I sat down with the demon Asmodeus, who previously inhabited the body of one Miley Cyrus to ask him what he’s up to these days, who’s on his music forecast, and what the regular citizen can do to avoid a full-body acquisition:
So, Asmodeus, how have you been? You seem especially busy as of late.
A: Thanks for asking! After acquiring the body of the pop culture icon you all love to refer to as ‘Katy Perry,’ everything has been on a downward spiral! Between the various press appearances and ‘artistic expressions,’ it has been really hard to find any time for myself.
After the whole ‘head on a table’ bit I find especially useful when trying to convey an artist as a literal offering of meat, I took a couple weeks to recuperate. Since then it’s been nothing but tours and interviews. It seems like, with this possession, people have become more aware of my presence. Something that is both flattering and a bit concerning.
Why would you be concerned?
A: Well, the very nature of my work is done entirely ‘behind the scenes.’ People becoming aware of my presence and therefore outing it to the entire free world makes it that much harder to choose and eventually inhabit my next victim. Currently, I have my sights set on Ariana Grande. I’ll let this body run its course with me—approximately two more years, if we’re basing it off of my time in Miley Cyrus—and then I will move on to the next music industry victim.
Good to know. Personally, I hope Ariana escapes you. But to each his own. Tell me about your goals for Katy Perry.
A: So happy you asked! I take the utmost joy from my work. Here’s the basic timeline I bring to the artists afflicted: Step one, a rush of press and popularity, most of the headlines reading as some variation of, ‘WTF?’
Second, a series of missteps highlighted for all the world to see by their basic star powers, often climaxing in the form of an all-too-televised concert performance or, often, an ‘artistic vision’ that seriously misses the entire point of art, which is to express some basic human emotion or condition that imparts on its viewers a tentative human condition expressed over whatever form of sharing readily available.
Finally, total regret and an analytical view of their past actions highlighting the absurdity of it all and an interview outlining the pointless actions that served no other purpose than to drive album/tour/character sales.
Sounds about right. How do you relax at the end of a long day?
A: Ha, relax! As if I have time. Look, I am 110% dedicated to my work, which leaves very little time for me to focus on myself. But, in those fleeting moments when I do manage a respite, here are my go-to relaxation methods: number one, I briefly check in with our lord Satan and debrief him on how things are going, anything I might need, and what to expect from the next several weeks of mishap.
Number two, I check up on old puppets. I want to make sure my presence in their lives was a notable effort still talked about to this day. After all—my livelihood is based on the longevity of my influence. Third, face masks. I cannot stress this enough. You want to stay looking young through the millennium of influential stars, each generation facing their own version of the outmost stress, worries, and concerns? Take care of your skin. Trust me. Marilyn Monroe didn’t, and she died young to avoid the ravage of aging.
Well, this has been a truly enlightening look into the inner workings of the musical industry. One final question. How did you first get summoned to affect the lives of young, aspiring artists?
A: Let me break it down for you, babe. Music executives want intrigue. They want stars drawing attention to themselves, hyping the media, and growing their own star appeal. When stars take dramatic left turns, they generate buzz. ‘Buzz’ is the media term for fat cash.
Do you want to watch a mediocre crooner offering their egregiously produced pop songs in an intimate setting with minimal production or do you want a show? Because a show is what the people have started to demand in the last two decades.
It’s no longer about the art or the integrity or the human soul laid bare by their musical contributions—it’s about the selling power. And that’s what I offer, my dear. Ticket sales. Buy yours soon, or you’ll be left behind at the outsider station.