"If Taylor Swift ever wants to make a rock album, I’d love to help out. I have a feeling I'd get a call from Miley Cyrus first though!" Weezer's Rivers Cuomo has previously written with Charli XCX, and he's well up for more pop superstar collaborations

Taylor Swift, Rivers Cuomo
(Image credit: Gareth Cattermole/TAS24/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management | Scott Legato/Getty Images)

In 2009, the makers of the hugely-popular Guitar Hero video game series, launched a spin-off, Band Hero, which would allow players to "create the band they always dreamed of.... providing rockers and performers of all ages the chance to experience and interact with their favourite music."

The game featured what Activision called "the hottest chart-topping hits from everyones favourite acts" - a list that included Fall Out Boy, Evanescence, No Doubt, Maroon 5 and The All-American Rejects - and in something of a coup for the company, they also secured the rights to have a Taylor Swift avatar 'perform' three songs in the game, Love Story and You Belong With Me from her then-current Fearless album, released in 2008, and Picture to Burn from the star's 2006 self-titled debut record.

"My band and I love playing the game," Swift declared at the time. "Well, first of all it's fun because we're in the game, so there's that, but it's also just really fun to go and try to play other people's songs."

To advertise the game, Activision put together a TV commercial, referencing an iconic scene from the 1983 Tom Cruise film Risky Business, which featured Swift performing with three musicians she cited as "musical heroes": Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz, Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker and Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo. 

Now, in a new interview with NME.com, Cuomo says that he would "love to help out" if, like another of her musical heroes, Dolly Parton, the superstar singer was ever to decide to make a rock album. 

Speaking about the Band Hero TV ad, Cuomo says, “I was a teenager when the movie Risky Business came out, so the scene of Tom Cruise dancing in his underwear was iconic and influential for my generation, so to be able to recreate it with a handful of other huge stars was a huge honour. Taylor Swift was so gracious and everyone fell in love with her when she came in the room and started talking to us. She was just like a natural-born leader.”

Asked by NME if he had ever discussed collaborating with the globe-conquering superstar, who played the first three of her eight sold-out Wembley Stadium shows in London this past weekend, Cuomo replied, “No, we’ve never talked about that. That never occurred to me. If she ever wants to make a rock album, I’d love to help out! I have a feeling that I would get the call from Miley Cyrus first though! [Laughs] That would be very cool.”

Watch the Band Hero ad, and Taylor Swift, Pete Wentz and Travis Barker discussing their involvement in it, below:

Taylor Swift In Band Hero - YouTube Taylor Swift In Band Hero - YouTube
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Taylor Swift does have some rock roots, having grown up listening to Def Leppard, and been a pop-punk/emo fans in her early teens. Pete Wentz and Paramore's Hayley Williams appeared as special guests on Swift's 2023 update of her third studio album, Speak Now.

Rivers Cuomo has previous form co-writing with pop stars, having worked with Charli XCX on Hanging Around on her 2014 album Sucker. 

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.