Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Billie Eilish’s Most Scandalous Statements in Frank Interview: “No Single Coming from New Album” and “I am Afraid of People”


Billie Eilish tells Rolling Stone a lot of scandalous stuff in her new interview.

Most of it is about sex, lesbian sex, that she freely admits is TMI. She is frank and free with her oversharing. Those quotes will get the biggest headlines.

But here’s the real headline about her new album, “Hit Me Hard and Soft”: there will be no single.

After having one of the biggest singles of the last year with “What Am I Made For,” Eilish is not having a single impact track. (You can hear Republic Records staff collapsing as they read this.)

“I don’t like singles from albums,” she tells the magazine. “Every single time an artist I love puts out a single without the context of the album, I’m just already prone to hating on it. I really don’t like when things are out of context. This album is like a family: I don’t want one little kid to be in the middle of the room alone.”

This stance defies the entire structure of the music biz. Of course it’s not without precedent. The Beatles did it on the greatest album of all time, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” But they also had simultaneous singles out anyway, like “Penny Lane,” so it didn’t make that much of a difference.

Also, the way streaming and downloading work now, tracks will just get individual attention anyway. Right now, Taylor Swift has about 28 of the top 100 tracks on iTunes. But she also has a single — “Fortnight” — with a video. Radio stations are concentrating on that song.

Announcing that there’s no single suggests that there is no single. Will “Hit Me Hard and Soft” be a collection of songs without hooks? Or are they not playable on radio? The Rolling Stone article suggests that the songs are sexual and intimate in nature, like the interview, and would not be appropriate on radio without a warning.

So this should be interesting. The other big takeaway from the article — besides the sex stuff — is that Billie, who’s 22, is finally going to places like CVS and Target, and ice cream shops after years of staying in the car.

I’m afraid,” she says. “For a fucking good reason. I’m afraid of people, I’m afraid of the world. It’s just scary for somebody like me, and even if it’s not scary, it means being on and being vulnerable and being seen and being filmed and whatever. But with that all in mind, I have been choosing to do the thing that scares me more. I am biting the bullet and existing in the world for once.”

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News