Peter Garrett Slams Taylor Swift Over ‘Price Gouging’

23 February 2024 | 2:38 pm | Mary Varvaris

"I'm not price gouging like Taylor, to be blunt..."

Peter Garrett, Taylor Swift

Peter Garrett, Taylor Swift (Source: Supplied)

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Midnight Oil frontman and solo artist Peter Garrett fired at Taylor Swift in a new interview, claiming she’s “displacing artists left, right and centre”. He also took aim at her private jet usage and “price gouging”.

He appeared on 107.1 SAFM’s breakfast show with Bec & Soda this morning. The conversation around Swift began when Rebecca BecMorse brought Garrett on as a surprise guest for Mark SodaSoderstrom, labelling the Power And The Passion singer her co-host’s version of Taylor Swift.

That led to Bec asking Garrett what that comparison felt like, and he didn’t hold back. “I'm not price gouging like Taylor, to be blunt,” Garrett responded, with Soda remembering attending a Midnight Oil gig in 1985 that cost just $15.90 (in 2024, adjusted for inflation, that ticket would cost $54.88, and there are reasons why Taylor Swift tickets are so costly).

Garrett continued to say that he wouldn't begrudge anyone's success, as Swift is “obviously touching a chord with masses of people, particularly people of a certain age group who have experienced growing up at a certain time, and what she's singing and talking about is really ringing true with them.” But looking at “the dollar end of it”, he’s called the impact “pretty brutal”.

Citing Swift’s influence on the ARIA Charts – which has been reported on The Music – Garrett added, “She has become such a phenomenon that she is displacing artists left, right and centre, I think at one point in the last week or two, we only had three Australian artists in that top 100 [the ARIA Top 100].

“Not good enough! That's not me crying about it; I've had an incredible run. But I think about the younger artists coming through, and it's extremely hard for them now.”

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The radio hosts’ next question was more tailored to Garrett and his years as an environmental activist, quizzing him on his thoughts about Swift’s private jet usage.

While Garrett believes “She's not setting a good example,” Taylor Swift is far from the only one making decisions that aren’t environmentally conscious. He said, “Fixing it is a matter of Governments getting tough on corporations and changing over to renewable energies.

“I'm sure they could sit up the front of a Qantas plane, and, or, you know, Japan Airlines plane or whatever and still get a tummy tickle.”

You can listen to the interview below.

Garrett’s comments contrast starkly with Paul Kelly’s thoughts on Taylor Swift, in which the Dumb Things singer praised the singer and her Eras tour.

Expressing what he thinks makes her so popular, he said, “She’s like the girl next door, with a pistol in her purse. She’s got steel; she’s got edge; she’s kicking against the pricks in quite a few of her songs, and all the young women in the audience loved it and were singing along to every word.”

The Australian leg of the Eras tour continues in Sydney (Eora) with four back-to-back dates at Accor Stadium beginning today – head here for more information on those shows.

On 15 March, Peter Garrett will release his new solo album, The True North.

The album has been described as a “deeply personal reflection on his singular journey, drawing inspiration and sustenance from the living colours of Australia’s natural environment and the sights and sounds of modern Oz.” You can pre-order The True North here.