Start Today: 50+ Artists on Where We Go After Donald Trump
It’s easy to feel bewildered, downtrodden and just plain outraged at the results of virtually any election, but the events of November 8 were particularly stinging for most. And while it’s easy to sit back and spout platitudes like “not my president” and threaten a move to another country, it takes a stronger person to use this as fuel to push forward and apply these negatives as an impetus toward changing yourself and fighting in your corner of the world. As a result, we asked over 50 artists about their experience on that fateful night, how the outcome of the election affected them directly, how they are coping and what they are planning on doing in the face of our newly elected president.
How did you find out about the election result, and what was your reaction?
BETHANY COSENTINO (BEST COAST): I was watching MSNBC the entire night. I started tuning in at 3 PM. I had two bottles of wine in front of me just in case things started to go bad, and they did, and the two bottles both got drank. When I started to realize he was going to win, I had to turn the TV off. I'm pretty sure I blacked out from panic and rage — not the wine, I swear — and I flipped out. I was crying and yelling and couldn't contain myself. By the time I calmed down, I checked Twitter to see he had won. I cried myself to sleep. I can't remember ever crying that hard.
SANFORD PARKER: I was part of a DJ night at Footsie's in Los Angeles. It's a weekly event hosted by Scott Carlson, J. Bennett and Tom Neely. I had refused to watch any TV or look at a computer the entire day. I didn't see one sec of the election. During my DJ set, someone shouted from the bar, "Fucking Trump won!" I then cued up "Billion Dollar Babies" on the turntable.
MARISSA NADLER: I was at a Red Roof Inn in Buffalo, as I'm on tour right now. I was watching the election coverage on CNN and getting more and more anxiety as it started to look bad. I had to go to sleep because I couldn't stand to watch it. I woke up at 4 AM with a glimmer of hope that things would have turned around, but was shocked and disgusted to see that things hadn't.
JUSTICE TRIPP (ANGEL DU$T, TRAPPED UNDER ICE): On Election Day, we were playing the Observatory in Santa Ana, Calif. Everyone was backstage bumming out. I had to get on stage and pretend like I wasn't breaking down, but the truth is I just wasn't there. The set felt weird, like something terrible was happening, and I got off stage to find that it did.
NED RUSSIN (TITLE FIGHT): I was watching election coverage on NBC in my apartment. Around 10 PM, they had Michael Moore on to discuss his theory about how the Rust Belt would go Trump, and with it the whole election. I had heard these things, but tried to brush them off before November 8, but a pit in my stomach was forming as I watched Chuck Todd explain how Florida was probably going Trump, and Virginia might as well. Shortly after, they predicted Ohio was going to Trump. I forced myself to go to sleep then, knowing what the outcome would be. I woke up around 2 AM and checked my phone and saw that Trump had swept Michigan, as was feared, and Pennsylvania, my home state, which has voted Democrat since I was born. A few more votes needed to be tallied up, and then Donald Trump would officially be our President-elect. I couldn't fall back asleep. The pit in my stomach that was at first anxiety had turned to something different. All I could think as I laid there was what could have possibly led people put a person into a position of power that who built their campaign on misogynistic, racist, Islamophobic, xenophobic, homophobic, ableistic, hateful speech. I felt a depression that extended far beyond myself, an almost complete loss of faith in humanity. It was a sad, sad realization that the world I live in is not what I thought it was.
LEO ASHLINE (STREET SECTS): We found out about the election while at a house show we were playing in Denton, not long before we went on. We didn't really have time to process it until afterwards, driving out, and even then it seemed kind of abstract, like it wasn't really sinking in. Maybe it still hasn't. The mood at the show that night was similar. Everyone was looking at their phones, talking about it nervously, almost cautiously, but there was no uproar, no unifying reaction. The cops showed up to shut the show down and send everyone home. People filed out slowly, but without complaint. It's like everyone was just depressed.
FAT MIKE (NOFX): I'm on tour. I saw the election results and had to go on stage in Edmonton in 30 minutes. I called my daughters, who were both crying hysterically. I just wanted to go home to [San Francisco] and tell them everything is gonna be alright ... but it's not. Then, I gotta perform on stage every night. I had to wear sunglasses in Canada 'cause I couldn't look anyone in the eye.
