Julian Casablancas To Dev Hynes: “I Apologize On Behalf Of White People”

Friends and frequent collaborators Julian Casablancas and Dev Hynes recently interviewed each other for Oyster Magazine. But much to Hynes’ dismay, most of the heavier portions of their dialogue were edited out — particularly some lengthy reflections on racism — even though Hynes said Oyster had agreed to run the interview unedited. To correct the situation, Casablancas has posted the uncensored Q&A on his website. Here’s one example of material that was cut before:

D: My passport held on a layover flight in Germany. He went through it and peeled off the corner in front of me cause he was like “Is this fake!” And then it was a damaged passport and I had to get a new one. Shit like that.

J: How are you not just a heroin addict?

D: No, seriously. I am…but no no. They took out my electronics and were asking, “Do you know the day that you bought all of this stuff?” Like an ipad and shit. Like “no? Of course not.” But anyway, I could go on forever.

And here’s more from Casablancas:

I was thinking of Germany too – we were just there on tour. it’s almost like having a yellow star sometimes, to be black. And I think the big problem… not the biggest problem, but one of the top problems is that people don’t even acknowledge it in this day and age.

The exchange led Casablancas to apologize on behalf of white people:

J: I’m so sorry man. I apologize on behalf of white people, we’re the worst. I’m just. I don’t know. How to atone is the question. I don’t understand why there is any kind of question about reparations and all that. It seems like such a no-brainer.

Hynes also discussed some criticism he took on Twitter before he deleted his account:

D: Eh… no you should watch it, its good. But its funny because I do remember, it was fine and stuff, and I got a twitter barrage from one person about how, they’re like “you talk about social justice so much and helping the people, yet you’re working with them”

J: Mmmm

D: i think it’s pretty all or nothing. I took into consideration what she was saying, but I also feel like, maybe if she was living in a tent in a park with no electricity and no Apple products and wasn’t tweeting this from her iPhone, and then she came and said that to me, I would probably take it to heart. But instead she was tweeting. I feel like I cant take anyone seriously if they’re tweeting their point of view

Hynes also asked Casablancas whether he gained perspective on racism by having a black stepfather, which led to Hynes describing his experience of getting assaulted by security at Lollapalooza last year:

Its funny cause, me getting attacked at Lollapalooza. I think if I just like…There’s been a lot of incidences that I’ve not said because… I mean there was a time I got illegally arrested in Miami like 2 years ago. They busted some club for not having a liquor license, but I was outside, I wasn’t inside. And they were going inside and wouldn’t let people in. I was kind of doing what I’m doing now, but back then I would do solo Blood Orange shows. And I was like, “Oh, my stuff is inside and I just need to go get it” and there was this one… You know one cop who was a dick and he said “No. Not going to happen.” And I was like “Oh, can you tell me like how long?” And he was like “No.” and then these two Miami white girls walked up and are like “We really need to use the bathroom!” And he was like “Yeah go right in ladies.” I was full mouth-to-the-floor like “What!” So I went up again. I said “Look man, I need to get my stuff and I’m just gonna like leave. I have a flight back to New York in the morning.” And he was like “That’s it!” Hand cuffed me around the back, threw me in the back of the car and then left me in the car for 4 hours and I couldn’t do anything. And at one point, this is the scary moment. An officer came and opened the door and bent down to me and was like, “Hey man, it’s probably best if you just don’t say anything and um it should be cool…” and closes that door. And I was thinking “WHAT!? That doesn’t make me feel good!” You’re telling me to be quiet because the guy you work with is insane? What the fuck!?! It was so crazy.

Read the full conversation here.