Tom Petty Doesn’t Think You Should Be Keeping Up with the Kardashians

By Marissa G. Muller

What’s the biggest problem with American culture? If you’re Tom Petty, your answer would be the Kardashians.

In an interview with UK tabloid The Sun, the legendary musician said the reality TV star family is to blame for America’s obsession with celebrity and conspicuous consumption.

Petty recalled the simpler times he grew up in, before the onset of reality TV.

Related: Stream ‘Hypnotic Eye,’ the New Album from Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

“I’m old enough to have lived in a country where, if you were willing to work hard, you could have a fairly nice life,” he said. “You could support a family and even get a shot at owning your home, but you never thought you’d get a swimming pool. Now the culture has hypnotized people into thinking they’re really nothing if they’re not wealthy and a Kardashian.”

Petty also pointed out that his music goes against all of the ostentation the Kardashians represent and talked about his upcoming album with the Heartbreakers, Hypnotic Eye. When the interviewer described the album as having the Heartbreakers’ signature “snarl,” Petty said, “If I’m going to assume the point of view of the disenfranchised, there’s probably a lot of anger in there anyway. ‘Snarl’ is actually a pretty good way to put it. I can’t say I planned it, but I’m glad it came out that way.”

Hypnotic Eye is out July 29. You can listen to the entire record prior to its release right now via NPR.


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