INTERVIEW: Rejectionist Front
Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
We are doing great. Excited about the new CD “Evolve” and new single “All I Am”.
Can you talk to us more about your new single “Fifty Dollars”?
Fifty Dollars was a single from our debut CD “Shock The Conscious Mass”. It played on commercial, non commercial and college radio around the country.
Did any event inspire you to write this song?
When we found out that there were tens of thousands of slaves in the Sudan, men, women and children and that there was a way to help free them for about $50 for a human being, we were shocked and then started donating our own money to the cause. It was in my mind and so then we wrote a song about it. Then we started projecting images of the slaves being freed, in conjunction with live performance of the song. People started asking about it and what they could do to help. So we established a not for profit organizations Rock To Save Darfur.
We produce concert benefit events that helped free hundreds of men, women and children. We have their pictures and stories on the website rocktosavedarfur.org We need to keep doing more until there are no more slaves. Anyone who wants to do something, can visit the site, donate and share the link. They can also contact us about any events that they want to put together and we can help them make it happen.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
We have a music video where we show slaves in the Sudan who are freed and reunited with their families. The cost per life is about $50. You can watch it on rocktosavedarfur.org, along with Rejectionist Front and other artists videos that participated in the concert benefits like George Clinton& P-Funk, Talib Kweli and Immortal Technique.
The single comes off your new album Evolve – what’s the story behind the title?
With our new CD Evolve, we continue on that track but also look inside ourselves to uncover the conflict and pain. We find ways to heal ourselves and then we can do what we can for others. We can evolve as individuals and as a society.
How was the recording and writing process?
For Shock The Conscious Mass, for the most part, the band would present music and I would write the words and melodies. Sometimes, I would have the lyrics first, other times the music would come first. There were a few songs that I also wrote the music for. With Evolve, I wrote most of the music and the lyrics. Sometimes the music would inspire the melody that would lead to the lyrics and at other times the lyrics would inspire the melody and the music. There were even times when it began with a melody.
What was it like to work with Andy Wallace and how did that relationship develop?
I was very humbled to work with him. He has such a great ear and his easygoing manner makes it a very smooth process. The fact that he was moved by the song and the message meant so much to me.
How much did he influence the album?
He created a much more dynamic sound for “Fifty Dollars”, the track that he mixed.
How does your activism background influences your music?
The activism is a central component in my art. With music and film, I aspire to shine a light on a problem and then do what I can to raise awareness and advocate for positive change. With All I Am, I look into myself and then out at the world and see a similar conflict. We are all in pain, feel sadness and rage. Sometimes it seems like everything is overwhelming and you don’t know what to do. There is so much conflict and divisiveness in the world, especially today.
Trump has emboldened the white supremacists and nazis with retweeting their hatred both here in the US and in Europe. In August, the far right gathering of supremacists and nazis in Charlottesville was the largest in 20 years. At night, they savagely attacked a small group of peaceful counter protestors chanting Black Lives Matter. The next day, they murdered Heather and injured more than a dozen others. Then Trump says all sides are to blame. Just last week, a white supremacist killed two high school students in New Mexico. All I Am puts the onus on us to take action with a lyric like “Saw my way, in the time, son unborn, life unkind, all I need, change the tide.” We feel the pain and see the injustice but we can change the tide. With the lyric “I am the master of my own destiny” Each of us is empowered to take responsibility for our own destiny.
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
Our production company, World2Be, embodies the inspiration for our creation and is inspired by the proposition that each us, individually and collectively, creates the world to be. So let’s make it the best one possible.
When you go to world2be.com you can hear our music, watch music videos and the new TV documentary film that we just released “The Politics Of Hate”which explores the last hundred years of hate in the USA but has a hopeful message that with great change comes the backlash but ultimately leads to a better future as people from the bottom up create the change they want in the world. It also features a former white supremacist leader who now combats hate that was just on 60 Minutes. You can help by watching and sharing a link to the film. We donate proceeds from the film’s world2be.com website and iTunes sales to Southern Poverty Law Center, who are at the forefront of combatting hate in the USA and featured in the film as well. People, organizations and colleges are planning screenings around the country as a catalyst to forge closer ties between different groups of people and we are here to help make that happen. Just reach out to us.
The process of finding inspiration for music is also similar to film. I look inside myself and try to see what I can do to be better to myself and to others. I try to maximize my positive potential. To do so, it is necessary to delve into the dark, to confront hatred, violence, bigotry, pain, shame, fear and indifference, not to sweep it under the rug because then it only festers and gets worse. When you confront, you can begin the process of working through it and coming out the other side. Despite the heavy themes I examine in myself and the world, I am an eternal optimist because I appreciate all the good things in my life and in the world and have seen tremendous progress.
Mixing it up with many different types of people in America and around the world has also been a great inspiration. Immersing myself with people from diverse backgrounds, life experiences, religions, ethnicities and music styles, all add to the fabric of a rich life that has exceeded my wildest expectations.
Any plans to hit the road?
Yes we love playing live, giving all we have to the audience, feeding off each others energy and have all of you rock out with us. It’s a blast. Check out rejectionistfront.com for dates and come join our Facebook page where we can rap out, share music, ideas, feelings and so much more together. Let us know where you are, what organizations you belong to, what schools you go to and we can come play for you. If you have a progressive issue that you are working on, let us know and we would be happy to lend our support too.
What else is happening next in Rejectionist Front´s world?
We are working on a new CD, tour, benefit concerts and film.