Published Feb 01, 2000To say Pennywise front-man Jim Lindberg is angry about the state of his nation is an understatement. "I was livid on this record, I think that's a better term," he admits. And it shows. Land of the Free?, the stalwart SoCal punk quartet's sixth album, is easily their most political to date and, as with their 1997 Full Circle album, which was written in the wake of the death of founding bassist Jason Thirsk, proves that when Lindberg and company have a theme driving the music, they are an unstoppable musical force.
"There are some things going on politically in our country that if you're at all concerned about certain issues should make you very worried and angry," says Lindberg. "Bush has people protecting our environment who used to work for oil companies and that he's very entrenched with the religious right."
To that end, the band has rededicated itself to encouraging fans to get involved in the political process, an aspect of punk music that was lost right around the time jocks and mall rats took control of the scene. "We've got a government that's so pro big business and so pro extremely ultra-rich right wing conservatives, people have to get out there in order to remind them that we're not going to take it in the ass," Lindberg says matter-of-factly. "We're trying to motivate our fans to get out there and get involved and exercise their right to protest when you see problems.
"Now that I have a couple of kids it makes me concerned for their future. I'm not running around like Chicken Little saying the sky is falling everyday, but at the same time we want to inspire people to know they can change things. I'm trying to inspire people who are angry to get out and do things because it's getting pretty hectic." Pennywise hope to knock that anti-apathy message home when they hit the road as part of this year's Warped Tour.