Q Magazine Question & Answer with Fans – Full Interview!

From Q Magazine:

Lock up your nieces, the Canadian teen-pop behemoth is over here and gagging to answer your questions on scary fans, fighting One Direction and whether this Bible-reading good guy has a dark side. Q Beliebers, let’s “swag”…

On a Thursday afternoon in a secret West London location – it has to be or his screaming fans would be everywhere – Justin Bieber is talking about his penis. “They made up a name for it. Jerry. Which is just so awkward.” The world’s biggest pop star doesn’t look awkward at all, twirling on a swivel chair, fiddling with his iPhone. He grins as he speaks like a sinister boy-clown, his words as passionate as a robot on a reduced power setting. Don’t tell your neice but we’re in Trevor Horn’s Sarm Studios. The poster of The Pogues’ Rum, Sodomy & The Lash down the corridor feels somewhat incongruous. Two of Bieber’s huge heaving entourage sit attentively just around the corner. Do you feel your penis is a Jerry or not, Justin? “They’ve already named it, so why not just keep it?” The 18-year-old bats back his lines like a professional. “I love my fans.”

Justin Bieber wants to be treated like a man, we are told. After all, his imminent third album, Believe, is somewhat racier than 2011’s saccharine-spangled Under The Mistletoe. Its first single, Boyfriend, also had a slightly raunchy video, although when Bieber sang he “could be your Buzz Lightyear” in the second verse, it slightly harshed the buzz. It’s also hard to grow up when your handlers tell you off when you try to reveal your tattoos during the Q photoshoot (“it’s not time yet, Justin). Or given how you first became famous as a baby-faced 14-year-old whose voice hadn’t broken yet.

Bieber’s rise to fame is a particularly modern pop fable: he was born to a single mother in Ontario, Canada, who uploaded videos of her son busking and singing at home to YouTube; US talent scout Scooter Braun then found on by accident; soon after, Usher and Justin Timberlake were battling to sing him. Ever since Usher won, Bieber’s music has toed a strange line. It marries dewy teeny bop cliché (his first big hit was called Baby, his latest, Turn To You, was dedicated to his mom) and semi-respectable R&B (Believe features Timbaland, Drake and Kanye West). He also has 22 million Twitter followers, and followers 123,000 of them back.

He’s tweeting as we begin. “I’ve just tweeted ‘Swaggy’”. What’s swaggy? “You know, stylish.” He spins. He looks us in the eye. Then he gurns.

This clean-living, Bible-reading boy has faced controversy too, although he (and his people) have handled each incident beautifully. Last year, Rolling Stone quoted him saying that “everything happens for a reason” when he was asked about women made pregnant through rape; when it emerged that his full response had been edited, the magazine had to make a public, embarrassing apology. And when a Californian fan claimed he was the father of her baby, Bieber took a paternity test to prove it wasn’t – even after she dropped her lawsuit.

So you’re used to difficult questions, then Justin? “Oh yeah,” he yawns, his fingers still dashing across his phone screen. Put that away, young man. “OK,” he shrugs. “Let’s swag.”

Who doesn’t follow you on Twitter that you wish would follow you? Anna John, Edinburgh
“Beyoncé. She’s so sexy. I’m in love with everything about her. But I do love Jay-Z, so I can’t do anything about it [laughs]. I’ve had a crush on her for a long time. But I wouldn’t come between them – I would never do that” [Winks] But I’m going to make her follow me just by keeping talking about it.”

What’s the most scared you’ve been of one of your fans? Sam Neame, Leicester
“All of them, when I was 16. We were on tour, and I thought it would be fun to run outside and see my fans without security. I was on my Segway, and I thought I was just going to roll away from them, but the Segway broke. The fans all surrounded me and I was by myself – there were like 100 of them, soon to be 1000. I ran as fast as I could to Kenny [Hamilton, his bodyguard]. But it was good. [Grins] My shirt was ripped and everything.”

