Julian Casablancas + The Voidz at Chicago’s The Vic (11/18)

Julian Casablancas - voidz-roffman

Julian Casablancas – voidz-roffman

Photography by Phillip Roffman.

Julian Casablancas + The Voidz remain just as abrasive onstage as they do on record. Late Tuesday night, following agreeable sets by Cerebral Ballzy and Shabazz Palaces, the Strokes frontman’s scruffy, ragtag team of no-names* shuffled onstage at Chicago’s The Vic to roll out Tyranny track “Xerox”. It’s slotted ninth on the album, and for a good reason, as the hypnotic melody acts as a moment of respite between the lo-fi guitar wizardry of “Business Dog” and the conga rhythms of “Dare I Care”. As an opener, though, it’s a curious decision, but then again, this whole band, the entire album, and essentially everything about Casablancas this year is curious — even down to his demeanor. These days, the guy looks less like a boyish Lou Reed and more like a strung-out Todd Ianuzzi, whose denim vest and tattered, baggy jeans scream of better days in 1986. The thing is, he’s smiling.

That’s what makes these Voidz shows so intriguing. In the past, Casablancas has typically been a morose character onstage, speaking either sarcastically or not at all. Despite his microphone sounding like 808s-era Yeezy, little asides and jokes of his peppered a number of future Tyranny classics last night. He teased the audience at one point by saying they’d take things down a few notches, only to unleash the hyper-kinetic “River of Breaklights” off Phrazes for the Young. He eventually followed up on his promise, especially during an encore performance of “I’ll Try Anything Once”, which found him tickling his inner Pat Boone as he sang in harmony with his many adoring fans, some of whom camped out seven hours prior to catch a front row glimpse at their one-time rock ‘n’ roll hero. Actually, that’s a pretty bullshit, cynical thing to say…

Julian Casablancas

Julian Casablancas

Casablancas is a rock ‘n’ roll hero. His latest album might be affronting to those wishing they could hear more “11th Dimension” and less “Nintendo Blood”, but they said the same thing about Reed when he dished out Metal Machine Music back in 1975. No, Casablancas is making scrappy, eccentric post-punk that either evolves towards an assembly of noises or, if you’re lucky, tumbles into a chest of reluctant harmonies. It’s political, anti-consumerism, and, most of all, angry. For the first time in over a decade, the guy has an edge, and he does not give a shit if you’re with him or against him. But doesn’t he deserve that? Think about it: Casablancas stepped onto the scene with one of the greatest albums of all time — 2001’s Is This It, if you’re lost — and followed that up with another rare diamond. He never had a chance to test the stakes. He never struggled as the confused artist. That’s not to say there weren’t conflicts or hurdles with The Strokes; they were just a little safer than what he’s doing now.

And what exactly is that? Well, based on his supplemental song selections — “Ize of the World” off 2006’s First Impressions of Earth, the aforementioned “River of Brakelights” — Casablancas is finding solace in the chaos. Those two songs are far more focused and refined than anything off Tyranny, but they only corral the chaos. Broken down, each instrumental part is a testy, punchy slice of energy that bounces around with the cadence of an 11-year-old antsy with ADHD and a bottle of Squeezit. That’s pretty much how each song by The Voidz works conceptually; they’re just not as aligned. Yet there’s something beautiful and intriguing about that erroneous marriage, which might be what Casablancas gets off on these days. It’s not clean. They’re not perfect; instead, The Voidz thrive on existing on the fringe, an area that Casablancas can finally experience. If you’re a longtime fan, it’s probably the most exciting time to catch the guy since, well, 2003. Though, if you’re attempting to itch that early ’00s nostalgia, you’re trying your luck.

julian-casablancas-the-voidz-roffman-2

Let’s give credit where credit is due. There’s guitarist Jeramy “Beardo” Gritter, other guitarist Amir Yaghmai, bassist and synth player Jacob “Jake” Bercovici, the rather superb percussionist Alex Carapetis, and their trusty keyboardist, Jeff Kite. “If you actually listened during ‘Human Sadness’, you’d know they’re all capable musicians, Mike,” one might argue, and I’d agree 100%. That’s why I’d secretly love to hear them reined in some, as they all were on their “covers.” Though, that’d also negate pretty much everything that makes them The Voidz.

