Grimes hasn’t been shy about examining details of her life in interviews. Whether she reveals something like the time she became malnourished after only eating spaghetti for two years or how she’s had several friends die due to opioid addiction, Grimes is candid about her life. In a recent interview for the New York Times‘ segment Diary of a Song, Grimes detailed the inspiration for her semi-acoustic track “Delete Forever.”
While eating a bowl of Raisin Bran cereal, Grimes chatted with the New York Times about her album Miss Anthropocene, favorite comics, the time she beat a stalker with a banjo, and, of course, her song “Delete Forever.”
Grimes explained why she traded in a synth for an acoustic guitar in the track: “Do you ever go to a punk show and someone just plays an acoustic? I love sort of violent acoustic punk music,” she said. “The guitar is weirdly actually from a sample pack that I stretched and pitched a bunch. I wanted it to sound really raw because I was feeling really raw.” She continued: “I weirdly like acoustic guitar I just can’t be that basic from an ego perspective.”
The singer then explained how having so many friends pass away from addiction has affected her: “There was, like, eight years where I just couldn’t get over my first friend who passed away because I was very, very close with her,” Grimes said. “It was really intense when you’re that young to have one of your best friends die in such a disturbing way.”
While the majority of the instruments on the track come from samples, Grimes recorded with a real banjo and a real violin. The singer said using a banjo had always been a dream of hers, but it faded after she had to defend herself with a brand-new banjo:
“The first instrument, before I made Visions, I bought a banjo. And it was like 126 dollars, I remember this whole thing, it was my first instrument and I was like, ‘Oh, I love Dolly Parton, I’m gonna make a country record and be a country artist.’ Which is so crazy. And then as I was bringing the banjo home — I got it on Craigslist — and this guy f*cking followed me off the bus and followed me into this stairwell of my apartment building. I was like, ‘Wait, is this guy going to like, attack me right now?’ So I just turned around and started screaming and beating him with the banjo and I destroyed the banjo. But he left.”
Watch Grimes explain the meaning behind “Delete Forever” above.
Miss Anthropocene is out now via 4AD. Get it here.