No man has ever made my daughters cry. It's a horrible feeling. This isn't politics. This is devastation. My heart goes out to all the women of the world. You don't deserve this. You're better than men. You're more caring and loving, and you should be running the world! Men have fucked up everything! Specifically white men. I hope somehow we're gonna make this right. But for now, let's just try to be good to each other.
ZACH LIPEZ (PUBLICIST UK): I'm not proud to say that it wasn't too far from the SNL sketch the other night. I assured Zohra [Atash Lipez's fiance and a musician], who was (correctly) nervous, over and over again that it was fine, that urban votes got counted more slowly and it would be close, but that Clinton would pull through. Not because I have any faith in our inherent goodness or the exceptionalism of us as a nation, but because I had a certain amount of cynical faith in the party machinery. I figured rank and file Democrats would show up out of party loyalty and enough rank and file Republicans, out of proper and correct distaste for their candidate, wouldn't. So, I guess I overestimated everybody.
WALTER SCHREIFELS (VANISHING LIFE, QUICKSAND): My wife told me in the morning, crying, but [I] had a bad feeling about it when a friend texted me at 12:30 AM saying, "This is scary."
How does this affect your daily life directly?
BRIAN COOK (RUSSIAN CIRCLES): It affects me because overturning federal recognition of gay marriage is one of the GOP's goals, and I'm a gay married man that's already had my marriage voided once back in 2005 when Portland had to nullify the marriage licenses they issued to same-sex couples in 2004. If that happens, I will also lose my health insurance, as I get benefits through my husband's job, which requires that we're married. Dave [Turncrantz, drummer]'s wife is going through the immigration process, so she's worried about deportation. Both Mike [Sullivan, guitarist] and Dave have health insurance through Obamacare, so they risk losing that. So, it affects us all very directly.
DAVE BRENNER (GRIDFAILURE): This affects every American's daily life now; he's opened the floodgates to allow hate groups to rise up in record numbers since he began running for office, and since the election results were announced, you see cases of racially biased attacks happening all over the country. This guy now controls our military. It's simply terrifying what's taking place.
RICK SMITH (TORCHE, SHITSTORM): We won't really know until the wheels kick into motion. Obama, although I liked him, promised lots of things, but without the backing of Congress, he was only able to deliver so much. The same may hopefully be true about Trump's presidency.
LEILA ABDUL-RAUF (VASTUM, HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE): I don't, nor do any of [us] know yet, which is the scariest part of it. At the very least, I will lose my health care. Life in America may become unsustainable very quickly. I may also have to deal with ethnic violence in a way I haven't previously. People that believe their lives won't be affected, or that everyone is being too paranoid about the possible effects of the election, are either very wealthy or in serious denial of reality.
LEE BUFORD (THE BODY): I have pretty bad depression and anxiety, so I take a lot of meds, and I gotta go to the ER every now and again, so Obamacare helped immensely with all that, but I'll still have access to all that stuff; it'll just be more taxing financially. That doesn't hold a candle to people who have to deal with more severe / expensive medications and hospital visits that basically will lose access to all of that. It also pales in comparison to people who now have to live in a country knowing that the U.S. elected someone who openly doesn't care or openly opposes your identity. For there to be such an immense and varied group of people saying they're feeling this discrimination and vitriol — and for the rest of the country to basically say, "We don't care" — is heartbreaking.
JENKS MILLER (HORSEBACK): Already, President-elect Trump has tweeted a reactionary response to media converge and protests across the country, and insinuated that he does not understand the Constitutional guarantees of free press and free assembly. This does not bode well for anyone who loves our country's Constitution and depends on it for protection from tyranny and / or bigotry.
BETHANY COSENTINO (BEST COAST): I mean, I'm a woman, so my rights are on the line. I'm well aware that I'm a privileged white woman in America, but still ... The idea of my constitutional rights to my own body being stripped from me — that's terrifying. Not to mention the amount of friends and fans I have that are minorities, immigrants, mentally / physically disabled, LGBTQ+. I mean, they are the people I truly ache for. I just don't understand how this happened. I do understand, because I see the hate and bigotry in our country every day, but I also don't understand because it seemed like people were so ready to move forward.
ETHAN MCCARTHY (PRIMITIVE MAN, VERMIN WOMB): As a person of color and as someone who works in a community that has a lot of Hispanic- and Arabic-speaking people, I feel like we are living in a world where racism is more out front and accepted, and that we are going to be fearing for our lives.
