Julian Casablancas on new album: ‘We may have travelled too far into the future for some minds’

Strokes singer says new side-project is intended to help popularise 'edgier, interesting stuff'

Julian Casablancas has said his debut album with new side-project band Julian Casablancas + The Voidz is intended to help popularise leftfield music.

The band recently released their debut album ‘Tyranny’, which was launched with the 11-minute single ‘Human Sadness’.

Speaking to The Guardian, Casablancas said: “I want to make edgier, interesting stuff mainstream. I’m not trying to be weird. I’m trying to make cool things – that are usually underground – popular. A lot of what I do is to try to make cool things popular in their own time. But I’m not trying to be new or different. It’s just the same as ever – creative ideas come into my mind and I try to execute them.”


Casablancas denied that the lo-fi album was his version of Lou Reed‘s infamously difficult ‘Metal Machine Music’. He said: “If anything, I was trying to make ‘Tyranny’ interesting and catchy. We may have travelled too far into the future for some minds, but to me it’s totally to help train mainstream ears.”

Casablancas recently left central New York to move to its suburbs with his wife Juliet and son Cal. He said: “I have nothing against gentrification. It’s fine to have banks on every corner as far as the eye can see. It’s more the indirect horror that comes from that. That’s the issue. On a personal level, the cool spots are definitely fewer and farther between. New York’s still cool, though.”

Confirming that Pharrell Williams was in talks to produce The Strokes’ fourth album ‘Angles’ in 2011, Casablancas said: “I met him and he talked to the band, but I’m not sure if they were into it.”

The Strokes‘ guitarist Albert Hammond Jr recently told NME that the band hope to begin work on a follow-up to 2013’s ‘Comedown Machine’ in 2015. He said: “I imagine there’ll be Strokes activity throughout the year and then hopefully – maybe – an album in the new year. That’s the dream. Am I saying that’s what’s happening? No. But I’m saying that’s definitely, probably, in everybody’s minds.”