So it only makes sense that the two would meet up to hang out and talk it out. That's exactly what they did during Taylor's recent GQ cover story.
One of the coolest parts is Ryan asking Tay if she's ever had a musical element (a entire song, a riff or a melody) come to her in a dream and then subsequently captured it in actual real-life music... because of course she has.
"On 'All You Had to Do Was Stay,' there's this really high-pitched stay. I had a dream that my ex showed up at my door, knocked on the door, and I opened it up and was about ready to launch into the perfect thing to say," Taylor says. "And instead, all that would come out of my mouth was that high-pitched chorus of people singing stay...And I woke up and was like, 'Oh, that's mortifying,' but that kind of a cool vocal part."
Adams, now well-versed in the nuances of the 1989's deep cuts, points out how he didn't even attempt that high-pitched vocal part on his cover, instead inserting pauses where those vocals normally are.
"It's like when actors say a line, they say a sentence, but with different emphasis on different words and they completely change it -- that's what you did with my album," Taylor tells Ryan.
But what keeps both of them energized to keep creating? For Ryan, it's The Smiths -- an influence that permeates most of his take on 1989. For Taylor, it's something equally '80s but in a completely different medium.
"It's never been other music, but for 1989, I would watch John Hughes movies and I would think, 'OK, pause, freeze frame: What's he thinking in this moment? What's she thinking in this moment?'"
Ryan Adams and Taylor Swift: both students of the '80s in their own ways.