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Julian Casablancas “...everything in the universe...looks for success."

Sally A. Edwards met Julian Casablancas in Manchester when he was on his first solo tour promoting, Phrazes for the Young. The two discussed creativity, success and collaborations.

Julian Casablancas “...everything in the universe...looks for success."
Interview by Sally A. Edwards
Photography by Sarah J. Edwards

England Lunchtime.

As Sarah and I exit the train station the cold hits us. It’s freezing, the sky is bright blue, the air is so clear yet thick – with the temperature drop – you could cut it with a knife, rip it apart and step into the next phase. We walk over bridges, down streets, alleyways, along cobble stoned lanes, past vast redbrick warehouse buildings. The sound of my suitcase wheels make their own beat and my footsteps keep up the pace. The city is buzzing, sections of others’ conversations add verses to the sounds, the hum of car engines provide a continual bassline.

My un-gloved hand is stone cold holding a phone acting as a modern day compass pointing Sarah and I in the direction of our destination. On the horizon an angular utopian-looking modern building grows and rises above the history that surrounds it, just as it probably did on the architect’s drawings. We’ve arrived. I call our contact, no answer, walk to the front door, it’s locked. We split up, going different ways around the building, meeting at a side door.

A security guard in black trousers, polished boots and a white shirt walks across from an adjacent building clearly acclimatized to the temperature. “It’s unlocked!” he yells in his strong native accent as he strides in our direction, gesturing we open the door and head in. He obviously knows what we’re here for, catches us up and walks in towards the lift, “Go on, third floor.” He leaves us to jump in. The doors squeal shut and we look at each other with questioned marked expressions. We’re heading into the brand new pre-fitted Armani flagship store in Spinningfields. Now, probably unrecognisable to what lies ahead.

The doors open to an expansive vast empty space, steel floors, full frame windows, no furniture and lights that sense you’re arriving and switch on by themselves. Half of this building hangs in the air in 
a triangular shape above street level. The people in the office opposite are oblivious to us. Those on the street don’t know we exist. It’s a cold, but flashy new world. Something from a Japanese horror film, or “Like being on the set of a movie about grifters. Yes, exactly like that,” as our cover star later states.

This will now be our home for the next six hours. Sarah and I unpack and take care of our individual things; set up lighting, clothes, laptops and camera equipment. We prep and are ready for our requested time of 2pm. For the next hour and a half we patiently and impatiently wait. As the clock moves forward, the light goes down.

The original cover story was first published in BLAG Vol. 3 Nø. 2 print edition in 2011.

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