Olivia Rodrigo hasn’t caught Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour ‘yet’ because she’s been ‘busy’

Olivia Rodrigo recently chatted with the New York Times to promote her sophomore album, Guts. The Times piece is one of the nicest, most positive pieces I’ve ever read about a young pop star, and Olivia comes across really well. The Times exhaustively lists her rock/pop bonafides and all of her big-name rock star fans. The OG Riot Grrls see Olivia as a retro/continuation of that ‘90s sound and energy, where you’re angry as f–k about the sleazy guy you dated. Speaking of, there are a lot of rumors about what Olivia’s first single from Guts is really about. The single, “Vampire,” is seemingly about someone in or around the music industry who sucks the life out of young women. There are a lot of people who think that Olivia was slyly referencing Taylor Swift, although obviously there are tons of other guesses. I bring this up because Olivia kind of brushed off Taylor’s name in this piece. Some highlights:

Advice from idol, Jack White. “He wrote me this letter the first time I met him that said, ‘Your only job is to write music that you would want to hear on the radio.’ I mean, writing songs that you would like to hear on the radio is in fact very hard.”

Writing and performing “Brutal”: “It was super heavy when we were rehearsing it,” she said of her live band, whose members are all female or nonbinary. “I remember tears welling up in my eyes and being like, this is so powerful. This is what I wanted to see when I was a girl scrolling YouTube when I was 14.”

The music she loves: She heaped praise on Snail Mail (“‘Valentine’ is one of my favorites”), Joni Mitchell (“I’ll literally get emotional”), Kathleen Hanna (“I love Bikini Kill”), Gwen Stefani (“‘Return of Saturn’ was one of the albums that made me want to make music”), Depeche Mode (“I’m hooked”) and Billy Joel (“He is everything”). She name checked Beyoncé and Sleater-Kinney, Simon & Garfunkel and Sweet. “Oh my God, I listened to ‘Ballroom Blitz’ 10 times today,” she exclaimed. “I have no idea why.”

Rock star: She’s “always loved rock music, and always wanted to find a way that I could make it feel like me, and make it feel feminine and still telling a story and having something to say that’s vulnerable and intimate.” She beamed, her eyes bright under light winged makeup, talking about how artists she admires are “using rock music, but they’re not trying to recreate a version of rock music that guys make.”

The Taylor Swift thing: Taylor Swift and Paramore may have been inspirations on “Sour,” but after the album’s runaway success, those inspirations suddenly gained writing credits on two songs. Asked if she had caught Swift’s Eras Tour, Rodrigo was brief: “I haven’t yet,” she said, quickly adding that she’d been busy. “I’m going to Europe this week.”

On “Vampire”: She said she was at first hesitant to write about someone exploiting her celebrity in “Vampire,” because she feared the experience was self-indulgent. “I’ve always tried to write about the emotions rather than this weird environment that I’m in,” she explained. But the point of songwriting “is to distill all of your emotions into their simplest, purest, most effective form.”

[From The NYT]

Yeah… the Taylor Swift stuff is notable, right? In a world where it feels like everyone in the music industry has to kiss Taylor’s ring, Olivia hasn’t caught an Eras show and she makes a point of shutting down that conversation. Maybe “Vampire” isn’t about Taylor, but it feels significant that it could be and Olivia isn’t saying anything to dissuade that notion. Anyway, I have such affection for Olivia. I love that she’s so f–king angry at the world. Do your thing, young lady.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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19 Responses to “Olivia Rodrigo hasn’t caught Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour ‘yet’ because she’s been ‘busy’”

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  1. Caroline says:

    I’m not buying that she’s an angry person. Her eyes look dead in every single photo. Zero passion.

  2. Arizona says:

    the lyrics for Vampire don’t make any sense for it to be about Taylor? if anything, she “used” Taylor – one of her songs is an interpolation of Taylor’s song New Year’s Day (hence why she ended up with credits on Olivia’s album), and there was stuff about Taylor giving her the Red ring she wore, etc. (I don’t think either of them used each other.)

    I mean … she HAS been busy, creating and now promoting her new album. I think it’s only notable that she didn’t go to tour because people want to make it notable. once again, the media pits similar female artists against each other despite no real indication of a problem between them. why even ask her about Taylor’s tour?

    • Red says:

      I mean, there’s definitely something there in my eyes, I don’t think it’s just the media playing two women against each other. Olivia was a massive Taylor Swift fan. She used to talk and post about her religiously. Then the drama with her first album happened, and Olivia basically said to never meet your idols. Now she doesn’t mention Taylor at all. I don’t think Taylor should have received credits, she herself have used chords and lyrics that sound almost identical to other artists multiple times, with no credit given whatsoever. There’s a few other things Taylor did that I can’t remember and don’t feel like looking up that was mentioned, and I do think Olivia is no longer a fan for a reason.

