Billie Eilish is famous for making music, and our editor told us to interview her. Apparently, she doesn’t respond to emails sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, which, is, like, pretty rude. But right after that, we blacked out for about three days. Our deadline is in 20 minutes, and our editor really, really insisted that we get something that would “get the kids talkin’” (our editor is a 56-year-old man with a big cigar and one of those hats with a slip of paper in it).
We’ve read about half of Billie Eilish’s Wikipedia page, and we’ve got a pretty good idea of what her whole deal is, so we didn’t see any reason to let non-participation get in the way of a good interview. With that said, here’s the URBO exclusive interview with one of the greatest artists of Gen Z: Billie Eyelashes.
URBO: Great to finally talk to you, Billie! I’m surprised to see that, despite your name being “Billie,” you’re a woman.
BILLIE EILISH: Yeah [laughs]. I get that a lot. My full name is Billicia, but my family called me “Billie” once, and I guess it stuck! [Laughs]
URBO: Twitter’s really into your whole thing. What is your whole thing?
BILLIE EILISH: Well, I’m kind of sad, but also funny, and my voice is pleasing. I wear big designer clothes.
URBO: Why are those clothes so big?
BILLIE EILISH: My clothes are big because I have poor depth perception.
URBO: And you love designer brands, right?
BILLIE EILISH: I think so. Some brands cost more than others, not because of quality, but because of name recognition. Those tend to be the best.
URBO: What a wonderful thing to learn about my favorite singer, who I’ve actually listened to on multiple occasions. Tell us about the writing process for your most famous song, “bad guy,” which is all lowercase.
BILLIE EILISH: That’s a weird one. What happened was this: I was looking at a good guy, and I was thinking, this, but not this, you know? And I just realized that some guys aren’t good. They’re bad guys. And bad guys deserve a song too, I think.
URBO: Representation is important.
BILLIE EILISH: Yes, and my brother, Other Eilish, he looked at me and said, “you know? I really think you’re onto something here. I’ll put some music around this, and maybe it’ll be a hit.” [Laughs] My brother is always giving me musical tips and advice, and I think he’s slightly older than me. I don’t know his first name.
URBO: You’ve been a really outspoken advocate for teenagers who feel disillusioned by life. What’s that like?
BILLIE EILISH: Up until this point, teenagers have never really talked about how things aren’t always good or easy. I’m literally the first person in history to make the case that, “you know what? Sometimes things aren’t okay.” So — and you might not have noticed this — but I do these little things to show that I’m a little sarcastic. Like, if a photographer is taking my picture, I might decide not to smile. Or maybe I’ll get out of bed and my hair’s a little messy, and I’ll just say to myself, “don’t fix it all the way.” That’s what it’s like being Billie Eilish.
URBO: Is there any topic you haven’t discussed in your music that you think you’d like to write about some day?
BILLIE EILISH: If I’m being honest, and this might be a little on-the-nose, but I’ve always felt like internet writers should be paid more. That’s something that I’m passionate about. And there’s really no reason at all to require them to come into work sober 100 percent of the time. They’re under a lot of pressure; let them have their fun.
URBO: As a journalist, I have no opinion on that, but it sounds like it’s really important to you.
BILLIE EILISH: It’s a thing, for sure. It’s something we all need to look at.
URBO: What was it like performing on SNL?
BILLIE EILISH: That was a dream of mine. What I didn’t realize is that the show is almost all sketches and comedy, so I was a little embarrassed that I just showed up to play music. If I’d seen the show in advance, I probably would have written a sketch instead. And Lorne [Michaels] was very cool about it when I showed up with my band. He was like, “Oh, this is a sketch show — but if you want to play music, we can work with that.” That’s why he’s such a legend.
URBO: You won a Grammy, too. That must have been nice.
BILLIE EILISH: I felt at home at the Grammy’s, because that’s all music. No sketches. And it was really comfortable, because they asked me to play a song that I already knew. I was really nervous during the entire car ride over there. If they’d said, like, “play a Lady Gaga song,” I’d have had to learn the lyrics really quickly, which would have been rough. But no, they wanted to hear “when the party’s over,” and I was like, “Yeah, that’s good — I know that one.”
URBO: Why are all your song titles lowercase?
BILLIE EILISH: I’ve got a really old MacBook and the shift keys don’t work. Also, I think it’s, like, pretty artistic.
URBO: Thank you for your time, Ms. Eyelash. Is there anything else you want to say?
BILLIE EILISH: No, nothing else. This has been the best interview of my life.