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10 Reasons Why Julian Casablancas Is Still The Definitive Rock Star

Written by Tom Williams on December 15, 2014

Julian Fernando Casablancas may be a 36-year-old dad, but he’s still a rocker at heart. The Strokes‘ frontman and solo artist is set to return to Australia in January as vocalist of the scuzzy and experimental Julian Casablancas + The Voidz, to play two sideshows around performances at Falls and Southbound festivals, presented by Music Feeds.

While Julian isn’t the only modern-day musician who helps define what it is to be considered a “rock star”, he’s certainly one of the most iconic, nonchalant, and photographed musicians of our time. The Strokes saw a rapid rise to fame following the release of their debut album Is This It? in 2001, and while JC has wearied of them after five studio albums, he’s never slowed down creatively.

After releasing his debut solo album Phrazes for the Young in 2009, Jules turned his attention to his work with The Voidz. Tyranny, the debut album from Julian Casablancas + The Voidz, was released in September through Julian’s own label, Cult Records. The album’s gritty rock experimentalism offered JC fans another side of the man’s personality, and proved he never wants to get stuck in the one sound.

In preparation for Julian Casablancas + The Voidz’s forthcoming tour and festival appearances, Music Feeds has drawn up a play-by-play of why Julian is still the definitive modern rock star.

1. He still kicks ass on stage

Watch: Julian Casablancas + The Voidz – Where No Eagles Fly, Le Casino de Paris (08/12/14)

Watch: Julian Casablancas + The Voidz – Dare I Care (Live on Le Grand Journal, 11/12/14)

2. He gets up to trouble on Twitter

Need proof?

3. He’s bros with Karen O

Despite both finding their musical footing in New York’s early-2000s music scene, Julian and Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ frontwoman Karen O get along swimmingly. The pair even got to interview each other a few months ago, and discussed everything from Radiohead to Dirty Dancing.

4. He’s pro-brunch

Since insinuating to GQ that brunch was the reason he moved out of New York City, Julian has clarified his comments via Twitter, affirming he is in no way against enjoying a late breakfast. Very rock’n’roll.

5. He’s not afraid to call himself an “asshole”

Talking to Rolling Stone recently, reflecting on his previous alcoholism, Julian said:

“You think, ‘I’m brave and I’m crazy and I can drink.’ But it’s really like, ‘I can’t socially talk to people without having a stupid fake confidence that’s obnoxious.’ You think it’s like truth serum, but it’s more like asshole serum.”

Talking to The Face (Via NME) about The Strokes’ upper-middle-class backgrounds, Julian said:

“We don’t cover any of that up. But it’s not like my dad was friends with some record label guy and got us a deal. I was bartending, trying to book local shows, pretty much like everyone does. But I can imagine how people would perceive us as assholes.”

6. He handles awkward on-stage moments brilliantly

That time he smashed a camera after his mic got stuck on it, for example.

Watch: Julian Casablancas destroys camera at The Hurricane Festival in Germany

7. He’s still playing Strokes tracks

The Strokes recorded and released some timeless rock tunes, which Julian continues to play, even with The Voidz.

Watch: Julian Casablancas + The Voidz – You Only Live Once (The Strokes), The Hammerstein, New York (25/11/14)

He’s even known to perform Instant Crush, the Daft Punk track he featured on, which appeared on the French duo’s 2013 album Random Access Memories.

Watch: Julian Casablancas & The Voidz – Instant Crush (Daft Punk), Governor’s Ball, New York (6/6/14)

8. He loves to perform with his buddies

Watch: Julian Casablancas + The Voidz – You Only Live Once, with Devonte Hynes aka Blood Orange (The Strokes), The Hammerstein, New York (25/11/14)

The Strokes – New York City Cops, with Josh Homme of Queens Of The Stone Age, PJ20, Alpine Valley (04/09/11)

9. He once destroyed Muse’s Matt Bellamy at table tennis

Julian tackles the competition any way he can. Well, at least according to this footage.

Watch: Julian Casablancas vs Matt Bellamy Table Tennis

10. He never takes himself too seriously

Jules got “a whole bunch of white people dancing” when he contributed vocals to The Lonely Island’s 2010 track Boombox. His efforts with The Lonely Island may not have had exactly the desired result, but we did discover a boombox can change the world.

Watch: The Lonely Island – Boombox (ft. Julian Casablancas)

He’s not too shy away from hard-hitting questions, either.

Watch: Julian Casablancas Answers Tough Questions On French TV

Catch Julian Casablancas + The Voidz live in Australia over New Year’s and early January. Details below.

Julian Casablancas + The Voidz Falls Festival 2015 Sideshows

Tickets on sale now

Tuesday, 6th January 2015
Forum Theatre, Melbourne (18+)
Tickets: Ticketmaster | 136 100

Wednesday, 7th January 2015
Enmore Theatre, Sydney (18+)
Tickets: Ticketek | 132 849

Also appearing at Falls and Southbound festivals

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