Off His Rocker? Tom Petty Denounces DJ Culture, Slams Electric Daisy Carnival

tom petty

Classic rocker Tom Petty, 63, has written and recorded his fair share of classic songs (“Breakdown,” “Don’t Do Me Like That,” “Don’t Come Around Here No More” and “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” with Stevie Nicks) since the ’70s with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and The Traveling Wilburys. Despite his credibility in the world of rock, Petty decided to speak out about his disdain for DJ culture, Electric Daisy Festival and EDM in an interview published today by veteran rock critic Edna Gundersen in USA Today.

“Watch people play records?” said Petty, who stated that his boy band was The Beatles. “That’s stupid. You couldn’t pay me to go. I’m not oversimplifying it. That’s what’s going on. I don’t think it would be any fun without the drugs. It’s a drug party.”

The rock star described dance music as “plastic computer music,” which to me comes off as something of a compliment.

Petty went on to slam last month’s Electric Daisy Carnival held in Las Vegas, which was attended by 300,000. Gundersen underscored Petty’s sentiment by adding that “two attendees died from drug-related causes,” neglecting to footnote the unfortunate deaths that occur at music festivals around the world. (For example, two people died at Glastonbury 2014, a rock-focused event.)

“You take that many kids to Vegas in the summer, what could go wrong?” Petty said. “I knew it as soon as I saw the ad. I went, ‘Ooh, dead people.’ Do you need the money so bad that you’ll put some kid’s life at risk?”

Petty’s new album, Hypnotic Eye, is out on Tuesday. Don’t expect any remixes from the album. And you can bet he won’t back down on that.

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Darren Ressler

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