Take to the ‘Battleground’ With a New Bouncing Souls Video!
New Jersey's positively pop-punk kings, the Bouncing Souls, aren't just sunshine, riffs and feelings — the band can get political as well. In their latest pop-inflected jam, "Battleground," Greg Attonito and co., lead a charge to mobilize their audience with a clear chorus of "We have to fight for humanity!" and rainbow fists throughout. The new single — which makes its debut in video form here — delivers a strong message of unity in these politically charged times. It's a great track, made greater because the heavy, important message is delivered in a way that most other protest or political tracks aren't: It's fun, light-hearted, inviting and very hummable. Congrats to Bouncing Souls for accomplishing the nearly impossible.
With this song out now and proceeds set to benefit NoDAPL, we talked to Attonito about the track's inspiration, life under the Trump umbrella and what's next for the N.J. band. The results of our interview are below.
This song is a benefit for the protestors at Standing Rock. What is your reaction to Trump's recent repeal of Obama's executive order to end the DAPL?
The executive order was disappointing, but not surprising. I hope it's not as discouraging as it's being made to appear, and I believe various things still need to fall in place for the building of the pipeline to continue. That being said, my heart goes out to all the people who are putting their life energy into protecting the water in South Dakota and so many other water sources that are under threat in the country. Their courage, determination and strength is truly inspiring. They are out there on the front line in the cold for us, so I feel like we all should do whatever we can to help them by contributing, taking action or just talking about it on social media.
The lyrics of the song are closely tied to the current political climate, but it seems to be less focused on a particular issue. With all of the insanity going on right now, what cause would you say is extremely important to you, and why?
The cause that is most important to me is for people to WAKE THE FUCK UP. I believe a shift in consciousness is priority one. The sooner people become aware that our government has been hijacked and that we have been living in a social and political environment, intentionally designed to control us through fear, the better. The “dark forces” I’m referring to in the song are the ones who are trying to create chaos and fear for people so they can be controlled. There is a new wave of fear coming at us now. Women are on the verge of losing their rights to make choices about their own bodies. This is crazy! It amazes me that more people — especially women — are accepting this, and even supporting it in many cases. People of all races and religions are experiencing threats that should not be tolerated for a second in this day and age. It's plain to see so many of this “administration”’s efforts, are to “normalize” hate and fear under the guise of patriotism. It up to us to not fall into the trap. We have to stay united in our shared humanity and show care for each other, now more than ever.
How would you quantify what is going on in America and what do you think the average citizen can do to help?
Do things that truly empower your heart and soul, and in turn it will inspire the hearts and souls of others around you. This has a BIG impact, and we can all do it RIGHT NOW. Pay attention to where you spend your money and who profits from the choices you make. Educate yourself on how food is grown, how things are made and where they are made, to the best of your ability. I don’t think we all realize how much power there is in our spending choices. Try a plant-based diet! This one choice will have an immediate positive impact on your health [and] the environment, and you will be helping to topple the government-subsidized meat industry! I encourage people to call their representatives and express themselves about issues that are important to them. Whatever you choose to do or say, take action from your heart and it will be helping to empower hearts everywhere!
Did you participate in the Women's March? If so, what sort of feelings did you get?
I was unable to attend a march, but I participated that day virtually by helping my wife, Shanti [Wintergate], create a video for a new single she released that day, called “Revolution.” It felt good to be able to help my wife realize her vision about what’s happening in our world right now and say what she wanted to say that day through the song and the video. I was so inspired by the events of that day. I still feel energized by it!
2016 saw the release of your 10th LP, Simplicity. Did this song come from those sessions?
The song did not come about during those sessions. The band had all been following the events at Standing Rock for a while, but the spark of inspiration came when a good friend of ours, who is a veteran, organized a trip to Standing Rock to assist the water protectors in December. The song idea was born shortly after that; then we exchanged ideas over the phone and the band mobilized a recording session really quickly. John Seymore, who produced Simplicity, agreed to volunteer his producer efforts, and we were in the studio in a few days. It felt great to be proactive as a group and get behind something we all believe in, instead of allowing all these events to steamroll us into submission. We want to keep that head of steam and momentum going, and do our part if we can, like so many others. The power of the people can change the world.
What's next for the Bouncing Souls? What's next for you as a solo artist?
The Souls will be continuing to bring good vibes to our world for the next six months on various tours. We are doing a few East Coast dates and West Coast dates, and will be playing some European festival shows in the spring and summer.
I haven’t been doing much solo stuff, but I have been working on a family-friendly music project called Play Date for the past few years, and I am excited to be performing live and releasing some new music with that this year.
In the big picture, though, I’m most excited about doing my best in every moment to stay centered and share love with the world. I encourage everyone to do the same — it will make a huge impact for all of us.