DAVE ADELSON (20 BUCK SPIN): I’m self-employed and buy health care on the open market. I have preexisting conditions, so if Obamacare is completely repealed in all aspects, the only way I could get health insurance is through an employer. While a horrible thought, it’s not as bad as what some people will be facing if the President-elect actually follows through on his “promises.”
CASEY HANSEN (CULT LEADER): We'll find out how this directly affects me in a tangible sense. Not if — how. As for now, it's more intangible. I'm trying to meet my fear and anxiety — mostly for people that don't share in my privilege — with preparing myself to find and exercise the most effective response possible to blunt and finally break what is to come as a consequence of this election.
JONAH BAYER (UNITED NATIONS): I think it's too soon to say how much this will affect my life directly. (Yes, I realize I am a white male, so this is just reflective of my personal experience, but hey, you asked me.) I'm hopeful that Trump was just appealing to conservatives to get their votes, and that once he gets into office, he isn't really going to mess with any social issues, but I do think having him pick Supreme Court justices is pretty scary. As someone who uses Obamacare, that's really what will affect me the most. I feel like politicians inherently must bend the truth so much to appeal to different groups of people that it's hard to say what Trump will actually be able to follow through with once he's in office. I read something that said he's already taken his mass ban of Muslims off his site, which I think is an encouraging sign.
TAD DOYLE (TAD, BROTHERS OF THE SONIC CLOTH): This will be affecting us all. Initially, we are thinking of what kind of a message that this sends to the world, women, children, peaceable people who have come to the United States to build a better life for themselves and their families. It is still incomprehensible to me how this has happened.
A.J. ANNUNZIATA (SANNHET): I think the most immediate measure [for] everyone White Middle-Class Male is to be completely vocal about what is culturally acceptable and what isn't. We now have an openly racist, misogynist, xenophobic president. People are going feel more comfortable acting out on that. I can see a lot of confrontation over the next four to eight years for me, socially. Others, especially youth, need to know what is and isn't acceptable.
LAURA JANE GRACE (AGAINST ME!): The more I think about it the more I realize "I don't know how this affects my daily life directly" I'm trying to not be reactionary and automatically jump to the worst case scenario. But goddamn, the more I think about it, and the more I think about Pence in particular, the more I realize I don't know what is going to happen, or how this will affect daily life.
MARISSA NADLER: Time will tell how this is going to affect daily life. Right now, I'm just disgusted to live in a country where nearly half of the voting citizens would support a racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic pig with absolutely no political experience. I'm fearful for the surge in hate around the country and worried that the election of Trump will validate hateful and bigoted thinking. I'm worried about the millions of Americans that will lose their insurance. I could go on and on. It just seems like the absolute moral apocalypse right now. I'll never understand why there is so much hate in the world. I'm equally perplexed as to what went wrong here and what it says about our nation's moral compass.
DAVID RODGERS (GODHUNTER): Very directly, especially considering I had a long conversation with my mother, who is now facing losing her health care again due to preexisting conditions. She's gone almost her entire adult life without health care because of those conditions, but thankfully in the last eight years, she's had insurance, and has gotten fairly healthy. Now she's looking at that disappearing again at 64 years old. She's scared, and I'm scared for her. I also can't even count the number of my friends that are POC or LBGTQ that are afraid for their lives right now. Almost everyone I know is very scared of what the future might bring.
JEREMY BOLM (TOUCHÉ AMORÉ): I've found myself in such a sad and resentful place. I can't go outside without feeling like the world is my enemy. If I see someone smile or laugh, I feel absolute hatred towards that person, like they're responsible or they're okay with this. I don't like feeling this way at all. It makes me sad that it's come to this. One of my close friends, who is Asian-American, got eggs thrown at her this morning while walking her dogs. Racial slurs were hurled at her with chants of "Trump Town." This happened in Southern California. This is not fucking okay.
SCOTT KELLY (NEUROSIS, CORRECTIONS HOUSE): I live in a working class and predominantly Latino neighborhood, and it just feels shitty. It wasn't until today that I saw the neighborhood kids playing outside; it seemed like everyone was staying in. My wife and daughter went to get breakfast the morning after the election, and there were old white men speaking openly racist about "sending people back where they came from" and shit like that. We live in a rural area, and even though Hilary won the state of Oregon, I'm sure that Trump took our area. This is going to be horrible. All the racist, sexist homophobes feel like the have free rein. And they do.
