The Strokes' Julian Casablancas says it's not the “universal duty” of artists to take a political stand

The Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas has said he doesn’t think it’s the “universal duty” of artists to take a political stand.

Speaking in a new interview with the New York Post, Casablancas discussed his political views, sharing that he is backing Joe Biden for the 2020 United States presidential election after Democratic contender Bernie Sanders dropped out of the race.

“I’m secretly holding out hope that he’ll choose Bernie as his running mate,” Casablancas said of Biden. “I feel like that would be a good way to guarantee victory in my opinion. But he’ll probably choose a woman.”

The Strokes performed at a Bernie Sanders rally in New Hampshire back in February, debuting two new songs that would later appear on their new album ‘The New Abnormal’.

Bernie and Julian
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and Julian Casablancas. CREDIT: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Despite the Strokes’ public support of Sanders, Casablancas doesn’t think it’s the “universal duty” of artists to take a political stand. “I think politics is a different beast,” he explained. “To me, art is an escape [from] the absurdity of life. People are seeking to run away from the negative things and kind of find inspiration.”

However, he added: “If you feel like you believe in something…to clearly stand for, I think you should have the courage to do [it], whether you’re a musician or not.”

Last month, The Strokes opened up about past conflicts, admitting that heightened tensions in the group were the reason why they didn’t tour 2013’s ‘Comedown Machine.’

In a new interview with The Guardian, frontman Julian Casablancas said the group “weren’t in harmony” at the time of the record’s release, as they eschewed all media opportunities and touring for the record.

“You know, maybe in a few years it really won’t matter and I’ll just say it…I could explain it, it’s not a big deal,” Casablancas said.