How much has the change in the sound of Top 40 influenced the choice of single and the sound, and to what extent the need to get airplay and hits define how you and Gaga approach the writing/producing of songs?
Most of these songs were written like 2 years ago, you know? So, we didn’t know what was going to happen this week two years ago. I mean, we just wrote songs that were fun. We weren’t necessarily trying to go for anything. I made all kinds of crazy shit, I’d throw it at her and see what sticks.
How much has ARTPOP evolved since 2012, when Gaga said it was done? Did you guys write new material or re-work any older songs to keep them fresh during Gaga’s gazing period and rehabilitation?
A little bit of both. Like I said, we had written for 2 years. When she said it was done we already had the feeling. We might’ve changed a couple tracks back and forth, or done different shit, but for the most part when she said it was done it was like “Oh, shit, we got what we’re going to do for the record.” It wasn’t like we had every song done and ready to go. Things change and evolve a little bit, but things are pretty much the same feeling they were when she said it was done.
What’s different now, working on ARTPOP, compared to the process behind Born This Way?
It’s a lot different for like 25 billion reasons. The last record was a different time and we were trying to do something different. Fernando oversaw that, and I over saw this record. You’re going to be able to tell the difference, just based on the fact that two different people had a different role. “Applause” is the kind of music that I make, and we started with a lot of that on Born This Way and then it found its way into being more rock influenced, just because that was where Gaga’s head was and Fernando was producing. This time around it’s a different style of production, more the way I do things.
Did you produce anything on ARTPOP that is similar to “Government Hooker”? Anything with a darker tone? Everything I make starts out with a darker tone. I love that song and I made a lot like that.
What did you think about “Aura” leaking? Do you fear the album leaking early, since they have access to something like that?
I don’t include myself in how they figured out how that happens, but they’ve already figured out how and are dealing with that. That day that happened, especially “Applause” – “Aura” was just in one shot and it wasn’t the single, but then right after “Applause” started leaking in pieces and I was like “What is going on?” it’s like somebody breaking into your house. It was a big deal. She [Gaga] was like “get over here now!” so we went over and sat trying to figure out where it got posted first by reading people’s tweets and Facebook posts to see if we could stop it. Then we figured out it wasn’t going to stop, so we figured we’d put out the real version and not some piece of shit version, especially since people are so negative nowadays. It’s insane. It’s like crazy, like people would rather read about people tanking instead of somebody doing well.
Like when people were judging the demo for “Aura”.
99 hundred million times out of whatever, people are going to pick up something and say Lady Gaga fucking sucks because that’s a great story for whoever is writing that trying to get attention for themselves. You can tell where somebody comes from. The internet is so transparent now, like everybody lives in a glass bubble now. I mean, that’s how we found each other, right?. I can read somebody’s critique of a song and be like “oh, you’re just a fucking hater” or I can read something and be like “oh, I fucked that up” I appreciate both ends of it. I take it all in stride. With “Applause” coming out, I’ve been really happy, because it’s what we intended for it to do. We didn’t intend to make a song that was going to be number one the first day it came out. Like “Roar” or “Blurred Lines.” I love those songs. I’m a huge fan of those songs. If I’m fine with it, and I made the motherfucker, why are you guys fighting over these songs? You can like “Roar” or like “Blurred Lines”, all those songs are great songs. Everybody picks out dumb, stupid, and negative shit to fight each other about and certain people have the ability to amplify that negativity and that isn’t why I got into doing this kind of work. I got into this to make people happy. I became a DJ so I could make people happy. To get drunk, have fun, make out with whoever and make bad decisions and have a great time. I didn’t make a song so people could fight each other about who’s song was better. That’s dumb.
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