Sleaford Mods’ frontman Jason Williamson has continued to fuel their rivalry with IDLES by accusing the band of appropriating a working class voice. Williamson made the comments in a response to a fan in a Q&A on The Guardian website. The musical duo have often been vocal about their views on the Bristolian band on twitter, once referring to the beef between The 1975’s Matty Healy and IDLES as a “Middle Class turf war”.
When Williamson was asked about his problems with IDLES he stated that he actually enjoyed their first album Brutalism, which was released to critical acclaim in March of 2017. He said of the band, “It wasn’t my kind of music but I liked some of it – it was catchy. And they were nice lads, polite online and stuff.” Williamson then went on to explain his problems with the band’s music, “I thought they were kind of a street band, there were lines like “Tarquin” that would insinuate that they were knocking the middle classes, but it turns out they’re not working class. That offended me, because I then held the belief that they were appropriating, to a certain degree, a working class voice.”
IDLES’ newest album Joy as an Act of Resistance touched on a number of British social issues. The left-wing band were critical of Brexit, nationalism and class in their politically-charged sophomore effort. Williamson took issue with their commenting on such matters, stating, “Music can’t solve political problems. And I think their take on it is cliched, patronising, insulting and mediocre. And that’s why I have a problem with them.” Sleaford Mods own music consists of rebellious rants about various aspects of British working class life which Williamson also comments on, “I take music seriously, and I’ve come from a place where this music has been created. Without that, we wouldn’t be here.”
Williamson replied to a variety of other questions about Sleaford Mods, their new album Eton Alive as well as other topics. He provided some insight into the band’s intense live shows, which typically consist of Williamson vocally raging into the microphone while the band’s musician Andrew Fearn bops his head from behind his instrumental laptop, “These songs are very serious, and you lock into the idea of these songs every night, and you use the same emotions that you recorded them with in the first place.” Williamson also commented on the sparsity of the gigs, “Yeah, we’re not really into visuals. They look terrible. And to be honest I don’t know why other bands haven’t caught onto the idea of not using them. Even having your name behind you is a no-no. The music should carry itself.”
Williamson discussed aspects of his lyricism and creative methods, “we don’t sing about solutions. I would find that really patronising. There is no answer. Life is chaotic; the human form is chaotic… But this music isn’t hate music at all. It’s good street music. And on the street, it’s never nice. Regular life for the most part is pretty crap, and this is what it talks about.”
Sleaford Mods will release their new album Eton Alive on February 22nd.