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25.05.2015, 22:22
I prefer to call the following interview: “Five years later”. It is interesting to compare the solidity and openness of Lena five years after her great success at the European Song Contest with the inquisitive interview she gave (had to give) on Radio Ö3, interviewer: Claudia Stöckl (translation here in this section under http://www.lenameyerlandrut-fanclub.de/forum/showthread.php?3871-Lena-s-interview-on-%D63-16th-May-2010 )
Again, after a long absence I translated the article as best as I could, flaws, mistakes and misunderstandings go all to my account. And again: There wasn’t sufficient time to revise the whole text sufficiently.
The original source can be found here: http://www.zeit.de/zeit-magazin/2015/15/lena-meyer-landrut-esc-erfolg-portrait
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Lena Meyer-Landrut: About Loving and Being Loved

Five years ago, the singer Lena Meyer-Landrut enchanted Germany. And Today?
By Christoph Amend

“I really did survive it”, says singer Lena Meyer-Landrut right at the beginning of our talk. Her voice sounds slightly relieved and slightly astonished about the time which has elapsed since our last encounter. Five years ago, I accompanied her for a portrait for a while and experienced how Germany idolised and cheered her. She was just nineteen, then. Hans-Dietrich Genscher (i.e. former minister of foreign affairs, N.B.pit) wouldn’t want to stop hand-shakes with her at an award show; and in Baden-Baden, she could only escape from a mob of screaming people into a bus with the help of bodyguards. “As we sat there in the bus and the people were hitting the panes and the plates”, she remembers ”that was really intense, a state of exception.”

Five years later, it’s a Friday morning, Lena Meyer –Landrut is sitting cross legged on a couch of a bar of the Grand Hotel Esplanade in Berlin. She has ordered a “Spezi” (i.e. a soft drink, mixture of Coke and orange lemonade, N.B. pit), the presentation of the Echo Awards took place yesterday evening, the most important German music award. Lena Meyer-Landrut gave a laudatory speech. “I walked there far too long on high heels.” That’s why she immediately threw off the comfortable boots she had been wearing today and stretched her white batik dress like a blanket over her legs and feet.

Five years. She summarises this such: “One year everything was perfect, then, everything I did was bad. Later on, it calmed down and then there was a comeback. If I had considered it, I should have become mad.

It was in May 2010 when Lena Meyer-Landrut won the Eurovision Song Contest as the first German contestant since 1982. She had been discovered in the casting show ‘Our Star for Oslo’. When she became really a star after Oslo, three of her songs were top five in the German charts at the same time – and she herself, she was landing on the airport of her home town Hannover, broadcast by public TV. She was welcomed by the then governor of Lower Saxonia, Christian Wulff, and cheered by 40 000 fans. Into the official guest book of Hanover, she wrote: “Wow! Dammed axe, that’s wicked!”

Ever since that day, she has never used the expression “dammed axe” again, she’s now telling. “I wrote it down spontaneously, these are the awkward things you never get rid of.” What’s crossing her mind when she thinks of that time? “It appears as if these things happened to another person. It is so far away. ‘t was absolutely absurd what happened then. This ‘We love Lena!’, that ‘Fräuleinwunder’ and whatever else was written then. Everything was huge, it was great love, great happiness. And Germany could be patriotic again.”

The first year after Oslo, Lena Meyer-Landrut experienced it like a rush: “always excitement and performances, I didn’t have the time and the power to think about, what’s going on with me.” After the triumph in Oslo, she moves into a Cologne Hotel, because she doesn’t want “people following me to find my home. When I went out in those days, it was mad.”

When the first turmoil has gone, she starts to think: “Of course, there are thoughts which are not only good. ”She is talking now about self-doubts. For a long time she is convinced that her success was only a piece of luck that she accidently met the right people at the right time – and that she casually met the spirit of times. “I needed some time to ponder: There was a lot of luck, but not only, perhaps there were other reasons, perhaps you have indeed …” She’s hesitating. “…talent.” It was then when she began to ask herself questions: “What does your life mean to you, what do you want to do? What does it mean that you are under the public eye and that you are subjected to such a pressure? Even if most people say, but you are not at all exerted to pressure, they surely don’t know what kind of pressure one can press upon oneself.

Right in the middle of this phase of contemplation, in the course of the year 2011, something sets in which had been predicted by experienced colleagues beforehand: an adverse wind, which appears anytime, when you have been in public attention for a very long time. It blows fiercely.