JUSTICE TRIPP (ANGEL DU$T, TRAPPED UNDER ICE): My girlfriend is a German citizen, and we spend a lot of time visiting back and forth. There's definitely a question as to how that's going to work come January 1. It's a stressful thing to worry about, but I know that our fears truly pale in comparison to so many others. I'm surrounded by people who I care for that are already feeling the effects of this election, ones that won't directly affect a white man.
MIKE HRANICA (THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA): I predict wide repercussions with the economy and the value of the dollar in general, but the more important setback is in regards to where this country was going with equal rights. Looking back at the kind of suppression that has been enacted is awful. It’s inexplicable. Fans of the band have lashed out and legitimately voiced complaints about the mistreatment of white males these days. I can’t stand it.
MICHAEL BERDAN (UNIFORM): I'm not really sure yet. For the moment, it has just decimated my spirit and the spirits of everyone around me. We left for tour the day after the election and things just feel broken. People are angry. People are scared. I'm a white dude and I benefit from a ton of fucking privilege that my female, lgbtq, and immigrant friends don't have. Right now, I'm just trying to check in with the people I love who this is impacting in a more immediate way.
DYLAN WALKER (FULL OF HELL): I am fully aware that I live a privileged life. I am a cis white male from Pennsylvania that lives in the woods. In about ten different directions, I am privileged in this country. I am not able to understand the struggles of my POC and LGBTQ brothers and sisters. It is to them that my thoughts go. This man and his campaign have opened the gates for a part of this country that i didn't think had as much of a voice.
ZOHRA ATASH (AZAR SWAN): Ever since Trump took the collective bad vibes that the American public is fed about Muslims from the implicit to the explicit, nothing has changed much. My whole life has been a slog through trying to make people understand that the representation that they see on television has no basis in reality. The fact that Americans think 1.5 billion people, of varying nations and identities, are a monolith boggles my mind. Trump has just made an ugly neon sign of it. After his Pulse nightclub speech, I knew shit was going to get worse. Trump and his ilk want Muslims to somehow report on each other, like we're all in cahoots. If it would be like if I blamed Zach for the series finale of Seinfeld.
JONATHAN MEIBURG (SHEARWATER): [My father is] a thoughtful, moderate man who's worked for the EPA for 40+ years—the last two as Deputy Administrator. For the next two months, he will be forced to assist people who are openly in the pay of the fossil fuel industry and call global warming a hoax to take over the agency he's served for his entire professional life.
What art is inspirational to you right now?
DOUG MOORE (PYRRHON): The band I've been thinking about the most throughout this election cycle is the defunct Canadian hardcore band Cursed. A lot of Cursed lyrics are about how sinister motives and mechanisms for oppression lurk behind seemingly benign features of everyday modern life. Those lyrics probably scanned as paranoiac to most readers in the past, but I've always thought that they capture something profound about how power in postmodern civilization works to control and distort human minds in subtle, non-obvious ways. Chris Colohan, their singer, has gotta be feeling pretty validated up in the Great White North right about now.
LAURA JANE GRACE (AGAINST ME!): I can't help but be drawn to Leonard Cohen right now, considering his recent passing. Not just for the "everybody knows that the dice are loaded" sentiments. But also, think about it: He was 82 years old. Working until he died. He never gave up. How many shitty presidents is that? Manager stole all his money, he didn't give up. Just kept going. Kept fighting, because what the fuck else can you do?
LEE BUFORD (THE BODY): James Baldwin, who I think wrote the greatest pieces on being an outsider in America in regards to race and sexuality. Anna Ahkmatova, who had her husband and son taken to the gulag in Russia after her first husband was killed by the government. David Wojnarowicz, Robert Mapplethorpe, Andres Serrano — basically anyone that's had to deal with the government forcing their values on what an artist "should or should not," which I think is going to become more prevalent.
EVAN PATTERSON: (JAYE JAYLE, YOUNG WIDOWS): All art is inspiring to me right now. In particular, those who maintain a progressive and productive life through creation of art while surviving in Kentucky. It's a challenge to stay motivated and to keep positive inspiration with a limited amount of progressive underground culture. Working a job with benefits to live a life that doesn't blossom or change or move in any direction. Everything is changing, and the only way to adapt is to change with it. Art might not pay the bills or provide for a family, but it can and has. It sure as hell can bring more joy than a brand new car or a vacation to some corporate Las Vegas-inspired American Dream wasteland.
