Full Text of Lady Gaga – “Google Goes Gaga” @ Musicians at Google on March 23, 2011.
Listen to the MP3 Audio here: MP3 – Lady Gaga – Google Goes Gaga @ Musicians at Google
Marissa Mayer: Hi, I’m Marissa Mayer, and I’m really excited today to be joined by the world-famous, incredibly talented, the one and only Lady Gaga.
At Google, we’ve seen Gaga build her career by embracing technology, including some Google Tools, as well as constantly innovating for her fans. And we’re going to get a glimpse behind the scenes to see how some of that innovation works today.
But first, I’d like to play a video to welcome Gaga to Google.
Please help me welcome Lady Gaga.
Lady Gaga [real name – Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta]: Hi, everyone. Oh, my gosh.
Marissa Mayer: Welcome to Google.
Lady Gaga: Thank you. The Google chairs are a little high.
Marissa Mayer: Thank you so much for coming.
Lady Gaga: Just going to put my purse right there.
Audience: We love you.
Lady Gaga: I love you, too. Hi, everyone. Did you just get out of jail? Me, too.
Marissa Mayer: We are so excited to have you here.
Lady Gaga: And I am so excited to be here. I just want to say before we begin, thank you so much. This is such an honor. You know, when I was in high school, all my girlfriends wanted to get jobs here. And I wanted to be what they were searching for or putting on the — you know, the side column, what comes up first. I believe that’s what my friend Mary Haley does here at Google. Just thank you so much for coming. And I really — I respect all of you so much. I know that there’s some really amazing minds in this room, and how competitive it is. So thank you.
Marissa Mayer: And speaking of searches, you are among one of the most searched people in the world. You’ve been on the top of our 2009, 2010 fastest-rising searches. We made a portrait of you taking the millions of searches that come in for Lady Gaga.
Lady Gaga: Beautiful.
Marissa Mayer: So obviously, you’ve been a huge search star, also a huge YouTube star, Bad Romance has 360 million views, just that one video.
Lady Gaga: Thank you.
Marissa Mayer: And you’re the queen of the download. You’re actually the most downloaded artist in history, with more than 20 million singles downloaded. That’s amazing.
Lady Gaga: Thank you so much. Thank you.
Marissa Mayer: All of which brings us to today. So last week, you opened up a moderator page on your YouTube channel and you got questions from your fans, 54,000 questions. And more than a quarter million votes, in just three and a half days. We have questions that are both in text and video. I wrote the top 20 questions here. We’re going to go through those and also do some –
Lady Gaga: Wearing the same dress. Branding.
Marissa Mayer: So the first question I’m going to ask, it came in video form, but it was also going to be my first question. It comes in from a user, a certain Resonance, we’ll go ahead and roll that video question.
Question from the Video: Hi, Gaga. My first question that I wanted to ask was, how are you? I remember in one of your interviews you said that that was a question that interviewers never really asked you and actually meant it. And so I wanted to ask you and actually mean it. So how are you?
Lady Gaga: Aww. Well, I am absolutely wonderful and a little bit choked up, because that is why I am still here and why I work so hard, it’s because I really am very blessed to have fans with such a beautiful spirit. And I’m sure you can see just from that one video very much what a lot of my day is like. I do spend a lot of time on Google, looking for fan videos and messages. And I’m doing wonderful today. And I would say that the only reason I ever mentioned that people don’t ask me how I am genuinely is because it took a lot of bravery to get to where we are today. A lot of people see glasses and shoulderpads and crazy outfits, and over the years, it was very difficult to do interviews, because that’s all people would talk about. So I guess what I would say is I’m doing wonderful now because of how brave that — all my fans have made me. So thank you for making me brave, and I hope I can — thank you brave. Thank you.
Marissa Mayer: And you’re also on tour. So you’re performing tonight in Oakland. I know a lot of people here are going. The next question is about your tour. So Gagafame11 from the UK asks, do you have any funny stories to tell about things that have happened backstage at the Monster Ball?
Lady Gaga: There are lots of funny things that happened backstage at the Monster Ball. I don’t like surprises, and I don’t like pranks. I’m sure you can maybe tell that just from — but I don’t like pranks. But I actually, with me, have brought all my friends from New York City on tour with me. So I have had very few, I should say, famous acts opening. It’s been mostly really underground bands and deejays that I’ve known since I was 18 years old. So there’s a lot of backstage shenanigans. Very often they make jokes about my diet, because they know I have to stay fit for music videos, so they’ll leave like mounds of cheese burgers and stuff in my dressing room. It’s really awful. Vicious, vicious.
Marissa Mayer: So going back to before the cheese burgers, where you got your start, one of your fans, MysticalMatty from California, asks, where were you the first time you heard one of your songs on radio?
