Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox Talks Fading Frontier, Taylor Swift In Endearingly Awkward Interview

Deerhunter’s new album, Fading Frontier, comes out next week, so Bradford Cox has been making the press rounds. His latest was a particularly amusing interview with The Observer, and things get started on the right foot with this choice exchange:

I last remember seeing Deerhunter back in 2005 or 2006… maybe not that long ago, but seems like a while.

That’s such a long time ago. I mean, if a child was born then, it would be 10 now. They would be buying Taylor Swift albums.

You hear about all these old time indie rock dudes whose kids love her.

Well that’s why I decided to be gay, so I never have kids that love Taylor Swift.

He goes on to mention the lack of distinction between his Deerhunter and Atlas Sound projects, his desire to volunteer more, and starts to discuss some of the thematic underpinnings of his new songs. But things take a turn when Cox directly addresses how the interview is going after a series of shorter answers:

Are you thinking that I’m being difficult or that this interview isn’t going well? Because I feel like you came into this with a really nervous energy. I’m not special. You don’t have to worry about what I think, you know? You shouldn’t view yourself as smaller than me. It never works for me to do an interview with somebody and I feel like if I don’t give them the answer that causes them to have a “wow” moment … because a lot of times the honest truth is very boring, and it’s not inspiring.

[…] But how I feel is not important, what’s important is the article. If I want to feel good, the first step is probably not to do interviews. The reason I don’t like doing interviews is because what I do, musically, it’s very artificial for me to talk about with any authority. I’ve been honest about this for the past 15 years. I do control some of the structure and the editing, but I don’t know where a lot of my ideas come from. I don’t start out with something I wanna say. I’m not a political artist. I’m not protesting anything. I’m just looking for a personal truth, you know, in the ether. And it’s just incredibly dishonest for me to talk about. There’s no difference in you telling me what you think the song is about and me telling you what I think the song is about, because neither of us are right or wrong. So when you say, “what were you thinking when you wrote this?” I might have been thinking something very unrelated.

Things get back on track for a bit until the interviewer treks back to some thematic ground and Cox interjects: “I think you’re looking too hard into it. I’m not as good an artist as you think I am.”

It’s an endearingly awkward interview — read the full thing here.

Fading Frontier is out 10/16 via 4AD.