We’re all belting Olivia Rodrigo‘s “Vampire” now, but the singer revealed her new song almost had a very different lyric.
“It was actually a debate whether or not ‘fame f–ker’ should be in the song,” Rodrigo, 20, told Audacy Check In on Thursday, July 13. Some people said, ‘It kind of isolates you from people, you can’t really say things like that in song, it’s not relatable’ — yada, yada, yada, which I totally get and saw where they were coming from.”
In the chorus of her latest single, released last month, the High School Musical: The Musical: The Series alum sings, “But you made me look so naive / The way you sold me for parts / As you sunk your teeth into me, oh / Bloodsucker, fame f–ker / Bleedin’ me dry like a goddamn vampire.”
Though she had a successful career as a child actor, Rodrigo’s fame has increased exponentially since her first single, “Driver’s License,” was released in January 2021. Singing about driving past an ex’s house is a little more universal than a Dating a fame-seeker. However, Rodrigo expects her listeners are smart enough to understand that the song is about more than that one line.
“I think the song isn’t about fame f–king, I think it’s more about someone being manipulative and sucking you dry, using you for all your worth,” she shared. “I think that’s a universal theme, and I also think fame is more easily accessible now than it has ever been. It’s not just people in L.A. and Hollywood that have to deal with that.”
While “fame f–ker” is in the explicit version, she belts “dream crusher” in the radio-friendly edit. Rodrigo shared a TikTok earlier this month jokingly sharing replacement options that didn’t make the cut, including “tree hugger,” “whale blubber,” “Mark Zucker” and “garlic butter.”
“Vampire” is the Grammy Award winner’s first single off her second album, titled Guts. She said the song helps set the tone for what to expect on the LP.
“I just feel like it’s a good introduction to the album,” she told Audacy Check In. “I feel like it’s not so far away from what I did in Sour, but it’s also introducing some new topics and new attitudes, and new sounds, and kind of hinting at a little bit of what’s the come.”
The title Guts was picked out before she even had the album written. “I had [the title picked out] actually when I was making Sour. I’m like, ‘I want the next one to be Guts.’ I had it in my head. I’m like, ‘Four letters, all caps, just like Sour.’ I love it. I just think it’s an interesting word. People use it in so many interesting contexts, like spill your guts. Hate your guts, I think is a really interesting term,” she told Apple Music earlier this month. “[It] means bravery, but it also means intuition, like listen to your gut. I just think it’s all of these things that coincidentally were things that I’ve really been thinking about in this chapter.”
Guts will be released September 8.