Lady Gaga: I was in Canada. And I’ll never forget it. But it’s a very different — it’s funny, it’s almost more enjoyable now when I hear it for the first time on the radio, because at the time in Canada, I had — I mean, many people don’t know this about me, because it seems as though one just stands at number one, it was this big massive oh, she became a star overnight. But to tell you the truth, I had been working so hard, doing three shows a night, all day long going to radio stations, doing photos — the reason we’re here at Google today is because the original campaign for my music and my project began with online media-based advertisements. So that’s really where I began. So I remember I was in Canada, and I was really tired, and I was about to go on stage at this outdoor performance – I actually think it was in Winnipeg, which is where Maria Aragon is from, from the video. And I remember I heard it, and I started crying. And my tour manager, David, said, “How does it feel?” And I said, “It’s about damn time!” And so now when it comes on, it’s a little bit more of a gracious, humbling moment.
Marissa Mayer: So in terms of other special moments, solongadelaide from Sheffield, England asks, when exactly was the moment in your career when you realized you were going to be an international superstar?
Lady Gaga: I still don’t feel like one. I really —
Marissa Mayer: How is that possible?
Lady Gaga: I know that sounds very silly. But even this morning, I was getting ready to tweet that I was coming here today, and I got, like, 50 frigging e-mails, don’t tweet it. They don’t want anyone to know. Well I guess they were worried for security. But I need to market my record, you know. People need to know — where I’m going to be. And so everyone was saying, they know we were going to be there, just don’t tell them when. And, oh, my gosh, my security is always — they want to shoot me, because I will literally leave the house and go to the bodega down the street where I live in New York. And they’re like, “Where are you?” Because where I live, I have been hustling for so long that it’s more just like, “You’re home.” Like, everybody’s so cool. And I guess even though my first album was called The Fame, that was never the ultimate goal of any of this. It was always that I just really am genuinely a musician to my core, and a lot of people don’t know that about me. But I write every lyric, every Melody, I’m in there with the producers, whipping them to make the new future of music. And I — that is why I’m here. I’m not here to be a superstar. But — So, yes and no. I never, ever — there was never a day when I woke up and said, “I’m a superstar.” I’m still waiting for that to happen.
Marissa Mayer: Fair enough. So in terms of formative experiences, hugs and kisses, XOXO94, from Pennsylvania, asks –
Lady Gaga: I love the Internet.
Marissa Mayer: — You said that in school, a lot of people bullied you and didn’t like you. Now that you’re famous, have any of them, “tried to apologize” and become friends. If so, what did you say to them?
Lady Gaga: I wouldn’t say apologize. There’s been lots of concert ticket requests. And I think one of the most awkward things that anyone ever said to me was, “Well, my, my how the tables have turned.” But to be honest, I don’t have that kind of vengeful spirit in myself, and I never did. It was just more that, you know, I say this with so much genuineness from my heart, is that bullying really stays with you your whole life. And it really, really never goes away. And I know you’re using words like superstar, and most Googled and billions of YouTube videos. But I was never the winner. I was always the loser. And that still stays with me. And do I want to stick it to anybody? No. I just want to make music.
Marissa Mayer: I do think — I think bullying is a really big issue right now, especially because – the technology.
Lady Gaga: I’m listening.
Marissa Mayer: And so I imagine — I imagine that Born This Way is a little bit about being yourself and how to overcome bullies. And I don’t know if you want to talk a little bit –
Lady Gaga: A little bit. Well, it was so funny when I put that song out, because everybody was like, “Oh, the lyrics are so literal.” And I’m like, “Yeah.” When you get bullied, you kind of try to — there’s almost like this emotional poetry that you go through in high school, well, someday, and you just kind of try to hide from it and be the bigger person. But Born This Way is about saying, “This is who I am. This is who the fuck I am.” And there’s — I mean, the next single is like, this very classic Gaga record. But more importantly, the song Born This Way is this, like, gateway drug for the album and really trying to say in the most literal and honest way that I can that when I go to the Monster Ball, I see something so fearless and so special in my fans. But I also see something afraid, something that I was, something that was unsure. And I really encourage people to look into the darkness and look into places that you would not normally look to find uniqueness and specialness, because that’s where the diamonds are hiding.
Marissa Mayer: I think that’s a wonderful message. And you actually are a very classically-trained pianist, jazz musician. And one of our video questions from Leopard Scar 20 actually is about your —
Lady Gaga: Leopard Scar?
Marissa Mayer: Leopard Scar 20. He wants to know about your training ongoing. So we’ll go ahead and roll that video.
[Video: This is Rudy Hernandez, one of your little monsters from Portland, Oregon. My question is, I was wondering if you still took piano training and vocal training to improve your skills. It would be great to hear you answer my question. I can’t wait to see you again here in Portland, Oregon and paws up. Arrrr.
Lady Gaga: What a cutie. I love my fans. Yes, I actually vocally rehearse every single day. I do a 30-minute warmup every single day. It’s been the same vocal warmup that I’ve been doing since I was 11 years old. I have my mentor, Don Lawrence, has been my voice teacher since I was 11, so it’s over ten years now. And in terms of piano, piano’s funny. It’s kind of the thing that always stays with you. I don’t know if there’s any pianists in this room. But if you don’t practice for a little while and then you focus on it, you kind of get your chops back pretty quickly. So what I do mostly for piano is I try to find time when I’m in New York City or on the road to do shows and have jam sessions with my band just for fun. So whenever you see those really horrid photos of me looking drunk at a piano bar, I’m actually rehearsing. That’s just how I like to rehearse. I like to have a couple martinis and play some Cole Porter. And that’s just the way I like to learn. But stay in school.
