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March 30, 2021

Dr. Dog drummer says recording for Taylor Swift involved secretive process

The singer's new single, 'You All Over Me,' features Eric Slick

Music Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift Dr. Dog PA Images/Sipa USA

Taylor Swift invited Dr. Dog drummer Eric Slick to play on her new song "You All Over Me," which came out Friday.

Eric Slick recorded the drum parts for Taylor Swift's newly-released song "You All Over Me" without even knowing it. That's how secretive Swift's team was during the recording process. 

Slick, the drummer for the indie group Dr. Dog, detailed that process in an interview with Rolling StoneHe said Jon Low, a sound engineer in Philadelphia, asked him if he wanted to add the drum parts to some songs. After agreeing, he received a password-protected file containing a mystery song.

"The song had vocals on it, but the vocals were muffled, so I had no idea what I was playing on," Slick said. "The pitch was very low and kind of unrecognizable. To be honest with you, it sounded like Ween."

It turned out to be Swift's latest single. "You All Over Me" is a re-recorded outtake from her 2008 album, "Fearless." It will be included on a remake of the album, "Fearless (Taylor's Version)," due April 9. 

Slick, a Philly native who now lives in Nashville, recorded his parts for the song remotely from his own studio. He said the confidential process made it difficult to put together the drum parts. 

"I had to forge an emotional connection with a song that I knew nothing about," Slick said. "I think drummers who are also songwriters tend to zero in on the vocals and the vocal rhythm and the cadence, and that's what I'm usually playing along to, so I had to imagine what a vocal arc might sound like in the song and use my gut instincts of like, what do songs usually do? 'Okay, here's a crash there, because that's what a song usually does.'"

Slick said he was happy to work under the guidance of Low and The National's Aaron Dressner, who provided instructions for the drum parts. The song also features pop singer Maren Morris, known for the hit "The Middle," a collaboration with Zedd and Grey.  

The song was released Friday and already has more than 8 million listens on Spotify. Slick said he was excited to have been invited to play on the track — despite the unusual recording process.

"I've never been involved in anything so top secret in my life," he said. 

Listen to the track below. 

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