Like it or not, the Justin Drew Bieber (comeback) train is coming.
With just over a week to go before the release of his new album Purpose, the 21-year-old singer did what any artist would do to remind us of the arrival: take part in a long cover story for a major magazine. (Bieber’s also been promoting the album overtime on social media, but you already knew about that).
On Thursday (Nov. 5), Billboard unveiled its in-depth feature with the Biebs, who graces the cover of Volume 127, Issue 34, while proudly displaying his tattoos and biceps in a dark grey tank.
Naturally, the story is very Bieber. The reporter, Chris Martins, spends more time with the Canadian superstar than anyone should. But hey, #journalism.
Their time together includes a 60-minute church service at one of the ballrooms inside the Beverly Wilshire hotel, dinner at celebrity hot spot Mastro’s Steakhouse (where Bieber feasts on filet mignon and a glass of cabernet without even opening the menu), and what the writer describes as an “actually kind of sweet” gesture involving Bieber jumping on his bodyguard’s back for a brief ride.
Here’s what we learned from Bieber’s chat with Billboard. Pick up the issue now.
Like you, Bieber can get distracted even during an important interview:
According to Martins, at one point during their conversation, Bieber lost focus mid-sentence at the sight of a bikini-clad woman and exclaimed, “Wow, that girl is so hot.”
Unlike you, Bieber doesn’t think Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus’ “What’s good” beef at the MTV VMAs was all the rage:
“I honestly thought my crying was more talked about.”
Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded of your roots:
“I was a white boy from a small town in Canada singing ‘So Sick’ by Ne-Yo.”
“This Britt Meddler. I don’t even know who that is, honestly. I wanted to immediately say ‘Who is this lady?’, but then I’m just fueling this negativity.”
About that nude photo scandal…
“I was scared. I first saw the one with the black bar over it. I was like, ‘Oh my God. I just got out of the water. Shrinkage is real.’”
Bieber, reacting to a waiter at Mastro’s motioning to put a napkin on his lap:
“Sorry — I’m not fancy, bro.”
On child stars and Kylie Jenner:
“I want people to be more kind to young celebrities. Like Kylie. Look at her world: She has been living on TV since she was a kid. Every time she’s looking around she sees a camera, and that’s affecting how she’s thinking and how she’s perceiving people and why she has to do certain things… Situations that happen taint your mind, especially in this industry. Especially for girls.”
On ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez:
“When you love someone that much, even if something comes between you, it’s a love that never really dies.”
On SelGo’s new album Revival, which he has yet to listen to:
“I know I had a lot play in that one. I don’t know what she’s saying about me.”
On what it’s really like to be Justin Bieber in good times and bad:
“It might seem awesome from the outside, but I’m struggling. Certain things broke m trust with people. Situations happen that taint your mind. I started going through the motions. I felt like people were judging me all the time. I came out alive. I came out swinging. But I was close to letting [fame] completely destroy me.”
Purpose arrives Nov. 13.
Before you head over to Billboard for more Biebs, watch him read tweets from Beliebers and compare himself to a pancake: