Taylor Swift Speaks Out on Anxiety, Kanye and Upcoming World Tour
Taylor Swift is getting ready to release her new album 'Speak Now' next week (October 25), and it appears the young superstar is taking the title of the new disc seriously. For the first time, she's tackling several topics previously considered off-limits, including her unspoken fears, her song selection for her recent MTV Video Music Awards performance and how she really feels when people express their opinions on her "pitchy" stage performances.
"I have a lot of anxiety about things on certain days, but I have anxiety because I care," she tells Billboard magazine of the nerves consuming her in the days leading up to her album release. "It's not anxiety that's crippling. It's a five-minute conversation with myself about if a [sales] number really defines this piece of art that I've created and what that means, and what the number's going to be. I try to predict what it's going to be, and then I realize that I can't predict what it's going to be, and then I sit there and say something to myself like, 'Well, you're happy today. Enjoy this and be proud of the music that you've made.'"
Taylor shared an unwanted spotlight with rap mogul Kanye West after his much-publicized interruption of her acceptance speech for Best Female Video at last year's VMAs. Choosing to stay silent in the aftermath that took months to quiet down, Taylor didn't address the subject for one full year, until she sang her song 'Innocent' at the 2010 VMA ceremony. With lines such as, "Who you are is not where you've been" and "Time turns flames to embers / You'll have new Septembers / Everyone of us has messed up, too," the deeply personal tune was Taylor's way of extending an olive branch to the rapper.
"It took a while to write that song," she reveals. "That was a huge, intense thing in my life that resonated for a long time. It was brought up to me in grocery stores and everywhere I went, and in a lot of times in my life, when I don't know how I feel about something, I say nothing. And that's what I did until I could come to the conclusion that I came to in order to write 'Innocent,' " she says. "Even then, I didn't talk about it, and I still don't really talk about it. I just thought it was very important for me to sing about it."
That high-profile appearance, like so many others Taylor has done, was the subject of more scrutiny -- something to which she has unfortunately had to become accustomed, especially following her 2009 Grammy performance with Stevie Nicks. Even Taylor admits that duet was not her vocal best. "That's one of the areas that I have definitely put a lot of work into," she says of her voice. "I care about what everyone thinks of me, and I'm not afraid to say that. There have been times when it's absolutely leveled me and ruined my day. Then there are times when I can hear it and I'm kind of like, 'Oh, I've heard that before,' and I just continue on with my day."
With any new album, an updated tour usually follows, and Taylor will certainly follow suit. Yet, even with no official location or start date announced -- although rumors are swirling she'll kick off in Japan in February -- Taylor is already, quite literally, setting the stage for things to come. "I already have drawings in my journal of what the stage should look like. I know a few of the set list orders, [and] I want there to be an entire wedding scene on the stage."
While her life is a whirlwind these days, Taylor says she wouldn't have it any other way. "When you spend so much time daydreaming about things like that, when that actually happens, you don't ever complain," she tells The Boot. "When I go to a restaurant, do I know a line will form at the table? But didn't I always wish for that? Yeah, I did. So I never want to be the girl who wanted something so bad her whole life and then when she gets it, she complains about it. I'm not gonna be that girl."
Taylor will celebrate her album release date by performing tracks from 'Speak Now' on the steps of the United Nations building in New York. She will also appear on several TV shows, including 'Today,' 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show,' 'Live! With Regis and Kelly,' 'The Late Show With David Letterman' and 'Dancing With the Stars.'