BILLIE EILISH kicked off her Happier Than Ever World Tour with brother Finneas in Germany last night with a concert at the Telekom Forum in Bonn. Vitali Gelwich caught the GRAMMY® and Academy Award winner backstage after a show that proved a moving return to international live touring following a pandemic hiatus for the artist, who ended the night by waving a Ukrainian flag.

Billie Eilish in Bonn. Photo: Vitali Gelwich for Electronic Beats

"I feel like I did more than I've ever done in that year, which is weird because I wasn't doing anything," Eilish told LINDI DELIGHT for Telekom's Electronic Beats podcast. "Cause my life for 4 years had been just going and going and going and I didn't really ever have like a time to look back at it and think anything of it. ... (Covid) made it that you kind of had to just sit still and think about your life."

As everyone seems to be doing the opposite of sitting still lately, traveling for festivals, concerts, and fairs, Eilish told Delight about how it feels to get back on the road. We got ahold of the transcript from Electronic Beats – scroll to preview part of the pod!

Lindi Delight: I guess we kind of needed it, this downtime. How did you stay connected with your fans but also with your friends?

Billie Eilish: Oh yeah, that was like the the worst part for me. It was really difficult because I hold so dearly to me is my relationship with the fans and I really when I think about what I just said... I think in person and the moments that I get with them and when I can talk to them and see them and hold them and hug them and be close to them. And that's what means a lot to me. And see their faces in real life.(…) It was really hard and I wanted to see them so bad. I wanted to break the rules and just go see the fans all the whole time. But that's why like 2021 was getting better. We were starting to do some stuff and I did a couple of festivals and those were my first shows back since March of 2020 which was the most surreal and insane thing in the world. As soon as I stepped back on the stage, I felt myself again. It was kind of insane, I was like: wow... It's been so long I'm not going to remember how to do it, I'm not going to feel like myself. And as soon as I got on stage I was like: oh yeah, this is what makes me feel the happiest and it's been so so good. So I've been really trying to take in every moment and being like: oh my God, I get to do this when I didn't get to for so long and I'm so grateful for that.

Now that you've played some shows, can you say that you really miss touring? Is touring still incredibly fulfilling for you?

Oh yeah I love it so much, I really, really love it and it's really nice to be able to say that now, because I really didn't love it for a couple years. The first few years of my career I was very young and very depressed and didn't even know if I wanted anything that I had. And so I was kind of in this zone of like: I don't want to be here. Stupid little like kid and I've made changes and then we got a kind of less ah brutal touring schedule and we got more people and we didn't have to do it all ourselves anymore. And it just became really really enjoyable and I also made a lot of rules for myself of like: I don't ever want to be gone longer than like four weeks unless it's talked about and we decide on it. I always want to come home. My ideal would be like gone for the most three weeks and then home for at least a week and then gone for 2 and then home for 3. I have these rules in place where I don't want to do... I really don't want to be gone for too long because what happens is: The thing that you find so much joy in and that you have so much fun in, becomes this chore and you don't want that. And the problem is that no matter what you do and who you are and what you like and what you don't, no matter what you do: if you do something too much, too often, for too long of a period of time, you get tired of it and you need breaks. It's just how we are. We need to have time to miss things to go back. It's like that whole thing people say about relationships: you can't miss each other if you're together all the time. You gotta have space and go do things without each other and then be like: "ooh I want to see you," instead of just suffocating each other. So that's kind of what tour is like. It's kind of you don't want to suffocate yourself because you love it so much. Oh my God I'll do this for weeks and weeks and weeks. And then you go like: oh I have another show to do when I really never want to feel like that. As soon as I feel like: oh my God I have another show, I'm like: No I don't want to feel like that, I need to have a couple weeks home to make me go: Okay, let's go back. Which is what I plan for. So I kind of do that and that really really makes a difference in the joys of touring.

Photo: Vitali Gelwich for Electronic Beats

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