world. The gay community is always with me. Always, always. I'm not moving on or changing. With the gay community, it’s always and forever.

Read full interview here.