I was lucky to be raised 30 miles south of Louisville, and the moment I could somewhat escape the backwards thinking of small-town culture, I did. I say "somewhat" because Louisville is an island in a sea of rednecks. That is a generalization; there are many people in the state that I wouldn't name-call. My mother still lives in Elizabethtown, and she is an inspirational person. She isn't scared and makes only progressive actions for the hope and future of this world. Like a good mother should. There are many humbled folks in Kentucky making art and pushing blinding waves of enlightenment onto those who need a wash of these superficial sands of judgment and fear. Just not as many as I'd like to be surrounded by. Just not enough.
Many fellow musicians and artists in Louisville have been organizing events, exhibits and gatherings to bring more attention to the social-political bond of the arts of Kentuckians. Art is spiritually and politically bonding without having to say anything directly about politics or spirituality. For my sake, it might be reading a chapter from a Cormac McCarthy book, watching Jodorowsky's Dune documentary or listening to Leonard Cohen's New Skin for the Old Ceremony for the millionth time. Art is god, art is president, art is love and art is fuel. Never stop creating. Never look back.
RILEY GALE (POWER TRIP): I've found a lot of comfort and inspiration in comics the past couple years. It been revealed to me, in the right hands, [that] you can do or say anything within the medium. I am going back to the critical theory texts of my college days and seeing so many parallels in both — political, postmodern thought and philosophy — right there on a comic page. For one thing, it's a lot more accessible and more entertaining to read, but if you're searching for a level of cognitive depth outside of "hero punches villain into defeat," it's there. Ales Kot and Jonathan Hickman are two of my favorite writers capable of being wildly entertaining, but deeply profound.
JUSTICE TRIPP (ANGEL DU$T, TRAPPED UNDER ICE): Everything around me. People are so cool and creative, and you can see it in everything from music to some kid's meme that they posted on Twitter. Art and all forms of creative endeavors help us to find common ground with people so far away. We need more art than ever right now.
NED RUSSIN (TITLE FIGHT): I've been inspired by Fugazi. Their politics and their ethics — to say nothing of their music — are blueprints for what is possible in punk and beyond. Specifically Steady Diet of Nothing and The Argument, as they are both written at times of turmoil. I've been watching this Fugazi show from Mass Art in April 2002 (their last U.S. show), where Ian [MacKaye] addresses the then-current anti-war effort. Ian says, "The fact of the matter is, wherever you are in the world, if you disagree with war, then you should be protesting every day, no matter where you are. Right now, this is the beginning of the protest." I think that's a beautiful thing to hear at a time like this. While getting out in the streets and protesting is important, what we do in our everyday life is equally important. We need to be anti-Trump even when there is no protest; we need to be working pursuing equality and love every day.
Also, I've been listening to a lot of Beatles lately. I see a lot of anger right now, and it makes a lot of sense. But we can't be angry forever. We can't meet Trump's anger with our own — we need [to] work towards love. Love must continue, even though it's difficult to get there right now, so I put on "I Want to Hold Your Hand" remind me that this is my end goal.
JUSTIN PEARSON (HEAD WOUND CITY, RETOX): The same art that was inspirational to me November 7 and earlier is what is inspirational. As much as I think it was amusing to think, mention, and hear that punk and hardcore will be good again, I think there has been so much righteous art out there this whole time. To think that now it will be good again is a bit ignorant and sort of rude, I suppose. The whole time the so-called left was getting soft during the last eight years, there was relevant, punctual and radical art happening. And that was all happening during the whole time of illegal drone strikes, police brutality, political corruption and other pressing social injustices that have plagued humanity want too long. I’m sure good, hard-hitting, meaningful stuff will come of this. But inspiration is there every day, and has been there this whole time; you just have to pay attention.
RICHARD JOHNSON (DRUGS OF FAITH, AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED): I just saw Napalm Death play last night. As Barney [Greenway] alluded to on the mic, their messages are just as relevant now as ever, if not more relevant. And I'm positive that their next release will have a strong political edge. It's important to — instead of preaching to the converted (the audience) or repeating canned responses to what's going on — give intelligent commentary with passion and meaning behind it.