    • sevenblue says:

      “one of her songs is an interpolation of Taylor’s song New Year’s Day (hence why she ended up with credits on Olivia’s album),”

      @Arizona, That’s incorrect. She got the permission from Taylor’s team for interpolation of New Year’s Day and as far as I read, she made sure none of the profits went to the new owners of the masters. She has already given credit for that before publishing the album Sour. The problem was that she said in an interview on her song “Deja vu”, she got inspiration from “Cruel Summer” of Taylor, she made a shouting part just like Taylor. No melody, no lyric resemblance here, just technic. After she got threatened by Paramore team for copyright for the song “good 4 u”, Olivia’s team also gave credit to Taylor for the Deja vu song.

      Now, some say that Olivia’s team gave Taylor credit as a precaution for another threat for lawsuit. Also, some speculate Taylor’s team has already threatened her in private. There was another singer who shut down the rumor that Oliva stole his work. He said, artists take inspirations, he did in his time too. I believe, Olivia was expecting the same kind of support from Taylor too.

      By the way, before copyright dispute, Taylor used Olivia for Fearless TV promotion. So, they were good before that.

    • Lark says:

      I like Taylor, and I dislike the “two women must hate each other” trope. However, I think there’s some truth to this. That said, Vampire is clearly about an older guy she dated.

      Olivia gave Taylor credit for New Year’s Day from the start. That was never the issue, her name was listed in the credits when Sour was released.

      Brutal obviously was very close to an Elvis Costello song, but Elvis didn’t ask for credit and spoke kindly of her and complimented her music.

      On the other hand, the Deja Vu/Cruel Summer thing was a huge stretch. All Olivia said was it was an inspiration for the bridge, and Taylor’s team went after her immediately. After the Blurred Lines lawsuit, it’s very easy to sue (re: Ed Sheeran has had several battles, etc.) and I assume her team just didn’t want to fight Taylor’s lawyers….so she gave her credit. Around this time, Paramore then went after her for Good 4 U, which had more of an argument than Deja Vu/Cruel Summer, but still wasn’t that close….and nothing like Elvis Costello. Haley is also very close to Taylor

      I can see Olivia getting upset that Elvis, whose song was very close to Brutal, had grace, but Taylor went after her for something that was a huge stretch and likely used her power/lawyers to intimidate her. Taylor’s close friend also went after her around the same time period, so she probably thought there was some colluding there….

      Also, if Olivia is a big Swift fan she knows Wildest Dreams is nearly identical to Lana’s Without You….and Lana seemingly has no problem with Taylor (they even worked together). So I can see her getting mad that Taylor freaked over the Deja Vu thing when she’s also made a song that was a near copy a la Olivia and Elvis.

      • Mjpaul says:

        I just played “Without You” and it 100% sounds like “Wildest Dreams.” I’m seriously shocked that Taylor didn’t get sued.

        On this particular issue, I’m Team Olivia. I think Taylor was the a**hole.

      • Arizona says:

        I’m not seeing any evidence that Taylor went after her for it though? like Paramore did and then Olivia also added Taylor to the credits. nothing shows that her team “went after” Olivia for it? she herself acknowledged that she used the song as inspiration. 🤷‍♀️

        Olivia has gotten in trouble a lot for her “homages” basically being rip-offs, also. I really liked SOUR, but I think she walks a very thin line between paying respect and using an idea.

        also, it was Red TV that Olivia helped promote, not Fearless. I just think it was one of those things where it was mutually beneficial to both of them to appear friendly for promotion. no indication that they were actually friends at any point. I don’t think it’s that serious.

        and yeah, Vampire is very clearly and obviously about her older boyfriend that she dated for a few months.

  3. Ameerah M says:

    I tried to get into her music and I just can’t. It’s not my cup of tea. But I do think she writes great lyrics. And if the Vampire song is about Taylor – it tracks. Taylor has a long history of cozying up to whatever young female pop star is popular at the time. I always find it very telling that she never managed this with Billie Eilish.

    • Dee(2) says:

      I remember Camila Cabelo saying she was the one who suggested she go solo, and her closeness to Lorde. I remember reading here about her sending Olivia a gift after that driver’s license song went big, so she definitely does. Maybe she sees herself as a sort of mentor. Interesting if this song is about her how those she got close to may view her overture’s now.

  4. MaryContrary says:

    Her new song, “Bad Idea”, makes me laugh every time I hear it.

    • Marcos says:

      I have no real thoughts on either young woman (I like both well enough, though), but I think, to be fair, we should note that Right Said Fred have said that Taylor was both proactive and upfront with writing credit AND cash money when they realized “Look What You Made Me Do” had unintentionally borrowed heavily from “I’m Too Sexy.” RSF voluntarily spoke out about it, but that doesn’t mean Taylor and her team haven’t done similar before (and/or learned from earlier mistakes on this front).

