And Finally Artist News Media

Journalists being nice about bands is the new abnormal, maybe

By | Published on Monday 1 June 2020

The Strokes

The Strokes are back. They released their first album for seven years, ‘The New Abnormal’, in April, at just the right moment for that title to seem oddly prescient. There were various reasons for the band being so long out of action, but one – the internet hints – is a wariness on the part of frontman Julian Casablancas to throw himself back into the promotional machine.

Noticeably standoffish in a new interview with the NME, Casablancas eventually explains: “I don’t know how people are at the NME these days, but I know that the trend is always a journalist will kiss your ass to your face and talk shit when they’re writing the article. So I’m going to assume it’s still the same”.

Halting an attempted defence from writer Rhian Daly, he adds: “It’s fine – it’s your job. You work for the NME. It’s fascinating, that whole trend that happened with the internet. We trash things in the funniest [way], which sometimes I enjoy but I personally can’t relate [to]. I would only wanna report on things I like”.

Hey, trashing pop stars and miscellaneous music industry nonsense in the “funniest way”, that’s a business model right there. The CMU business model, in fact. Actually, CMU’s a lot nicer these days. Have you noticed? And I’m not sure we’ve ever been nice to someone’s face while interviewing them and then nasty in the subsequent write-up. Even with the people who were particularly cunty.

Anyway, sometimes anxiety comes across as arrogance. Imagine being told you had to go and explain yourself to someone you were pretty sure secretly hated you. Then your apparent grumpiness at having to do that being used by the person who secretly hates you to confirm your fears. It’s a cycle that can end up going on for years.

Luckily for Casablancas, this one goes entirely the other way, with the NME article going overboard listing all the times the magazine has been nice about The Strokes. So overboard that I wonder if he might have preferred things to be more as he’d expected them to be. Read the whole interview here.