SAM VELDE (OBLITERATIONS): I immediately began listening to punk and hardcore records. The first record I pulled out was The Day the Country Died by the Subhumans. I watched Hal Ashby's Being There film with Peter Sellers. It helped to find some grounding to my emotions. This morning I found a great deal of solace and solidarity in the new A Tribe Called Quest record.
DAVID KELLING (CULTURE ABUSE): i try to surround myself with open minds and creativity and love, with my friends, playing music, going to shows and living in the bay area in general. That makes going through the days pretty easy, i am constantly learning new things and exposed to so much. it is truly hard to believe that a lot of america is not like this. So all i can think of, to be the most helpful in this current state, speaking for myself, is to put out an overall positive energy into the world when i am out and about. acknowledge people, be pleasant. and speak up when i see something wrong. Spread compassion, communicate with others and be open to learn, and grow. don’t be afraid to go against the grain when you know in your heart you are doing the right thing.
DAVID CASTILLO (PRIMITIVE WEAPONS, WHITE WIDOWS PACT): Anyone who is willing to speak their truth. Even if it's uncomfortable, I want to hear it.
DAN LILKER (NUCLEAR ASSAULT, ANTHRAX, S.O.D.): Anal Trump.
Do you intend to take proactive action in response?
FREDDY CRICIEN (MADBALL): What do you want me to do, pull an Oswald?! I have a family to raise, come on. [Laughs] Seriously speaking, I will continue to voice my opinions about social things / life / etc., through our music. If you consider that to be proactive — or reactive, rather — then there you go! Sadly, there's not a hell of a lot one can do right now, realistically speaking. The protests are cool because we are exercising our rights and showing disapproval: We're not down with this shit! Cool! But do you think he'll leave office because of it? Will he be impeached to quell the masses? Sorry, no. We had a bad hand this time around, across the board. We would be dealing with one mess or another, either way. Continue to gather info and don't ever put anything past the "powers that be." That's the first step of the revolution. We'll know the second step when it reveals itself.
JUSTIN FOLEY (THE AUSTERITY PROGRAM): I’m heartened by the general response to protest against this stuff, but I plan on being most active when things get bad — lousy Supreme Court appointments, awful laws / regulations getting passed. I belong to an active labor union, and encourage others to join and participate in organizations that can channel emotion into effective political power. Now is not the time to just create protest art.
LUWAYNE GLASS (DREAMCRUSHER): I used to say existing in my fullest and truest self is the biggest political statement I can make, I still think that, but I'll certainly put myself in the face of people that don't want to see me. Orange Hitler has given a voice to a generation that should have died out, this is their last stand, it's time to eviscerate them.
BRIAN GORSEGNER (NIGHT BIRDS):Absolutely. [I'm] currently transitioning from grieving and using it as an excuse to polish off half of a chocolate ganache birthday cake into take-action mode. Night Birds are touring Mexico two weeks after Trump takes office, and I'm looking forward to meeting folks over there and getting some real perspective. We need to be sharp, and learn, and listen, and figure out the best things we can do for everyone who's going to suffer from this bullshit. Not just as a member of a band, but also as a father and an individual, I'm going to do my part.
NEILL JAMESON (KRIEG): Not in the populist sense of going out with a sign and yelling. I admire those who use their right to civil disobedience, but I think I can be more useful on the ground floor level. I've signed up with a local chapter of HandsOn to see what use any skills I have could be to volunteer organizations, especially within the arts and mental health segments. I believe that my role to enact change needs to be done on the ground floor. If I'm successful there, then I'll see what the next step is. Any kind of activism should be a lifelong endeavor, and not just for when it's most popular.
DAVID DONDERO: Every chance I get. We can't stay quiet about this crap. Like they say in their War on Terrorism, "If you see something, say something." If you hear someone spouting off this racist shit, say something! Confront them. Don't take it! Protect your brothers and sisters who are being targeted.