Marissa Mayer: So changing — changing gears a little bit, I actually have a confession to make. So we’ll pull a picture up here. I was you for Halloween in 2009.
Lady Gaga: You were? I want to see it. Which me?
Marissa Mayer: And — you can see it here.
Lady Gaga: Fabulous. Look at you.
Marissa Mayer: So I guess transitioning to your style, it’s inspired so many people.
Lady Gaga: Now, what is it about — is it because of the blond in New York.
Marissa Mayer: Blond, and I have stars on my face and the long eyelashes. There’s poker chips on my hat for Poker Face. So many people beyond just me, millions of people have been inspired by your style. And one of the fans would like to know, sirgagaOfficial —
Lady Gaga: Sirgaga.
Marissa Mayer: — would like to know, with all the clothes you have, how do you decide what to wear every day and what happens to the garments after they’re worn?
Lady Gaga: How do I decide what to wear? It’s actually not quite as complicated as some of you might imagine. I — sometimes I’ll plan months ahead for certain things that I — for example, at the Grammy’s, the Hussein Chalayan vessel, although it’s become known as “the egg,” he wants me to remind you it’s “the vessel,” that took months and months of conception. And I wanted to do a whole performance or a piece that began on the red carpet and ended after the performance. So certain things take a while. And, yes, I do view the vessel as a fashion piece. But like today, I wore the same black dress because I wanted the fans to recognize me a certain way when I enter the Google building.
Marissa Mayer: And also on the topic of style, you have tattoos. And one of the fans noticed that they’re all on your left side. So TaylorMonster15 would like to know, why are all of your tattoos on the left side of your body?
Lady Gaga: It was actually per my father’s request.
Marissa Mayer: So tell us more.
Lady Gaga: He asked that I remain on one side slightly normal. So I only have my tattoos on my left side. I’m also a lefty. It’s funny, my father, when I was a kid, he used to try to change my hands when I was little. And the doctor would be, like, “She was born this way. You can’t” — you know. So I think maybe some of it, just from a neurological standpoint, might be because I’m creatively driven by my left side. Maybe that’s why. But he’s asked that I don’t get any more on the right side, for whatever reason. I think he sees this as my, like, Marilyn Monroe side and this as my Iggy Pop side.
Marissa Mayer: So beyond your style and clothes and tattoos, you also show tremendous style in your videos. And the strubydoo would like to know, how do you come up with your video ideas? Every time I watch them, I’m stunned by the creativity and meaning. I love you, Lady Gaga, strubydoo, your little monster.
Lady Gaga: StrubyDoo. It’s good, old faithful. I’m a creative person, and I just always — at some point, the idea comes to me. And the most important thing, I think, with creativity is that you honor your creativity and that you don’t ever ignore it or go against what that creative image is telling you because of what society is projecting on you. I remember when I called Troy Carter my manager, from Amsterdam, and I was like, “I want to be on a government-owned alien territory in space, and I want to be giving birth to my own head.”
Marissa Mayer: I was going to ask you about the kaleidoscope.
Lady Gaga: And you hear the — and he goes, like, why? And I said, “Because I see myself and my fans and I feel that they give birth to me and I give birth to them, and the egg symbolized the race of the future, which bears no prejudice.” So I have my own — and I’m like — then I’m showing him Frances bacon photos, which is, like, all this bleeding imagery. And he was, like, “I don’t get it.” With Nick Knight on a video, if you think I’m bad, Nick Knight is — whoo, he is so smart, I’m like, “Nick, I love you, but I don’t understand what you’re saying.” But I just really always — like, just the other night, last night, I was lying in bed and I had this idea for an outfit, and I made myself get up and sketched it real fast and then I went back to sleep. I think it’s when you say, “I’m too tired. Let me just go to bed,” that’s when the creativity stops coming. If God calls you, pick up the damn phone. Hello. I’m listening.
Marissa Mayer: So on the topic of videos, you’re obviously a huge YouTube star. I was going to ask, so DarcoUSA from Kentucky, what’s your favorite YouTube video that isn’t yours?
Lady Gaga: My favorite YouTube video that — it’s so embarrassing but I love it. I love the boy that when he comes home from the dentist. I can’t — because I always – whenever I’m really tired before a show, I always go, is this real live? Because I’ll have been up for, like, 30 hours straight doing interviews, and then I’ll hear the da, da, da, da, da. And the show starts. And I just go, is this real life? And everybody goes, it is. You have to go on stage. I love that video. That poor boy.
Marissa Mayer: There’s also so many fan remixes and remakes of your songs on YouTube. I was wondering if you have a favorite there. I know there’s Maria, the young girl, who I think really embodies a lot of what is interesting about technology.
