Fifteen minutes into her Hot Ones debut, Lorde was not fazed by all of the super spicy chicken wings she had already eaten.
That all changed after a few bites of a sauce with a Scoville hotness rating of 135,600, which was so spicy, the New Zealand pop star struggled to keep talking about her orca-watching helicopter expedition in Antarctica. “Ugh, it is hot,” she grimaced. “I’m doing good, it’s — I feel it.”
The 24-year-old singer’s latest stop on the press tour for her much-anticipated new album Solar Power (arriving Aug. 20) was on the viral web show Hot Ones, hosted by Sean Evans. Following the release of her latest single “Stoned at the Nail Salon,” Lorde joined Evans to chow down on some ridiculously hot wings and answer questions about her new music, life and onion rings.
When asked about the common themes behind Solar Power, she said, “I basically thought of the album as a sun-worship album. I’m not religious in any way, but my experiences in nature in the last couple years were as close to what I’ve experienced as religion. It was a sort of devotional record for me.”
Lorde then talked again about her inclusion of cicada sounds in the record, which was produced by Melodrama collaborator Jack Antonoff. She had no idea that the album would line up with Brood X, the mass awakening of eastern cicadas every 17 years, but told Evans she now understands its importance: “The last time it happened was in 2004, when I guess J.Lo and Ben Affleck were together, and now they’re back together!”
She also revealed she’s a huge “lyric nut” and goes on Genius whenever music she likes comes out to analyze the lyrics. She’s even checked out the fan annotations on there for her own lyrics, and laughed about how sometimes the writers apply more meaning than there is to what she’s composed. “No, no, no, it’s too much,” she said. “It’s not that deep all the time. But I like it.”
Lorde went on to talk about avoiding the spotlight when not promoting a new album/touring, a decision she apparently made back when she was 16. “There’s a certain kind of zone you can get in when people are gassing you up, telling you you’re the sh– all the time. I obviously became well-known when I was super young,” she said. “I made a real choice at that age to not really let that validation change my day, because it could be maybe not showing up for your loved ones. It’s a slippery slope.”
It’s long been public knowledge that onion rings are close to Lorde’s heart, especially after her secret onion ring review account on Instagram was found by fans, but now the expert herself has revealed exactly what she looks for in a five-star onion ring. “I want an onion that’s been cut thickly,” she explained. “I want a pretty crisp yet thick crust. I want it to have some substance. I guess I’d probably more be into a battered than crumbed, if forced to make a choice.”
Watch Lorde take on Hot Ones below: