Father John Misty Writes Off Ryan Adams' Taylor Swift Covers Album as a "Grotesque Stunt"
Published Apr 12, 2016Last year, Ryan Adams made poptimists' dreams come true with his full-album cover of Taylor Swift's 1989 ("in the style of the Smiths"), but not everyone was so keen on the project. Father John Misty mocked the novel idea by releasing his own take on "Blank Space" in the style of the Velvet Underground to prove his petty point.
Now, in a new interview within the print edition of Rolling Stone [via NY Daily News], the singer-songwriter (born Josh Tillman) has elaborated on the intention behind his Swift parody.
"I was taking this dude [Adams] to task for what I saw as a grotesque stunt and matching it with another grotesque stunt," he said.
The initial covers have since been pulled from the Internet — after Lou Reed apparently came to him in a dream and told him to stop.
"It ironically became the biggest publicity that I've ever received, and that grossed me out," Tillman continued. "I had to take them down. Which then, of course, made it even bigger. It was such a comedy of errors."
Tillman also discussed a recent trip to — and at — a Swift concert. After dropping acid, he claims he experienced the show "like an eight-year-old girl — as much as that's possible for a 35-year-old man."
"It was holy. It was psychedelic," he continued. "She fully impregnated my dilated soul with her ideology. I remember laughing uncontrollably. I remember going outside for a smoke and thinking, 'I need to get back in there.'"
It wasn't all pure adoration, though. "There was a disturbing aspect — this insistence on telling girls, 'I'm normal, don't let anyone tell you what you should be,'" he said. "Meanwhile, there are 60-foot-high images of her on screens. If you wanted to curate an evening with the Grand Leader, this is what you would do. It's a very, very false normal. And that's dangerous."
The Swift incident wasn't Tillman's only foray into mainstream pop, though. He recently co-starred in Lana Del Rey's "Freak" video, and says that his psychedelic experience at the Swift concert actually inspired his performance in that clip.
More recently, Tillman showed his appreciation for another of pop music's finest when he covered Rihanna's "Kiss It Better" at a Father John Misty show last month. His takes on Swift's songs may be gone, but you can watch footage from his Riri-inspired performance below.