Everyone seems to be divided when it comes to the song about butts on A Star is Born. Diane Warren has set the record straight in an interview with NY Times, saying Why Did You Do That? is NOT supposed to be a bad pop song.
Diane, I heard “Why Did You Do That?” in a gay bar the other night. We need to discuss it.
It’s getting a life of its own! “Why’d you come around me with an ass like that?” I have to take guilty credit for that line. I remember when we were working on it, I said, “Can we say that?” And Gaga went, “Yeah, why not?”
And now I can’t stop saying it.
It’s seeping into the consciousness!
I saw someone tweet that “Why Did You Do That?” is supposed to be a “bad” pop song, and you replied, “That was not the intention, actually.”
No, it’s not the intention. I would never purposefully sit down to write a bad song, although I guess I’ve done some without trying that turned out that way. This was a fun song, and I love fun pop songs. Not everything has to be serious all the time.
There you have it. DEBATE OVER.
Was there any sort of directive about what this song was supposed to represent for Ally?
No, the directive was just to write a fun song, something that shows she’s becoming this pop artist.
Did you know that Bradley’s character, Jackson Maine, would later make fun of the lyrics?
It surprised me when I saw it! I was sitting next to my friend and I jabbed her in the arm and went, “That’s my line he’s quoting!” I love that her character defended her music. It doesn’t have to be what he thinks music should be — music can be everything. It can be a serious song, it can be a pop song, it can be a song about an ass.
And is he any more authentic? The film points out that Jackson adopted his older brother’s voice to make it in rock. In many ways, his persona involves as much artifice as hers.
That’s true, when you look at it like that. Her character writes her own songs, and maybe that’s how she expresses herself. It doesn’t make her character less artistic than his character.
As someone who has worked with many pop stars as a songwriter, did Ally’s arc ring true to you?
I’ve seen stuff like that, where they try to push an artist — especially a female artist — into something they’re not, and then they rebel against it and try to discover what their true voice is. But by the way, maybe her true voice is being a pop star, you know? And that’s O.K., if that’s who you are.
It’s interesting how upset people can become about pop music.
I mean, you’re talking to the woman who wrote “Blame It on the Rain” for Milli Vanilli. I have nothing against a good pop song.
But a lot of people think it’s less important than a good rock song. They treat it like — —
A guilty pleasure, right? But it has its revenge because it sticks in your brain. And then you end up saying, “Why did you do that, do that, do that.”
How did you feel about the movie in general, once you saw it?
I thought it was really impressive. The thing is, when Gaga was talking about acting in it, some people I know were like, “She’s not gonna be great,” but I knew she would be. I’ve spent time with her, I know how hard she works: This is someone who works with a vocal coach for hours a day. She has that discipline, that work ethic that very few people have. She has it, and Beyoncé has it. They just go that extra mile. Good isn’t good enough, so when I knew she was serious about this, I knew she would be great — and she is.