IDLES hit out at “cartoon racist” Boris Johnson and confirm work on third album

"The album was a process of finding my own voice."

IDLES frontman Joe Talbot has slammed Boris Johnson as a “cartoon racist”, as well as discussing why he thinks their second album ‘Joy As An Act of Resistance’ has bagged them their Mercury Prize nomination.

The Bristol band’s second album was released to widespread acclaim in August 2018, with praise being directed at their frank address of issues such as toxic masculinity and austerity on the record.

Speaking to NME after it bagged the band their first Mercury Prize nomination, Talbot explained that the album highlighted the importance of “finding your own voice”.

“I feel lost and dislocated and I don’t have a voice in the country, but also my own head,” he explained.

“The album was a process of finding my own voice and listening to myself and finding ways of being listened to in a community and in our country, which is the problem going on at the moment. No one feels like they’re being represented and this second album, ‘Joy…’, was about representing yourself, internally, finding your own voice and then communicating that with others.”

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson

With IDLES being vocal critics of the ruling Conservative Party, is Talbot worried that things could get ever worse under Boris Johnson?

“I’m not [more] scared than I was before Boris Johnson became leader, it’s the same thing. It’s a disgrace, this government is a disgrace,” he said.

“The poor are being raped of opportunity and not being listened to. Boris Johnson is just a cartoon racist, creating a smoke screen to distract people from what is really going on – our country is being sold off and dismantled and turned into a class war and the poor are losing, massively.”

So when can fans expect from album three?

“We’re writing the album now, that’s why the boys aren’t here,” he said.

“Then we’re recording album three and we’ll release it like a box of butterflies.”

Check back at NME for all our coverage of the Mercury Prize, including interviews with Foals and Slowthai.