Thursday, 7 March 2013

I wonder when I hear sonic boom six tracks whether the politics is a gimmick » divine-providence

Like there seems to be no thinking in it any more just the latest buzz words to resonate with people.
Also having followed them on twitter for a while there is no politics there either. People that actually believe in something campaign for it. I can’t help myself rebloging or talking about…
Thanks for writing the column. Someone DM’d me and asked for my reaction as it’s an open letter. I’ll try and I hope you take my points in the friendly, discussional spirit they are meant in. It’s kind of hard to know where to start.
The obvious one to me is what possible positive effect does having politics as a ‘gimmick’ have on our career? It’s the actually the exact opposite. ‘Virus’ was held off certain radio playlists for being too political. There is no gimmick or bandwagon to jump on, it’s simply something I’m compelled to do because the music that influences and stimulates me is music with a message.
I never said I was a politician, music is my primary influence. Maybe ‘being nicer to each other’ is the most important politics of all, and the only one I know for sure I support. Maybe the politics are vague, and aren’t partisan and because my politics are vague and aren’t militant. And lots of people feel that way too, and I hope that resonates with people. Heaven knows, there’s enough punk bands with big left-wing slogans out there to fill up that demand. What you find vague, I think some people find sincere.

I’ve had numerous fans complaining to me on Twitter when I have done political tweets (especially during the riots) because they didn’t want to hear it. So I shut up after the first day. We worked with the local groups with the clean up effort and took part in the concert afterwards and tried to DO things in that sense rather than rant on about it. Surely posting pictures about what demo you’ve been at or pushing your political opinions down people’s throats is more in danger of being a gimmick?

We have always striven to be a band that puts the message in the lyrics and keeps politics away from the live show in terms of talking about them between songs. We feel that velvet glove approach works. We respect bands that are more militant and we encourage activists to set up stalls on our merch from anything from hunt sabs to anti-facism and they have done in the past and will continue to do so. But we don’t do that ourselves so it’s natural that to reflect that we don’t do it as much on social networks.

A cursory look at our history will confirm that there are numerous causes and charity shows that fall fully in line with all our beliefs that we have supported, a lot, such as Love Music Hate Racism.

Maybe the real problem is that you expect our politics and political involvement to mirror yours. Sorry if they don’t. I’m assuming nothing about you but we’ve stated MANY times that we aren’t socialists, anarchists or even anti-capitalist in the full sense of the term. But we are socially conscious and I think that’s the same for a lot of kids out there and I feel that’s what makes our band interesting.

Thanks for writing the column, it was interesting to read, and I kind of see where you are hypothetically coming from, especially if your political involvement strongly eclipses mine. It might seem frustrating that we don’t do more. But for every one of you there’s gonna be a kid that gets turned off by us pushing the political thing harder, so I’m kind of sat in the position that I’m most comfortable in, which might be fence-sitting of me. I get that. But I frankly think your being unfair on us for the simple reason that the accusation of ‘bogus’ posturing rings hollow when confronted with the fact that there is no commercial or even artistic advantage drawn from writing the kind of lyrics I do in the current media climate. I do it because I’m compelled to it and because I know that there are people out there that dig hearing a point of view that mirrors their own and is unique.

Cheers mate

Barney :)