Sonic Youth broke up because Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon, the couple at the center of the band for than three decades, broke up. Moore and Gordon ended their marriage because Moore had an affair, which he concealed from Gordon for a long time. So it logically follows that most people blame Moore for the end of one of rock’s greatest, most influential bands. Moore, however, has proven to be either self-deceived or willfully obtuse about the situation — claiming he’s “in a really romantic place” with his new belle, rejecting criticism from the press as “gender fascism,” etc. — and that continues in a new interview today.
As Pitchfork points out, Moore gave a wide-ranging interview to Collide that included this quote: “I find it really strange that I get demonized for the break-up of Sonic Youth when I myself had no intention of breaking up the band; that was a real surprise to me.” Here it is in context, after the interviewer asked about Moore’s thoughts on Sonic Youth’s final show:
Well I never thought of it as the final show! In my mind we were going to take a break as things got worked out in our personal worlds. I find it really strange that I get demonized for the break-up of Sonic Youth when I myself had no intention of breaking up the band; that was a real surprise to me. I get the reasons behind the band not existing at the moment – everyone has to be on the same page – but there was never any announcement. Well, I never made one.
Sonic Youth was a bond that existed between four of us. I have a tattoo that says ‘SONIC LIFE’ and it’s something that defines me forever. For me, it goes on and won’t end. I write songs now and people say “It sounds kinda like Sonic Youth” – well, that’s my vocabulary, you know. What you’re not hearing is Lee and Kim because they’re not playing the music with me, so it’s a different situation.
There you have it: Thurston Moore did not break up Sonic Youth. He was just living his life! The man can’t control how other people respond to his actions.
Moore also commented that he’s “really into acting [his] age” and won’t be caught dead wearing a young man’s haircut:
I just worry that my haircut is gonna make me look as though I’m trying to look like a 20 year old as I get older (laughs). Sometimes I see people in their 50s and 60s with a 20-year-old’s haircut, and I’m like, “Dude, the hair has got to go, just let it be.” I’m really into acting my age; I don’t want to be the old lady in a miniskirt.
Oh, and not to bury the lede, but he made an album called Rock & Roll Consciousness with Adele/U2/Coldplay producer Paul Epworth, which I guess is one way of acting his age:
We just recorded a new record in this studio in London called The Church. I found out about it by talking with Mark Stewart (from The Pop Group), who told me it’s where Adele makes all of her records. I couldn’t figure out why a band like The Pop Group would work in that situation, but it turns out Adele’s producer, Paul Epworth, is from the same place as The Pop Group (Bristol). He was interested in working with me, so we connected.
He has these two beautiful analog mixing boards – one is the board Pink Floyd used and the other was used by The Rolling Stones. So I worked something out with him, brought the band in and we recorded 9 things in 4 days. It hasn’t been mixed yet – I’m gonna do that with a guy called Randall Dunn who works with Sun O))) and Earth. It should be a really interesting mix. The record will be called Rock & Roll Consciousness.
There’s much more, and you can check it out here.