Lady Gaga: Maria is just so special. And she’s, like, ten — she’s ten years old. But even ten-year-olds today know how to work a webcam and upload a YouTube video. And I think that’s — that is why this — for myself, my campaign with my album has been so successful, is because I, too, am a child of the dot com era. Me and my father ran an Internet company when I was really young, so I was listening to lots of technology talk, jargon, over the dinner table, not understanding until much later what it all meant. But she’s beautiful. She’s very young, and she has a voice in the world. And she latched onto a song that was very risky for me to put out so soon in my career. But if I could just touch maybe ten ten-year-olds in the world in every single continent, maybe I could make a difference.
Marissa Mayer: Do we have the Maria video?
[Maria YouTube Video]
Lady Gaga: She’s just so amazing. You know, and that’s — it’s so — What I would like to speak about is the way that we experience music now. We experience the music through the Internet, but it has really great effects and also has really negative effects. The great effect is Maria. The negative effect is you sort of quite mathematically input your songs and your soul into a computer, and out spits out charts —
So my — the fan experience now, digitally, is they buy the song, and then they get into chat rooms and they watch the song climb the chart. But somebody like Maria has no pretension. She’s wildly innocent and beautiful, and she only cares about the music and the lyrics. So what I’m working on doing now is creating a fan experience with the release of Born This Way that takes them a bit away from the computer in terms of the actual purchase of the song. I want to encourage the fans to experience the music and the lyrics removed of that sort of behind-the-computer banter. When I was a kid, I was standing outside of HMV, praying that I saw Billy Joel’s fingernail in the window. I was hoping that I would see Thom Yorke when Radiohead came in. You know, that is what I want to recreate for my fans. We’ve done it with the Monster Ball, and now I want to do it with album retail.
Marissa Mayer: You’ve also shown a lot of things from behind the scenes. So you had Gaga Vision on YouTube. And Gaga info from Twitter would like to know, please, could you bring back Gaga Vision. We miss it so much. PS. We love you and we’re so proud.
Lady Gaga: I love Gaga Vision. That was the — they were these little films that I was doing back when I first began touring. But I actually just got so busy that it was really difficult to have a camera in my face. You will never see me do reality television. It will never — don’t even ask. It will never happen. It will never happen. It’s just — I’m not that kind of person. My whole life is a performance piece. So I don’t need to have my picture taken to feel that I’m in a moment of art. So — But the good news is, as I’m planning the Born This Way Ball, I have been speaking to Terry Richardson, who’s this really amazing photographer. He wanted to film some of the making of process of what we’re doing. So I’m hoping we can resurrect the Gaga Vision videos for the creation of the new tour so you guys can creatively be more connected to how I make things.
Marissa Mayer: That’d be great. So since we’re at Google, this question is apropos. TheeJuann from Chicago, Illinois, asked, have you ever Googled yourself just to see what came up?
Lady Gaga: Yes, of course I have.
Marissa Mayer: When was the last time?
Lady Gaga: The last time, probably — well, last night, I wanted to know if people knew that I was going to be here, because everybody was telling me not to tweet. So I Googled, and I didn’t see enough come up, so I said, well, I’m tweeting, so….
Marissa Mayer: That solved that problem.
Lady Gaga: So there.
Marissa Mayer: Well, there are 443 million hits on Google for Lady Gaga, which basically means you don’t have very much anonymity left at all. And I guess Funkee12134 from Colorado asks, are there ever moments the paparazzi doesn’t recognize you?
Lady Gaga: I have to be really honest. People that say that they can’t escape the paparazzi are full of shit. So let me just be the artist who — to throw everybody under the bus. And my head of security is standing over there nodding. I don’t spend money on houses and lots of cars, but I do spend money on security, and they never find me. So, no, it doesn’t run my life, because getting my photo taken is not what makes me feel like an artist; it’s being in front of 50,000 fans screaming, “I was born this way, baby.” That’s why I’m here.
Marissa Mayer: So we have another video question, from peachdog1224. These names are great.
Lady Gaga: Peachdog?
Marissa Mayer: Peachdog, who wants to know a little bit about regrets.
[Video question: Hey, mother monster, my name is Matt. And my question for you is that in the song Born This Way that you recently released, which is awesome, you have the lyrics that “Don’t hide yourself in regret.” I was wondering if you have ever regretted anything or if there was something in your life that you’d ever want to change in the past. Thank you for looking at my question. I really love you. Thank you for making music. Bye.]
Lady Gaga: Is there anything that I regret from my past. Well, I’ll begin with the lyric, and I will say, “Don’t hide yourself in regret” is don’t perpetuate negativity in your life. Don’t obsess about the things that you didn’t do or the things that you may have not done your best, obsess about the future, obsess about today. Think endlessly about how you can pull the inner queen – or king — out of yourself, and let that superstar shine. I don’t believe that fame is something that is obtainable. I believe that it’s inside of you. It’s not something that you can touch. It’s not tangible. Which is why when I speak about the paparazzi and things, it’s very meaningless to me. There are days when I wake up, and I don’t feel like a superstar. And it’s those regrets, you say did you ever wake up and feel like a superstar. The answer is no. The regret of some days me waking up and not feeling brave enough. Those are the regrets I have. Because I have so many things to be grateful for, so many fans looking up to me. And the days when I feel insecure, those are my regrets. I want to always be secure and strong for you, because look at how sweet they are. They’re so — so genuine, and they’re listening to the lyrics, you know. And so I guess what I would say is don’t — don’t obsess over what you’ve done wrong. Always look into yourself for the answer and be the best you that you can be in the future.
