Taylor Swift discusses Folklore, the coronavirus pandemic, Joe Biden winning the U.S. election and more in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly.
The singer, who is one of EW‘s 2020 Entertainers of the Year, says of writing her latest album in quarantine and what it was like keeping it a secret: “Well, it felt like it was only my thing. It felt like such an inner world I was escaping to every day that it almost didn’t feel like an album. Because I wasn’t making a song and finishing it and going, ‘Oh my God, that is catchy.’ I wasn’t making these things with any purpose in mind.
“And so it was almost like having it just be mine was this really sweet, nice, pure part of the world as everything else in the world was burning and crashing and feeling this sickness and sadness. I almost didn’t process it as an album. This was just my daydream space.”
Swift goes on to say it felt “f**king fantastic” to drop the F-bomb on the track “Mad Woman”.
She shares of it being the first time she’d sworn on an LP, “Every rule book was thrown out. I always had these rules in my head and one of them was, You haven’t done this before, so you can’t ever do this. ‘Well, you’ve never had an explicit sticker, so you can’t ever have an explicit sticker.’
“But that was one of the times where I felt like you need to follow the language and you need to follow the storyline. And if the storyline and the language match up and you end up saying the F-word, just go for it. I wasn’t adhering to any of the guidelines that I had placed on myself,” the star continues. “I decided to just make what I wanted to make. And I’m really happy that the fans were stoked about that because I think they could feel that. I’m not blaming anyone else for me restricting myself in the past. That was all, I guess, making what I want to make. I think my fans could feel that I opened the gate and ran out of the pasture for the first time, which I’m glad they picked up on because they’re very intuitive.”
As someone that lives in Nashville, Swift is then asked about people crowding bars without masks on Lower Broadway, to which she replies: I mean, you just immediately think of the health workers who are putting their lives on the line — and oftentimes losing their lives. If they make it out of this, if they see the other side of it, there’s going to be a lot of trauma that comes with that; there’s going to be things that they witnessed that they will never be able to un-see. And that was the connection that I drew.
“I did a lot of research on my grandfather [who fought in World War II] in the beginning of quarantine, and it hit me very quickly that we’ve got a version of that trauma happening right now in our hospitals. God, you hope people would respect it and would understand that going out for a night isn’t worth the ripple effect that it causes. But obviously we’re seeing that a lot of people don’t seem to have their eyes open to that — or if they do, a lot of people don’t care, which is upsetting.”
Swift, who has been open when it comes to her political views and supporting Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the U.S. election, says of where she was when she found out Biden had won: “Well, when the results were coming in, I was actually at the property where we shot the Entertainment Weekly cover. I was hanging out with my photographer friend, Beth, and the wonderful couple that owned the farm where we [were]. And we realized really early into the night that we weren’t going to get an accurate picture of the results.
“Then, a couple of days later, I was on a video shoot, but I was directing, and I was standing there with my face shield and mask on next to my director of photography, Rodrigo Prieto. And I just remember a news alert coming up on my phone that said, ‘Biden is our next president. He’s won the election.’ And I showed it to Rodrigo and he said, ‘I’m always going to remember the moment that we learned this.’ And I looked around, and people’s face shields were starting to fog up because a lot of people were really misty-eyed and emotional, and it was not loud. It wasn’t popping bottles of champagne. It was this moment of quiet, cautious elation and relief.”