Father John Misty Discusses Seeing Taylor Swift On Acid, Ryan Adams’ “Grotesque Stunt”

Father John Misty has said that Lana Del Rey’s “Freak” video, in which he starred, was inspired by his experience of tripping on LSD at a Taylor Swift show in Australia. And in the print edition of the new Rolling Stone, FJM talks a bit more about the experience. He calls the experience both “holy” and “psychedelic”:

The last time I took a hero’s dose of LSD was at a Taylor Swift concert in Australia. She was playing in Melbourne, and I met a bunch of people from her crew at a bar, and they invited me to the show. I got my tour manager to get me some acid: “This is written in the stars. I’m supposed to go take acid at this Taylor Swift concert…

I experienced the show like an eight-year-old girl — as much as that’s possible for a 35-year-old man. It was holy. It was psychedelic. She fully impregnated my dilated soul with her ideology. I remember laughing uncontrollably. I remember going outside for a smoke and thinking, “I need to get back in there.”

But there was a disturbing aspect — this insistence on telling girls, “I’m normal, don’t let anyone tell you what you should be.” Meanwhile, there are 60-foot-high images of her on screens. If you wanted to curate an evening with the Grand Leader, this is what you would do. It’s a very, very false normal. And that’s dangerous.

Last year, FJM said that he was covering Ryan Adams’ full-length cover of Swift’s 1989, and he was doing it in the style of the Velvet Underground. Shortly after posting his “Welcome To New York” cover, though, FJM deleted it and aborted the project. He said that Lou Reed came to him in a dream and told him not to do it. And in the new Rolling Stone interview, he says what motivated him to clown Adams like that:

I was taking this dude to task for what I saw as a grotesque stunt and matching it with another grotesque stunt. It ironically became the biggest publicity that I’ve ever received, and that grossed me out. I had to take them down. Which then, of course, made it even bigger. It was such a comedy of errors.

Father John Misty’s I Love You, Honeybear is out on Sub Pop, and it remains great.

UPDATE: Misty says the “Freak” video wasn’t actually inspired by his experience taking acid at Swift’s concert; that was just a private joke among friends.