Sleaford Mods Frontman Explains Why He Hates Idles

Sleaford Mods and Idles are two British rock bands making British rock music. But one of them does not like the other! In a live Q&A session for The Guardian, Sleaford Mods’ frontman Jason Williamson expanded on why he doesn’t like Idles, who released their politically-minded sophomore album, Joy As An Act Of Resistance, last year. His beef stems from his belief that the band’s primary lyricist Joe Talbot appropriates a “working class voice.”

“I thought they were kind of a street band, there were lines like “Tarquin” that would insinuate that they were knocking the middle classes, but it turns out they’re not working class,” he writes. “That offended me, because I then held the belief that they were appropriating, to a certain degree, a working class voice. Obviously that excelled when the second album came out, and I felt a bit cheated.”

Here’s his full piece:

I quite liked Brutalism when it came out. It wasn’t my kind of music but I liked some of it — it was catchy. And they were nice lads, polite online and stuff. But I thought they were kind of a street band, there were lines like “Tarquin” that would insinuate that they were knocking the middle classes, but it turns out they’re not working class. That offended me, because I then held the belief that they were appropriating, to a certain degree, a working class voice. Obviously that excelled when the second album came out, and I felt a bit cheated. I also became jaded by this idea that we were a band that was campaigning for social justice, when we’re not, we’re just talking about what’s around us. Music can’t solve political problems. And I think their take on it is cliched, patronising, insulting and mediocre. And that’s why I have a problem with them. I take music seriously, and I’ve come from a place where this music has been created. Without that, we wouldn’t be here. I went through a lot of pain – I understand Idles’ singer has gone through a lot of pain. But I don’t believe their slant on this. I don’t like them at all.

Sleaford Mods have a new album out later this month.