Elle King is opening up about how her complicated past inspired her new album.
When King came in for a sit-down with ET, we surprised the singer with her dad, comedian Rob Schneider, who went on to interview the 29-year-old about her new album, Shake the Spirit, which drops Friday, Oct. 19.
Following 2015 "worldwide hit" song "Ex's & Oh's," King tells Schneider that she felt accomplished enough to make the album that she wanted to.
"There's a huge difference [between my first two albums] because I feel like I gained a lot of notoriety," King says. "I feel like I got enough kind of cajones to be like, 'Well, I gave you that. I gave you 'Ex's & Oh's.' Let me make the album how I want to make it. And they said OK."
Another difference between Shake the Spirit and 2015's Love Stuff is the state of mind she was in when she made it. Following a marriage to Andrew Ferguson in 2016 and a divorce from him in 2017, King recalls her previous "wild lifestyle."
"I used to live a little bit more of a wild lifestyle and I feel like I just created a lot of really bad cycles for myself that just kind of continued throughout my budding adulthood," she says. "I think I just lived a really chaotic life. Now I'm making music in a sober state of mind. I didn't make the album in a sober state of mind, but, you know, that was still a very chaotic time, but I just don't want any chaos in my life anymore."
"A lot of musicians, you know, whether it's, like, chaos in your life, or drugs and alcohol -- a lot of people think they can't make good music or make good art without it," she adds, before revealing that she's in a good place now.
"I know you are. I'm proud of you," Schneider, 54, praises. "I'm beyond proud."
Welp, pilgrimage was still fun even though lightening shut everything down. HOWEVER, I got to spend another day with my sweet dad and The Brethren that I love so dear. I feel so blessed to be surrounded by such loving, positive, and kind hearted people. I’ve really built a family around me IN ADDITION to the great family I’m blessed with already. Even when shit doesn’t go your way, make the fuckin best of it! Yeah we’re bummed. We rehearsed ALL week to play a kick ass festival set. But we also spent a week strengthening our show and our musicianship as a team and family. Love you all. Perspective people! Oh yeah the last photo is a vitamin IV drip. #FuckinHippies
A post shared by Elle King (@elleking) on Sep 22, 2018 at 8:27pm PDT
Schneider's praise for his daughter doesn't stop there, though. He also calls her new album "ridiculously creative and open and searingly honest." That honesty is something King has become known for, often speaking about mental health issues and depression on Instagram, something she was inspired to do after feeling that she had no one to turn to during some of her "lowest points."
"I know that there are people in the world that feel like I have felt in my lowest, in my darkest and my loneliest time and I have this platform," she says. "If I can talk about mental health issues, if I can talk about my depression, if I can talk about things I've gone through, then maybe it will make one person hearing it not feel alone."
"Last year when I was really at some of my lowest points, I really had no one to turn to and for some reason, I was just like, 'I'm gonna talk about this,'" she continues. "The outpour of support from people telling me... their experiences, their trauma or what they've gone through and their depression or just giving me words of encouragement kept me going. Now that I'm doing so much better, I feel like it's almost a responsibility for me to discuss these things."
She also points to her dad's career as a comic, where he's watched friends including Chris Farley and John Belushi die young after drug use.
"As a comedian, you've lost a lot of friends. Me growing up hearing about your friends, a lot of them committed suicide. It's a big thing in comedy," King says. "So I think it's really important for people to discuss these issues and take the icky away from it so that people can have someone to talk to or have someone to turn to."
Despite occasional dark tones on the album, King wants fans to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and joy can be found.
"I want people to know that it was a very broken and sad person who made this and at the end of it there is a message of love that comes through," King says. "I'm better from it. It's OK to feel broken. You can and will get better."
Schneider seems in awe of his daughter, telling her, "I don't know if I've ever been as honest in stuff I've ever done as you are. It's been an inspiration to me to try to get more honest."
"But I'm never gonna open up myself as much as you do," he adds with a laugh.