Conan Gray Performs “Maniac“ & “The Story“ + EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW | MTV Push

Conan Gray Performs “Maniac“ & “The Story“ + EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW | MTV Push

February 8, 2020 71 By Sebastian Fry


♪ You were with your friends ♪ ♪ Partying ♪ ♪ When the alcohol kicked in ♪ ♪ Said you wanted me dead, so ♪ ♪ You show up at my home ♪ ♪ All alone with a shovel and a rose ♪ ♪ Do you think I’m a joke, well ♪ ♪ People like you always want
back what they can’t have ♪ ♪ But I’m past that and you know that ♪ ♪ So you should turn
back to your outback ♪ ♪ Tell ’em I’m trash ♪ ♪ Tell all of your friends that
I’m crazy and drive you mad ♪ ♪ That I’m such a stalker,
a watcher, a psychopath ♪ ♪ Then tell them you hate me
and dated me just for laughs ♪ ♪ So, why do you call me and
tell me you want me back? ♪ ♪ You maniac ♪ ♪ You maniac ♪ ♪ You maniac ♪ ♪ You maniac ♪ ♪ You just went too far ♪ ♪ Wrecked your car, called
me crying in the dark ♪ ♪ Now you’re breaking my heart ♪ ♪ So I show up at your place right away ♪ ♪ Wipe the tears off of your face ♪ ♪ While you beg me to stay, well ♪ ♪ People like you always want
back what they can’t have ♪ ♪ But I’m past that and you know that ♪ ♪ So you should turn
back to your outback ♪ ♪ Tell them I’m trash ♪ ♪ Tell all of your friends that
I’m crazy and drive you mad ♪ ♪ That I’m such a stalker,
a watcher, a psychopath ♪ ♪ Then tell them you hate me
and dated me just for laughs ♪ ♪ So why do you call me and
tell me you want me back ♪ ♪ You maniac ♪ ♪ You maniac ♪ ♪ You maniac ♪ ♪ You maniac ♪ ♪ Psychopathic don’t be so dramatic ♪ ♪ We had magic but you made it tragic ♪ ♪ Now you’re manic, honestly I’ve had it ♪ ♪ Listen to yourself, think
you need to get some help ♪ ♪ Tell all of your friends that
I’m crazy and drive you mad ♪ ♪ That I’m such a stalker,
a watcher, a psychopath ♪ ♪ Then tell them you hate me
and dated me just for laughs ♪ ♪ So why do you call me and
tell me you want me back ♪ ♪ You maniac ♪ ♪ You maniac ♪ ♪ You maniac ♪ ♪ You maniac ♪ ♪ You were with your friends, partying ♪ ♪ When the alcohol kicked in ♪ ♪ Said you wanted me dead, so ♪ ♪ You show up at my home ♪ ♪ All alone with a shovel and a rose ♪ – I wrote maniac in the shower. I was sitting in this
shower that had great reverb and I was like, wow, it’s so echo-y, I sound like
I’m in the studio or something and I, I just remember
singing, I was like, “Tell all of your friends that I’m crazy– ♪ And drive you mad ♪ ♪ That I’m such a stalker,
a watcher, a psychopath ♪ I wrote maniac after
I’d gotten this really, sloppy drunk text from someone that I hadn’t talked to in months and I was like, why are you texting me? That is so weird, we’re
not even friends anymore. You told everyone that I was insane. Like, I don’t know what you want from me. ♪ You maniac ♪ I came up with the melody,
all the lines in the shower. And then I went and I wrote,
finished it out on guitar like the bridge and everything like that. And then I took it into
the studio, I was like, “I wanna make just like the
most cathartic massive pop song” And we went in and just like, I just knew I wanted
this driving bass line, I just wanted it to be like really big. Sometimes I’ll write a
song that’s kind of out of, just like, I want it to
be fun and sometimes, I don’t wanna write a song
that makes me wanna cry. Sometimes I wanna write a
song that makes me wanna dance and punch someone in the face and “Maniac” is one of those songs where I just wanted it to be a release. ♪ You need to get some help ♪ ♪ Tell all of your friends that
I’m crazy and drive you mad ♪ The second I wrote this song, I was like, “This is a song made for screaming.” You don’t just sing this song, you belt it in the car, you
scream it in your bedroom, it’s a very specific song and so I wanted the production
to mirror that feeling. ♪ You maniac ♪ ♪ You maniac ♪ ♪ You maniac ♪ ♪ Let me tell you a story ♪ ♪ About a boy and a girl ♪ ♪ It’s kinda short, kinda boring ♪ ♪ But the end is a whirl ♪ ♪ They were just sixteen
when the people were mean ♪ ♪ So they didn’t love themselves ♪ ♪ And now they’re gone ♪ ♪ Headstones on a lawn ♪ ♪ And when I was younger ♪ ♪ I knew a boy and a boy ♪ ♪ Best friends with each other ♪ ♪ But always wished they were more ♪ ♪ ‘Cause they loved one other ♪ ♪ But never discovered ♪ ♪ ‘Cause they were too afraid ♪ ♪ Of what they’d say ♪ ♪ Moved to different states ♪ ♪ Oh and I’m afraid that’s
just the way the world works ♪ ♪ It ain’t funny, it ain’t
pretty, it ain’t sweet ♪ ♪ Oh and I’m afraid that’s
just the way the world works ♪ ♪ But I think that it
could work for you and me ♪ ♪ Just wait and see ♪ ♪ It’s not the end of the story ♪ ♪ Now it’s on to the sequel ♪ ♪ About me and my friend ♪ ♪ Both our parents were evil ♪ ♪ So we both made a bet ♪ ♪ If we worked and we saved ♪ ♪ We could both run away ♪ ♪ And we’d have a better life ♪ ♪ And I was right ♪ ♪ I wonder if she’s all right ♪ ♪ Oh and I’m afraid that’s
