The Pop Shop Podcast is excited to present the second episode of a new weekly segment: the Headliner Interview. Set to run each Thursday, this new segment features Billboard.com staff writer Chris Payne conducting a longform interview with a compelling voice in the world of music -- we hope you're the type who likes a good story. Last week's interview was with Jimmy Eat World, and this week's comes from another artist with some Taylor Swift tales -- hit-making pop and rock writer/producer Butch Walker.
"I don't think real instrumentation and real music will ever die," Walker asserts, looking back on a career that's contextualized pop through rock and rock through pop. It's included collaborations with P!nk, Avril Lavigne, Weezer, Katy Perry and production on Swift and Ed Sheeran's 2013 collab "Everything Has Changed." In the new episode, Walker explains how his folk/bluegrass cover of "You Belong With Me" got him in touch with Taylor, and how he's been working on music with her friend and former backing singer Elizabeth Huett, who's launching a solo career herself.
"We've written some awesome songs," Walker says. What do they sound like? "Americana/country roots with a big beat under it… Like something from those old Sheryl Crow records that I love, which has that fire and sass in the voice, that don't-give-a-f--- thing."
Walker's long had an ear for up-and-comers, and he's got some great stories from behind the scenes. Check out the episode above to hear him explain how a demo for his most recent solo album Stay Gold brought a pre-fame Elle King to his ears and how a very famous pop artist passed on "My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)" -- a song he originally wrote -- before Fall Out Boy decided to take it on.
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