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THE FEAR FACTOR; Lady Gaga used tough times as inspiration for her new album.

Byline: John Dingwall

LADY Gaga turned to her worst fears for her new album, The Fame Monster, which is out this week.

The US singer sings about addiction to alcohol, death, and being alone and one track, titled Speechless, was written about trying to cope with her father's death.

She said: "My mum called me and I was very depressed.

"I was on tour and couldn't leave, so I went into the studio and wrote Speechless. It's about these phone calls."

She added: "When you're on tour you're rather insulated from life.You are totally focused on your performances and don't really notice much else.

"You spend a lot more time in hotel rooms than people might think.

On those nights I often sit up and compose so that I can remain in contact with my creative core.

"The new songs are about the dark side of fame. They deal with the fact it's now impossible for me to go out without being recognised. The desire for fame knows no limits and this fascinates me. There are people who even commit murder just to become a celebrity.

Meanwhile, she admits she has had little time to take stock of her rise to fame or find a partner.

"I'm in love with my music," she said "I'm single, but I believe in love and I'm constantly in search of a formula that allows me to understand love. "There are no rules or limits when comes to love.

"There are no rules or limits when comes to love. But I see love as separate from sex. And I happen to love male sexuality. Men have something that: I lack but really value."

She added:"I enjoy my work, but there are times when I would gladly be anonymous. I can't even drive a car. I don't have a driver's licence.

"I have a rented apartment in New York. That's it.When I travel I have almost all of my possessions with me. That's how little I own But my life has changed completely. The only thing that hasn't changed is my ambition. That means it's become even bigger, because I consider my music to be very important and relevant. There could the upbringing label I'm devoting myself to art more than ever because I lead such a lonely life."

The 23-year-old, who shaped the sound of 2009 with hits such as Just Dance and Poker Face, is lying on a sofa in the penthouse suite of an expensive Cologne hotel. She is also wearing full make-up and a red wig.

The title is apt for a singer who is giving Madonna a run for her money in terms of image changes.

REFERRING to her latest hairstyle, a mass of scarlet curls, she said: "These are all just wigs. I own more than 20. That way I can have a new hairstyle every day without having to run to the hairdresser.

"I can choose which one I want to wear depending on my mood. Today I felt like red curls. The way I present myself to the outside world always reflects how I feel inside."

So what is today's wig reflecting? She said: "It's wild and a bit messy. I'm a little untidy in my head right now. It can get confusing, this life as Lady Gaga. I find my head spinning."

There are plenty of comparisons that could be made with Madonna, such as the Italian parentage, her Catholic upbringing and being signed to a major label as a teenager.

Born and raised in NewYork City, the eldest child of Italian-American parents Joseph and Cynthia Germanotta, she attended Convent of the Sacred Heart, a private Roman Catholic school, by which time she was already playing piano by ear.

But Gaga insists she has completely left her life as plain old Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta for good.

"I'm always Gaga," she said. In this respect I'm not confused at all. I am Gaga - 24 hours a day. It was a nickname my friends in NewYork came up with.

"In the beginning, I used the name my parents gave me. Then, five years ago, I had a phase in which I ran away from myself a little. I gave up my studies, tried out lots of things, including drugs. My only drugs now are coffee and cigarettes. "At that time I was a burlesque go-go girl in a gay bar in the Lower East Side, where I've lived since I was 18. The Lower East Side is a catchment basin for all the crazies and misfits in NewYork.

"That helped me find myself as Gaga.

With that name I got a bigger response and had more success. So I kept it - Gaga suits me. There aren't two Lady Gagas. There isn't a stage person and a private person. I'm not a split personality."

She added: "People assume that when I'm off stage I transform back into someone else. But I truly believe in the glamorous lifestyle that I present to the outside world. I love glamour. A glamorous life is quite different to a life of luxury. I don't need luxury. For years I was practically broke but I was still vain and glamorous.

"I don't send assistants running around to get me the perfect latte. I'm not a conceited diva. I just tend to work to the point of exhaustion and maybe demand a little too much of the people who deal with me every day.

"Everywhere I go a Gaga fairy has been there before me and left a cupboard full of wonderful clothes that I'm allowed to borrow and wear.When I move on to the next city, the next cupboard is waiting. I haven't been shopping myself for over a year now."

Gaga says she has been inspired by Madonna and the late Michael Jackson, but her No1 one inspiration has been Freddie Mercury.

She said: "I adored Freddie Mercury and Queen had a hit called Radio Gaga. That's why I love the name," she said.

"Freddie was unique - one of the biggest personalities in the whole of pop music.

"He was not only a singer but also a fantastic performer, a man of the theatre and someone who constantly transformed himself. In short: a genius. "It is all about him and David Bowie.

This flash drawn on my face is a reference to him. Or AndyWarhol. In his time, he did exactly what I'm doing today. He makes art for the masses that is nevertheless taken seriously."

Clearly inspired by fashion, she believes her costume and make-up can be as essential as her performances, and there have even been attempts to copy her style on the High Street.

"Gaga is unique and can't be copied," she insisted. "Millions of girls also tried to copy Madonna. Those girls are gone now but Madonna is still there because she is something special."

Asked whether she sees herself as the Madonna of the future, Gaga added: "I don't want to sound presumptuous, but I've made it my goal to revolutionise pop music. The last revolution was launched by Madonna 25 years ago."

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STYLE ICONS: Lady Gaga uses Michael Jackson, Madonna and Freddie Mercury as inspiration for her wild outfits, far left
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Nov 27, 2009
Words:1211
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