Marissa Mayer: In the same vein, we have a question from Australia. What’s the greatest piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Lady Gaga: The greatest piece of advice I’ve ever received. It is, if you don’t have any shadows, you’re not standing in the light. I say that to myself every day, every single day, I say that. Because I’m not a squeaky-clean person, you know, so there’s nothing about my music or the Monster Ball or my fans that — we’re not squeaky-clean. You know, and people always say to me, “Who’s the real you?” when, in reality, I’m pretty much an open book about my life. What you’re asking me about is magic. And if you are magical, you always have shadows. If you’re in the light, you must cast a shadow.
Marissa Mayer: So let’s talk a little bit about the new album. It’s out on May 23rd, Born This Way. The first single, title single, is already out. It’s been number one for five weeks already. And we have a video question about the new album. So we’ll go to jazz bridger here on video.
[Video question: Hi, Gaga, if you could describe the Born This Way album in just three words, what would they be?
Lady Gaga: In three words. See how smart my fans are? I would call it — I would use a — It is one word, I suppose that avant-garde is one word. But I would call it avant-garde technorock. It’s a lot of — there’s a lot of rock influences on the album, but not in a — this is a rock music record kind of way. It actually is quite steadfast in that it is an exploration in electronic music and in technosonics. But I have sort of created a genre of metal dance techno pop music with a lot of rock anthemic choruses, because that is the music that I love. I’m actually really obsessed with Bruce Springstein. My father used to play Bruce Springstein records for me all the time when I was a kid, and he was, blue collar America. And in a way, I guess I related to Bruce because I watched my father, a blue collar American citizen, relate to Bruce. And I think that in a social way, my fans feel blue collar. They feel like they’re the underdogs that will someday be the winners. And I took the influence of Bruce on my father in my life to create this album. And, yeah, lots of really big, almost, like, big Def Leppard-style melodies in the choruses. But it’s electronic dance music. It’s very hard, very edgy. And I’m very excited for you to hear it.
Marissa Mayer: We’re all looking forward to it. One of the things that you face as an artist is censorship. So SenRG66 from Colorado asks, how do you feel about Malaysian radio stations editing out your imperative “no matter gay, straight, or bi, lesbian, transgendered life” line for Born This Way?
Lady Gaga: Obviously, I disagree with it. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have specifically put those words in a song that I knew would be put on top 40 radio. What I would say is, for all of the young people in Malaysian that want those words to be played on the radio, it is your job and it is your duty as young people to have your voices heard. You must do everything that you can if you want to be liberated by your society. You must call, you must not stop, you must protest peacefully. No violence — I don’t believe in violence. I don’t believe in negativity. There’s no reason to be derogatory. You just have to keep fighting for what you believe in. And to be quite honest, honesty and the truth is always what will set you free. I can’t tell you how many times I get phone calls from TV stations, and Troy will call me and he’ll say, “They want you to edit out this section of the video.” And I say, “Well, just tell them I won’t do it, and if they don’t want to play it, they don’t have to.” That’s it.
Because if the artist is constantly molding ourselves and changing and bridging — abridging what we do for the machine, then the artist becomes part of the machine. I don’t want to be part of the machine. I want the machine to be part of me.
Marissa Mayer: Okay. The next question is actually a composite and we’ll open up to Googler questions if you want to move to the microphones in just a minute. There were 643 fan questions asked about the next single that comes off of Born This Way, Judas. And so I’m wondering if you can tell us a little bit about the inspiration for it, the video you have planned.
Lady Gaga: I’m very excited. Actually, I can exclusively reveal here at Google that I will be making my directorial debut with Laurieann Gibson, directing this video with her ourselves. It’s no surprise, I am sure, to many of you that Judas is a man of the Biblical senses. So expect to see some symbolism in this video. But the song is about — some of the words in the song I can reveal here are, “When he comes to me, I am ready. I’ll wash his feet with my hair if he needs. Forgive him when his tongue lies through his brain, even after three times he betrays me. I’ll bring him down, a king with no crown.” So the song is about honoring your darkness in order to bring yourself into the light. That’s kind of what I just mentioned to about if you’re standing in the light, you cast a shadow. I have been haunted by my past for a very long time. And, actually, that’s a recurring theme on the album. It has a lot to do with identity and being able to be proud and say I was born this way. But I was haunted by being able to go back to New York, being able to go back to my past, being able to understand why I made certain decisions, that instead of regretting them, I chose to embrace and understand why I made those choices. And what the song Judas is about is, you have to look into what’s haunting you and you need to learn to forgive yourself in order to move on.
Marissa Mayer: We all look forward to it.
