Tom Petty Slams EDM Culture and Electric Daisy Carnival: ‘Watch People Play Records? That’s Stupid’

By Scott T. Sterling

Rock legend Tom Petty pulled no punches during a recent interview in regards to electronic dance music and one of its flagship events, Electric Daisy Carnival.

Petty slammed EDM while talking to USA Today, equating the music with drugs and death.

“Watch people play records? That’s stupid. You couldn’t pay me to go. I’m not oversimplifying it,” he seethed. “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 and Roll Hall of Fame inductee went on to single out Las Vegas’ annual Electric Daisy Carnival, which this year saw two attendees lose their lives from drug-related causes.

Related Interview: Pasquale Rotella Talks Electric Daisy Carnival, ‘Electric Sky’ Doc and Love for the Fans

“You take that many kids to Vegas in the summer, what could go wrong?” Petty quipped. “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 anti-EDM stance could be attributed to his assertion that pop, rap and electronic music have replaced rock as the prevailing sounds of young America.

“Rock is where blues and jazz are sitting. It’s been elbowed to the side, but I don’t think it’s done yet,” he said. “You’ll see young people give it another run for its money. I’m encountering a lot of young people who want to play instruments and play rock, and they have a vast library at their fingertips.”

Related: Electric Daisy Carnival’s Pasquale Rotella Responds to Tom Petty’s Anti-EDM Rant (in the Nicest Way Possible)

Petty is currently promoting Hypnotic Eye, the new album with his longtime band, The Heartbreakers, which is set to hit retailers this week (July 29) and is currently streaming ahead of its release on NPR.


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