This past summer, while winding down her Fame Ball world tour in Japan, Lady Gaga, a.k.a. 23-year-old -Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, gave us an exclusive look at a side of the Haus of Gaga that most fans never get to see: her life offstage, which, unsurprisingly, is just as wildly insane as her life on stage. Here, we present Gaga (with handwritten notes by the Lady herself), as she takes Tokyo and Osaka, gets inked (twice) and then prepares for an S&M scene with the legendary Japanese photographer Araki. The Gaga epidemic has clearly gone global.
INTERVIEW: Your album The Fame came out last year, but, inarguably, 2009 has been the year of Gaga. How are you feeling?
LADY GAGA: It's been a life-changing year for me creatively as a musician and a performance artist. I walk away from the Fame Ball humbled by my little monsters-my fans-and proud of the Haus for all its successes amidst the adversity of the industry. We killed it.
INTERVIEW: You got two tattoos in Japan. What's the one on your inner arm that you got in Osaka?
LADY GAGA: That one commemorates my favorite writer, Rainer Maria Rilke, a poet and romantic philosopher. In German he writes, "Confess to yourself in the deepest hour of the night whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. Dig deep into your heart, where the answer spreads its roots in your being, and ask yourself solemnly, Must I write?"
INTERVIEW: What about the second love tattoo on your shoulder, the one you got in Tokyo?
LADY GAGA: That was to celebrate the Haus's collaboration with legendary Japanese photographer Araki. I was bound by Araki's personal bondage artist, by several ropes and Japanese knots, and through a visceral bondage and sexual-torture experience, Araki photographed me, using a series of several cameras. He did not photograph my image; he photographed my soul. We spent the night with Araki and his friends at a members' only bar he's owned for more than 20 years, where he displays his work. Here, he painted me and took Polaroids through the night. I was honored to be the first American woman he's photographed, and only the second pop artist, in the company of Björk. He signed the Polaroids "Tokyo Love," and the Haus got tattoos of his marking in celebration.
INTERVIEW: Lady Gaga fans are some of the most obsessive out there right now. How do you relate to them?
LADY GAGA: I love my little monsters. Now I live and create only for them.