You’re 18 now. Tried any good pubs since you’ve been in London? Joe Dart, Essex

“Not yet. I went to this spot yesterday, but it was full of old people – I can’t remember what it was called. I think it was a club. I mean, these were people, like, over 30. I’d like to go to a pub, though. [Looks over to entourage] Not that I drink yet.”

Have you studied the careers of other child stars to see what they did? Andy Brown, York
“Not really, to be honest. Because a lot of teen stars didn’t really work, did they? So I’m doing my own thing. The only person I look at for guidance is Michael Jackson. I definitely look at his career when he was young and growing up in the spotlight. [Q mentions that Jackson’s career didn’t work out too well] What do you mean his career didn’t work out? [Q reminds Bieber that he died] Oh, yeah, because he had some issues. But career-wise, I would say he’s the biggest artist ever.”

My eight-year-old daughter says she’d love to kiss you on the cheek. My nine-year-old son says he’d like to punch you on the nose. Why do you divide the sexes so? Julie Emanuel, Cambridge
“If you were to just say to any random person, whatever their age, There’s this 14-year-old kid, he’s got long hair and he’s like a singer, you’re going to be, Oh yeah? I don’t want to listen to him. I don’t know about younger kids. Older guys are basically mad because their girlfriends want me. That’s what it is. Do I mind? No!”

Do you find it disturbing when younger fan start sexual trends about you on Twitter? Lauren Wainwright, London
“Yeah. I mean, I don’t really agree with 12-year-olds talking about those inappropriate things. I just think the younger people are, the closer the parents should watch out over the kids. [Thinks] But once they turn 13, it’s easier because they’re going to learn that stuff anyway.”

Tyler, The Creator – esteemed composer of Bitch Suck Dick – wants to work with you. Would you work with him? Rob Saul, Swindon
“I don’t know if I really agree with all the music that he does. And he knows that – he’s my boy. [Nods] He’s a friend of mine. I don’t get the whole, you know, demonic thing. If I did do something, he’d have to do clean. I’m not going to do a dirty song with him!”

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve been sent by a fan? Rachel Gruber, Cardiff
“I’ve got a plastic golf club from a fan that was like signed by their whole family. I was like, Why’s it signed by your family, are you guys famous or something? No, we just wanted to sign a golf club for you. That’s kind of strange. And a cereal box, with cereal in it; Here you go, I got you this cereal. Hope you like it. Weird.”

Ian Anderson of British rock band Jethro Tull once said “a lot of pop music is about stealing pocket money off children”. Defend yourself. Glyn Smith, Surrey
“I think that is an accurate statement to a certain degree, but it’s what pop music technically is. Like, I think some pop music is definitely a scam, because it’s just like someone putting together a hot song. But I think when there’s an artist that’s really, truly talented, and they have music to show for it, that’s when you can talk.”

You were recently on an ad during the Super Bowl break with Ozzy Osborne. Any advice from the Prince of Darkness? Jane Playdon, London
“He…[Laughs] not really. Usher’s given me advice. He said to have fun with what I’m doing, and always don’t take myself to seriously and Drake told me to make sure I behave. But Ozzy was a nice guy. He’s settled down a lot over the years [smiles]. But I like Black Sabbath, you know, some of the stuff. I like – what is it – School’s Out For Summer? [Q points out that it’s not by Black Sabbath] He did that song! [Q says it’s by Alice Cooper] No, he did that song! I like rock music, man. I like Guns N’Roses and Metallica. The Beatles. I like [Metallica’s] Fade To Black, and One. It’s edgy and emotional with those instruments and electric guitars and stuff.”

You played in The White House in 2009. Did you try and steal a toilet roll? Samantha Barrington, Leeds
“No! There were people with guns all around! But I actually got to go in the Oval Office. No one really gets to go in there. Barack Obama was in there; we kind of took this little tour into it. He was cool.”

You became known on YouTube for your singing voice, but it sounds like you use Auto-Tune on all your records. Do you? If so, why? Chris O’Reilly, Glasgow
“I don’t use Auto-Tune. They tune my vocals – they use [pitch corrector] Melodyne. But every artist uses Melodyne. Not every artist, but 99 per cent of artists. I like the sound, the perfectness of tuning in the record. No one has completely perfect pitch.”

