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Yo-Landi Visser
Cotton jumpsuit by Marc by Marc JacobsPhotography Pierre Debusschere; styling Robbie Spencer

The most explosive music interviews of 2015

From Yo-Landi Visser’s first solo interview to Marilyn Manson’s porn confessions – we revisit this year’s wildest Dazed profiles

Whether it’s agenda-setting new artists or old-timer icons in music, there’s no question that this year has been full of creative fire. Needless to say, we’ve heard and learnt some pretty amazing stuff too. From pop provocateur Grace Jones opening up about her love of LSD, to goth king Marilyn Manson claiming that he doesn’t watch porn because he doesn’t “like to see other dicks”, and Atlanta eccentric Young Thug being the only rapper to look tough in a tutu, these interviews indicate how this year was a whirlwind of boundary-pushing artistry. As 2015 draws to a close, we take a look back at some of our most candid and confrontational music profiles.

MARILYN MANSON: A NOSE FOR TROUBLE

In what was possibly one of our weirdest interviews ever, Tim Noakes caught up with Marilyn Manson to talk porn, drugs, guns and suicide. Meeting in his candle-lit hotel suite with black bin bags taped over the doors and less-than-warm air conditioning, the electro-goth musician revealed his warped attitude towards women and how he is hoping to come back from the dead as a zombie.

Best quote: “Halloween is my least favourite holiday. What am I supposed to dress up as? Me?”

NINJA: ZEF MASTER

For this interview with Ninja, one half of the rap-rave crew that is Die Antwoord, the zef master delves deeply into the history of zef culture, taps into his shadow-self and references philosopher Carl Jung and reveals all about parter-in-rhyme Yo-landi Visser.

Best quote: “We knew that Lady Gaga would have been a fucking abortion, like an aggressive abortion. Her fans are, like, little kids, and we don’t have fans like that. She was asking us because she wanted to look like she’d discovered us. That was the vibe, obviously.”

YO-LANDI VISSER: DARK STAR

Die Antwoord’s frontwoman Yo-landi Visser is easily recognisable by her silver-white mullet, cyberpunk gangster style and girlish voice. Here, in her first ever solo interview, the South African artist talks about the band’s growing fame, dynamics and how her haircut helped shape her persona.

Best quote: “My hair was long with a fringe and people would make jokes, calling me Britney and Lady Gaga. I told Ninja I needed to go in a different fucking direction. I wanted to have an edge that was more like me on the inside. Ninja said we should just cut the sides off, and I said, ‘Fuck, let’s do it.’ And it was just, BAM – there’s Yo-landi. It affected the music, it affected the way I acted and how I felt. For me it was like a birth or something.”

ARCA: XEN MASTER

The Venezuelan producer’s alien-sounding music is what lead to Kanye West, FKA twigs and Björk’s interest in the artist and their consequent collaborations. Here, he opens up to Thomas Gorton about last year's game-changing album Xen and his close work with visual artist and ‘soul mate’ Jesse Kanda.

Best Quote: “I'm an all or nothing person. I wanted to rip myself open just as an experiment, and then if I didn’t like it then I would never do it again.”

HOLLY HERNDON’S NEW HORIZONS

Electronic innovator Holly Herndon voices her views on how the digital world fits in with ‘real life’, and how she finds poetry within the sound of an iPhone unlocking. The interview – published a few weeks before the release of her second album Platform – also explores Herndon’s influences, collaborators and ever-evolving musical creations. 

Best quote: “I like the idea of a fleshy digital world. The idea of us not seeing technology as this weird other, but as part of our physical selves.”

YOUNG THUG: ECCENTRIC-IN-CHIEF

Hip hop hero Young Thug’s undeniable talent and flamboyant sense of style has garnered a lot of attention in the past year. In this interview, the 23-year-old rapper reveals his ‘family man’ status, his rags-to-riches story and his endless love for Atlanta as well as his real estate dreams.

Best quote: “It takes (Wayne and Drake) so long to do a song. I understand why, because they want it to be perfect. But I can write a perfect song in ten minutes.”

CL: READY TO RULE

Korea’s “baddest female” rapper/singer CL is known for being cool-as-fuck, while also busting open the stereotypical view of Asian women being timid and quiet. In this interview, she spoke about not wanting to limit her music style, her friendship with designer Jeremy Scott, as well as being a proud tomboy.

Best quote: “It’s so easy to be pretty and perfect. Once you have the money, fame, success or power, it’s so easy to maintain that, because all you have to do is play it safe. To be honest, I really don’t care because I’m doing this for myself.”

GRIMES: WEIRD SCIENCE

Having recently released her new album Art Angels, the wildly creative pop powerhouse Grimes talked to Owen Myers about her childhood in the mountainous wilderness of British Columbia, attending a strict Catholic school, gender identity and music as therapy.

Best quote: “Feminism is not what motivated me to become a musician. The reason I have fucking armpit hair is… I don’t actually like it, aesthetically! I’m just too busy to deal with it. I am a working woman.”

GRACE JONES: WILDER THAN EVER

Grace Jones’ role as music’s most outrageous innovator started decades ago. In this interview – published in conjunction with the release of her autobiography I’ll Never Write My Memoirs – the musician, model and actress lifts the lid on a lifetime of sex, drugs and drag queens, as well as her distaste for current trends.

Best quote: “I feel feminine when I feel feminine. I feel masculine when I feel masculine. I am a role switcher.”

TINASHE: INNER SEEKER

In this interview, 22-year-old alt-pop star Tinashe talked to Colleen Nika about her love and fascination with the supernatural. As a multi-disciplinary chameleon who is singing, dancing and producing her way to the top, Tinashe is a Gen-Z superstar in the making.

Best quote: “I don’t feel the need to be super-conservative in my choices or be a typical ‘role model’. I think I can influence girls to be independent – how to make their own decisions, how to go after their goals and not just sit around waiting to get married.”

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