Lorde has confessed that she regrets going on the five-day trip to Antarctica that inspired her third studio album Solar Power, saying that she “probably shouldn’t have gone”.
In a conversation with Hunter Schafer on the A24 podcast, Lorde explained that she’d been “totally obsessed” with Antarctica as a child and that this obsession only grew as she began to “engage more with our planet”. Detailing further, she added: “I felt like I needed to go there,” Lorde began. “I had this reaction, people call it ‘last chance tourism’ which is going somewhere before it’s too late and that was my first thought”.
But this impulse, Lorde suggested, is illogical and counterproductive. Despite calling the trip the “the best five days of my life” and saying she’d “never do anything like it again, it was so crazy from start to finish,” Lorde also revealed that she regretted the decision: “Going there and actually having that experience made me realise, ‘oh no, you can’t go around doing this. This is the opposite of what you’re supposed to do.’ I probably shouldn’t have gone to Antarctica, it was naughty to use my pop star resources and burn that jet fuel to go there.”
During the conversation, Lorde tried to alleviate some of her guilt by pointing out: “I wrote this (100-page) book and the proceeds went to a couple of scholarships for people doing their doctorates in climate science, so that felt like a good way to give back.”
Lorde also spoke about her trip to Antarctica to New Zealand’s Newshub, saying: “It’s such an alien environment and it’s so dazzling, straight away. I had this very distinct moment of thinking, ‘This is the coolest your life will ever get. Like, this is it.’ I actually decided on the album name right around that trip. Just coming back from that trip I thought: ‘This is what it is.’”
On her return from Antarctica, Lorde called for world leaders to take immediate action on climate change. “Being in Antarctica has clarified how deeply vulnerable, how in need of protection, it is,” the singer said. “But it took coming here for that knowledge to galvanise – and in coming here, I have also been a small part of its deterioration.”