Speaking to The Beat in a new interview, the frontman discussed which pop stars define the current generation and how pop music has been affected by “neoliberalism” and capitalism.
“I honestly think the days of somebody as culturally important as Bob Dylan hitting the mainstream are gone”, he said. “I just don’t know if that kind of poetic intelligence will ever meet the mass market again. All you need to do is look at photographs from Coachella. It’s like the festival of the 1%.”
He continued: “I think pop music’s the same as everything else. It’s infected by neoliberalism and financial capital. You can’t stop kids being affected by it if there’s a mass market neoliberal capitalist culture being pushed forward.”
“We’re being constantly cajoled, manipulated and told to buy into it. The value system that we are presented with is, you could be Rihanna, you could be Kanye. What you’ll notice is that none of these big artists ever criticise capitalism. They will never, ever, ever, criticise the system.”
When asked who he thinks defines the times now, he replied: “Politically, probably Rihanna. I think people like Kanye and Rihanna embody the values and the aspirations that millions of young people have.”
He added that Rihanna represents “fame and wealth” and said he didn’t hear “pain in Rihanna” as he did in the songs of someone like Aretha Franklin.
Gillespie also spoke about working on Primal Scream’s recent single ‘Where The Light Gets In’ with Sky Ferreira.
“She’s fucking slightly damaged, got a vulnerability to her”, he said. “She’s super-glamorous. But there’s a distance to her. I think she’s wounded. She’s very talented. And she’s kind of difficult.”
“There’s that estrangement to her that’s attractive. So it’s not like working with someone like Ellie Goulding, who I’m sure is pretty professional but Sky is… she’s real. I can’t say enough good things about her. She’s kind of a really amazing girl.”