Lobster Eye talks with V Magazine about Joanne

Ruth Hogben and Andrea Gerlardin recently sat down with V Magazine in the new September issue to talk about the creative direction of the album Joanne and the World Tour. Gaga is also gracing the cover of the Magazine and also sat down with V for an interview.

Read the full interview below.

Joanne, by many standards, was not a typical Lady Gaga album, thanks in part to a new host of collaborators in the studio from the likes of Mark Ronson to Tame Impala. But peek behind the curtain, and there were some other additions behind the scenes on top of the Haus of Gaga troop. Ruth Hogben and Andrea Gelardin of Lobster Eye have been working on and off with Gaga since her Fame Monster days (including the video interludes from The Monster Ball Tour) but the duo’s recently established creative direction studio was signed on to an exclusive contract to work on Joanne from inception to completion, including directing “Perfect Illusion,” the first music video drop from the pared-down album. V spoke to the two about their collaborations with Gaga, and what the future holds for Lobster Eye.

Interview with Lobster Eye

Let’s start with when you formed Lobster Eye.

We worked with Gaga on her David Bowie Grammy performance, and Andrea and I had such a blast doing such a 360 visual with Gaga. It was something we wanted to pursue and stick with—we did TV ads, the performance and lots of tech. That was the first time that we worked closely on something that was so fully fleshed; lots of things to get our teeth into. And we’ve been working in Gaga in that capacity ever since. We’ve been doing the whole album [Joanne] with her; we’re not just doing stills and film anymore, we’re doing merchandise design, website design, social media and live shows.

Where did you two first meet?

The most important thing you need to know is that we’ve been best friends for a very long time… 12 years maybe! We both worked at [Nick Knight’s] SHOWstudio and met through that, and we just get along so well creatively. We get in the flow, and read each other’s minds and have the best time. We’ve been quite lucky. The one thing that was really clear in our friendship was we shared the same ultimate goals; this idea about portraying women as powerful human beings was something really important, and our concepts of beauty are very closely aligned.

What was the process like working on this album since you were involved from the very beginning?

It’s always a creative collaboration, which is the best bit. She was extremely generous and invited us to spend time with her in her recording studio… to witness her actually making the music is so important for us, to see [Joanne] from the birth. We’ve really enjoyed and benefitted from being there from the complete beginning.

You mentioned trying to match the visuals to the music. This album seems a lot more paired down; how much are you trying to match to the album while not letting go of Gaga’s history of visuals?

It was a progression—Gaga really wanted to not worry so much, at the beginning of the cycle, about what she was wearing. Instead of being this huge fashion icon, I think she was really interested in being a musician. A talented musician. Because we concentrate so much on that, the “Perfect Illusion” music video feels really stripped back, where she performs, because we were concentrating on the pitch of her voice and the story she was telling and the musicality of it.

Obviously Gaga’s been known for that expression [with] hair and makeup, but I think because it was so important for her on this album to go back to her roots, to her music, her family, and really concentrate on who she is and what makes her happy and what makes her songs work, I think that it was really important for her. She was letting go a bit more, being the artist who she is. It’s all very natural and nothing feels like you sit down and make an aesthetic decision about what it should look like and how she feels, because she’s human.

What has your involvement been with the world tour?

It’s a giant collaboration that Gaga’s the head of. She unloads to the team what she’s thinking, the endless things that come to her mind, and then we all huddle up together and work out how to respond to that. This time we pooled together with choreographer Richy Jackson, with Brandon [Maxwell], with hair and makeup, [and] we all spoke a lot about story and the flow of the show. I think that was a really important starting point; it all developed from there. But I think no one person’s responsible on this world tour. It’s definitely a big collaboration. I think that was the most collaborative moment of the whole cycle.

What other projects do you foresee working on as Lobster Eye? Will you stay in the same vein of working mostly with musicians, or will you branch out into other areas?

Well Andrea and I have worked so long in the fashion industry and having worked with Gaga in this capacity has been so brilliant, but really it’s about image making and communication. We don’t really want to go to one genre and be stuck there. Andrea and I have so many passions and interests; theatre, design, dance, film, costume, styling, hair and makeup, we absolutely love anything about creativity and projecting women as strong and powerful human beings is really important to us.

And finally… where did the name Lobster Eye come from?

Lobster’s eyes see 360 degrees, so it kind of makes sense. And they live for a very long time. And their teeth are in their stomachs. They’re quite complex beings, lobsters.

V Magazine

Order the magazine here.

What do you think?

Veteran Monster

Written by RyanMonster

The truth is in my red lipstick.

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