by / March 25th, 2011 /

Top Story: State Revisited: Lily Allen

Having apparently quit the music business on more than one occasion, Lily Allen seems to be true to her word to a certain extent this time – although she has launched her own record label. Currently the subject of a Channel 4 documentary series on the founding of her clothing business Lucy In Disguise, State met her in 2009 and found that her dissatisfaction with the trappings of fame was starting to show. It was an interview that provoked a fair degree of reaction…

Gossip magazines, tabloid fodder, cursing on Today FM, believing your negative publicity, loving The Smiths, enjoying X Factor. It’s all in a day’s work for a modern pop star. Today, the lights are on in Lily Allen‘s world. And boy are they on. When State arrives for our chat, she is literally in the spotlight. Dressed in jeans and a sweat top, she cuts an oddly waifish figure next to the towering, made up Glenda Gilson. Then the lights go off and it’s our turn. With the cameras gone, she seems to visibly relax.

This is Lily Allen’s world, a world where there is an at times deeply uneasy mix of being a celebrity, a musician and a normal young woman. Oh…and housework. Flicking through the TV on the night before we meet her, State came across an advert for a triple CD of the best songs to do housework to…ever! or something and there, nestling amongst Queen’s ‘I Want To Break Free’ and ‘It’s Raining Men’ was ‘The Fear’, a subtly raging admonishment of the nature of celebrity culture.

We feel the need to bring this to Lily Allen’s attention. For a moment she looks bemused, then laughs. “That’s odd. I wonder if they had to get permission, although it’s probably an EMI album. To be honest, I don’t really care about things like that.'”

Really?

Not at all, what’s important to me is that things that do have my name attached to them, like the tour, like the merchandise, like the record, are true and honest. If someone else wants to put a record out with my music on it, that’s something else, as long as it’s not sold as a Lily Allen album.

For a record with a message such as ‘The Fear’ to achieve such mainstream success was quite something.

It was amazing and brilliant but at the same time, it never really connected with me what it actually meant. I wasn’t in the country at the time, I was in America, so I didn’t get to enjoy the experience and go out on the lash with my mates or anything like that. ‘Smile’ went to number one for a couple of weeks but that was completely different thing. This time round, I really expected people not to like what I was doing.


Lily Allen – The Fear (Explicit) on MUZU.

How come?

I started reading all those gossip mags and websites. All that is very negative. If you’re only ever reading negative things about yourself, then you start to believe it and I was just terrified that it was going to be awful and everybody would hate anything I did. Then it started doing well and it was like, -wooh!’

Perhaps it shows that the people who read the tabloid stuff care and have little to do with music, and vice versa?

What it proves is that although people consume this negative bullshit, they don’t actually take it on board. The gossip culture and industry is vast but people just skim over it, they maybe don’t take it all in, which is good. That’s what ‘The Fear’ is about, being scared of getting to the point where you do actually believe it, so there was a sweet irony of it doing so well.

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  • anonymous

    IT’S A FALSE INTERVIEW. Lily Allen has already explained that she won’t do a written interview.

  • We met Lily in person before her gig in the Academy Dublin. We interviewed her and this is the transcription. It’s a real interview.

  • It’s a false interview? Oh dear, the anonymous internet critics are out in force again. Do you really think not doing a written interview prevents somebody from writing it down?? That’s just low, assuming the author’s making it all up, you could have worded it as a question. But then if you were going to be even basically decent I’m sure you would have left your name too…

  • anonymous

    Anyone could write that this interview is real. But that’s just as easy as making up the interview. Lily Allen is on record as saying she won’t do them. I suppose you want people to believe you, and not believe her. If you’re a writer then that very much defines what you do for a living.