Lady Gaga: And it’s really fun to dance to. And it sounds like it could be a pop priest record. It’s really fun.
Marissa Mayer: We’ll go ahead and take some questions from the audience.
Audience: Hi. So I understand the fame brought you a lot of great things, like your monsters and everything that’s happening to you. But is there something that the fame brought you that you could do without?
Lady Gaga: That I could do without. I don’t know. No. I would say no. I don’t want to focus on anything negative like that. It’s — there’s always — whether you’re famous or you’re not, there’s always things in your life that you could do without. So I don’t think anything is particularly fame-related. I’ve got a really good family. And if anything, I’m grateful, because my family and I wrestled fame to the ground, and we’re stronger than ever. So no.
Audience: Hi, Lady Gaga. Thanks so much for coming. A little background on this. I took the inspiration from the Kermit the frog one. But you can’t tell. I added a little bit of myself in it. Bunnies for Easter. I thought it would be a hop-in attire. You like that? I liked it, too.
Lady Gaga: That’s funny.
Audience: I thought I had to dress up because I definitely wanted to speak to you and give you a hug or whatever. But I think Google as a whole, and YouTube and the world is very excited for you to come here and be so candid. So on that note, I’m at this point really curious, when you’re not in the spotlight, when you’re home, you know, in New York with your family, what are some of the things you enjoy doing? What do you wear? What do your pajamas look like?
Lady Gaga: Well, I’m actually — I’m very into yoga. So I do a lot of that really — I saw the yoga rooms here, a big room at Google. I was, like, inching my way. But I’m actually really into the crazy hot yoga in 100-degree rooms. It’s the only thing that I can, I feel, can be really bad at and nobody knows. So I sort of take comfort in the journey of becoming good at yoga. Because if I suck it one day, nobody sees it, it’s just me. I guess that’s the thing about fame that is difficult, is, if you screw up, Google is there. So I love yoga. I love cooking. I’m a really good cook, actually, which maybe some of you may not know about me. I love spending time with my mom. I love getting really drunk with my friends at the same bars that we used to go to, and listening to AC/DC records.
And what else do — what do I wear? I mean, to tell you the truth, it’s very funny, because my father quite often is like, “Can’t you just put on this?” But have you been to any of my shows, out of curiosity?
Audience: No, not yet.
Lady Gaga: You haven’t yet. Well I would say anybody who’s seen me live would tell that you whether I’m dressed like this or wearing a tee shirt, I look the same. And I know that that might sound silly. But it’s not this that you are responding to anymore. And I keep talking about this, because my fans are actually quite blind to my clothes now, because they’re so used to it that they don’t see it anymore. They just see me. And I’m excited about that, because I think with this new album, people will wonder less and less what I look like when I’m brushing my teeth. But the truth is, I look exactly like I look right now. I just, you know, probably have a Mötley Crüe tee shirt on, and there’s a really good-looking guy in my bed. I think my manager just darted out of the room.
Audience: Anytime you want to come cook in or, you know, hanging out with my mom and your mom, you’re more than welcome to.
Lady Gaga: You asked for a hug. Do you want to come over here and get one? How about a picture, too?
Audience: Thank you so much. It was so good.
Lady Gaga: It was nice to meet you. You’re so cute. That’s a lot of bunnies.
Marissa Mayer: So we’ll take a few more questions here.
Audience: Hi. My name is Logan. Thank you so much for coming. Thrilled that you’re here. I’m wondering, have you seen the video called “Friday” by Rebecca Black?
Lady Gaga: No.
Audience: So this is the latest Internet sensation. And it’s this 13-year-old girl who made a video and now it’s online and everyone’s making fun of it and just kind of criticizing it as really cheesy, which it is. But she’s only 13. And my reaction to it — or I’m curious about your reaction to YouTube as a forum for new artists and for some of the criticism that maybe young people get for going online. And then on the other side, there’s the Justin Biebers who are becoming famous through YouTube. So what do you think about the future of fame through YouTube?
Lady Gaga: I think it’s fantastic. I say Rebecca Black is a genius, and anyone that’s telling her she’s cheesy is full of shit.
Audience: Hi, Gaga. Thanks for coming.
Lady Gaga: You know, I don’t want to laugh, because I’m quite certain that sometimes when I enter the room, that’s how people feel. But it’s really — it kind of looks like the Chrysler building.
Audience: Thank you. I used to be an architect, so….
Lady Gaga: Where did you go to school?
Audience: At Carnegie Mellon.
Lady Gaga: Great school.
Audience: I’m happy to lend this to you for your concert tonight.
Lady Gaga: It looks an awful lot like one of the outfits, it might go quite well, actually.
Audience: It’s all yours.
Lady Gaga: Thank you.
