Waaaaaay back in 2008, I got the chance to interview Gaga. She was one of the last performers at London’s legendary Astoria before it got pulled down. It played a massive part in my life after going to so many gigs there. Then I went to G-A-Y there on my first night out as a gay so really it was only fitting that it be the back drop for another personal highlight; meeting Lady Gaga.
We saw her perform at Omo (post G-A-Y) and then I went upstairs to meet her. It was a tiny pokey room, she was busy getting changed, I poked my head around the door, said ‘Hi’ and went back to the dancefloor.
The next day I went to some swanky hotel to interview her. She kept her sunglasses on all the time, had dancers either side of her, posing like statues and wore a top hat - as you do.
This is Lady Gaga, the ‘2008 Edition.’
What age did you start writing?
Thirteen. And it was about love - go figure. But then by 21 I was writing for Nicole Sherzinger. I’ve written for Akon, Pussycat Dolls, New Kids on the Block and Britney too. If I get asked to write to tracks for other artists and the beat is very Gaga, I won’t write it. Unless it’s Britney, she can have what she likes.
Who is a typical Gaga fan?
My favourite type are my gay boyfriends with the lightning bolts and glitter on their faces. They know about the short films I put out before anybody else. What I love about my fans is that they are all pretty diehard. They’re not like, ‘Oh, I like that song in particular.’ Normally if they like the record, they’re really into me as an artist.
Have you played a lot of gay gigs?
Haha…an understatement! I grew up with a lot of gay friends. I think my work speaks to them because I grew up with them. But in another way they are very critical. You either win them over or it’s garbage. There were a few shows I did in America where people were like, ‘Who the hell does this bitch think she is?’ My gay audience were like, ‘Oh yeah, let’s check her out. Oh, she’s dope, we love her.’ It’s like playing a song for your best friend.
Are straight people harder to impress?
I don’t think it’s a matter of gay or straight, I think it’s a matter of pop music period. The straight community thinks of pop music as a manufactured, dishonest and wretched genre. Whereas the gay community loves pop music all around the world. It’s like, ‘Is it pop? Well, it’s pop but it doesn’t look like any kind of pop I’ve seen before and it’s a bit left and she’s a bit strange. But she’s very pretty and it sounds good.’
You performed at the Miss Universe event too. How was that?
I thought it looked amazing. I’m graphic and fashion forward and then you have the Miss Universe pageant which is totally devoid of any fashion at all. It’s purely about accentuating their bodies. Pop Justice wrote something about it and said, ‘That is just the kind of trivial, post-feminist performance that Madonna would have enjoyed watching.’ Pageant’s are seen as very chauvinistic in terms of womanhood. What I do is very boyish in a way. It has a lot of balls. It’s not pretty. It’s quite strange. It was a nice dichotomy.
In your first video there’s some serious lesbian undertones going on. Discuss.
It’s just the way I like to make my art. I’m not interested in using lesbianism to get more attention. I am who I am. Whatever you see in my work, that’s me doing something that I think is beautiful, artistic and inspiring. It’s not meant to be like, ‘Oh my God, is she a lesbian? Has she kissed a girl?’ Like the opening scene of The Fame (a short film that Gaga made to promote the album). That wasn’t planned. We were in Santi Alley in LA filming. Suddenly someone pulled out this cart and we jumped in. We started rubbing and touching each other and it was this really beautiful, theatrical moment. There is this great moment where the camera turns away and there’s like 30 people staring at us with their mouths, just going, ‘What the fuck is going on here?’