  • So what you’re trying to say is any interview by Lily Allen that anyone writes down from now on must be assumed to be false? Feel free to go ahead and believe that, but it’s pretty ridiculous. Niall is State’s editor, so he’s not ‘anyone’, he’s the best evidence (short of Lily Allen) that you’re going to get. I also work for State (though I wasn’t at the interview, I just think your comments are more than a tad uncalled for), though if you look at the top of the piece you can easily check that neither one of us is the author.

    Apart from Lily Allen’s previous comments (which I’ll assume are true, I haven’t actually checked, but I don’t think I’m quite the sceptic you seem to be… they’ve already been explained anyway), what exactly is it that makes you think this is false?

    (I’m out of the country right now and about to leave the internet cafe, so future replies will have to wait…)

  • Hi There…

    Permit me to add my tuppence worth.

    I’m the publicist who arranged the promo when Lily was in Dublin on March 16th. I was there when this interview took place, along with the Xposé interview for TV3, and the Sunday World interview. I was also at the Today FM Tony Fenton session that she refers to in the interview.

    The interview is 100% genuine.

    Cheers

    Pete Murphy – EMI Ireland

  • anonymous

    I’m saying in a straight forward way that it’s a written fact that Lily Allen won’t be interviewed on paper. This was included on her My Space page when she expressed anger with the New York Times after they sold some pictures of her home to O.K. magazine. It was mentioned on her twitter page that she does not speak with magazines because a Dutch tabloid used false misquotes that lead to other stories, claiming that she encouraged “kid”s to do drugs. After which she filed a lawsuit. She had to write on her twitter page [As if I would say such a thing] I do not encourage drug use. Although this article doesn’t set the same example of taking cheap shots, it’s impossible to believe that a writer would claim that they did a written interview, when the subject they are writing about clearly seems to be against,idea. And has to go out of her way to prove it. Lily Allen”s tabloid image has been played down, since she was given a court order to keep two news agencies in London, from stalking her, in an effort to stop these stories from being printed. There is no reason to believe that she would make these points, & then sit down for a printed interview. That’s ridiculous!

  • Hello Again

    I’ve no desire to get into a debate with anyone. If you don’t want to believe that the interview is real, that’s your prerogative. I can only re-iterate that I was there overseeing the promo. I saw Phil interview Lily.

    Cheers

    Pete M

  • JJ

    Anon… where is this coming from? Phil is a bloody excellent journalist and wouldn’t have the slightest need to ‘invent’ some interview with Lily Allen. Of course it’s genuine.

    Just a few links to note as well….

    http://www.interviewmagazine.com/music/lily-allen/

    http://www.rte.ie/arts/2009/0213/allenl.html

    http://www.thelondonpaper.com/going-out/whats-new/lily-allen-interview-to-mark-the-release-of-her-new-single-not-fair

  • Claire

    She wasn’t interviewed on paper. Niall clearly said that he interviewed her in person and the interview was then transcribed. The publicist at EMI has also confirmed the interview for you. I suppose Glenda Gilson and the team from Xposé weren’t there either….http://www.tv3.ie/videos.php?video=6854&locID=1.65.68&page=18

  • anonymous

    In June 2008 Lily Allen did a video taped interview with Paper Magazine! The written interview was contrary to anything she would have said. Included in that written interview were comments about her frequent drug use. This was followed by a video taped interview with Guardian U.K. That interview was also put into print by Guardian staff writer Miranda Sawyer. Sawyer used the quotes from the Paper Magazine article. When Lily Allen agrees to a video taped interview that doesn’t mean that when it’s put into print that it’s in anyway genuine. She does have to agree with that idea in order for it to be a real interview. She’s made the point that she doesn’t agree to it.

  • untitled

    anonymous are you lilly allen? or a mere stalker who likes to provoke controversy? let sleeping dogs lie and get on with your life…unless you’ve something relevant to say (which is doubtful)

  • emily

    Anonymous does have a point. Lily Allen wrote about the New York times & the press in general on her blog. She wrote that the press are bullies.