just the way the world works ♪ ♪ It ain’t funny, it ain’t
pretty, it ain’t sweet ♪ ♪ Oh and I’m afraid that’s
just the way the world works ♪ ♪ But I think that it
could work for you and me ♪ ♪ Just wait and see ♪ ♪ It’s not the end of the story ♪ ♪ And a movie’s always
running in my head ♪ ♪ All the people, all the
lovers, all my friends ♪ ♪ And I hope that they
all get their happy end ♪ ♪ In the end ♪ ♪ Oh and I’m afraid that’s
just the way the world works ♪ ♪ It ain’t funny, it ain’t
pretty, it ain’t sweet ♪ ♪ Oh and I’m afraid that’s
just the way the world works ♪ ♪ But I think that it
could work for you and me ♪ ♪ Just wait and see ♪ ♪ It’s not the end of the story ♪ – “The Story” is one of
the songs that I think touches more on my past than necessarily where I am at the moment but “The Story” is more about what happened to me as a kid and also what happened to
me and my friends as kids. ♪ They were just sixteen
when the people were mean ♪ ♪ So they didn’t love themselves ♪ ♪ And now they’re gone ♪ I was a really alone kid and I felt so small in this giant, giant world and there were so many times growing up that I couldn’t even imagine
getting older than 12 or 13. I couldn’t imagine surviving my childhood and I couldn’t imagine becoming an adult ’cause it seemed so unrealistic. And there were a lot of times that I just didn’t really want to be alive you know? I didn’t want to have to
go through it anymore. It was just too much, it was
way too much for me to handle. ♪ Oh and I’m afraid that’s
just the way the world works ♪ ♪ It ain’t funny, it ain’t
pretty, it ain’t sweet ♪ “The Story” is kind of a song that I wish I would have
had when I was a kid. There was nobody really
telling me as a kid that I was gonna make it. I wish that somebody would have
come up to 12 year old Conan and been like, hey kid
it’s all gonna be okay. You’re gonna make it out,
you’re gonna survive and, your life may seem so hard right
now but it’s gonna be okay. You’re gonna do really cool things and there’s so much ahead of you right now that you haven’t experienced yet. ♪ All the people, all the
lovers, all my friends ♪ ♪ And I hope that they
all get their happy end ♪ I had no idea that
everything was gonna flip like that for me. I was sitting in my room
making a song on GarageBand with not even the slightest
clue that it was gonna go viral and I was gonna get signed
and do all these crazy things. I had no idea and like,
everything can change in a moment and just that thought is
something that kept me going and I hope that people
who listen to the song and listen to the album are able to take away that message as well. ♪ Just wait and see ♪ ♪ It’s not the end of the story ♪ Hey y’all, it’s Conan Gray and I’m about to be in it for a minute. ♪ When the alcohol kicked in ♪ – [Producer] All right, we
got a minute on the clock. Here we go, three, two, one. – Do you talk to yourself
when no one’s around? Absolutely, literally all
the time, it’s disgusting. Do you have any tattoos? None. Have you ever cleared your
internet search history? Everyday. I’m afraid that I’m being
stalked, because we all are. Have you ever cried in the last week? I cry two times a year, to be
honest, I have no emotions. Have you ever taken
the blame for something so that someone else
wouldn’t get in trouble? Totally, I’ve covered my
sister’s ass so many times that she owes me money. Have you ever eaten food
that fell on the floor? Yesterday, I like ate a Cheeto (laughing) Do you check to see who
views your Instagram story? If I’m waiting for someone
to watch my Instagram story, a very specific person that
I’m in love with, absolutely. Are aliens real? Yes, and we are them. Have you ever accidentally
texted the wrong person? Totally. Let’s forget that. Do you ever wish you could
steal another singer’s song? Every single day, “Style” by Taylor Swift. Do you keep a journal,
oh also “Ribs” by Lorde. Do you keep–
– Five. – Do you keep a journal slash diary? No, I just write songs. Have you ever seen a ghost? Yes, I wish I was a ghost. I did a lot. ♪ You maniac ♪ ♪ You maniac ♪ Hey y’all it’s Conan Gray
and I’m going to transform this hoodie into a one of a
kind piece of merchandise. I don’t know why I sound old English, that’s just how it’s become. I just have too many thoughts
in my head all of the time. It’s just like screaming, my head is always screaming at me and so anything that kind of
distracts me from the fact that there’s just so much
going on inside my head, really is just great for my mental health. Also, I was always moving around. I always had a bunch of, I never had a stable life so
art was a way for me to have something that I could control in my life that wasn’t constantly changing
