Lady Gaga may not be a superhero, but she can seem that way to her fans — and she did little to discourage that idea today when about 30 people were invited to a special fan Q&A (it will be available to a much wider audience tonight on SiriusXM Hits 1).
Prior to her arrival, anticipation built: Would she enter via the elevator like a mere mortal? Would she beam down from the giant neon light in the ceiling? She eventually did arrive (through a door) — in elegant, superhero-esque cape sleeves, natch — and the room erupted in gasps. “She’s actually here!” an excited woman said from somewhere in the room. Full disclosure: That woman may have been me.
During the interview, Lady Gaga was The Gaga we’ve come to expect — simultaneously goofy and over-the-top passionate. She discussed her album inspirations, collaborators like R. Kelly and The Muppets (“Kermit and I used to date!”), and couldn’t resist dancing a bit in her chair when “Bad Romance” blasted over the speakers.
She also excitedly broke out an iPad and explained the ARTPOP app launching simultaneously with the album. In addition to being able to make Gifs (and — fact — she pronounced it with a soft ‘G’), you’ll be able to use digital turntables to remix your own versions of her songs. In a way, it was a full circle moment for the former club kid. (In another way, is it possible for anyone to talk about an app without sounding a little bit pretentious?)
After the app demo, the show launched into an hour-long Q&A, and my colleague Jodi Walker and I listened with rapt attention — when we weren’t jotting notes about the color of our auras to each other. As every Lady Gaga fan eventually comes to terms with, you can love her more than words and still sometimes find her 100% ridiculous.
Below, check out a video clip from the interview, and then read on for our recollections of the chat, via an AIM conversation that took place immediately afterwards.
ERIN: Jodi! That was insane in the best way. I like remembering that she’s kind of a huge goofball. How are you feeling right now?
JODI: I’m going to shoot you straight, Erin – My hands are shaking a little. I felt really calm about the whole thing, but now I can’t believe how close we were to the Mothership.
ERIN: OK, well clearly one of the most ridiculous things was her whole speech about auras. She discussed how on the ARTPOP app, users will have a literal aura that will change color based on how often you interact with the app. Which is, of course, insane. But can we talk about auras really quick? Because her presence was very calming. I think she had a white aura. I may just think that because she was dressed in all white. Also, I may or may not fully understand auras.
JODI: Gaga was rocking a full all-white Carmen Sandiego look (Computer game included). It had the effect of making her seem totally in charge, but also personable — and everyone’s aura was affected thusly. I found that the superfans remained calm, but if you looked deep into their eyes, they were about to lose their minds from nerves. One girl in a particularly sassy tiger shirt kept mirroring Gaga’s facial expressions. There were a few youngins, but did you notice that the middle-age quota for the contest winners was a little high? Lots of 30- and 40-something year-olds? Also, all of the fan questions were a little: “You’re great, why are you so great? And as a follow up, how did you get to be so great?”
ERIN: “Gaga, while I have you, can we talk about how creative and inspiring you are? And how you got to be so inspiring? You’re the best; thanks!” Yeah, the questions were ridiculous, but props to Gaga because girl just talked about whatever she wanted to talk about. I liked when she mentioned she’s been living in my home city of Chicago for a while and is apparently just secretly out partying all the time but claiming people don’t know it’s her. Point of fact: I would know. (OMG WHAT IF I PARTIED WITH GAGA AND DIDN’T KNOW?) Also, she brought up, like, three times how much she loves Chicago deep-dish pizza. She even told an amusing story about her boyfriend catching her eating it in the bathroom in the middle of the night. Superstars! They’re just like us!
JODI: Erin, it is my worst nightmare, and I can only imagine yours, that you partied with Lady Gaga without knowing it. I would never forgive you and must insist that you start telling people you have, in fact, partied with our girl Stefani as though it is fact. You hear that, world? Erin partied with Lady Gaga and her aura is forever changed! Hearing her talk about her “tiny apartment” (I bet I could give you a run for your money, Lady) and her boyfriend was all slightly too normal for me. But she knew what I need more info on: GAGA’S GOING TO SPACE!!!
ERIN: That news story seemed like a total rumor when it was announced this week, but turns out Gaga is just going to sing aboard the space shuttle — and soon! The hosts asked her if she was nervous, but she just laughed and said nerves will never hold her back. (Duh.) Then she said, ‘F–k it, Let’s go to space!”…which clearly needs to be on a T-shirt, stat. You know what I found really interesting? So much has been made about her music seeming to move away from Top 40 radio, and whether or not that’s a good or purposeful decision. This interview did a really good job of convincing me that she’s steering the ship, and she has long-term goals in mind.
JODI: Yes! She even said that she feels like really, all of her albums have already been written, its just a matter of when she accesses them in her mind or something equally creative. I don’t always “get” Mother Monster, but I believe, if nothing else, she’s a creator to her core (obviously I also believe everything else). She don’t need no stinking radio to play her songs! She doesn’t need The Man to produce them! She just needs herself, her team and people who will listen! I’m listening, but she lost me when she said the hour-long ARTPOP is perfect for the gym.
I’ll follow you anywhere, Gags, except to the gym for an hour.
SiriusXM’s Town Hall with Lady Gaga will air tonight at 9:00 p.m. ET on SiriusXM Hits 1 and through SiriusXM Internet Radio. It will continue to be rebroadcast throughout the weekend.