AVC: In response to Pitchfork's review of the new record, you wrote a pretty scathing blog post that included a line about art being dead. Do you still stand behind what you wrote?
TC: I simultaneously completely stand behind it and utterly disavow it. This is the thing about the fucking Internet—anybody can say anything, and sometimes what they say is profound and fascinating, and sometimes what they say is pretentious nonsense, and sometimes it's both at the same time. I don't need people to think I'm a nice guy or that I'm even a sane guy. I'm trying to make music and to write words and to operate as an artist in the public world by inciting feeling in people—inciting love, inciting hatred, inciting laughter. I feel like Stars gets criticized a lot for this aspect of who we are, that we are so forward in our wish to communicate, and we are so open about the fact that a lot of what we do is ludicrous and melodramatic and untrue and silly and all these things.
God bless Animal Collective, but they really have, in their own strange way, made indie rock a much more conservative place than it should be. If you can create intellectual distance from your work, then critics will feel clever for getting it and give you good marks; if you create music that fucked-up 13-year-old girls might enjoy, then critics will feel like you're trying too hard and not give you good marks. The Pitchfork phenomenon in particular is bizarre because it seems to have altered the fundamental way in which people get into music. I really do think that people should probably lose their virginity before they start writing reviews for Pitchfork. You should keep things in order in your life before you become an éminence grise—you should do some drugs and fall in love, and then start judging people. Because then you'd actually know something about life, as opposed to just being afraid of it and, you know, thinking Menomena are important.