Brian Wilson Has Never Heard of Punk Rock or Kraftwerk, And That’s OK

Brian Wilson has been doing a slew of press lately promoting his new studio album No Pier Pressure and biopic Love & Mercy. The legendary songsmith sat down for a Q&A with The Guardian’s Adrian Deevoy, where he gave some interesting responses. Look, most artists don’t keep tabs on their peers – Elton John, does, though, plopping down thousands of dollars at record stores and calls up-and-comers, giving advice. So does Bono. But Brian Wilson, man, he was too busy creating note-perfect pop music on his way to becoming one of the greatest musicians in history. To not have heard of punk rock? He gets a pass. Here are segments from the interview:

As we’re in Berlin, can I ask if you’ve heard Autobahn by the German group Kraftwerk? It was almost like an electronic reworking of the Beach Boys’ Barbara Ann.

No, I haven’t heard that. Kraft-what? I don’t know them, but that sounds good.

Remember that big beard you grew in the late-1960s?


They’re highly fashionable now. You started a trend.

Really? That’s cool [laughs].

What did you make of punk rock?

I don’t know what that is. Punk rock? Punk? What is that?

It was a loud, aggressive musical movement that happened around 1976.

Oh yeah. I never went for that. I never went for the fast kind of music. I go for the more medium tempo. Spencer Davis, I liked that.