Lana Del Rey Is Rock's Saddest, Baddest Diva: Inside the New Issue

The vamp of constant sorrow talks about love and death — then tries to wiggle out of her cover story

Lana Del Rey on the cover of Rolling Stone. Credit: Theo Wenner

The elusive Lana Del Rey makes her first appearance on the cover of Rolling Stone in our next issue (on stands Friday), photographed by Theo Wenner – but at one dramatic point during her interviews, she tried to cancel the whole thing. "I'm not sure if they should run this story," she tells senior writer Brian Hiatt. "I feel like maybe we should wait until there's something good to talk about. You know? I just wish you could write about something else. There has to be someone else to be the cover story. Like, there has to be. Anybody."

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But before she hit that point, Del Rey had plenty to say in her interviews, which mostly took place in the Greenwich Village townhouse owned by her apparent new love interest, Italian photographer Francesco Carrozzini.

On her state of mind: "Well, I feel fucking crazy," she says. "But I don't think I am. People make me feel crazy." She blames her much-publicized "I wish I were dead" quotes on leading questions, but adds, "I find that most people I meet figure I kind of want to kill myself anyway. So, it comes up every time."

On how she wants people to hear lyrics like "he hurt me and it felt like true love":  "I just don't want them to hear it at all," she says. "I'm very selfish. I make everything for me, kind of. I mean, every little thing, down to the guitar and the drums. It's just for me… I don't want them to hear it and think about it. It's none of their business!"

On her Saturday Night Live performance: "It wasn't dynamic, but it was true to form," she says, though former Interscope Records head Jimmy Iovine reveals that he worked with her afterwards on the use of in-ear monitors. In any case, Del Rey says music-biz friends pulled away from her post-SNL: "Everyone I knew suddenly wasn't so sure about me," she says. "They were like, 'Maybe I don't want to be associated with her – not a great reputation.'"

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Also in this issue: Simon Vozick-Levinson on Sam Smith, Nicholas Dawidoff on Richard Linklater, Roy Scranton on the broken lives Americans left behind in Baghdad, plus Jon Dolan on Tom Petty's new album and interviews with Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Lil Jon and more.

Look for the issue on stands and in the iTunes App Store this Friday, July 18th.