“I think there’s a lot of misinformation,” the One Republic frontman tells Rolling Stone at Enterprise’s “Share the Code, Hit the Road” event at Pappy & Harriet’s in Pioneertown Friday night. The band performed before a crowd of fans who won tickets by sharing random acts of kindness and nominating people who needed a little “picking up.” “I can verify that having talked to both parties that there is misinformation,” he adds.
Tedder, who worked with Swift on her album 1989, says he’s saddened at the back and forth between the singer and her former record label, Big Machine, who Swift has accused of blocking her ability to perform her old songs on television. In a Twitter post Thursday, Swift specifically called out her former label boss Scott Borchetta and music mogul Scooter Braun, who collectively own the masters of her first six albums, saying they are preventing her from performing or using her pre-2019 songs in any capacity unless she agrees to a host of conditions. “The message being sent to me is very clear,” she wrote. “Be a good little girl and shut up. Or you’ll be punished.”
Big Machine Label Group responded to Swift’s post with this statement: “At no point did we say Taylor could not perform on the AMAs or block her Netflix special. In fact, we do not have the right to keep her from performing live anywhere. Since Taylor’s decision to leave Big Machine last fall, we have continued to honor all of her requests to license her catalog to third parties as she promotes her current record in which we do not financially participate.”
Tedder says he’s “bummed out” at the controversy swirling over three of his closest friends and colleagues. “Taylor is one of the single most talented people I’ve ever worked with in my life and I absolutely want the best for her,” he says, “and I’ve known Scott Borchetta since 2000 when I was an intern at Dreamworks… before Big Machine was even a thought.”
As for Braun, Tedder says his two sons attend the same school as the music manager’s kids, so he’s trying to keep a safe distance away from the whole situation. “I’ve known Scooter for almost a decade and our kids are in preschool together, so I’m way too close to all of that to have any type of accurate perspective,” he says.
Tedder, who announced a new album and world tour with One Republic during Friday’s event, says he’s eager to see both sides come to an understanding, so the focus can go return to the music. “I want nothing but the best obviously for [Taylor],” he says, “and I really hope it all gets sorted out.”