What do you think is Canada’s greatest export? Lesli Ellen, Toronto
“Maple syrup! You go anywhere and you get maple syrup but it’s just not as good as Canadian. Musically? Er…[spins] Avril Lavigne’s Canadian. Céline Dion. Shania Twain. Who’s that girl that sings Ironic? She’s Canadian. So we’ve got a lot of like cool artists, [Q asks if he knows Leonard Cohen] No. Is he Canadian? [Q mentions he sings about women a lot] That’s cool.” Why don’t you act and dress like an 18-year-old a bit more? Phil Doherty, Brighton “I like the way I look. I’m not in a hurry to grow up! [Smiles] I use Proactiv.”

What are your favourite potato chips/crisps? Rónán Ó Conker, @blogaboutcrisps
“I like Doritos, because they’re cheesy and good.”

On Twitter on 21 April, you made fun of the woman who said you were the father of her child by posting a clip from Borat – he says, “you will never get this”. If she walked into the room right now, what would you say to her? Mira Begum, London
“Um, I wouldn’t really say anything to her. I don’t really have anything to tell her. You know, people, she came out trying to ruin my life. Who does that? Who says nasty things and makes up such false accusations? I thought it was really mean, because there’s no other reason to do that than to try and hurt me.”

Are you a boob man or a bum man? If you know what those words mean… Tom Andrew, Plymouth
“[Raises eyebrows, tuts] I know what those words mean. I think I’m a butt guy. I just like butts. I’m attracted to them. Do I have any favourites? Nicki Minaj has got a nice one.”

Who would win in a fight, you or One Direction? And what would be your special move? Carla Accardo, Bristol
“There’s five of them, so I’d get my ass kicked. But one-on-one, I’d take them. I’d try a spin-kick. To the face. Oh, Harry? [Spins on chairs, lashes out a leg] Here’s your spin-kick!”

You claim you were misquoted in Rolling Stone about your comments about women and rape. How would you clarify what you said now? Sara Ama, Newcastle
“Yeah. [Settles down] They misquoted me completely. I never said any of the things that they said that I said. You know, I just think that it’s such a touchy subject. They were asking me such weird questions, before the time I was 17 – I think those are pretty deep questions. I think that, you know, as far as the questions they asked, I don’t think that anybody deserves to…[looks over to his people] I think we should just stay away from that.” [Q contacted Rolling Stone for a response and received the following statement: “We love and respect Justin Bieber, but he was indeed quoted correctly in our March 2011 cover story; the article was fact-checked and we stand by our reporting.”]

You are a Bible-reading good guy who flashes your naked torso at your fans. Are you a hypocrite? Or is there a dark side to you? Nick Kerr, Harlow
“I’m not perfect. There’s a dark side of me, though. [Shouts around the corner to his entourage] What is the dark side of me, Mike? Everything? Alison, what can I tell her that’s dark? [She says his evil sense of humour] Oh yeah, I made Taylor Swift cry once – I Punk’d [MTV’s hidden-camera reality show in which celebrities get pranked] her. She thought she was coming to record with me. I had these fireworks, and she lit one off. It shot off and lit this whole boat on fire. Everyone had to jump off and swim to shore; it was a wedding so she thought the whole wedding was ruined. But it was all fake [laughs]. I’m a prankster.”

Are you screaming inside? Jude McArdle, London
“ Sometimes, definitely. You know, you’ve always got to keep your composure, especially when you’re in the spotlight. You have to always have a smile on your face. I think everybody wants to scream sometimes, just let it all out. Scream in the pillow.”

If you could say one thing to the people who wished you’d fuck off, what would that be? Dan Ford, Dublin
“[Smiles] I would say to my haters: I love you. Thank you for supporting me by hating me. When they write messages on my YouTube page, I get money for that. So they’re just giving me money to hate on me. And I would say: Believe,” Justin Bieber’s Believe is out now on Island.


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