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Ryan Adams Compares Taylor Swift to Shakespeare, Himself to ‘Ghostbusters’

In a new interview with 'The Guardian'

In a new interview with The Guardian, Ryan Adams — who you’ll remember just released a 1989 covers album — compares Taylor Swift to Shakespeare, claiming her lyrics have struck him as incredibly deep for almost a decade now.

Ryan Adams' '1989': A Worthwhile Disappointment
Can you remember the last time people made this big a deal out of a covers record?

“The first time I heard [2008’s “White Horse”] I got chills head to toe,” the singer says. “I remember feeling shocked by her voice, shocked at how clean that song was. I like stuff that sort of penetrates through my regular consciousness and hits me where I’m not looking. That’s usually stuff that’s a little darker. You know, that song is really about disillusionment on such a grand scale. I just thought about how this is hitting me like a tidal wave, it’s so romantic and so beautiful, and yet so sad and so disillusioned — it’s all the stuff I love about the Smiths. That song fucked me up and I couldn’t believe it. Her voice does this thing. It just goes through all my bullshit detectors and right into my heart and soul.”

He also dives into the lofty aforementioned comparison a bit more. Per The Guardian:

He compares the exercise of working through 1989’s songs to “being in Ghostbusters or something, and then all of a sudden I have to go do Shakespeare.” As in, his material is the goofy franchise, hers is the oeuvre of the greatest writer that ever lived. It’s possibly an overgenerous analogy. “Well, look, those songs are popular for a reason,” he says. “She’s a popular artist for a reason.”

Adams also calls Swift an astronaut. “Some of us just go up and we work on the satellites, we do some space walks and we go back to Earth,” he says. “Then there’s the Neil Armstrongs – those folks that go to the moon. They’re awesome. I’m just a dude who works on the satellites. And I’m happy with that. At least I get to go to space.”

Read the entire Guardian feature here for more of Adams’ comments on reviews of his work, his unreleased song with Swift, and how he feels about the public’s perception of him.