Lee Bains discusses the real South
What’s the concept behind the album?
Birmingham is a city with a scarred history as it pertains to race, and what I experienced growing up was certainly that legacy but also ways in which that legacy was subverted and complicated every day. The scenes in the songs were completely unpredictable moments where I, as the subject, was knocked back on my ass, and are still rattling around 25 years later and have shaped the way I see everything. They are real, and that’s important to me.
Your conclusions feel optimistic.
Birmingham is a place where racial terrorism was enacted, yet when I watch people, they’re full of love and respect for each other. It doesn’t mean white supremacy is over, far from it, but people like Angela Davis from Birmingham have been fighting exploitation for five decades and still believe in a liberated future. I take great strength from her and people making small decisions on the street and at school. It’s humbling and empowering.