SCOTT KELLY (NEUROSIS, CORRECTIONS HOUSE): My family will do whatever it takes to defend people in their right to be who they are, free of prejudice. Now more than ever. This result has put us all in a position to affect an even greater amount of change in our daily interactions. Taking the the time to say hello and check in with folks, break bread whenever possible. Just making sure that the people who are the targets of this hatred know that we are on their side and they can come to us if they're having problems. This situation is hard for us to bear; I can't imagine what it feels like to a hard-working family of immigrants who have done nothing other than come here and do the work that other people are unwilling to do, to try and build a safe haven for their family to grow and prosper. Now it all falls into a question of day-to-day survival and watching their backs at all times.
BOBBY FERRY (-16-): Keep living ethically. Keep doing the right thing. Keep treating others with respect. Keep making music. It turns out the anarchy crust punk ideals of 25 years ago were all correct. Continue to fight for the absence of government and freedom for the individual.
TYSON "CHICKEN" ANNICHARICO (DEAD TO ME): I'm a very firm believer in direct action. In America, it would seem that, for better or worse, the most effective way we can implement a direct action is with our dollar. Where we spend it and what companies / institutions we support is a very effective — albeit slow — way of getting the attention of the establishment. Boycotting companies whose politics are hurting our communities and causes we care about — while supporting companies that benefit said communities — does ultimately send a message, I think. I also think there is a lot of power in actual human conversation. I called members of my family and some friends and talked about where it was all landing with them. While angry tweets and social media posts may feel good, I would argue that those interactions are largely to blame [for] why our country is so divided and its citizens are so easily misinformed. Seems like folks don't talk to each other anymore; they just post and then go about their day. It leads to non-critical, lazy thinking, and that makes us easily divided and ignorant of what is actually going on.
RILEY GALE (POWER TRIP): I wield a microphone and I intend it use it more fiercely and proactively. My lyrics are very political in a sneaky way, and I think it's time to stop hiding the points I'm making behind allegory, metaphor and symbolism. I do intend to now be more upfront about my stances.
NATHAN CARSON (WITCH MOUNTAIN): I’m certainly cheering on the protesters in Portland. I am signing petitions. I am keeping an eye out for injustice. Otherwise, it’s so soon that it's hard to know the best action to take. Mostly I’m in a state of preparedness at this juncture.
LAURA JANE GRACE (AGAINST ME!): I try and always be proactive. Try and always be putting some good into the world outside of just selling tickets, records and T-shirts. I've done a lot of work over the past two years with an organization called Gender Is Over!, raising money for various LGBTQ charities. We have a current one going, raffling off some signed copies of my book. The money from this particular fundraiser will be going to an organization that sends books to LGBTQ prisoners. As far as the future goes, I definitely plan on continuing to put work and effort into similar organizations.
NED RUSSIN (TITLE FIGHT): I have been at some protests already, and will be at more. Title Fight is going to make an effort in several capacities as well. Playing benefits, supporting causes and trying to promote ideas that we think will be overlooked by a Trump presidency, also while taking efforts to specifically address our own local community in Kingston / Wilkes-Barre.
TODD CONGELLIERE (TOYS THAT KILL): It's inevitable at this point. The sad thing is that it doesn't have to be "us vs them." It's never been as divided as it is now. Let's start by showing empathy. Even to someone who voted for Trump. I know I'll get shit for this, but not everyone who voted for him is a racist, misogynist, etc. If you truly believe that, then you are no better. We've turned into a linear-thinking society, only with different agendas. If something fits to help one's agenda, then it becomes truth. Without empathy and critical thinking, freedom doesn't mean jackshit. There's the dogmatic left and the dogmatic right. Self-appointed overlords. They will only make things much worse.
JUSTIN PEARSON (HEAD WOUND CITY, RETOX): I have been, and will continue to do so. Not only do I think the best form of activism is to focus on the way you live your life — such as where you spend your money, how you present yourself in your community and overall, your stance on important issues — but when considering activism, I would tend to not really want to discuss certain actions publicly in fear of retaliation or arrest. People on the same side of an issue can interpret the concept of "proactive" differently. I, for one, think direct action is a reasonable means to get a message across.
BEN GREENBERG (UNIFORM): Absolutely. I was at the first protest and I plan on becoming increasingly active. Right now, just internally, everything is so bleak, it feels like another 9/11. I'm not an organizer, but I will be involved to the end. This is too big to take lying down.
DREW STONE (ANTIDOTE): I'm starting a new band based on the President-elect. Much the way that Ronald Reagan was a key player in the early American hardcore scene, this guy is going to be the source for endless inspiration. This project is going to be funny beyond belief; we need some fucking laughs around here. Stay tuned.
