Lorde Hints She Doesn’t Hang Out With Her Idol, Squad Leader Taylor Swift

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Lorde and Taylor Swift are two of the world’s biggest names in pop music. So their long-documented friendship — the Instagrams! the birthday parties! The joint performances! — is a heartwarming story of fame bringing two creative talents from across the world together on the global stage.

But in a new interview on an Australian TV station, Lorde appeared to put some distance between herself and the “squad” zone that Swift presides over. The Melodrama singer danced lightly around the question of befriending her musical idols, like Beyoncé and, of course, Swift.

“The second you think too hard about it, you just start to go insane. So it’s best to just be like, ‘we’re in wonderland, and that’s just what happens around here.’ Like, also, I don’t hang out with these people at all,” she said. But the interviewer pressed again, noting that she was part of Swift’s well-known “squad,” and here’s how Lorde responded.

“You know, you make friends in different places, but I think for the most part I’m not, like, calling my idols for advice necessarily,” she said.

Lorde’s also been known to hang out solo at diners and take incognito Uber rides. Then again, Swift hosted a celebrity-packed 20th birthday party for the Kiwi musician last November with appearances by Aziz Ansari, Lena Dunham and Karlie Kloss. Lorde also recently spoke vaguely in response to a question about her friendship with Swift, comparing spending time with someone of Swift’s level of fame to spending time with someone with an “auto-immune disease,” a comment for which she later apologized after drawing criticism.

“Didn’t mention Taylor, but regardless, I f—ed up and that was really insensitive. I’m sorry,” she tweeted afterward.

UPDATE: In a statement shared to Twitter later, Lorde wrote that she made a mistake with her interview response, but took issue with the way the interview was covered by the press. She said was referring to David Bowie and Patti Smith, not Taylor Swift, who she called “a dear friend.”

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Write to Raisa Bruner at raisa.bruner@time.com