Garrett Borns – the man behind BØRNS – smiles at me as I enter his dressing room. The tour manager told me that his schedule is very tight, so after introducing myself briefly we get down to business.
Questioning The Universe
In January BØRNS released his second album: Blue Madonna. I challenge him to describe the album without mentioning genres. “Oh, I’m not really a genre-mentioner! I try to stay away from that,” he makes clear first. “I think it’s because I’m interested in so many genres, that my sound is this cumulation of a lot of different things that don’t make any sense together. But okay… Blue Madonna without genres… I’d say it’s kind of whimsical. It’s sad, but sweet. It’s very wondering… There’s a lot of questioning in this album, not just about myself, but also about experiences I had or about the universe.”
“So, how has the response been so far?” I ask him. He smiles. “It’s been really good!” BØRNS did a headline tour in the US right when Blue Madonna came out, and this is the first time he’s playing the new album in Europe. “It’s always interesting to see how people will react to new music,” he says. “A lot of people have been singing along, so I can tell that they are into the vibe of the second album… It’s been really nice.”
One thing about the album that’s very striking, is the collaboration with Lana Del Rey. “That happened because we are besties!” Garrett laughs. “Well, I don’t really see much of her actually. She’s always on the road, or I’m on the road. But we always try to catch each other in LA and talk about new music.”
He’s loved Lana’s music since Born to Die and the two have been wanting to get in a room together ever since. However, it wasn’t until BØRNS was finishing up this album that they actually ended up in the studio. “It was so nice! I like it when things happen naturally and are not set up by the label or something like that… It just seems more real,” he recounts.
I tell him that I read somewhere that he does the weirdest things while working in the studio. “The weirdest things?” he asks, as if he’s Jon Snow and knows nothing. “Lying on the floor, making weird sounds, …” I specify. Garrett starts laughing. “Yeah, there’s a bit of erratic behavior. Sometimes I feel like I have to get these words and ideas out of me and sometimes that means I need to do some voodoo to myself. You know… let the spirits out.” He notices that I don’t quite understand. “It’s so hard to explain! Anyway, that’s why the studio is behind closed doors, so nobody can see my crazy behavior!” So, did Lana Del Rey see his crazy behavior? “No, I was pretty well behaved around Lana. I acted like this…” He puts up a serious face and pretends that he’s taking notes. We burst into laughter.