Setlist:
Xerox
Father Electricity
M.utually A.ssured D.estruction
Human Sadness
Where No Eagles Fly
Ize of the World (The Strokes cover)
Business Dog
Crunch Punch
River of Brakelights (Julian Casablancas song)
Nintendo Blood
Encore:
I’ll Try Anything Once (The Strokes cover)
Dare I Care

Julian Casablancas + The Voidz confirm ‘Tyranny’ album details

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Julian Casablancas and the Voidz, or simply The Voidz, are an American rock band formed 2013 as a side project of Julian Casablancas of The Strokes.

Julian Casablancas and the Voidz (stylised as Julian Casablancas + The Voidz), or simply The Voidz, are an American rock band formed 2013 as a side project of Julian Casablancas of The Strokes. The band consists of Casablancas (lead vocals) as well as Jeramy “Beardo” Gritter (guitar), Amir Yaghmai (guitar), Jacob “Jake” Bercovici (bass guitar, synthesizers), Alex Carapetis (drums, percussion), Jeff Kite (keys) and Shawn Everett (production). Both Kite and Carapetis were previously involved with Casablancas’ first foray into solo material, forming two of his ‘Sick Six’ live band, which also featured Danielle Haim. The band are signed to Casablancas’ record label, Cult, and are currently touring the Americas, playing various gigs and festivals (including Lollapallooza in Chile, Brazil & Argentina, as well as Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Festival Estéreo Picnic in Colombia and Governor’s Ball in New York)[3] in support of their debut album, “Tyranny”, expected to be on September 23 2014.

Julian Casablancas + The Voidz have confirmed details of their debut album, ‘Tyranny’.

The band, fronted by Strokes singer Casablancas, are set to release their debut album on September 23. ‘Tyranny’ follows Casablancas’ 2009 solo album ‘Phrazes For The Young’.

The LP will come out on Casablancas’ own Cult Records and, as Consequence of Sound reports, the album will be available via a USB drive shaped like a cigarette lighter. Eleven-minute long new song ‘Human Sadness’ can be heard on iTunes now.

The Voidz consist of Jeramy Gritter and Amir Yaghmai on guitar, Jeff Kite on keyboards, Jake Bercovici on bass and Alex Carapetis on drums. The record was produced by Shawn Everett.

Speaking about the album title, Casablancas previously commented: “Tyranny has come in many forms throughout history. Now, the good of business is put above anything else, as corporations have become the new ruling body. Most decisions seem to be made like ones of a medieval king: whatever makes profit while ignoring and repressing the truth about whatever suffering it may cause (like pop music, for that matter).”

The album will be supported by a US tour throughout October and November. No UK dates have been announced.

Julian Casablancas+The Voidz (Album Preview)

‘Tyranny’ tracklist:

‘Take Me in Your Army’
‘Crunch Punch’
‘M.utually A.ssured D.estruction’
‘Human Sadness’
‘Where No Eagles Fly’
‘Father Electricity’
‘Johan Von Bronx’
‘Business Dog’
Xerox’
‘Dare I Care’
‘Nintendo Blood’
‘Off to War…’
Read more at http://www.nme.com/news/julian-casablancas/79512#7erV1Iq49eKieZcm.99

Julian Casablancas previews new solo album

Julian Casablancas has given a sneak preview of his new solo album. Click above to watch now.

The two-minute clip is credited to Julian Casablancas + The Voidz and shows footage of The Strokes’ frontman recording in the studio, with various snippets of new songs audible throughout. There is no further information regarding an album title or release date included with the video, but vsitors to Casablancas’ website can sign up to pre-order the album now.

The Strokes will make their live return at the Governors’ Ball in New York this June. The three-day event will take place on Randall’s Island between June 6 and 8. OutKast have been announced as the headliner alongside Jack White and Vampire Weekend. As well as performing with The Strokes, Julian Casablancas will also perform as a solo artist at the event.

The Strokes’ last live show came in November 2011 when they performed live at the Planeta Terror festival in Brazil. The group have not played in the US since September of the same year. They have not performed in the UK since they headlined Reading & Leeds Festivals in August 2011. The band were joined by Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker for a rendition of The Cars’ ‘Just What I Needed’ during their Reading performance.

The Strokes released their fifth album ‘Comedown Machine’ last year but didn’t tour or do any interviews. Speaking to NME recently, the band’s guitarist Albert Hammond Jr said: “There might be times when we’re not doing things but I don’t feel like we’ll ever stop,” he said. “We’ve come to the point where we’ve been together so long and been through so much that why announce anything besides what we’re doing? We’re just together.”