Okay, normally Fanboy Rampage covers public social media spats between comic book creators. And Taylor Swift and Damon Albarn are neither. But… Damon did create the band Gorillaz with Jamie Hewlett, who he lived with for a good while. And Hewlett is the creator of Tank Girl. While Taylor Swift has had comic books made about her. So has Damon Albarn. Which means I am going to do this anyway.
The LA Times, in an interview with Damon Albarn to promote his new album Iceland (named after the country or the UK frozen food supermarket chain, I am not yet sure, though he has just been made an Icelandic citizen which might be a clue) went with the headline "For Damon Albarn, modern life is still pretty much rubbish" referencing the classic Blur album. But they could have gone with "Damon Albarn trashes Taylor Swift for not writing her own song." The relevant bit of the interview went;
You think a lot of modern musicians are relying on sound and attitude?
Name me someone who's not.
She may not be to your taste, but Taylor Swift is an excellent songwriter.
She doesn't write her own songs.
Of course she does. Co-writes some of them.
That doesn't count. I know what co-writing is. Co-writing is very different to writing. I'm not hating on anybody, I'm just saying there's a big difference between a songwriter and a songwriter who co-writes. Doesn't mean that the outcome can't be really great. And some of the greatest singers — I mean, Ella Fitzgerald never wrote a song in her life. When I sing, I have to close my eyes and just be in there. I suppose I'm a traditionalist in that sense. A really interesting songwriter is Billie Eilish and her brother. I'm more attracted to that than to Taylor Swift. It's just darker — less endlessly upbeat. Way more minor and odd. I think she's exceptional.
Taylor Swift did not like that. Tweeting @DamonAlbarn meaning that only folk who followed them both would initially see the tweet, she wrote "@DamonAlbarn I was such a big fan of yours until I saw this. I write ALL of my own songs. Your hot take is completely false and SO damaging. You don't have to like my songs but it's really f-cked up to try and discredit my writing. WOW." adding "PS I wrote this tweet all by myself in case you were wondering"
Damon Albarn replied, saying "I totally agree with you. i had a conversation about songwriting and sadly it was reduced to clickbait. I apologise unreservedly and unconditionally. The last thing I would want to do is discredit your songwriting. I hope you understand. – Damon"
I have to say, criticising someone for not writing their songs, when they write their songs, then saying co-writing a song is not the same as writing a song, before complimenting Billie Eilish and her brother co-writing songs is a strange flex. Neither have tweeted since. But all sorts of people have been popping up to do so including… Jedward? I mean, seriously, when was the last time you heard of Jedward?
Jedward: Fake AF you said what you said! you are degrading Hope you understand – Jedward
Let's all listen to Jedward play Taylor Swift's We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together. Which, obviously, they didn't write, she did. Or at least co-written with Max Martin and Shellback.
Fanboy Rampage was a blog by Graeme "Graham" McMillan dedicated to the funniest, most ludicrous and most inappropriate comic book back-and-forths online. McMillan has moved on now, becoming a proper journalist for the likes of The Hollywood Reporter and Wired but he gave permission to Bleeding Cool to revive his great creation. Find Graeme at his new not-a-Substack.