Adele's third album, 25, is due in less than a month. Only bits and pieces of information were available—tweets from Ariel Rechtshaid, a few details from Sia—until today, when i-D published a lengthy interview with the singer. Adele discussed the process of putting together her new material, the difficulties of following 21, and the dangers of fame. Read the full story here, and check out highlights from the conversation below.
On the inspiration for 25: "I think the album is about trying to clear out the past. Becoming a parent and moving past my mid-twenties, I simply don't have the capacity to worry about as many things that I used to really enjoy worrying about."
On nostalgia: "Those were the most real and best moments of my life and I wish I'd known that I wasn't going to be able to sit in the park and drink a bottle of cider again."
On how the new album differs from 21: "I was very conscious not to make 21 again. I definitely wasn't going to write a heartbreak record 'cause I'm not heartbroken, but I probably won't be able to better the one I did, so what's the point? Bit cliché, innit? Also, how I felt when I wrote 21, it ain't worth feeling like that again… I was very sad and very lonely. Regardless of being a mom or a girlfriend, I didn't want to feel like that again."
On "Hello:" "The song is about hurting someone's feelings but it's also about trying to stay in touch with myself, which sometimes can be a little bit hard to do. It's about a yearning for the other side of me… 'Hello' is about wanting to be at home and wanting to reach out to everyone I've ever hurt—including myself—and apologize for it... it's also about my fans as well. I feel like everyone thinks I'm so far away and I'm not. Everyone thinks I live in fucking America, I don't."
On meeting Stevie Nicks: "I was sobbing all over her oh my god. I don't really like crying in front of famous people because it's awkward and it can make them feel really uncomfortable. But I couldn't contain myself."
On Rick Rubin's input: "I started knocking out some shit songs—they weren't shit, they were good pop songs, but I was just trying to bang it out, I didn't want to think about it. And, you know, it got rejected. My manager was like, 'This isn't good enough'... It knocked my confidence a bit, but I also knew, you know. And then I flew Rick Rubin over, to play him the songs and he was like, 'I don't believe you.' That's my worst fear: people not believing me. So I went back to the drawing board."
On Taylor Swift’s "Trouble:" After Adele heard the song for the first time, she reached out to Max Martin, which resulted in a "a bit of fun" titled "Send My Love To Your New Lover." "You ain't got to be dark all the time," the singer notes.
On fame: "I'm just frightened of it, you know? Frightened of it destroying me and it ruining me, and me getting lost and turning into some of the people that I love with my whole musical heart. I get frightened. And I get frightened for the people that I love, feeling like they've lost me… It's a bit toxic, fame. I've got enough toxins in me body, I don't need any of that!"