Ryan Adams & Taylor Swift Discuss Songwriting, How John Hughes Inspired ‘1989’
Adams said that recording Swift’s songs rather than his own material was like “being in Ghostbusters or something, and then all of a sudden I have to go do Shakespeare.”
“Look, those songs are popular for a reason,” he added. “She’s a popular artist for a reason.”
Although he chose to record a 1989 covers album, Adams was actually first enamored with Swift’s music when he heard “White Horse,” from her 2008 album, Fearless.
Ryan Adams’ ‘1989’ & A History of Cover Albums
“The first time I heard it I got chills head to toe,” Adams recalled. “I remember feeling shocked by her voice, shocked at how clean that song was. I like stuff that sort of penetrates through my regular consciousness and hits me where I’m not looking. That’s usually stuff that’s a little darker. You know, that song is really about disillusionment on such a grand scale. I just thought about how this is hitting me like a tidal wave, it’s so romantic and so beautiful, and yet so sad and so disillusioned — it’s all the stuff I love about the Smiths.”
“That song f—ed me up and I couldn’t believe it. Her voice does this thing. It just goes through all my bullshit detectors and right into my heart and soul,” he said.
Of course, the musical admiration seems to be mutual. Just days before Adams released his take on 1989, Swift tweeted, “Ryan’s music helped shape my songwriting. This is surreal and dreamlike.”