the herb drawer

Jack Antonoff: Questioning Taylor Swift's Songwriting Ability Is “Like Questioning Someone’s Faith In God”

“You come after my friend Taylor, you’re toast to me,” the frequent Swift collaborator shared in a new interview. 
Image may contain Jack Antonoff Taylor Swift Clothing Formal Wear Suit Adult Person Wedding Dress and Flower
Johnny Nunez/Getty Images.

Thinking about saying something rude about Taylor Swift’s songwriting bonafides? Think again, because frequent Swift collaborator, Bleachers frontman and producer Jack Antonoff, will come for you. In a new interview with the LA Times, published Wednesday, Antonoff went to bat for Swift, whose upcoming album, The Tortured Poets Department, he produced, as he has all her albums (seven new recordings, not to mention her (Taylor's Version) re-releases) since 2014’s 1989.

“I'm a little bitch sometimes, but you come after my friend Taylor, you’re toast to me,” he said when asked about reviving the delightfully old-school jab of calling someone a “herb.” He hurled the insult at Damon Albarn of Blur and Gorillaz on X (formerly Twitter) after Albarn suggested in an interview that Swift didn’t write her own songs (which is, honestly, kind of her whole thing). His additional suggestion that Albarn “shut the fuck up” is decidedly less old-school, but we can't have it all. 

It struck a nerve because for Antonoff calling Swift’s songwriting into question is heretical behavior. It “is like challenging someone’s faith in God. You just don’t go there,” the three-time Producer of the Year Grammy Award winner said. Albarn, chastened, eventually tweeted at Swift that he apologized “unreservedly and unconditionally.” 

Antonoff's shade isn't just reserved for Albarn. In the same interview, he casually mentioned of known Swift nemesis Kanye West that “it’s been a long time since I would’ve taken Kanye’s call,” going on to comment about the rapper’s “sauce,” or lack thereof.

“I’m so incredibly bored when someone doesn’t have the sauce anymore, so they go elsewhere to shock,” he said. “It’s just a remarkable waste of space.”

West “just needs his diaper changed so badly,” Antonoff said. 

And Swift, who isn't just work-friends with Antonoff (they're frequently seen hanging together, and Swift attended his Jersey Shore wedding to actor Margaret Qualley last summer), evidently feels the same undying devotion to Antonoff. In a 2017 New York Times interview, she said of Antonoff, “He’s an absolute joy. That’s why everyone loves him. I personally wouldn’t trust someone who didn’t.”

In addition to the Antonoff-produced Tortured Poets, which is set to hit shelves on April 19, Bleachers's new self-titled album will be released on March 8, and Antonoff is working with Lana Del Rey on her country-tinged Lasso LP.