Julian Casablancas says Jimi Hendrix “didn’t have hits”

He also heavily implies that The Strokes just 'pays the bills'

The Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas has stated that Jimi Hendrix “didn’t have hits” in a new interview.

In a new Vulture interview surrounding his upcoming new The Voidz album, Casablancas opens up on his desires for the future of the music industry, stating that he believes Ariel Pink should be as big as Ed Sheeran.

When quizzed on how he sees the career path of Pink heading, Casablancas draws parallels to the iconic guitarist – “Jimi Hendrix: People don’t realise that it took years for him to get the acclaim that he has now,” he says. “You look at the charts back then and he was at No. 300. He didn’t have hits.”


When the interviewer points out that Hendrix was in fact very popular during his lifetime, Casablancas says he is “seeing it through the rearview mirror.”

He continues: “From what I’ve seen I thought he had never had any commercial success.” When it’s clarified that Hendrix closed Woodstock, he simply responds, “Okay.”

Read the interview in full here.


The Strokes frontman’s side project will release their forthcoming sophomore LP ‘Virtue’ on March 30 via RCA. It will follow their 2014 debut record ‘Tyranny’.

When quizzed on the role of The Strokes in Casablancas’ current life, the singer is typically evasive. “To me, the Strokes — I was thinking about it earlier today. I may have been fooling myself but back in the beginning it was good and I was loving what we were doing,” he says. “I just wanted to musically progress in certain ways. You have to be super hard with yourself. We would do demos and people would want to put them out and I’d be like, “This is not good. Let’s move on.” I did the same thing with the Strokes. I was like, “This is fine but I want to move forward.” I want to evolve and do something even more challenging: Black Sabbath, Nirvana, some Doors stuff — music that’s not mainstream but breaks into the mainstream.”


He continues:  “I just saw Annihilation, and I was talking to someone about how Natalie Portman was also in the Thor movies and thinking that was interesting. She was mind-blowing in Annihilation, and I just thought she probably does some things out of passion and certain things that are more pay-the-bills. I think actors do that and it doesn’t mean they don’t like what they’re working on. It’s a different kind of energy. That situation may be similar to me and the bands I play in.”

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