Julian Casablancas says streaming services are “a waste of time”: “Music’s gone so backwards”

The Strokes and Voidz frontman isn't a fan of the systems for music consumption right now

Julian Casablancas has called streaming services “a waste of time” and blamed the advances of streaming technology for music having “gone so backwards”.

The Strokes and Voidz frontman explained in a new interview that he does not personally use services like Spotify or Apple Music, describing them as “the new gatekeepers”.

“They’re all just ripping everyone off,” he told Billboard. “You can have your online existence, but trying to suck on Spotify’s sweet sweetness is just a waste of time for me.”


Casablancas said he prefers to listen to music on the radio, saying that there were “still DJs playing cool things.” “Everyone I know who’s listening to Spotify or Apple Music doesn’t discover anything interesting,” he continued. “When I ask them to pull up a cool song, they don’t even have one. If you have to choose a streaming service, I would say YouTube is the only one, even though that’s kind of not what it is.”

Although he doesn’t like streaming services himself, he said he understood why people used them. “If you want to hear music in a simple way, it’s $10 a month, I get it,” he said. “You’re not gonna buy songs on iTunes, I understand that.”

The musician added that he rips music and puts it “on a non-Apple device because they don’t even let you have MP3s anymore.” “It’s so stupid,” he said. “It’s gone so backwards. The whole process of music is so stupidly complicated right now, for all the technology.”

Meanwhile, The Strokes are due to play a number of festivals this summer, including London’s All Points East and New York’s Governors Ball. A representative for the band confirmed last year they would embark on a “global comeback” in 2019.

Speaking to Beats 1’s Matt Wilkinson in January 2018, Casablancas said the iconic New York band were “always talking” and that, if they were to release anything new, it would likely arrive in 2019. The Strokes’ last album, ‘Comedown Machine’, was released in 2013.