The Strokes’ Julian Casablancas says most bands don’t like playing festivals

Singer would rather 'play surprise shows in half empty bars'

The Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas has spoke about playing big gigs, stating that he and most other acts don’t like playing festival shows.

Speaking to Zane Lowe on his Beats 1 radio show, Casablancas was asked about playing to massive crowds. The singer went on to say that “98% of the musicians I talk to” don’t like playing festivals and that he prefers to “play surprise shows in half empty bars”.

The Strokes headlined New York’s Governors Ball festival over the weekend and are also set to play Splendour in the Grass Festival in Australia next month (July).


Elsewhere in the Beats 1 interview, Casablancas claimed that The Strokes were forced to can a music video because of its political content.

He said that the band were originally planning to release a music video for new song ‘OBLIVIUS’ before they were “shutdown”. Instead, the band have filmed a video for ‘Threat of Joy’.

“Well we were going to do ‘OBLIVIUS’ first and we had all this kind of super heavy political content and then it kinda of through different indirect corridors got shutdown,” he said.

The Strokes frontman did not elaborate on who or what prevented them from putting out the video. ‘OBLIVIUS’, one of three new songs released as part of the band’s new EP ‘Future Present Past’, contains a passing reference to Wall Street and the line: “What side are you standing on?”


Casablancas also talked about releasing music through his own label, Cult Records, and hinted that an album could follow the group’s latest effort.


“We hadn’t anything in a while and you almost want to do something a little light, three songs no big deal, kinda get back some of the mojo before a potential album,” he told Lowe.

Last week, The Strokes released ‘Future Present Past’, their first record since 2013’s ‘Comedown Machine’.


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