IDLES’ Joe Talbot on Sleaford Mods’ Jason Williamson: “What the fuck is wrong with this guy?”

"This idea that I can’t speak out against austerity or food banks – that I can’t think one of the richest economies in the world having fucking food banks is wrong – I can’t say that because I’m fortunate enough to be able to feed my child?"

IDLES have hit back at Sleaford Mods, after the Nottingham duo recently accused them of class appropriation.

Back in February, Sleaford Mods’ frontman Jason Williamson questioned IDLES’ authenticity – who said he was “offended” by them for appropriating a “working class voice” and described their music’s approach to politics as “cliched, patronising, insulting and mediocre”.

Now, IDLES’ Joe Talbot has denied Williamson’s claims, arguing that his voice is as relevant as any in pointing out society’s ills.

“This idea that I can’t speak out against austerity or food banks – that I can’t think one of the richest economies in the world having fucking food banks is wrong – I can’t say that because I’m fortunate enough to be able to feed my child?” Talbot told The Independent. “What the fuck is wrong with the guy?”

Sleaford Mods’ Jason Williamson and IDLES’ Joe Talbot

Talbot admitted that he can no longer consider Williamson “a hero” as he used to after being “personally attacked”, but revealed that he was “more annoyed by his own reaction”.

“Like, why the fuck am I letting someone who doesn’t know me affect me?,” added Talbot.

This echoes comments made by Talbot last week when he argued that “there’s no authenticity in just being a prick to everyone” – and that there was no value in Sleaford Mods simply saying “fuck you” to everyone.

Speaking to NME last month, Williamson denied that it was all a publicity stunt.

“I don’t do things like that for publicity,” he said. “I don’t need to sell albums off the back of that. I wouldn’t do that. I think other people have – not mentioning any names…”

 “I really do believe in what I say. Well, most of the time. So I wouldn’t do that to try and blow things up.”

In a recent interview with NME, Talbot said that the band were ‘a message to the boring‘, and that punk music in general was in rude health in 2019.

“Of course there’s a lot of younger kids getting involved and that makes it attractive to the industry,” said Talbot. “It is absolutely more popular now. You’ve got some amazing bands coming through.

“The other side of music is bloated, boring and awful. You’ve got loads of DJs with weird masks on and it’s all falling apart. It’s a bit Ant & Dec these days, isn’t it? People are getting bored of that shit and they want to hear people talking about what’s going on around them. People with Mickey Mouse heads on playing other people’s songs isn’t that interesting.”

IDLES are currently in the midst of a UK tour.