The Who's Roger Daltrey: 'Modern music artists lack angst and purpose'

The frontman criticised the likes of One Direction

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The Independent Culture

Roger Daltrey has criticised today’s music artists, asking what has happened to their “sense of angst and purpose”.

The Who frontman, who along with Pete Townshend is set to perform a series of shows marking the band's 50th anniversary, said it is difficult to start a movement now “unless it's ISIS”.

“Here we are with the world in the state it is in and we’ve got One Direction,” he said in an interview with The Mail on Sunday's Event magazine. “Where are the artists writing with any real sense of angst and purpose?”

The 70-year-old, who famously sang the lyrics “hope I die before I get old”, went on: “There are no movements at the moment: we had mod and then there was punk, but it’s so hard to start a movement now. Unless it’s ISIS.”

However, 69-year-old Townshend said he was not bothered by similarities pointed out between One Direction's "Best Song Ever" and The Who's "Baba O'Riley".

“It wasn't important enough to get excited about,” the guitarist said.

“I could hear a bit of The Who in it, but so what? Considering the stuff we ripped off over the years, it doesn't really matter.”


Meanwhile, Townshend describes his relationship with Daltrey as “a longstanding friendship that has turned into a bonded love, founded on a deeper understanding of each other's limitations”.

“I love him,” said Daltrey. “We're like brothers I suppose.”

Daltrey's comments come after Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason praised the boy band, saying they have “some good songs”.

“I don’t subscribe to this idea that musicians don’t make good music anymore. The standard of musicians is higher now than it was in my day,” he told The Sun at an awards ceremony.

In any case, One Direction do not look set to slow down any time soon. Their 2013 release Midnight Memories currently holds the title of the most pre-ordered album of all time.