Damon Albarn Blames Taylor Swift Songwriting Shitstorm On LA Times Interviewer, Dedicates “Song 2” To Him At LA Show

Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

Damon Albarn Blames Taylor Swift Songwriting Shitstorm On LA Times Interviewer, Dedicates “Song 2” To Him At LA Show

Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

Yesterday, Damon Albarn really stepped in it. In a Los Angeles Times interview with writer Mikael Wood, Albarn said that Taylor Swift “doesn’t write her own songs.” Albarn went on to argue that it doesn’t count as proper songwriting when Swift collaborates with other writers: “I’m not hating on anybody, I’m just saying there’s a big difference between a songwriter and a songwriter who co-writes.” Upon seeing that quote, Swift herself clapped back at Albarn on Twitter: “You don’t have to like my songs but it’s really fucked up to try and discredit my writing.” Swift collaborators like Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner also spoke up on her behalf.

Later on, Albarn tweeted an apology that tried to kick the LA Times writer under the bus: “i had a conversation about songwriting and sadly it was reduced to clickbait. I apologise unreservedly and unconditionally.” If you actually look at the interview, it’s pretty clear that Mikael Wood, a true music-press professional, does not bait Albarn or take his quote out of context. Onstage in Los Angeles last night, though, Albarn was still blaming the whole episode on Wood.

Last night, Albarn played LA’s Walt Disney Concert Hall, the show that the Times interview was intended to hype up. This was the first full solo show that Albarn has played in the US since 2014 and it’s the only one that he’s got scheduled this year. The set featured solo songs, as well as tracks from Albarn’s bands Blur and Gorillaz. Albarn ended the show with a take on “Song 2,” the 1997 single that became Blur’s biggest American hit, and he had some words for Wood.

According to a SPIN review of last night’s show, Albarn introduced “Song 2” by mentioning that Mikael Wood had asked him to play the song “before he cast me into the social media abyss.” Albarn also reportedly addressed the Times piece by saying “you can judge for yourself” and “I think I’m becoming old fashioned,” and he dedicated the song to Wood. I haven’t found any videos of Albarn’s comments, but here’s a fan-made video of him playing “Song 2” while backed up by a string quartet.

When you think about it, Damon Albarn really did get his head checked by a jumbo jet.

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