Favorite

Striking Back 

Strike Anywhere's Thomas Barnett on politics, Richmond's version of history and the band's new album.

art38_music_strikeanywhere_100.jpg

Style: This sounds like a more personal album.

Barnett: With the songwriting, we wanted to humanize politics and tell real narrative biographical and nonbiographical stories, so we don't become this one-dimensional political cartoon. [The first song is about Barnett's grandfather, who worked as a welder and steamfitter on the Manhattan Project, where he was exposed to weapons-grade uranium believed to have caused birth defects in Barnett's father.]



Tell me about the song "Hollywood Cemetery."

It's about how Richmond has an intense reverence for historical icons but a Southern aristocratic whitewashing at the same time. … Stories about slave rebellions aren't taught with the same emphasis as ones about Thomas Jefferson. We used to break into [Hollywood Cemetery] and drink when we were younger, and you can see all the dead slave-owning presidents and the roots of our expansive, global hypocrisy.… It's a song about anti-heroes, really.



What did you get out of being on the 2005 Vans Warped Tour?

We got a lot of dismay for modern culture and the mainstreaming of art in general. It tends to feel like a desperate shopping mall, a superficial, prepackaged, glittering presentation. We weren't into it at all. They had military recruiters using high-tech stuff to make the war look like a video game and appeal to the testosterone levels of vulnerable young boys. It was insane, so we did our best to be a voice for the anti-war movement from the stage. A lot of our counter-recruitment songs [on this album] about the militarization of pop culture come from our experience on that tour … the idea that the military option is the only one left for inner-city kids who have no access to education or health care, or escaping their class. S



Strike Anywhere plays an all-ages show at Alley Katz Saturday, Sept. 23, with Ignite, Global Threat, Modern Life Is War. 6-10 p.m., $10. An 18-and-older show with Sin Sity AC/DC tribute runs 11 p.m.-2 a.m., $6. 643-2816.





  • Click here for more Arts & Culture






  • Favorite

    Tags:

    Latest in Music

    Comments

    Subscribe to this thread:

    Add a comment

    More by Brent Baldwin

    Trending in the Alternative Press

    Connect with Style Weekly

    Newsletter Sign-Up

    The Flash
    The Bite
    The Scoop

    Most Popular Stories

    • Merely Players

      Merely Players

      “Level 4” is an inventive and funny show that delivers glancing blows at existentialism and the human condition.
      • Aug 20, 2019
    • A Billowing Sail

      A Billowing Sail

      The handsome new Dominion tower is eye-catching from afar, its parking deck mundane up close.
      • Aug 20, 2019
    • Major Edward Hopper Show Coming to VMFA in October

      Major Edward Hopper Show Coming to VMFA in October

      Exhibition offers the opportunity to stay overnight at the museum through an immersive hotel experience.
      • Aug 12, 2019
    • Across the Pond

      Across the Pond

      The compelling VMFA exhibit “Transatlantic Currents” examines the pull exerted on American artists in Europe.
      • Aug 20, 2019
    • More »

    Copyright © 2019 Style Weekly
    Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
    All rights reserved
    Powered by Foundation