GAVIN VAN VLACK (BURN): We would have to take proactive action if HRC had won the election. The DNC is as corrupt an organization as there is, and is in so many poison-lined pockets that we would have to be on top of their every move. This is regardless of her being a women, because for anyone to think that she gets a pass due to gender? Well, that is either just foolish, naive or bigoted. She is still a Washington insider, and she works for the interest of her investors. My own life, I choose to not be affected by it in any negative manner, but I do have a lot of friends and people within my community who are very scared and angry about the outcome, and it is understandable.
AARON TURNER (SUMAC, OLD MAN GLOOM): Living a life that's based on the principles of love — for self and for others — is the most important thing I can do. Being actively mindful to treat everyone with kindness and respect in any given situation is equally critical. If we feel powerless in our daily lives, we need only witness how our treatment of ourselves and those we come into direct contact [with] takes effect. This helps us to see the extent of our power to transform the world around us. Our immediate environment is where we can have the most impact, and that impact ripples outwards into the wider world.
More broadly, being an artist and believing in art as an agent for change, there’s meaningful work I can do in this area to contribute to the world, and help call attention to some of our societal illnesses. As a public figure, there is a responsibility to use my platform in a positive way, to communicate with those who are absorbing any creative output in which I’m a participant. I used to feel that the work alone [was] statement enough, and though it is the primary one, I’m realizing the importance of being more explicit / vocal about my intent in doing what I do. It’s not enough to merely entertain — the goal is to make music / art that gives us a portal through which we can examine ourselves, the world within and without, question why we see things the way they do, and realize our potential to make significant changes and develop positive momentum in our lives. It’s critical to continue dismantling the borders that exists in the world of art-making — the hetero white man’s bro-club is slowly crumbling, but not fast enough. In light of what this election symbolizes, the hegemony needs to go, now — active dismantlement of that paradigm is crucial for the goal of collective advancement. In making decisions about the collaborative / touring / label partners I work with it is increasingly important seek out and actively listen to creative people from other countries, cultures, genders, sexual orientations, etc. For years I have directly benefited from being a blind participant of the boys club. I want to release myself from this exclusionary circle of patriarchal power and control — passive participation in this kind of system is what allows someone like Trump ascend to a position of power when it goes unexamined for too long. The reality of my situation is that I have the ear of a largely white male audience, and this is precisely the sector of our country / culture that needs to question our collective attitudes, behavior and inherent acceptance of birthright.
I believe in the prospect of a brighter future, I believe in the spirit of humanity, and I believe in capacity of the U.S. to shift once again towards positive progression. That belief is part of why I choose to make art and why I chose to have a son. I hope to help make a better future possible by making thoughtful decisions in the now — by giving something of myself to the world, by assisting creative partners in spreading their voices, by being a father that can show his son a positive / non-violent / loving example of what it means to be a man. To believe that I am powerless against someone like our newly elected president is to negate my sense of self, everything I’m working towards, and the agency and efforts of others. What we all have to offer is our energy, our time and our love — and that is considerable. Trump winning the election is an opportunity to [move] past divisive surface values and open ourselves to a recognition of our shared humanity. It is an opportunity for those of us who have historically benefited from systemic subjugation of others to reflect on how we are active participants in that system — and finally sit with the discomfort this process brings. The practice of art-making can be an active platform for these efforts, and serve the higher function the it so often has — to provide a full spectrum mirror of humanity.
MINA CAPUTO (LIFE OF AGONY): Sometimes I have to put a wall up in order for the charade of politicians and politics and the ignorance and fears of humanity to not get under my skin. I live my own life, on the leading edge, outside of mainstream consciousness. Basically, your reality is not my reality. I've created my own utopia. I lead, I don't follow.
DAVID CASTILLO (PRIMITIVE WEAPONS, WHITE WIDOWS PACT): Yes I am. My wife went to go see the Julie Ruin, and she said that Kathleen Hanna said something to the effect of, "Whatever you do, do it for a cause now." Which sounds about right, so I will continue to do what I have always done, which is book shows, raise money, give it to organizations doing great things and just help facilitate underground culture in NYC the best I can with the resources I have.
STEPHEN O'MALLEY (SUNN O)))): [Answers for 1-4] FUCK TRUMP.