Jonny 5 of Flobots spoke with Denver Westword in a Q&A, where the frontman talked about his involvement with the “Occupy Movement”, how today’s political climate compares to the period when ‘Fight with Tools’ came out during the Bush administration, people raging against the machine, Occupy being compared to the Arab Spring, how to keep the message going longer term, the movement being viewed as advocating socialism, whether he has political ambitions of his own, and eventually even talk about music.
“Well, you know, I think the industry as a whole, in many ways, is crumbling. It’s not crumbling for artists. It’s crumbling for the industry,” he said about the group’s self-financed album. “So it feels really good and freeing to be on our time table. I think from an artistic standpoint, it’s a psychological game. When there’s someone else involved, it affects you, even if they don’t affect you. If you’re spending your time making sure that you’re not making a song that somebody else would want you to make, it becomes this weird sort of mind trip. And there’s no mind games right now. It’s all us. It’s all about the music we want to make.”
Johnny 5 of the Flobots voiced his support for Occupy Denver in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street as the state’s governor threatened arrest. Footage of group founder Jamie Laurie at the event, where he’s seen leading the movement’s bizarre human echo method, has been posted online.
“I have been inspired by Occupy Denver,” Johnny 5 said to the repeating crowd. “I have not been present very much, so I speak with that knowledge that I don’t come with a full knowledge of the conversations here. In 1999 I was arrested and in jail for four days in Seattle in the protests in Seattle. I want to emphasize that getting arrested is not the same as violence. But, getting arrested is serious. So if you’re planning on risking arrest, I recommend to be prepared.”
Watch the footage below.
James Laurie (Jonny 5) and Stephen Brackett (Brer Rabbit) of Flobots invite you to “live the lyrics” in a talk from TEDx DU on May 13th. “What if you were invited by your favorite recording artist to attend a conference on social justice, and not only saw them perform and join them in meals, but also helped to determine the theme of their next album,” Brackett said to start the discussion. Watch it via YouTube below the cut. (more…)
Flobots are out with the video to their new single ‘White Flag Warrior’, featuring Tim McIlrath of Rise Against, the first release from the Denver, Colorado alternative hip hop group’s third studio album ‘Survival Story’, out now on Universal Republic Records. Watch it via MySpace below the cut. (more…)
Causecast.org caught up with Flobots at the Night of Hopes and Dreams event for the Somaly Mam Foundation to discuss their unique blend of hip hop and activism, and the group’s goals with Fight with Tools, an online resource for their Street Teams and anyone who wants to connect and help to create real world change. “In another way, it’s taking who might be music fans, and might be a little bit interested in trying to do something, and helping them coach themselves along the way to activist work, in a way that makes sense to themselves,” Brer Rabbit explained. “It’s one thing to say, hey go and volunteer at a soup kitchen, and then somebody goes and does that, and they come back and they’re empty. So it’s about ‘ideafying’ something that you can be an expert on, which is your own community, and you can contact our national coordinator, and then we can coach you through any of the ways to be more effective in that cause that you’ve identified. So we’re trying to show that people can be experts in their own communities, and actually be the resources that the communities need. And in that same process, like, maybe if the music was their jumping off point, now, they are resources for us, to get other people to respond to them.”
The story and video at causecast.org have since been removed.
Rap acts on television this week include:
Flobots, who perform on ‘Late Night with Conan O’Brien’ (NBC) on Monday.
T.I., who visits ‘The View’ (ABC) on Monday and ‘Tavis Smiley’ (PBS) on Thursday.
Kool Keith, who visits ‘The Daily Habit’ (Fuel) on Monday.
Ludacris, who visits ‘106 & Park’ (BET) and ‘Total Request Live’ (MTV) on Wednesday and ‘Late Night with Conan O’Brien’ (NBC) on Friday.
Sandy ‘Pepa’ Denton of Salt-N-Pepa, who visits ‘The Tyra Banks Show’ (Syndicated) to talk about dealing with an abusive relationship on Wednesday.
Aesop Rock, who visits ‘The Daliy Habit’ (Fuel) on Friday.
Rap acts on television this week include:
G-Unit, who visit ‘106 & Park’ on Tuesday.
N.E.R.D., who perform on ‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno’ on Wednesday.
Flobots, who perform on ‘The Tonight Show’ on Thursday.
Hip hop acts on television this week include:
Flobots, who perform on ‘Last Call with Carson Daly’ on Tuesday.
Atmosphere, who perform on ‘Late Night with Conan O’Brien’ on Wednesday.
Flobots are out with the video to their new single ‘Handlebars’, from the Denver, Colorado indie hip hop group’s second album ‘Fight With Tools’, out now on Universal Republic. Watch it below.