There are a lot of pop songs on Red. But you’re known as a country artist. What drove the expansion?
For my last album, I wrote every song by myself and used the same producer I’ve always worked with. Writing by myself became a comfort zone. So with this one, I really wanted to push myself. I called the people that I’ve always wanted to work with—my production, songwriting, artist heroes—and said hey, do you want to get in the studio and work together and make something different. Track to track, there’s nothing similar about anything on this record, and that’s what makes it so exciting.
Do you worry how fans will respond?
Almost every time I put something out, there’s the word “too” put in front of what it is—too pop or too country or too rock. I had a song last year called “Mean”—we were lucky enough to win two Grammys with it—and I remember reading a few articles that said it was too bluegrass. So I kinda stopped worrying about it. I’d rather be too something than not enough something.
Country-pop star Taylor Swift has won over a legion of devoted fans in the past six years with her raw, honest lyrics of romance and heartbreak.
Now, at the grand age of 22, the five-time Grammy winner is says her new record "Red," to be released on Monday, "the most adventurous album I've ever made."
"'Red' is really kind of diary entries of the last two years of my life," Swift told Reuters in a telephone interview.
"There were beginnings and ends and there were ups and downs, and lessons that I learned and then had to learn all over again the exact same way ... the ups and downs of the whole experience of falling in love and being let down and letting go and starting over," she said.
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"I'm still in bed," Taylor Swift admitted when she answered the phone from her home in Nashville. She had just gotten back from Europe, and was a little jetlagged; her cat kept biting her in retaliation for the long trip. Sadly for the cat, Swift will be absent a lot in the next few months promoting Red (Big Machine), her fourth and poppiest album to date. The record has already earned Swift her first Hot 100 No. 1, for the sassy, Max Martin and Shellback-produced "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together." It has also invited the traditional Talmudic reading of Swift's lyrics and liner notes in search of boyfriends past. (Jake Gyllenhaal features heavily, if the Internet is to be trusted.) SPIN spoke with Swift on the phone about the indie record that contributed to her last breakup, the rumor that she'll play Joni Mitchell in a new biopic, and her newfound interest in dubstep.
"I just had a good time hanging out with my friends," giggles the singer-songwriter who, while declining to speak of Kennedy, describes the time as "the best summer ever".
"It made me realise how much I rely on my friends, how much I need them," she adds. "It's a crazy age, and most of them are still figuring out what they want to do with their lives. It was good for me to be around people who are just figuring things out - just being, you know, 22."
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