and threatening to kill me. I literally drew all of the time. And I think I realized that
people liked my art once once my friends started asking
me to draw things for them I was like, oh you like this. You like what I drew? So yeah, that’s kind of
when I realized that like, maybe I’m a little better
than my friends but because they wouldn’t be asking me to be making them something if
they could just do it themselves I still draw a lot. Kind of for my job, which is really
great because I love drawing. I still draw all of my own
merch, well most of it. And I still, I still draw all the time for like, if I need to do a music
video or something, I have to draw out the scene by scene. I direct my own videos a lot of the times and I always come up
with the ideas myself and I just like to make stuff. I get really bored really easily too, so if I’m not constantly doing something, then it’s a disaster you know,
everyone’s annoyed with me. So it’s just good to keep me busy, otherwise I’ll drive you insane. When I wanna get something off my chest, I write a song about it. If I wanna get a concept that I’ve had for a really long time into existence, then I’ll usually draw it
or I make something else. It honestly just kind of
depends on like the situation, if I’m feeling, what I feel like. I like to do all things,
otherwise I get bored. I totally use clothing as
a form of self expression. I dress the way that I feel in the moment, so some days I dress really, really really like punk and kind of grungy which I really like to do. But other days, I’ll dress, I’m trying to multitask right now and this is where I’m failing. But other days, I dress very very baby, ’cause I am
baby sometimes as well. Since it depends on the mood, I do think I use it very much
as a form of self expression and as a way for me to kinda
express how I’m feeling. Okay I’m done. Ta-da, it’s an eyeball. So this is how I feel when I haven’t slept a good night of sleep in a very long time. I feel like there’s just a very dark, deep abyss of death rings in my eyeballs. I’ve been on tour for a long time, the whole entire year basically. And I’m on tour right now and sometimes I wake up
and I feel like this. I would wear it. I don’t think I’d make
something that I wouldn’t wear. I’m too self conscious. To whoever owns this, maybe don’t wear it to work? People ask you questions. I think this is a lounge wear item, so maybe wear it on the couch. Also get some sleep, you
don’t wanna be like this. (camera shutter clicking) What’s the craziest thing
you’ve ever done for love? Exist. ♪ You think you’re funny right ♪ ♪ Calling me drunk ♪ Hey y’all, it’s Conan Gray
and this is On the Record. So this from my song “Checkmate”. Name three songs on your breakup playlist. “Checkmate” by Conan Gray is definitely on my
breakup playlist because I wrote it about my breakup. Fun. What else? Maybe “Lover You Should’ve
Come Over” by Jeff Buckley, the love of my life. “Someone Like You” by Adele will always, always be the
ultimate break up song. I don’t care who you are, I don’t care how cool you think you are. I don’t care if you listen to Bon Iver, “Someone Like You” by Adele is undeniably one of the best
songs ever made of all time and it’s like the break up song. This is from my song “Crush Culture”. What’s one thing you’d
change about dating culture? I don’t give a (censored) who you are, I don’t really wanna see you with your tongue down
someone else’s throat. I don’t really wanna see that. I didn’t ask. You can do that anytime you want, just not in front of me. Like, do that somewhere else. – This is for my song “Maniac”, what’s the craziest thing
you’ve ever done for love? Exist, I hate existing. I wish I didn’t exist,
but I exist everyday because allegedly, there’s somebody on earth
who’s perfect for me. Sure, I don’t believe any of that. That’s… Maybe there’s nobody, have
we ever considered that? Maybe you don’t have a soul mate. Maybe you’re just destined
to be alone forever. This is for my song “The Story”. How do you think your fans describe you? I think they would describe me as a massive over thinker, and that I am very strange and I should try, I should try calming down. – This is the last one, this
is from my song “Comfort Crowd” Who are three celebs
you want in your clique? Very obviously Taylor Swift. I mean, it’s Taylor Swift. Do I even have to explain? Then probably Lorde, my favorite person of all time. I’d probably just sit there and ask her a lot of questions about life. Just like, not even about her songs. Just like, what do I do
now Lorde, where do I go? Are you okay, where are you? Come back. Also, why? And how, you know just
questions about life. And she’d have the answers. “Why do we exist?” She’d have an answer. Last person in my clique
is my best friend Ashley. She’s not a celebrity, but
she’s a celebrity in my eyes. Thank you very much. That’s that on that.