Steve Martin on Musical Influences From Around the Globe

Question: Will American bands ever absorb influences from scenes abroad?

Steve  Martin: Meehh- I mean, there’s always gonna be sort of a language barrier- I mean, you can- I don’t know how much of a new phenomenon this is, but you can go to Vegas and see like, you know, Chinese pop artists filling an arena somewhere on the Strip there, or playing the same place like the Rolling Stones are. But I think they’re still playing this sort of expat culture at that point, you know? So, I don’t know. I mean, as long as there’s a language barrier, at least coming in our direction, I tend to think Americans are, you know, a little lazy about learning a second language- - about really, you know, checking out a lot of those cultures- I mean, I’m not gonna say everyone is that way, but a lot are- a lot of people like American, sort of mainstream culture- they’re- you know, they’re not gonna- I don’t think they’re gonna make the effort. But meanwhile, China has just opened up as a touring frontier for all these artists. So Nine Inch Nails had a huge Chinese tour. Beastie Boys have toured China- Radiohead’s doing Japan- I don’t think they’re doing China. I know some people have their problems with the politics there, for sure-

Linguistic barriers probably prevent assimilation in American rock scenes.

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