Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Gobsmacked

Raise your hand if you remember Godsmack. Someone must, because their newest album hit #1 on the sales charts.

Over at Magpie, there's an interview up with the band's lead singer, and it's a hell of an interesting read. The interviewer grills the singer on the U.S. Navy's use of Godsmack's songs in their commercials for recruitment, and the whole conversation turns touchy and uncomfortable on a dime.

JAY: So I notice you guys have been really involved with promoting the military. [1]

SULLY: Well, they actually came to us, believe it or not. Somebody in the Navy loves this band, because they used ‘Awake’ for three years and then they came to us and re-upped the contract for another three years for ‘Sick of Life.’ So, I don’t know. They just feel like that music, [laughs] someone in that place thinks that the music is very motivating for recruit commercials I guess. And hey, I’m an American boy so it’s not… I’m proud of it.

JAY: You’re proud of recruiting your fans into the military?

SULLY: Well, no. [laughs, then playfully] Don’t be turning my fucking words around, you!

JAY: Well, tell me what you mean. You said your music is powerful, it’s got an effect, like you said, and you’re letting the military use it. The military, who are they recruiting? 18-to-30-year-olds, right?

SULLY: I guess… I don’t know what their recruit age is. I know it’s at least 18.

JAY: Yeah, they do down in the high schools now.

SULLY: My thing is… Listen, here’s my thing with the military. I’m not saying our government is perfect. Because I know that we make some mistakes and we do shitty things BUT, BUT. You wouldn’t have your job, and we wouldn’t have our lives, if we weren’t out there protecting this country so we could lead a free life. So there’s kind of a ying and a yang to that. Sometimes it’s not always the best choices that we make, or we stick our noses in other people’s shit, but at the same time, we protect this place enough that we’re able to like pursue careers and do what a lot of people in other countries aren’t able to do. They’re kind of picked and they’re chosen to be whatever they become… I’m, I’m, I’m proud to be an American, I’ll tell you that.

JAY: So your country, right or wrong?

SULLY: Uh, no. Not right or wrong. But I’m proud to be an American. I love my country. I’ve seen the depressions and how people live in other countries and how they’re told what to be, and they don’t have the choices that we have. I do love that about our country. So, you know… And I actually sympathize with a lot of the soliders, and the military in general, that are trained to go out and protect FOR us, and what they have to go through, it’s really kind of shitty in a sense that these young kids have to go over there and die, sometimes, for something that isn’t our fucking problem. And that kind of sucks. So what I have to do is at least support them, because they don’t have the choice that we do.

JAY: They don’t have the choice because…?

SULLY: Because they’ve decided to fight for our country.

JAY: And they decided to do that because…?

SULLY: [laughs]…

JAY: Of your song…?


It gets worse. Much worse. Then Sully hangs up.

Reading the whole thing (and don't ask me why I do these things...I don't know), you get the distinct impression that Jay is trolling for a fight. He's viscerally upset about Godsmack's involvement with the military, and his approach to the interview is spikey - laced with a sort of passive-aggressive indignation.

Which, frankly, is sort of pitiful.

I found myself siding with the singer over the course of reading this thing, and I'd be surprised if many people didn't. Sully seems capitalistically open-minded about supporting the ideals of America and the military, while simultaneously not requiring that you agree with what they're doing. That sounds like a pretty mature, respectable opinion to me.

Ironically, this Jay fellow reminds me of far too many "Blame America first" conservatives, who associate the act of criticism with being a traitor.

(link courtesy of DownWithTyranny!)

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