When last we checked in with Strokes and Voidz frontman Julian Casablancas, he was prying open your third eye in an interview with Vulture, during which he radiated the dismissive intellectual superiority of a college freshman who just discovered Howard Zinn. (Actual quote: “Oliver Stone’s The Untold History of the United States was another life-changer. That book is kind of like Howard Zinn. It’s all kind of snowballed, and now I feel like things are crystal clear to me, so I’m going to be clearer.”) He also made several references to a broader culture war, compared to which his unique brand of New Wave-influenced indie rock was but a mere distraction:
Personally I am much more interested in politics than music because I’ve done music for so long and feel like I’m in a good lane with it. So if you were just catching me as a person and wanted to talk, then we’d probably talk about politics. I almost feel about politics like I did about music when I was a teenager — just learning so much. But it’s tough. If you try to do something positive … the farther you reach out the harder you get knocked down. I don’t know. We’re essentially at war, a modern war against a calculator.
Just so I’m clear: the war is against corporate capitalism?
I think corporations should thrive and we have a good system theoretically, but the problem is that it’s evolved without any sort of leash. Everything has gone so over-the-top. Truth and human suffering are not part of the equation of corporate profit. Neither is quality.
Last night Casablancas reemerged from his bunker to play James Corden’s Late Late Show, and he again barely suppressed his seething desire to not talk about rock but to talk about the war.
Corden immediately asks about the whole flack jacket thing, to which Casablancas responds, “We’re in an invisible war, my friend, you gotta be ready.” He has a sense of humor about it, but also, not really. The whole thing is pretty unbearable, with Corden’s over-eager, giggly schtick running headfirst into Casablancas’ mumbled, woke koans about, like, the nature of language, man. Watch it all above if you would like to be reminded that celebrities are not at all, even kind of like us.
After that the Voidz played a song from their upcoming record. It was pretty good!
The band’s new album, Virtues, is out this Friday. The war for your mind continues every fucking day.
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