It all begins with her anew step up at the Eurovision Song Contest. Her promoter, Stefan Raab, came up with it, he called it: title defense. “That went true to the motto: Well, yes, let’s do it then. It appeared to be consistent at the time. In retrospect, I would perhaps say I should have rather not done it again.” For a change, the audience can’t decide now who will represent Germany, but what song Lena will sing. Lena versus Lena versus Lena. Der Spiegel (i.e. German News magazine, N.B. pit) mocks the “totalitarian Lenaism”.

“Suddenly, everything was wrong, I was the pain in the neck of everybody.” The national idol becomes the bitch whose swift fame has got to her head.
Inauspicious performances follow. At a live interview she saucily indicates little errors repeatedly committed by the host Frank Elstner. A concert at the Reeperbahn festival got so wrong that the Hamburger Abendblatt judges her performance as the worst one of all 300 performances of the event.

Until today, Lena Meyer-Landrut has been obliged to Frank Elstner that he never retaliated in later interviews. “My behaviour was so out of my head and awkward. I was ever so lucky that Frank Elstner is such an experienced and empathic personality, who could assess that.” What could he assess? “I had given roughly 30 interviews that day. It was simply too much. I couldn’t cope with it anymore.” In such moments, as she tells, “I become extremely sensitive and react more intensive on everything. “I felt as if it was choking me, I can’t do it anymore, I don’t want it anymore …” She sips her Spezi. “I was simply unfair.” Today, she says, she would know what she needs in such situations. “If I feel like that again I tell everybody: I just need five minutes for my own, please, leave the room. I lay down on the couch, close my eyes and take ten deep breaths. Then, I can go on.”

When she was at the Reeperbahn Festival she didn’t feel well, neither, a private matter she doesn’t want to talk about. “I had a lump in my throat and couldn’t get rid of it.” And she admits: “It was the first performance with new songs. We simply should have rehearsed them more. Bloody evening.”

Not only Lena Meyer-Landrut is changing at that time but also the public sight on her. First, she was shouted at to remain as she were, then, public attention turned away bored. When she quite easygoing entered the stage at an Echo Award presentation, the same manner that had made her famous, she was received with catcalls and boos. “Stop it!” shouted one of the audience so loudly that it could even be heard in TV. “I didn’t realise that on stage” she remembers, “but I was told immediately afterwards. I was confused. And I was glad that I was warned that this moment could turn up. I thought: Gosh! Now it has come.”

Lena Meyer-Landrut didn’t surrender and continued to make music, all in all three albums up to now. This record could be read in two ways: On the one hand, she hasn’t repeated her gigantic success of five years ago, her sales have sunk steadily. On the other hand, each album was number one or two in the German charts and she proudly tells, that even her last one, Stardust, has been awarded with platinum, recently.

In the mid of May, her new album, Cristal Sky, will be released. It is the last one within the current but expiring recording contract. How she will continue isn’t quite clear, yet, she says. It is the first album where she had complete artistic freedom, her old casting show contract has expired only recently. Cristal Sky has become electronic boppy pop music and Lena Meyer-Landrut describes the songs with the English term ‘moody’, which implies ‘atmospheric’ as well as ‘erratic’ and ‘sullen’. “In some parts, it sounds blue; finally, I can live this aspect of my nature, too”, she says. The question if this has something to do with the expired casting show contract she answers only smiling meaningfully.

After three quarters of an hour, she touches upon a completely different topic: anorexia. “I once wore a tummy T-shirt and then it started: ‘Lena: anorectic’” She’s shaking her head. When she’s reading about it for the first time she’s sitting at home and can’t believe it. “Suddenly, journalists write: ‘I worry about Lena.’ How dare they without knowing me? I’m not anorectic, I do have a normal eating behaviour. For seven years now I have weighed the same: 52 kilograms plus/minus 2 kilos at a size of 1.68 meter. I know that I’m lean but I always have been a beanpole.” She knows what it means if gossip magazines begin to ascribe anorexia to a star like her: She’s unhappy, she tries to match an ideal image and her career doesn’t go on, anymore. “You don’t have any chance against that.”

She’s wringing her hands now, on her right index is a golden ring with a green gemstone. Her mother gave it to her as a gift after she had won in Oslo. Ever since she has worn it. The gem shows the coat of arms of her paternal family. Once, after a vacation, she woke up in the night, the ring was gone. She scrutinized the flat for hours and didn’t find it. It tumbled out of some jacket, later. Her relief about that can still be sensed when she’s telling that story.

