'I Was Going Through a Difficult Time in My Life': Ryan Adams Talks His Taylor Swift Cover Album

You can tell he was in a very different place emotionally when he made the album that I did," Swift said

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Ryan Adams dropped his full-length cover of Taylor Swift‘s 1989 Monday, and the Internet’s pretty thrilled.

But enough of the Internet: What’s the man himself have to say about the album? Adams was a guest on Zane Lowe’s Apple Music radio show, Beats 1, Monday afternoon, and he spoke at length about what led him to make his new album such an unusual exercise. (The quotes below are via NME.)

“I’ve always been interested in Taylor’s music,” Adams, 40, told Lowe. “A lot of those songs are pretty flawless, they’re so well written, they’re so clean.”

But he didn’t give any concrete reason for the inspiration. “I don’t know why I had this idea,” adding, “I was going through a sort of difficult time in my life.” (Adams and his wife of almost six years, Mandy Moore, filed for divorce in January after spending spending the latter half of 2014 apart.)

“I got back to L.A., it was around Christmas time,” Adams continued. “I was totally bummed out and I bought a four-track cassette recorder. And I was like, ‘I’m going to make 1989 like Nebraska style. Bruce Springsteen Nebraska. Just acoustic guitar, bunch of spring reverb, just me.”

Adams started recording in August. “I spent maybe a week and a half learning the songs on the periphery,” he noted. “I started to get the general idea and that’s when I started looking at the lyrics and was like, this is gonna be insane.”

Swift, calling into Beats 1 to talk to Adams about the album, said her favorite two cuts on the album are “Blank Space” and “How You Get The Girl,” adding that the latter song takes on a new meaning when sung by Adams. “You can tell he was in a very different place emotionally when he made the album that I did,” Swift said, noting that Adams’s version has an aching sadness that doesn’t exist in the original.”

Swift, 25, remained coy on any possibility of a live 1989 show with the two of them. “We haven’t talked about it,” she said, before adding, “But I’m open to anything collaborative.”

Lowe noted afterwards that Adams has recorded his next album already, which makes us wonder whether the fast-moving artist will even be thinking about the 1989 project for much longer. Perhaps inspired by his experience with 1989, Adams said the new album will be “the most fragile thing I ever did.”

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