The 79-year-old musician opened up about the topic in a new interview with The Independent, explaining that he hasn’t come around to the current music scene.
The interview came in light of The Rolling Stones releasing their latest album, ‘Hackney Diamonds’ last Friday (October 20) – their first album of new music since 2005 – and in the discussion, he criticised today’s hits as being too “synthesised”.
“The only way to cut a band is to put the boys in a room and play and look in each other’s eyeballs,” he began, recalling how the members began writing the new LP. “Don’t get me going on modern-day music. Push-button drums and everything is synthesised. Digital recording is a one-way toilet.”
This isn’t the first time that the rock veteran has taken aim at the modern music scene and shared his criticisms of the current pop songs dominating the charts.
Keith Richards performs during The Rolling Stones surprise set in celebration of their new album “Hackney Diamonds” at Racket NYC on October 19, 2023. CREDIT: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images
“I don’t want to start complaining about pop music,” he began. “It’s always been rubbish. I mean, that’s the point of it. They make it as cheap and as easy as possible and therefore it always sounds the same; there’s very little feel in it.”
He continued: “I like to hear music by people playing instruments. That is, I don’t like to hear plastic synthesised muzak, as it used to be known, what you hear in elevators, which is now the par for the course.”
In the discussion, he also shared his outspoken views on the rap genre, recalling that it sounds like “people yelling at me”.
“I don’t really like to hear people yelling at me and telling me it’s music, AKA rap,” he added. “I can get enough of that without leaving my house.”
Ahead of the release of ‘Hackney Diamonds’ last week, another band member, Ronnie Wood, spoke to NME about the inspiration behind the new LP and whether or not there are any current bands he thinks are carrying the torch for rock’n’roll.
“There’s a lot of music to be grabbed out there and I just hope more people play live like we do.”
In a four-star review of ‘Hackney Diamonds’, NME’s Alex Flood praised the band for their authenticity throughout their songs – stating that it sees Mick Jagger and co. “continue to demonstrate that knack for bottling the core anxieties of the human experience – whatever age you are.”
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