Lady Gaga bares her heart — and much more — on the cover of Rolling Stone’s new issue, on sale at newsstands Wednesday, June 23rd. In the most extensive interview the pop star has ever given about the breakup that inspired her transformation from Germanotta to Gaga, her complex relationship with her beloved father and the music on her next album, Lady Gaga tells contributing editor Neil Strauss art is life and not being fierce isn’t an option: “When I wake up in the morning, I feel just like any other insecure 24-year-old girl,” she says. “Then I say, ‘Bitch, you’re Lady Gaga, you get up and walk the walk today.’ ” In a backstage interview before and after one of her mammoth Monster Ball shows in England, Gaga admits she wouldn’t have been as successful if she hadn’t had her heart broken by her East Village boyfriend five years ago, and that “sex is certainly not, like, a priority at the moment.” Her priority is, and has been, the relationship she’s built with her fans. “If I were to ever, God forbid, get hurt onstage and my fans were screaming outside of the hospital, waiting for me to come out, I’d come out as Gaga,” she says, adding that she models her celebrity on Michael Jackson. “Michael got burned, and he lifted that glittered glove so damn high so his fans could see him, because he was in the art of show business. That’s what we do.
I don’t even drink water onstage in front of anybody, because I want them to focus on the fantasy of the music.” Gaga also reveals some deeply personal details for the first time, including her recurring nightmare involving a phantom and a blond girl who’s tied up with ropes. “She’s got my shoes on from the Grammys,” Gaga says. “Go figure — psycho.” When presented with the idea that her behavior indicates she’s a survivor of a traumatic experience, Gaga says there are limits to what she’ll discuss in public. “You have to be careful about how much you reveal to people that look up to you so much.” Despite a health scare (she currently doesn’t have Lupus, but the disease runs in her family) and nonstop touring, Gaga hasn’t lost her creative inspiration — she’s currently finishing up her new record and designing the stage production for her next tour. Gaga plans to announce the title of her new album — due out early next year — at midnight on New Year’s Eve. “I think I’m gonna get the album title tattooed on me and put out the photo,” she says. “I’ve been working on it for months now, and I feel very strongly that it’s finished right now. It came so quickly. Some artists take years; I don’t. I write music every day.” As for the subject matter of the music, Gaga says she’s moved on with writing songs about her quest for fame to crafting tunes with an angry, perhaps political bent. “Why are we still talking about ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’?” she says. “It’s like, what fucking year is it? It makes me crazy! And I have been for three years baking cakes — and now I’m going to bake a cake that has a bitter jelly. The message of the new music is now more bitter than it was before. Because the sweeter the cake, the more bitter the jelly can be.”