Audience: My serious question, though, is, we talk about Gaga this and Gaga that and the fame and The Fame Monster. But what about Stefani? How do you stay Stefani through –
Lady Gaga: I love this question. Who are you looking for? I’m right here. Stefani is also who I am. Gaga’s just my nickname. It’s like when you’re a kid and your mom calls you “skip,” or — instead of calling you, Johnny, she calls you Jonathan when you’re bad. It’s the same thing for me. It’s just — it was a way for me to release so many years of being told “no” by this business. And it’s actually funny, because I didn’t — I didn’t shop around to record labels until I was calling myself Gaga, until people in New York knew me as Lady Gaga. But in high school and making music and choir and being cast in the boys’ play and all the girls hated me because I always got the lead — they hated me for that, because it was at the boys’ school, so if you got the lead, you were always at the boys’ school after school.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is, is I really make absolutely no separation between Stefani and Gaga. It is the absolute same person. It’s just — it was a way for me in my life — and it’s a gift I wish I could give to anyone, as if you went through hard times when you were a kid or when you were in college, or maybe you had a job that really — you know, they fired you and you were poor for two years and then you got — I wish I could give that gift to anyone of being able to say I rebuke all of that negativity, and I am now a new person, and I’m going to be the queen I know that I can be. And that’s really all that it is.
Audience: I know you have a meticulously planned wardrobe, but just in case, I’m going to leave this for you.
Lady Gaga: Thank you very much.
Marissa Mayer: We will take two more questions.
Lady Gaga: Please leave all fashion accessories. Thank you. So sweet.
Audience: Have a great show.
Lady Gaga: I can’t — is that going to fit?
Marissa Mayer: Do you want –
Lady Gaga: It’s not balancing very well.
Marissa Mayer: Okay. Two more questions.
Audience: Thank you very much for coming. So much of your music is as you kind of labeled it, the avant-garde, technorock and kind of lends itself towards this really epic sound. And then you take those songs and you make these amazing acoustic versions that are just this polar opposite in terms of the musicality. And I was wondering if you could talk about the process of building those two songs out of the same lyrics, same notes, same chords. And is there one that you prefer like performing?
Lady Gaga: Well I guess what I say is a lot of times in my song writing process I will begin at the piano. So I will actually write one of the songs on the album that is truly one of my favorites, it’s called The Edge Of Glory. And it’s kind of a sad story. Sorry to be a downer. My grandpa died about five months ago and my dad and I were going to say goodbye to him at the hospice. And I got out a big thing of agave tequila, and my dad sat next to me at the piano, and we just started doing shots back and forth. And I wrote The Edge of Glory on the piano, and my dad and I cried. And the song is about your last moment on Earth, the moment of truth. The Edge of Glory is that moment right before you leave the Earth. So that song can be played on the piano, but it’s actually set to this giant, huge technorock Springsteinesque dance beat. I actually had Clarence Clemons from the E Street Band come in and play saxophone on it. It’s fucking beautiful. And I do that with a lot of my songs. But it’s funny, it’s so interesting to hear your perspective on it because that is really what I wanted to do with this album, is I wanted to show my abilities as a songwriter. So a lot of the songs are like that. There’s really no song on the album that can’t be played at a piano acoustically. It’s all about the songwriting, it’s all about my abilities as a writer from a melodic perspective. And I coproduced every song on the album. So, sonically, it just smells like me. I guess what I’m trying to say is, in my opinion, all good music can be played at a piano and still sound like a hit.
Marissa Mayer: One more question here.
Audience: Hi. I’m Chris.
Lady Gaga: Hello. Why do I feel like some of you were coaxed into doing this?
Audience: Because we were promised we would get a prize if we were the best-dressed. I am hoping to win.
Lady Gaga: So you get 200 bucks after you take those balls off, huh?
Audience: They’re actually loufahs.
Lady Gaga: They’re what, loufahs? I’m sorry. Can I take my glasses off? You can take a really fancy shower, then, after this.
Audience: Okay. So I’ve got to figure out my credits because I’m nervous. What I wanted to ask you, after hearing you talk, you have a very positive look on life. So I was just kind of wondering where that came from, what happened in your life that shaped that? Because not many people are like you and can always say rebuke things that are bad and, you know, always look to the good.
Lady Gaga: Well, my mom. I have a really good mom. She really was there for me. And she always taught me to be very gracious. My mother’s the kind of person that will give you the shirt off her back if you’re cold. And that is how I was raised. But I guess I would also say — I don’t know if people in this room are religious. I always feel kind of awkward talking about religion, because I don’t want people to feel like I’m impressing any kind of belief on you. But I do see — I do believe that God comes in many forms. And I don’t believe that we know what he looks like. That’s something that I actually address in Judas. But I see God in my fans. So every night when I look into the audience, I feel like I see this — this force of beauty and that I don’t know, it’s just faith. So I see faith in my fans. And that’s what keeps me strong, is them, is I really — when I go out there, I don’t go out after the show and get plastered and do a ton of drugs and when I go on stage the next day I can barely sing. I’m very, very disciplined and hard-working. And I am a — as a blond woman with tits and ass, very proud of my accomplishments as a musician. And I say that with lots of strength. People call it arrogance. But I do believe that women in pop music have a very bad rap. And I think people have learned to expect very little from all of us. And it’s very unfair. It’s very prejudiced. So me and my tits and my ass and my brain are very proud to be here today. And I truly see — I truly see God in my fans. They are — they are — they are who I worship is what I’m trying to say. And I believe what you worship in your life doesn’t have to be religion or an institution or a certain kind of God. It’s just you must worship your faith. I — perhaps I’m speaking in my own Gaga tongues. But I worship my fans is what I’m trying to say. They are my religion.
