Jack Antonoff Calls Damon Albarn’s Criticism of Taylor Swift’s Songwriting “Trumpian”

Bleachers frontman says comments like Albarn's are "everything that's wrong with our world at the moment"

jack antonoff damon albarn taylor swift comments songwriting
Damon Albarn (photo by Linda Brownlee), Taylor Swift (photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images), and Jack Antonoff (photo by Ben Kaye)

    Last month, Damon Albarn took heat for bluntly — and incorrectly — stating that Taylor Swift “doesn’t write her own songs.” Of course, Swift is one of the most accomplished songwriters of the last two decades, but the Gorillaz/Blur frontman attempted to reduce her to a “co-writer.”

    “That doesn’t count,” he said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “I know what co-writing is. Co-writing is very different to writing.”

    There was some back and forth on Twitter, with Swift calling Albarn’s “hot take… completely false and SO damaging,” and Albarn eventually issuing a direct apology. Still, the words were said, and many Swifties are still standing up for the musician. That includes Swift’s frequent collaborator Jack Antonoff, who lumped the tenor of Albarn’s remarks in with Donald Trump on the latest episode of the Consequence Podcast Network’s The What podcast.


    Getting into a discussion about writing with The What host Brad Steiner, Antonoff said it comes down to simply “you’re either a songwriter or not.” Pressed about Albarn’s comments, the Bleachers frontman said Albarn’s definition of songwriting was “very literal, and also wrong.”

    “I think the Damon thing… obviously it’s completely absurd and everyone knows that,” said Antonoff. “You’re talking about one of the greatest songwriters of our generation who has her name as the only name on many songs. You don’t need me to explain it; it’s fact.”

    He continued,

    “The problem I had with the Damon thing beyond what he actually said was that I don’t like it when artists — the concept of being an artist is to be very tapped into a deep place. I don’t mind talking shit, like this or that, but I don’t like it when artists take almost this Trumpian approach of just making things up. I don’t care if Damon Albarn or anyone likes or doesn’t like something, but to unequivocally make a statement that isn’t true, that you actually have no idea about, and not to get to deep on it, but isn’t that kind of everything that’s wrong with our world at the moment? People talking about shit that they have no clue about?”

    Antonoff added that it’s the kind of talk he’d expect from politicians and “corporate assholes,” but not fellow musicians. “It’s such a vulnerable thing to be an artist and a songwriter,” he said. “You wanna go full Liam Gallagher and be like, ‘This person sucks, that person sucks,’ whatever, do you. But to just launch this sort of weird, baseless [claim] with this bravado that it’s such fact… I mean I tweeted this, but maybe before you say that, you should shut the fuck up.”

    Don’t expect Albarn to show up as a surprise guest during Antonoff’s 1984-themed SuperJam at this year’s Bonnaroo. That’s actually what most of the conversation on The What was about, and you can listen to the full episode below.


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