MONTREAL, QC - AUGUST 02:  Joshua Tillman aka Father John Misty performs live on Day Three of the Osheaga Music and Arts Festival on August 2, 2015 in Montreal, Canada.  (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

Father John Misty trolled us all (obviously)

In the most unsurprising news in the music world today, Father John Misty has announced that his Taylor Swift covers, and the subsequent dream that seemingly explained why he removed the tracks from the internet, were all one big fake trolling effort to fuck with the media.

For those who haven’t already heard, it went like this. Father John Misty uploaded two covers of  (or covers of Ryan Adams’ covers of) Taylor Swift songs  Blank Space and Welcome To New York – performed in the style of The Velvet Underground. Then he deleted them. Then he shared a statement, documenting a ridiculous dream, which included a meeting with Lou Reed, who demanded he take the songs down.

In a new interview with Kentucky radio station 91.9 WFPK Radio Louisville, FJM, real name Josh Tillman, explains the whole thing. The idea came together in an hour, he says, after he found his tour manager listening to Swift’s latest album 1989. FJM had never heard Taylor Swift’s music, and decided to print off the lyrics and record a new version.

They were far more popular than he expected, and the media pounced like never before. It was trending news on social media, it even made it to the news in some locations – so he took the covers down.

As you might expect, that only riled us up even more. Why did he do it? Did Swift and co. demand they be removed? Is he in trouble for it? Perhaps he’s gearing up to release a whole cover album like Ryan Adams did?

The news spread so far that it’s even been alleged that Taylor Swift’s own team reached out to the musician, asking that they be put back online.

Tillman used the opportunity to troll everyone with that ridiculous dream, including an angry Lou Reed ordering him to “delete those tracks, don’t summon the dead, I am not your plaything.”

“I was annoyed at the media,” he explained. “I was like, ‘these people will print anything’, so I went and gave them the most fraudulent, the most blatantly absurd, unprintable piece of surrealistic nonsense – and they printed it!”

Look, it’s an interesting remark, and indeed the international media (including us) gleefully reported on this ridiculous news, but his statement does not hold up. Reasons being that a) it’s still entertaining news – that he fabricated the dream is almost irrelevant, and besides, the news had begun before that, when he release the covers. He’d released the songs, taken them down, written up that dream, etc., – that’s still worth reporting on, if for no other reason than a laugh. And b) most of us assumed it was fake anyway, because, well, it’s insane.
It’s hilarious and it’s not exactly world-changing, but it’s still news – if for no other reason than looking at how anything involving Taylor Swift suddenly turns to gold. Even if it was true, it’s not a case of ‘the media will publish anything’ . He created entertaining news for us to write about, so we did.

All in all it’s a pretty hilarious situation, one that’s earned Father John Misty a whole lot of attention – we hardly think he’s unhappy about that.

You can listen to the full interview here, in which he also talks about his recent single and video clip. You can hear him begin talking about Swift-gate at 26 minutes in.

Father John Misty will be visiting Australia this December to perform at Fairgrounds in NSW and Meredith Music Festival in Victoria.