Taylor Swift moves into position two; no longer an opener but not quite a headliner, yet.
Interview conducted September 2007
In September of 2007, I got a chance to meet up with Taylor Swift as she was making the rounds across US and Canada. She was starting to move from the opening act to the second performer on the bill; on her way to being the headliner. She was in Toronto, during the Brad Paisley tour, but didn't have enough time to catch up, so we settled for a phone call several weeks later during a break in the million or so apportionments on her calendar. She was gearing up for the next round of awards shows and looking forward to prom and high school graduation. She ultimately got her diploma in the mail because of her touring schedule. Following up her self-titled debut, she had just released two EP's, "Sounds of the Season: The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection" and then "Beautiful Eyes," along with a live record sold exclusively on iTunes called, "Live from SoHo: Taylor Swift." Preliminary work was being done on her second full release "Fearless," though a majority of it had been written, tracks needed to be recorded in-between tour dates. She was calm and centered but still full of excitement as she began to sit with what it means to be a successful artist out on the road. Her tour-story; pre-headliner.
Jackie Lee King: How does it feel being up for a CMA Award, considering you've toured with, every single Entertainer of the Year Award nominee?
JLK: So, you've toured with Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, and George Strait?
JLK: So how does it feel being a usual suspect because that's what you are now?
JLK: Good Lord!
JLK: So what do you do since you've been on the road for almost a year now?
JLK: The people that you've toured with-- they're going to be touring, you know, for the next twenty years. They'll pretty much die onstage. When do you think that you'll get off the road, if ever?
JLK: What's the thing that you never realized about touring? Like-- "Oh that's interesting..."
JLK: Do you have male groupies?
JLK: Do you get any time to yourself?
JLK: I really love that you opened up with an Eminem song ["Lose Yourself"]. Are you going to keep that song in the setlist?
JLK: It's funny because at the end your band really started kicking in and making it country, and I was like 'whoa, this actually works as a country song!'
JLK: And then you got people up on their feet, you're really a good opener. So, when is your solo tour coming up? [First solo tour 2009]
JLK: So how's the second album coming? I know that it's probably going to be next year sometime? ["Fearless" is released on November 11, 2008]
JLK: Any other little things that you give to yourself on the road? Like DVDs or...
JLK: (laughs) ...Yeah, like I'm really going to send you like heroin through the mail. "Hey Taylor! Here's the good stuff!"
JLK: What advice would you give Taylor Swift a year ago that you have now?
JLK: So if anything, even just a little word of advice that you would give to yourself, like you know "Oh, don't eat too close to show time or..."
Just one year later from this interview, she's taken her own advice by appearing in one of her favorite television shows C.S.I. (Las Vegas), and lending one of her songs "White Horse" to the September 2008 premier of her other favorite Grey's Anatomy. She's made cameo appearances in a couple of movies, had a very public break up, made lots of friends, and continues to support a myriad of philanthropic causes (Red Cross, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and Victorian Bushfire Appeal), including donating her 18th birthday present of a pink Chevy pick-up truck, given to her by her record label (Big Machine Records), to the children's charity the Victory Junction Gang.
Taylor is now in the midst of her first heading tour and she's in good company. Gal pal Kellie Pickler and new comers Gloriana join her on the Fearless Tour which winds it way all around the world and back in 2009. She still keeps up with her best friend Abigail from High School, who is now off at college on a swimming scholarship. As of this writing, she's having conversations with the record company to put out album number 3. Try and catch her now, before she takes a well deserved break from the road. On second thought, I think she's gonna ride this horse as long as she can. Chapter two is in the books, now on to the next adventure.