Former Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft has lashed out at artists who make “political” speeches rather than entertaining their fans.
Ashcroft gave an interview to Radio X today to promote the release of his new single ‘Surprised By The Joy’.
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“So many fucking artists, man, if they can’t write a song or they can’t sing or they can’t play, they end up being like semi-political leaders, or believe they have to have a million causes to hide the fact that they can’t do the very thing that we want them to do,” he said.
“Ultimately, if someone’s paying hard-earned money to see me play live, they don’t want a rant about what’s happening on the other side of the world,” he continued. “They don’t want to know which way they should vote.
“We don’t give a crap. That paradigm has been broken, smashed by music. That’s where music is power.”
“So all these artists and actors, with all their opinions and all their little speeches… Go back to what you were supposed to do. Go back and entertain the world,” Ashcroft said.
“And if it doesn’t have to be candy-floss entertainment, it can have some depth. But just do it via the vehicle of what we pay you to do.”
The most appealing part of the interview comes when Ashcroft goes on to compare musicians to “back in the day” David Beckham, claiming that no-one expected erudite speeches from him, just great football.
“You’d have people saying, yeah but he can’t string two sentences together!” he said of Beckham.
“It’s like doesn’t matter shit, just put it on the guy’s head, he’ll head it in and then we’re one-nil up!
“I don’t want Shakespeare!”
He makes a valid point about musicians getting political. I don’t particularly subscribe to artists or bands for their political views and, to be honest, it’s off-putting more than anything.
Unless the music itself is political, it holds no relevance whatsoever to the fans.
As for Beckham, I think it has more to do with being zoned in from a media perspective. It anything controversial gets out it could potentially damage a percentage of his reputation. He’s battled negative publicity enough the past.
Ashcroft releases his fifth solo album ‘Natural Rebel’ on October 19. The record can be pre-ordered here on vinyl, CB and cassette.