      Other artists’ lawsuits (and massively questionable jury judgements) aside, adding an appropriate writing credit after the fact when significant similarities exist is exactly how things should be done (it’s not like it’s just subjective; there is a pretty standard number of notes/bars or whatever that have to be the same and in the same order or used in basically the same way and when a producer or label’s lawyers say “yep, this crosses that line” the credit should be awarded without drama as a legal matter. It’s not for Taylor Swift or Paramore to “decline” or “give up” their own legal rights as a cool gesture or gift and I’m not sure that even could be done, if they wanted to.)

      I don’t want my daughter or sisters to ever feel that “women supporting women” (which I absolutely believe in) means they should make themselves less or give up money or rights they are legally entitled to, just to keep things easy. When someone accidentally takes something of yours, you aren’t stealing or bullying or “not supporting” them if you ask for it back (or for some sort of consideration for them to keep it).

      And that’s the most important thing. Whether it’s Taylor and RSF, Paramore and Olivia Rodrigo, or Robin Thicke and Marvin Gaye, when an accidental “borrowing” (that meets the legal standards for copyright violation) has occurred, simply acknowledge, and update/correct the writing credits, and move on. It happens to the best of us and is genuinely all good of everyone handles it with professionalism.

      I could see a young writer who genuinely thought they wrote something wholly original bristling and thinking the other person “didn’t really need” to assert their rights, but keeping business business and not personal (and thus drama free) is always the way to go. God willing, someone will accidentally borrow from Olivia one day.

    • SH says:

      What is interesting is that after talking about Taylor and Lorde as her primary inspirations for Driver’s License. It was promoted as a song that mixed Taylor and Lorde. She kept mentioning those names through Sour promotion, but after the song credits issues she switched to non-current artists like Alanis as her inspiration. You don’t see Olivia mentioning Lorde as an inspiration anymore either that I can remember.

      Now I haven’t heard Olivia mention Alanis and in this new round of promo, despite her positioning a rock angle. There was the situation where Alanis pulled out of a Hall Of Fame performance she was supposed to do with Olivia. It didn’t seem to have anything to do with Olivia, but maybe Olivia was advised to no longer mention Alanis after that. Olivia is very good at promo, but there is also clear strategy by a major label that has one of the very few breakout stars of the last few years.

  5. bluhare says:

    It’s OK Olivia, I won’t be going either.

  6. Jackie says:

    The prevailing theory seems to be about the songwriting credits, but I’ve always wondered if Olivia took offense to the Red (Taylor’s Version) track “Nothing New.” It’s not actually about Olivia, she was probably 8 or something when it was written, but it’s eerie how closely it predicts her.

    • K-Peace says:

      I just looked up the lyrics to Taylor’s song “Nothing New” as you mentioned in your comment Jackie and WOW. That’s some of the most pitiful, mawkish, self-pitying, meaningless, self-centered, embarrassingly-bad lyrics that i’ve heard of. Imagine having a life where you cry yourself to sleep worrying about a new female pop-singer coming along and becoming popular?? And THAT’s your worst nightmare?!? Good god Taylor Swift is PATHETICALLY self-obsessed and just ridiculous. Why can’t more people see what a lousy person she is?? And her music SUCKS.

  7. HeatherC says:

    Like Olivia I also haven’t caught any of the Era shows. Unlike Olivia I’m able to say with my whole chest that the reason I haven’t caught any of those shows is because I’m just not interested. I can buy that Taylor has a bit of a stranglehold, plus her perpetual victimhood makes it so that no one, especially women, will talk bad or at least not effusively positive about her because then that’s the story. Not Olivia’s new album or tour but “OMG she doesn’t like Taylor!”

  8. Lark says:

    I said this above, but I buy it was about the credits and how Elvis reacted versus Taylor for what was a “shout” (not even lyrics/melody). I also think Taylor suddenly becoming tight with Sabrina Carpenter, when there was some drama between her and Olivia, was…weird….especially as Sabrina is like 23/24.

    That said, I don’t think Vampire is about Taylor. It’s pretty clearly about an older guy.

    Taylor is still young, but is also very aware of how ageist the music industry is, as she mentioned it in her documentary several times. Obviously, no one sells like Taylor…she’s the biggest star right now (even more than Beyonce in term of sales and Adele). But Taylor’s base also skews quite young…I mean, look at the audience at her shows. There’s some cross over with Olivia’s audience, and I could see that being something that might bother her too, esp. as the reporters were proclaiming Olivia as Taylor’s heir and Sour still has outstreamed Taylor’s albums on Spotify.