Billy Bragg on Kasabian: 'They Are There to Remind us How True 'Spinal Tap' Was'

Singer-songwriter compares Leicester band to the stars of the 1984 rock mockumentary.

Ultimate Guitar

Billy Bragg has compared Kasabian to the stars of 1984 rock mockumentary Spinal Tap, saying that he thinks the band named their new album "48:13" as "they hadn't bothered to think up any f--king titles."

Speaking to NME ahead of his annual appearance at Glastonbury festival, Bragg decried the lack of bands making a political statement with their music, mentioning headline act Kasabian and their tackling of Google and the NSA's observational tactics in their new single "Eez-Eh."

"If we're really honest with ourselves, we have to admit that urban music is where the politics are nowadays," said Bragg. "There are still political singer-songwriters, but no one you could compare to the Clash, or even the Manics. When it's all down to Kasabian, it's like..."

Despite not offering an end to the statement, Bragg continued: "They (Kasabian) have an import role to play: they are there to remind us how true Spinal Tap was. I'm not a fan, but if you read their interviews as if it was dialogue from Spinal Tap, it's very entertaining. Especially the stuff Sergio [Pizzorno] says - he's [frontman] Nigel Tufnel. Particularly with the album title, '48:13'. I'm guessing that's how long the record is. Someone sent them a CD that just said 'Kasabian', and they didn't know what else to put on it, 'cos they hadn't bothered to think up any f--king titles, so they just put the time on and Serge said 'that is genius'."

Kasabian release new album "48:13" today (June 9). The album title does in fact reference its run time. The band headline Glastonbury alongside Metallica and Arcade Fire later this month.

30 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I think he has a bit of a point about politics and urban music, though he does seem like a grumpy old geezer...
    But which artist hasn't channeled Tap. I wonder where Prince and Metallica got the idea to do an all-black album.
    Oh look! It's a musician I don't care about trash talking other musicians I don't care about. Yaaaay news!
    Oh I forgot, the news is supposed to be tailor-made to your interests and nobody else's. Sorry about that.
    To be fair, the choice of what to publish is typical UG. Like a kind of rock gossip magazine, they're big into noticing when artists complain about each other and, judging by the "More Billy Bragg news" links, less into noticing when they put out music.
    Actually, UG is big into copy/pasting entire articles from other sites. They didn't write even a word of this. I think the wednesday question and friday list articles are literally the only original material published on this site.
    He's the disowned son of The Most Interesting Man in the World. Who probably drinks Coors Light, instead of the Dos.
    >implying all music should be political
    I think he was more referring to bands like Kasabian attempting to sound political with lyrics such as: "Now we're being watched by Google Being watched by Google Being watched by Google" Which aren't exactly the most intelligent protest lyrics out there
    Who is Billy Bragg?
    He's a left wing activist, song writer etc. He's trying to stay relevant, although I must say I don't like Kasabian either
    One of the greatest singer songwriters to walk this Earth. Listen to "To Have Or To Have Not" or "A New England"
    Don't really have a clue who kasabian is, but if movies can use time as a title, why can't bands? Eh, schmuck...
    *sigh* if you don't like them billy, don't listen to them? Somebody just sounds a bit jealous to me.
    Why is it when a musician talks about someone else people always think it's just jealousy? Bragg isn't the sort who cares about being famous or commercially successful, he has a career spanning over 3 decades doing what he does and seems happy with it. Maybe he just has an opinion on something?