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Julian Casablancas of The Strokes calls streaming services ‘A Waste Of Time’

Singer Julian Casablancas of The Strokes and Voidz performs onstage during Beach Goth Festival at Los Angeles State Historic Park on August 5, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)
Singer Julian Casablancas of The Strokes and Voidz performs onstage during Beach Goth Festival at Los Angeles State Historic Park on August 5, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)

In an interview with BillboardJulian Casablancas, frontman for The Strokes and Voidz was very open about his frustrations with music streaming services. He called them “a waste of time” and said he doesn’t use Spotify. He stated, “They’re the new MTV, the new gatekeepers, so labels make deals with them to basically… they’re all just ripping everyone off. “

He continued about record labels he said, “I don’t think labels have a clear identity right now. I’m not there on the forefront trying to figure out how to exploit and make money. I’m more interested in doing something like the Grateful Dead did: Go town to town, be friends with the cool radio stations, play the cool venues, make relationships with cool promoters. You can have your online existence, but trying to suck on Spotify’s sweet sweetness is just a waste of time for me.”

He added, “If you want to hear music in a simple way, it’s $10 a month, I get it. You’re not gonna buy songs on iTunes, I understand that… It’s gone so backwards. The whole process of music is so stupidly complicated right now, for all the technology.”

Casablanca will tour with The Strokes next month – beginning with a show in Los Angeles on May 13.

SIDE NOTES

  • More Quotes: When asked about the ideal role a record label should play in 2019, Casablancas offered, “Finding a great talent and nurturing them has its place, and that’s where [labels] could technically survive, but really what they’re doing is trying to play the system and make as much money [as possible]. There’s making money and then there’s developing artists. Developing artists is hard and complicated and annoying and thankless. Trying to scam the system and make deals to rip people off is easier.”
  • “Everyone I know who’s listening to Spotify or Apple Music doesn’t discover anything interesting,” he said. “When I ask them to pull up a cool song, they don’t even have one. If you have to choose a streaming service, I would say YouTube is the only one, even though that’s kind of not what it is.”

Concert Calendar

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Apr 24
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