Even just a few rows back from the stage, it was hard to hear the conversation between NPR correspondent Stephen Thompson and megastar Billie Eilish over all the shrieks of adoring fans at ACL on Saturday.
At the Bonus Tracks stage, the crowd was dense, young and passionate, all desperate to learn anything they possibly could about their 17-year-old idol. Among the details revealed: Eilish “thought everyone would hate” her enormous hit song “Bad Guy” when she recorded it. “I want to make what I want to make and expect nothing,” she said.
The singer was the definition of low-key (in contrast to her surroundings), answering questions with honesty -- even when that’s kind of boring; Thompson wanted to know what kind of self-care techniques she uses to handle the pressure, to which Eilish replied “Uhhhhhhh.” (Same, girl.)
During a segment when Eilish told the crowd to ask her questions, we learned that today she ordered a peanut butter berry bowl but “they gave me the wrong one.” It will never not be fascinating to see how die-hard fans obsess over the most banal facts about the artists they love.
When asked about what artists she herself adores, Eilish replied “Tierra Whack is like, god.” (Facts.) And when recalling the faux-conflict that critics tried to foster during the many weeks Eilish spent at #2 on the Billboard charts below Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” she scoffed: “Let him live!”
Eilish closed the interview with a few golden moments brushing the hands of starstruck front-rowers, seemingly baffled as ever that she has cultivated one of the world’s biggest and most passionate fan bases.