  • Patrick Conboy

    Oh dear. If the word of the editorial team and Lily Allen’s own publicist isn’t good enough, then what is? There’s absolutely no reason why State would want to falsify an interview with an artist – we’ve enough to be doing without dreaming-up imaginary responses to our own questions!

    I fear this may descend into another ‘Superjiminez’ debate…

  • anonymous

    State magazine has no validation of proof. Certainly people working for State are going to take offense at my opinion. Of course you’re going to agree with each other. – Because – they – work for State. I’m not arguing you’re opinion I’m stating a proven fact that you’re comments are a contradiction of her feelings. Based on information that Lily Allen has written. Anyone could get a group of people to agree with each other when that’s what they’re paid to do. This is a public opinion one that any person is entitled to! Even by disagreeing with that public opinion it shows that by grouping together to have the same idea means that you could turn against anyone at anytime. How can you expect people to believe that this is legitimate when as a group you’re the ones that think that way. This article can be legitimate but until it becomes known by the party being questioned don’t expect some people to believe it. I mean if you’re really going to group yourselves together like this, I have no other opinion than to believe you’re all members of the same way of thinking. It doesn’t have to prove anything but it does present itself. You write you’re names, but you still keep you’re privacy. And you do it as a group, so to some members of the public you’re the same people that write the negative stories. The public didn’t turn Lily Allen”s miscarriage into a publicity stunt, the press did. The public didn’t think she was a drunk until the press let people think she was. Now she’s cleared up a lot of things and those stories are not nearly as bad. Just because she cleaned up her act doesn’t mean the press did. Those stories are the reason that she won’t agree to an interview in written form. And you’re (patriotic/ or basic human right says she doesn’t have too. She’s a 5 foot 2 inch tall firecracker with an opinion that’s what you love, that’s what you hate!

  • Patrick Conboy

    Half of your last post didn’t make any sense. But anyway… I merely posted here to point out that the author of this article – Phil – is as honest as they come. In this business an honest reputation is paramount.

    One question for you: You claim the press is unilateraly negative towards Ms Allen, but who’s hating her here? There’s certainly nothing negative in the article above. On the contrary, it shows her to be quite a warm, intelligent person. Lily Allen may have had problems with the tabloid press in her time but State certainly isn’t tabloid: We just care about the music. I challenge you to find any articles on State.ie flaunting idle gossip or hear’say. And I’m quite sure her record company – who’ve appeared here to back-up the article’s credibility – wouldn’t be endorsing someone who’s just written a pile of lies about her.

    And, as an aside, the fact that you’re choosing to hide behind your ‘anonymous’ facade suggests you’re merely ‘trolling’ rather than attempting to make a legitimate argument.

    That’s all I have to say on the matter. I’m sure Phil will stop by if he feels the need to add something.

    Peace out.

  • anonymous

    Oh, you don’t get it. You poor idiot.

  • anonymous

    You’re looking for a debate as you clearly stated in you’re previous comment. The reason you wish to debate me on this subject would be to make yourself feel right about something. I point is very clear. Read all the comments.

  • anonymous

    My (in place of I) that’s a common typo.

  • Can I just point out, that if I now work for State, I’ll be looking for a paycheck Phil!!! (“Of course you’re going to agree with each other. – Because – they – work for State.)

    “State magazine has no validation of proof.” Yes they have… I’m their proof.

    Part of my job as Head of Media and Artist Relations for EMI is to make sure we don’t ever put our acts in positions that would be detrimental to them. If I thought for one second that State would have treated Lily badly or show her in a negative light, there is no way in the world they would have got the interview.

    Lily did 4 interviews for us that day. You’re obviously a big fan, so you won’t be surprised to hear that we had MANY more requests for time with Lily other than the time we filled. The fact that State was included in those 4 interviews shows how much they’re trusted and respected by the record companies.

    I’m sorry the interview piece has somehow offended you, or that you feel it’s not real, but I’ll simply re-iterate that I was there, and witnessed the interview.

