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Keith Richards Calls Metallica and Black Sabbath ‘Great Jokes’

Mark Metcalfe / Christopher Polk / Jonathan Leibson, Getty Images

Keith Richards doesn’t have much use for modern rock — or metal or hip-hop, for that matter.

Asked to comment on the current state of rock ‘n’ roll, the Rolling Stones guitarist told the New York Daily News that “It sounds like a dull thud to me. For most bands, getting the syncopation is beyond them. It’s endless thudding away, with no bounce, no lift, no syncopation.” As for metal? “Millions are in love with Metallica and Black Sabbath,” he scoffed. “I just thought they were great jokes.”

Richards laughed off rap entirely, describing the genre as “so many words, so little said” and chuckling, “What rap did that was impressive was to show there are so many tone-deaf people out there All they need is a drum beat and somebody yelling over it and they’re happy. There’s an enormous market for people who can’t tell one note from another.”

He remains an avid Stones fan, of course, despite getting ready to release his latest solo effort, Crosseyed Heart. Looking back on his sporadic solo career, he insisted, “I had no intention of making solo albums. I always thought, ‘I’m a Stones man. None shall leave!’ At the same time, we had years of spare time and I wanted to work.”

That spare time may come to an end in the not-too-distant future — if Richards has his way, the Stones will return to the studio after finishing their next round of tour dates — but in the meantime, it’s his turn to shine in the solo spotlight, with possible live shows and a new documentary also in the works.

As for the members of Metallica and Black Sabbath, they can presumably take solace in the knowledge that they’ve got plenty of company on Richards’ list of unworthy acts — including the Beatles, whose Sgt. Pepper’s album he recently derided as “rubbish.”

See Keith Richards and Other Rockers in the Top 100 Albums of the ’90s

Keith Richards, Year-By-Year, 1963-2015

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