Audience: I’m sorry to ask, but can I have a hug, too? This was, like, one of my dreams. I love your music.
Lady Gaga: I love you, too. I thought he was asking — come on, have a hug. I’m not going to say no.
Audience: Thank you so much.
Lady Gaga: That towel-wrapping is giving me, like, new Jerusalem.
Marissa Mayer: If I’m not mistake, next Monday, March 28th, is your 25th birthday.
Lady Gaga: Yes.
Marissa Mayer: So happy birthday.
Lady Gaga: Thank you. Can I just keep telling people I’m 24.
Marissa Mayer: We won’t tell. Google might, but we won’t. We have a surprise for you, which you can tell there are many people in the audience who are dressed up in their best Gaga garb. We’ve handed cards to a few people. So why don’t the people who got a card before the show come up, and we’re going to have you critique the best Lady Gaga.
Lady Gaga: Thank you. Oh, my goodness. I can’t really — do you want to come up here? Hi. Can I hug all of you?
Lady Gaga: That’s really good. Hello. Thank you.
This is interesting. It’s very Yves St.-Laurent.
Audience: This is an ammunition belt from World War II.
Lady Gaga: Wow, that’s heavy. Hi. You look beautiful. You know what’s so funny, is when I was on my first record label — you can go back. I’m sorry. When I was on my first record label, Def Jam, not to bring up a sour story, but I sent all of the employees at Def Jam Disco balls that I hand-painted myself, like that, except I wrote “Gaga” all over them. And I sent them huge bags of candy from the Dollar Store with these Disco balls that had my name on it. And I got dropped, like, a month later. But I just remember someone called and told me that everybody in the office was, like, “Who sent all these gummy worms and Disco balls that say ‘Gaga?'” I hand-painted those suckers, every one of them. Well, this is very good. And this is very good, because it looks almost exactly like my Thierry Mugler-inspired outfit from the very first Fame Ball. This is amazing, because it looks just like the telephone video. However, I have to say that the mark of a true Gaga fan is always thinking forward. And that is you.
It’s very detailed. It’s very detailed. The ponytail looks perfect. The shoulderpads, you did a nice job with the duct tape. And that is exactly — it took me an hour to get my makeup done for that.
Audience: 15 minutes.
Lady Gaga: 15 minutes. See? That’s a really glamour girl. Well, congratulations.
Audience: Thank you so much.
Lady Gaga: You are the winner.
Marissa Mayer: Thank you, guys. And as we heard, Gaga is performing in Oakland tonight. So all of our competition here on stage will get a pair of tickets to the concert tonight.
Lady Gaga: Here, you can have the riding crop. You look really, really wonderful. Actually, that setup was — just to explain it a little bit — Rico, who is in the video with me, he has the same — he’s tattooed that way.
Audience: I read that last night.
Lady Gaga: Yeah, that’s really — he’s really tattooed that way. And I asked him, when we were on the set, I said, “Why did you get” — it’s kind of like a weird, funny question — “but why did you tattoo yourself this way?” And he said, “Bazooka Gum.” I said, “What do you mean, Bazooka Gum?” And he said, “Well you know how Bazooka Gum comes with the stick-on tattoos?” He said, “I really liked them and I loved punk rock when I was a kid, so I just used to listen to punk rock and put Bazooka Gum tatoos on, so I tattooed my face like this.” So that’s why we chewed bubble gum in the video. But I wanted to tribute Rico, because I believe — what this look represented to me was that I will not allow society or critics to dictate my beauty. I tell you what I believe is beautiful about me. Every person defines their own beauty for themselves. So that’s what that makeup represents to me, is that Rico was defining who he is in an artistic way and not relying on society to tell him what makes him valuable. So you look fabulous. She’s coming to the show?
Marissa Mayer: Yes. They’re all coming to the show.
Lady Gaga: All right. You’re going to fit right in.
Marissa Mayer: And they are not the only people who are coming. So we have 40 more of these cards taped to the bottom of seats. So if you look under your seat, you get a pair of tickets to the Gaga concert tonight. There are instructions on the back as to how to –
Lady Gaga: So cute.
Marissa Mayer: And just so no one leaves empty-handed, we actually have special edition Google Goes Gaga tee shirts for everyone here. They are in Benghazi in building 43, they’re there now, so you can stop by on your way leaving. I just want to say a big thank you, thank you to The Haus of Gaga for this. There have been an unbelievable number of people here at Google who have helped out, but mainly Andrew Schulte, along with –
Lady Gaga: And actually, some of you don’t know this, but Andrew was an RA at third north where I went to college. And he wrote me up for drinking in my room.
Marissa Mayer: And she came to Google anyway.
Lady Gaga: So we go way back, Google.
Marissa Mayer: I just want to say, a huge thank you to you from all of us and from your fans. Thank you so much for being here today.