Harry Styles talked shop about his new solo album with Rolling Stone's Rob Sheffield in his new cover story, shot by the inimitable Ryan McGinley.
"It's all about having sex and feeling sad," he explains, later adding that "it feels really different" to write from a place of vulnerability. Other subjects of personal investigation include, feeling "pathetic when I'm jealous. Feeling happier than I've ever been, sadder than I've ever been, feeling sorry for myself, being mad at myself, being petty and pitiful."
Harry is characteristically discrete about his love life, but "admits the songs are coming from personal heartbreak," which the profile implies are about his ex-girlfriend, French model Camille Rowe, who he split with last summer.
Sheffield paraphrases that the new Styles record is "the toughest, most soulful songs he's written," and reports that Harry, on the album and in life has been, "asking questions about culture, gender, identity, new ideas about masculinity and sexuality."
Not title for the Sign of the Times follow-up yet, but Harry jokingly suggests Mushrooms and Blood because shroom trips were apparently crucial to his creative process for the album. "We'd do mushrooms, lie down on the grass, and listen to Paul McCartney's Ram in the sunshine," he describes, also detailing an anecdote where he was so high he bit off the tip of his own tongue and "was trying to sing with all this blood gushing out of my mouth." A jar of chocolate edibles were kept in Shangri-La studios in Malibu where the record was recorded.
On a trip one night involving nudity he lost track of all his clothes and belongings. He got his wallet back eventually but says, "What's sad is, I lost my favorite mustard corduroy flares."
Big toast to the mustard corduroy flares and Harry living what truly seems like his best life! The pop star also talks feminism, a One Direction reunion (only "If there's a time when we all really want to do it"), his new meditation habit, David Bowie and Joni Mitchell obsessions, and spending his birthday alone in Japan reading Haruki Murakami.
It ends with him crying in his mothers arms at a Fleetwood Mac show while Steve Nicks plays "Landslide," so just make sure you're sitting down when you read it.