If you saw Taylor Swift perform in Melbourne, Australia late last year during her 1989 tour, you might have seen a bearded, 35-year-old white man tripping balls in the audience. But that man wasn’t someone’s overly-chill dad or older brother, he was Joshua Tillman—better known as Father John Misty.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Tillman says he met “a bunch of people in [Swift’s] crew” at a Melbourne bar who invited him to one of her shows. Once there, he took a “hero’s dose” of LSD, let Swift’s stage presence wash over him, and began doing some thinking.
Of the experience, he says:
“It was holy. It was psychedelic. She fully impregnated my dilated soul with her ideology. I remember laughing uncontrollably. I remember going outside for a smoke and thinking, ‘I need to get back in there.’”
But it wasn’t all soul impregnation and uncontrollable laughter. Things eventually got heavy:
“There was a disturbing aspect, this insistence on telling girls, ‘I’m normal, don’t let anyone tell you what you should be.’ 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.”
It’s an interesting take (“a very, very false normal” is an apt description of Swift’s persona), but one that’s difficult to unpack, as Tillman is regularly accused of including violent and misogynistic lyrics in his own music.
While you process Tillman’s comments, as well as the image of him losing his mind at a Taylor Swift show, enjoy his cover of “Blank Space.” It’s not dangerous, but might be a little disturbing.
Image via Getty.