The angriest song on 1989 is called “Bad Blood,” and it’s about another female artist Swift declines to name. “For years, I was never sure if we were friends or not,” she says. “She would come up to me at awards shows and say something and walk away, and I would think, ‘Are we friends, or did she just give me the harshest insult of my life?’” Then last year, the other star crossed a line. “She did something so horrible,” Swift says. “I was like, ‘Oh, we’re just straight-up enemies.’ And it wasn’t even about a guy! It had to do with business. She basically tried to sabotage an entire arena tour. She tried to hire a bunch of people out from under me. And I’m surprisingly non-confrontational – you would not believe how much I hate conflict. So now I have to avoid her. It’s awkward, and I don’t like it.
If you wanted to write something or create something and you wanted inspiration, the way that I do it is if I want to tell someone something, if I’ve got something on my mind and I REALLY want someone to know something but I’m too scared to tell them in person…writing a song is like saying anything you wanted to say to that person, and then being able to push pause on the moment and not see their reaction. Writing songs is like writing everything you wanted to say to the person that you secretly are in love with. Or someone who absolutely broke your heart and you never told them that was a really terrible thing to do. Or someone that you miss that you’re not allowed to miss because they are bad for you. It’s like writing all of those things down and putting it in a bottle and throwing it out into the ocean, and maybe someday they’ll hear it and they’ll know it, but maybe they won’t. And maybe that’s a really cowardly way to live your life, or maybe it’s the bravest possible way to live your life. And I’m not quite sure if I know which one it is.