In a new, rambling interview with Vulture, Julian Casablancas mentions Ed Sheeran nine times. He also discusses his disappointment in the internet, the legacies of Jimi Hendrix and David Bowie, and his appreciation for Ariel Pink and Porches. But he never lets go of the Ed Sheeran thing. The fact that Ed Sheeran is a modern pop star but Ariel Pink is not makes little sense to Casablancas, who is about to release a new record, Virtues, with his band The Voidz on March 30.
Still, he never outright disses the dude. Casablancas’ opinions are merely implied, and yet, the proof is mostly in the pudding. “I strive to build a world where the Velvet Underground would be more popular than the Rolling Stones. Or where Ariel Pink is as popular as Ed Sheeran,” he says.
Here are all the other times Casablancas mentions Ed Sheeran:
“Have you heard Ed Sheeran’s music?”
“If you grew up in a world where Ariel Pink was popular then you would say ‘I don’t see how Ed Sheeran can be popular.’”
“People grow up with norms knocked into their heads. And I’m not trying to diss Ed Sheeran or any pop star.”
“Ed Sheeran seems like a nice, cool guy and I have nothing against his music. Let him sell a billion records.”
“I’m just saying I don’t understand why there can’t be a world where Ed Sheeran gets 60 percent of the attention and Ariel Pink gets 40 percent. Now it’s almost like Ed Sheeran gets 99.5 percent of it.”
“If you could time travel 30 years into the future, tell me who is going to be more popular: Ed Sheeran or Ariel Pink?”
“Like I said, I have nothing against Ed Sheeran.”