The Strokes took home the Grammy award for best rock album for The New Abnormal on Sunday, beating out the likes of Grace Potter and Sturgill Simpson and marking the influential garage rock band’s first ever Grammy after forming more than 20 years ago.
When asked about the state of rock music in light of their victory, and whether the genre itself was still alive, longtime frontman Julian Casablancas rebuked the notion that rock has died, but added that the blues-influenced rock sound that fueled bands like Led Zeppelin or Cream in the Sixties and Seventies — along with more polarizing acts like Greta Van Fleet today — has run its course.
“I think people who say things are ‘dead,’ I feel like it means their imagination possibly has died. There’s room for so many genres of music; not necessarily blues rock, please no more of that,” Casablancas said following the win. “All kinds of genres of music can blend in so many ways. Keys themselves, or singing styles or different bending of notes. You can sing an Arabic song with a country twang or vice versa, there’s so much room for stuff.
“Anything that’s been beaten to death, obviously trend dictates those things will be extinct, and you evolve from those things,” he added. “But what that means, what it’ll be called, who knows what it’ll be called. Rock and roll should definitely stop the way it was done [before], we don’t need more of that.”
As for what rock music will look like if it goes beyond the blues roots that had long defined the genre in its most traditional sense, the band isn’t sure. “It doesn’t matter where we think it should go,” guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. said, saying instead they should listen to “the new kids on the block” as Casablancas interjected.
“We can wait and see,” Hammond Jr. said. “Isn’t that part of the fun?”