Father John Misty has proven himself over and over to be an expert real-life troller, but sadly he pulled the plug on what could’ve been his most epic stunt ever. Back in September, he set out to cover Ryan Adams’ full covers album of Taylor Swift’s 1989, only done in the style of The Velvet Underground. It was an absurdist take on the entire concept of cover albums, and it ended in equally absurd fashion when J. Tillman claimed the ghost of Lou Reed came to him in a dream and told him to stop.
Though he later said the Reed story was a way to troll the media, he’s now spoken about why exactly he had tried to take on Adams in the first place. “I was taking this dude to task for what I saw as a grotesque stunt and matching it with another grotesque stunt,” he told Rolling Stone (via Stereogum). “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.”
Well, let’s see how he responds to people covering his commentary on the coverage of this whole exercise. It’s a vicious cycle, Mr. Tillman.
Elsewhere in the article, Tillman discussed the acid trip at a T-Swift concert that inspired Lana Del Rey’s “FREAK” video. Apparently he bumped into the pop singer’s crew at a bar in Melbourne, Australia and they invited him to the show. Determining that “this is written in the stars,” he had his own tour manager track down “a hero’s dose of LSD.” “I experienced the show like an eight-year-old girl,” he recalled, “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.”
Still, for all the joy he found in the performance, he noticed an intense dark side in the message of the whole evening. “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.”