When politics and music meet, the result can be fierce and focused (Public Enemy, Fugazi) or heavy and heavy-handed (Rage Against The machine). Occasionally, though, socially aware songs can be subtle.
The Weakerthans have earned a reputation as an ideologically charged band, but their lyrics don't contain easy slogans, "vote this way" or "set this person free." Instead, the group writes first-person accounts of how broader issues affect the average person. Being political doesn't always mean addressing the hard-hitting topics about which the intellectually inclined banter at coffee shops; deeply personal work also qualifies.
"I think the approach of our band is honestly looking at what's going on in the world," says bassist John Sutton, speaking from a noisy gas station near a western Canada tour stop. "It's really coming from the place where we all lived." (The group's members hail from Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada.) "Winnipeg is a poor city in general, and a lot of people don't have a lot handed to them. There is a very large number of people living under the poverty line in Winnipeg, and you can really feel that when you're there. That stuff touches us for sure. Seeing people not getting chances, seeing the struggles of everyday life and how we're part of them.Read More