    Bestest

    Pete M

  • The best way to annoy people is to use the oldest moniker in the word A.N. Onymous. If a criticism is truly heeartfelt why bother to hide behind it. Come on out and tell us who you are. We won’t bite. At least I won’t.

  • UnaRocks

    This is hilarious. What a nutjob.

  • Ralph

    Anonymous you are oficially bat-shit crazy, I love it!

  • Hey anonymous

    Wanna come work for sweet jane or get married?

  • Rhett

    This is hilarious! Watch out anonymous they’re going to get you if you speak too loud! Tip your furniture over and make yourself a little fortress. Ha ha, crazy fans.

    Back to work…

  • Keith

    Good interview. Never paid much attention to her recently, but good to see there is a bit of depth in some of the pop music that comes out. enjoyed The Fear after reading this.

  • Yikes…

  • MisterAdam

    Look! You’re all missing the point. Everyone knows that Lily Allen doesn’t really exist. She said so herself. “I’m made-up.”, she said.

  • AstonishingSodApe

    This is exactly the same as this:

  • just wanted to say wtf

  • anonymous

    Like I’m wrong for thinking that Lily Allen received too much negative press. The key word here is press o.k. This isn’t wrong she writes down what she thinks (remember.. ?) By reading my previous comments you can see that the issue was not weather State was a legitimate magazine, but that so many others are! That’s what prompted Lily Allen to write on her My Space page (February 2009) The New York Times are skanks) that she will not speak with magazines.

  • Well if she blogged about it she must be serious.

  • untitled

    again….

    anon…get over it… it’s an interview regardless of what shape or form you think is redeemable in lilly allens views/opinions… are you that fanatical to care so much? leave state to get on with what matters instead of critising BADLY on their reporatage… which by all accounts is unnessecary…

  • Been away but watching this with interest. Have a few points to make, back soon.

  • Hit us with them Phil!

  • anonymous

    4 days later…. no answer. So much for you’re big guns. Hay Nobody blamed anyone for being in the same room with her. You became way to offended by an honest opinion. Nobody knocked the paper either. Or the people that work for State. My point is just a written (hard evidence) Fact.

  • Calm down son, some of us are just too busy to spend our lives leaving pointless comments on the web.

    Anyway, with regards to your latest post there, I’m afraid that accusing anyone who writes for our website of fabricating a story is doing more than knocking them, it is a serious accusation and a slur on a fine bunch of men and women. Reading back through your comments I’m still not sure whether or not you are still convinced that this interview is false or not, despite all the evidence to the contrary. You are certainly entitled to hold your own honest opinion but you have to accept when people challenge you on it as you have challenged us.

    I hope you now accept that I did indeed sit down with Lily and interview her. I found her witty, charming but and a strange mixture of being completely outspoken and guarded at the same time. She has obviously had a hard time at the hands of the press but you have to be able to appreciate the difference between the tabloids and the music press, of which we are definitely the latter. There are other publications that do blur the boundaries but we’ll leave them to it. I defy you to find anything in this piece that panders to that side of things.

    As someone who is obviously a Lily Allen fan I can understand to an extent why you feel so protective to her but, as she says in the interview, the touring environment is where she feels safest. However she is a young woman with a taste for life and who is aware of the pitfalls of her chosen path. How long she is prepared to put up with the downside of her fame remains to be seen, but you do feel that she will always be in control of her own destiny, unlike some others.

    I hope that you have re-read the piece and have appreciated it for what it is. As one of State’s editors, I stand by everything that goes on this site. We have worked hard to build our reputation and will continue to bring quality music coverage to the masses.

    Cheerio.

  • sarah

    this thread has cheered me up no end. bloody hilarious.
    happy monday everybody.

  • Stu

    over the last year i have fallen head over heels for Lily Allen. Music, personality, looks. Good interview.

    Now, somebody close to her email me her phone number please…im not a psycho, honest…