Lorde Reveals to David Byrne the Trick She Uses to Combat Stage Fright: 'It's a Real Struggle'

"It's a real problem that I'm trying to get on top of," Lorde told Rolling Stone

Photo: Shaniqwa Jarvis/Rolling Stone

For even the most popular singers, stage fright never goes away.

In Rolling Stone's final Musicians on Musicians cover story, Lorde reveals to David Byrne that though she's an international star, she still gets "really bad stage fright." (PEOPLE has an exclusive look at the cover.)

When Byrne, 69, asked the New Zealand-born songstress what she does to cope with it, the singer said she tapes "little notes to the stage for herself" — and that she is still working through it.

"I don't have a good answer for that. It's a real problem that I'm trying to get on top of. I try to write something down," the "Mood Ring" singer, 24, told Byrne. "I tape little notes to the stage for myself, so I would go over and be able to read something that me from the past is trying to tell me from the future. But it's a real struggle."

Shaniqwa Jarvis/Rolling Stone

In response, Byrne said he dealt with something similar when he was younger.

"I always felt socially uncomfortable. I would throw myself on a stage and do a speech of some sort, or I would perform something crazy and then retreat back into myself," he said.

Lorde later goes on to ask Byrne if he has any methods for snapping into performance mode, and the Talking Heads frontman said he simply keeps himself "busy."

"I don't have much of a ritual, that kind of a thing. I keep myself busy. I make some ginger tea," he said. "I peel the ginger, slice it, put it into a thermos, put boiling water in with some lemon or whatever else, and that'll keep me busy for a good 15, 20 minutes. Keep my mind a little bit away from what I'm about to do."

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Lorde on the other hand, prefers putting a puzzle together before hitting the stage.

"I do a lot of puzzles on tour. I'm often applying a piece right when it's time to go, which maybe doesn't help the stage fright. That's too much of a change of mood. I'm still looking for the puzzle at the first song," the "Royals" singer said.

Last month, Lorde similarly opened up to Variety about what it's like navigating through the music industry as a "shy girl."

"Being bold is vital because people are only going to listen to you if you speak up," Lorde told the outlet at the time.

Shaniqwa Jarvis/Rolling Stone

"It's hard for me — I'm shy, I'm a shy girl. But, you always regret not being bold, and you very rarely regret toughening up and doing it," she continued.

Meanwhile, she also told Vogue for their October cover story that she's "not built for the the pop star life."

"I'm great at my job, but I'm not sure I'm the man for the job. I'm a highly sensitive person. I'm not built for pop star life," Lorde said. "To have a public-facing existence is something I find really intense and is something I'm not good at. That natural charisma is not what I have. I have the brain in the jar."

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