Julian Casablancas, The Strokes, Sunglasses

(Photo by Anthony Behar/Sipa USA)

Julian Casablancas Blames "Cultural Brainwashing" For Ed Sheeran's Success

March 13, 2018

The current popularity of pop music all boils down to "cultural brainwashing" according to Julian Casablancas, frontman for The Strokes.

In a new interview with Vulture, Casablancas compared the success of Ed Sheeran to more indie artists, and how "cultural norms" are pushed onto society to like certain things more than others.  He said, "People grow up with norms knocked into their heads.  And I’m not trying to diss Ed Sheeran or any pop star.  Ed Sheeran seems like a nice, cool guy and I have nothing against his music.  Let him sell a billion records.  I’m just saying I don’t understand why there can’t be a world where Ed Sheeran gets 60% of the attention and Ariel Pink gets 40%. Now it’s almost like Ed Sheeran gets 99.5% of it.  The creative bands have been pushed so far into the margins.  But my bigger point is that whether it’s music or politics, right now we’re mired in whoever’s propaganda is loudest."

Casablancas wants to make it perfectly clear he has "nothing against" Ed Sheeran, but he believes with our access to the internet, and the ability to discover music in from all over that isn't wildly popular, like Sheeran's, society shouldn't just settle.  He mentions how Jimi Hendrix never achieved the popularity his estate sees now than when he was actually performing.  "People don’t realize that it took years for him to get the acclaim that he has now.  You look at the charts back then and he was at No. 300.  He didn’t have hits."

Casablancas is anticipating the release of his album Virtue, recorded with his new band The Voidz, due out March 30th.

Via Page Six