Her family had been a topic, too, five years ago. Her paternal grandfather is the well-known diplomat Andreas Meyer-Landrut, former German ambassador in Moscow. His son, Lena’s father, broke up with her mother very early. Lena has never since had any contact to him. But as soon as the daughter was famous, he was giving interviews. Later, her half-brothers piped up, too, whom she neither hasn’t any contact to. “What am I supposed to say? If I had a cousin, who was famous suddenly, it would never cross my mind to talk about her in the press. But well! Then it is simply like that.”

However, she has a very close relationship to her mother. Her tattooed line Non, je ne regrette rien is also a remainder of love for her mother with whom she always had listened to Edith Piaf. Five years ago it was still difficult to talk with her about these topics, today, she is more relaxed. She meanwhile tells that she has a boyfriend, a professional basketball player, with whom she lives together in Cologne. “Yes, I have been taken for a hundred years already and I’m happy”, she says laughing and adds then: “He is a constant.”

The mother, the friend. Not many things have been exactly constant in her life in the last years, successes and failures took turns, public love was followed by malice, she enrolled for some studies at university and abandoned it, moreover, she began to break away from her promoter Stefan Raab, above all there was also a change of management. And she is still not even 24 years old.

How does she feel actually? “Young and old at the same time”, she replies. “On the one hand I feel like a 23 year old, I only say: animal babies! I love animal babies! All the stereotypes apply to me: Instagram, make up, shopping with friends and, yes, I do love nicely lacquered nails, too.” Her nails were lacquered purple with golden glitter at the tips for the Echo Award presentation. And once at our talk she insists to show me a picture of her dog on her mobile; it is a white crossbreed, who she calls “Kiwi”.
On the other hand, meanwhile, I’m not only concerned with the funny moments in front of a camera, but also with decisions behind it. With contracts, business problems and money, too.” There are not many 23 year old ones in Germany with
300 000 followers on Instagram.

On the evening of the Echo Award presentation, she talked to a musician who told her that his new single is being broadcast a lot on radio programmes but it hardly sells. He didn’t care, he told her: He was living on his concerts. This wouldn’t be a solution for Lena Meyer-Landrut. “200 concerts per annum aren’t an option for me. I am not able to cut it. The emotional stress on stage is too much for me.” But aren’t there many musicians who live exactly for that, the live performance, the applause of the audience? Who fetch the energy for the rest of time at these moments? “Yes”, she says. But this isn’t my trip. My trip is being at home.” Such speaks an entertainer, who dammed early in her life got an overdose of publicity, of which she still has to recover.

And yet, she is always drawn back to the footlights. Her Echo Awards, which she received the last years, are on a shelf at home, and sometimes when she glances at them, she thinks: “These are not all of them. The collection isn’t completed, yet.”
She tells, that she had not expected much of herself before she became famous. “Perhaps, this was a form of self-protection, then you can’t plunge very far. But if you have surprised yourself a few times, then you can think: I’ll get again.” In the next breath she adds two more sentences to clarify: “Well, not that I will perform on the ESC again. I won’t do that in any case!” She grimaces, throws her arms into the air and shouts loudly “Aaah” into the empty hotel bar. “I carried out my duty! I won the thing! That must be sufficient.”

Since our last meeting five years ago, she has got a second tattoo on her left upper arm. A deer, “he is supposed to protect me”. And below it a quotation by the French author George Sand in English: To love and to be loved. The complete quotation says: “There is only one bliss in life – to love and to be loved.” A sentence, that describes the fragile relationship of a star and her audience quite accurately.

There aren’t more tattoos now, but it won’t remain like that. Lena Meyer-Landrut sips her Spezi and grins. “I’ll do it slowly.”

25.05.2015, 23:05
I prefer to call the following interview: “Five years later”...


Wow, great work...! :thumbsup:

It should be posted in a less abandoned place, maybe Daily-Lena...?

26.05.2015, 02:09
Great work, you help people talking no German (or German, which is not that good), very good :thumbsup:
Thank you for that

26.05.2015, 10:52
[smart-ass-mode-on] Eurovision Song Contest [smart-ass-mode-off] (second sentence) :zahn:

26.05.2015, 16:05
ta for looking closely. done!:hi:

26.05.2015, 19:25