Keith Richards dubs modern-day music a “one-way toilet”

“Don’t get me going on modern-day music. Push-button drums and everything synthesised.”

Music has long been subject to a generational divide. So often, songs regarded as classics by older generations just don’t hit the same way with young people, and vice versa, today’s music has more seasoned music listeners yearning for the good old days.

And it seems Keith Richards is firmly in the latter camp, as he’s openly criticised the state of modern music, dubbing it a “one-way toilet”.

In a new interview with The Independent, the 79-year-old guitarist talks about the creation of The Rolling Stones new record, Hackney Diamonds, asserting that the old-school way of recording a band in a room is the only legitimate way to get the job done.

“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 says. “Don’t get me going on modern-day music. Push-button drums and everything synthesised. Digital recording is a one-way toilet.”

Hackney Diamonds landed last week (20 October), peppered with guest appearances from artists both legendary and contemporary.

While the record features time-honoured greats including Elton John, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder, its penultimate track, Sweet Sounds of Heaven, makes way for pop icon Lady Gaga.

The band performed it during a secret album launch show in New York last week, and even invited Gaga to join them onstage to bring her recorded parts to life.

In a recent interview with Guitar Player, Keith Richards touched upon the band’s recent collaboration with Lady Gaga.

When the interviewer said they were “nervous” to hear Lady Gaga was going to be on a Rolling Stones track, Richards replied: “Right, I don’t blame you. I understand what you were thinking. But she’s one of the Stones now.”

He went on to describe Lady Gaga as a “talented piece of work”, adding that it helped to also have Stevie Wonder playing keyboards on the track. “Having both of them in the same room was pretty interesting,” he says.


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