Olivia Rodrigo has addressed her fans’ speculation that her Guts single “Vampire” is about Taylor Swift. Sort of.
In an interview with the Guardian ahead of her sophomore album’s September 8 release, Rodrigo admitted she was “very surprised” that fans associated “Vampire” — with its “Bloodsucker, fame fucker, bleedin’ me dry like a goddamn vampire” chorus — with Swift… but she didn’t exactly dismiss the rumors when asked about the song’s inspiration.
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“How do I answer this?” Rodrigo said. “I mean, I never want to say who any of my songs are about. I’ve never done that before in my career and probably won’t. I think it’s better to not pigeonhole a song to being about this one thing.”
Following the arrival of “Vampire” earlier this summer, fans theorized that the single — about an older someone who was using and abusing their relationship with her — was somehow aimed at Swift, who — despite early support of Rodrigo — has gone quiet on the “Drivers License” singer. Fans pointed at the fact that Rodrigo had to give half the royalties and songwriting of her “Deja Vu” to Swift due to similarities with “Cruel Summer” — an arrangement Rodrigo acknowledged in the Guardian interview — as well as Swift inviting Sabrina Carpenter, the rumored other girl in the “Drivers License” saga, as an opener on The Eras Tour.
In an interview with Rolling Stone following the track’s release, Rodrigo focused on the songwriting and not the subject matter. “I just sat down at the piano one day and played these chords that felt kind of gothic to me,” she said. “I think there’s a lot of vampire lore to be played with like ‘You only come out at night’ and stuff like that. There’s a lot of fun songwriting fodder in there.”
Elsewhere in the Guardian interview, Rodrigo also touches on her post-Sour songwriting struggles and getting advice from one of her musical heroes, Jack White. “I was going through such a hard time but for some reason, reading that, I was like, ‘Oh my God! That’s exactly what I need to do,’” Rodrigo said of White’s recommendation that she write what she wanted to hear on the radio.
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