JAN­UARY: PROPHETS OF RAGE

Bands railed against Don­ald Trump’s di­vi­sive rhetoric

Metal Hammer (UK) - - CONTENTS -

On Jan­uary 20, Don­ald Trump was sworn in as the 45th Pres­i­dent of the United States, fol­low­ing one of the most di­vi­sive cam­paigns in history. At his in­au­gu­ra­tion cer­e­mony, Trump ex­panded on his cam­paign slo­gan to ‘Make Amer­ica Great Again’, promis­ing to end the “Amer­i­can car­nage” and put “Amer­ica First”.

“It con­firmed the fact that racism is alive and well in Amer­ica, and in the world for the most part,” says Prophets Of Rage’s Tim Com­mer­ford to­day. “He had the racist vote. He’s ig­nited a racist con­tin­gent and they have more of a voice than they have ever had be­fore be­cause of it.”

Across the coun­try at Los Angeles’ Ter­a­gram Ball­room, Prophets Of Rage protested by play­ing their own Anti-In­au­gu­ral Ball. The night be­gan with Chuck D recit­ing part of Pub­lic En­emy’s Fight The Power, fea­tured the first set from Au­dioslave in 12 years – which would sadly be their last – and ended with a de­fi­ant Killing In The Name.

“Well, the high­light of that was play­ing our fi­nal show with Chris Cor­nell,” says Tim. “Out­side of the fact that the show went down with­out a hitch, I’m re­ally proud. I’m re­ally proud of ev­ery­thing we do and the stance we take and I’m ex­cited to do more of that and go up against the sys­tem.”

The Ball was part of Prophets’ mis­sion to ‘Make Amer­ica Rage Again’ in the face of fresh in­jus­tice.

“Chuck D has five lev­els of be­ing in a band,” ex­plains Tim. “Level one, you write your song. Level two, you record your song. Level three, you per­form your song. Most bands live at level three, and that’s where au­di­ences live. Then there’s those few that be­lieve the song and want to strive to be­lieve in what you play, what you say and what the au­di­ence is feel­ing. I be­lieve that level four is where we live… And level five is this area where you’re bleed­ing this mu­sic, which is what we’re try­ing to do.”

Metal protested else­where – Me­tal­lica’s Kirk Ham­mett Tweeted: “Trump’s In­au­gu­ral Ad­dress and his ask­ing us to put Amer­ica first sounds, to me, fa­mil­iar to what was said in speeches go­ing around Ger­many in the 1930s… and later Rus­sia in the 1940s.”

Mean­while, grind­core band Anal Trump pledged to do­nate pro­ceeds from their To All The Broads I’ve Nailed Be­fore EP to Planned Par­ent­hood, and Body Count released a teaser for No Lives Mat­ter, a taste

of their politi­cised al­bum Blood­lust. After Trump barred im­mi­grants and refugees from seven Mus­lim­ma­jor­ity coun­tries from en­ter­ing the US, Band­camp an­nounced they’d do­nate pro­ceeds from sales on Fe­bru­ary 3 to the Amer­i­can Civil Lib­er­ties Union. Metal was send­ing a clear mes­sage: per­se­cu­tion will not be tol­er­ated.

“I have an obli­ga­tion to write songs that are po­lit­i­cal – it’s not a choice,” says Tim. “It feels fear­less to me, and there’s go­ing to be more.”

“I’M PROUD OF THE STANCE WE TAKE. I’M EX­CITED TO DO MORE AND GO UP AGAINST THE SYS­TEM”

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