Generally speaking, if people are prepared to stick their heads above the power pit, like Zinn says, and absorb what’s going on around them, it makes them think.
I think we’re entering a very dangerous time. The West has set itself up, decided it’s in charge, not for good intentions, not for the benefit of mankind.
I think maybe since there isn’t a great deal of access to the mainstream media and people don’t understand the language of mainstream media, if you put music out there with lyrics that are loosely political, people absorb some of it and spit it back out.
We toyed with the idea of making it a double album, but I think that would only have confused everybody even more, so we decided to stick with the songs we picked.
My songs are my kids. Some of them stay with me, some others I have to send out, out to the war. It might sound stupid and it might even sound naive, but that’s just the way it is.
We don’t have to stand on a soap-box and preach because hopefully we’re channelling it through the new record.
If we got into a situation where people start burning our records, then bring it on. That’s the whole point. The gloaming has begun. We’re in the darkness. This has happened before. Go read some history.
I wrote a lot of stuff quickly: pages and pages of notes that seemed pretty incoherent at first. Most of it was taken from the radio because -suddenly being a parent- I’d be confronted by the radio giving a news report every hour of the day.
The people in charge, globally, are maniacs. They are maniacs, and unless we do something about it these people are going to deprive us of a future.
I don’t see it in terms of changing things, but rather using language and music as weapons for fighting a mainstream media which is predominately right wing, and loyal to the political framework and its corporate interests.
I grew up under Thatcher. I grew up believing that I was fundamentally powerless. Then gradually over the years it occurred to me that this was actually a very convenient myth for the state.
Coming from Britain, I was terrified of meeting all these other artists, because artists over there tend to fight with each other a lot, the premise being that there’s not enough room for everybody.
Well, I’ve been reading a lot about the fifty years since the Second World War, about Western foreign policy and all that. I try not to let it get to me, but sometimes I just think that there’s no hope.
Music is more difficult – try naming a political band. The Dead Kennedys. The Dead Kennedys are political, but they are more funny than they are political.
I think no artist can claim to have any access to the truth, or an authentic version of an event. But obviously they have slightly better means at their disposal because they have their art to energize whatever it is they’re trying to write about. They have music.
Well, my son really loves wildlife. And everytime he draws a polar bear I want to tell him there probably won’t any by the time… he’s my age. That’s kinda hard to deal with.
My dad spent his whole life getting into fights for telling what he believed to be the truth. Basically it comes from my dad-and he’s screaming right-wing, so there you are.
So ultimately, it’s idealistic to think that artists are able to step away from the power of the media and the way it controls things, and go on doing their own things.
I’ve never believed that pop music is escapist trash. There’s always a darkness in it, even amidst great pop music.
One of the interesting things here is that the people who should be shaping the future are politicians. But the political framework itself is so dead and closed that people look to other sources, like artists, because art and music allow people a certain freedom.
This was something that was obsessing me and creating a writer’s block. To get involved and get stuck in, get the proper information about what’s going on has really helped.
We didn’t start out to make a protest record at all. That would have been too shallow. As usual, it was simply a case of absorbing what’s going on around us.