Published Oct 06, 2009Like them or not, Chicago new-generation hardcore punk quartet Rise Against have some serious spheres filling up their trousers.
Apparently, Florida-based radio station Buzz 103 was arranging a concert where Rise Against would perform in December. The band had agreed but it came to their attention after the fact that the station was working with the United States Army Recruiting Department as an official sponsor.
Punkers that they are, Rise Against didn't care for that so the Rise boys declined to perform, pointing out that while they have played for troops in order to boost morale, they are still quite active in counter-recruitment. It's kind of a hippie thing where they just don't want wars, and you can't really blame 'em.
Naturally, that pissed off the station, which threatened to stop playing the band's music and called them "un-American," "anti-American" and "a band that doesn't support our country." (Visit the station's website to hear the podcasts deriding Rise Against.)
At that, the band have posted a response to the whole debacle, and here it is:
As the [event] closed in, we discovered that we were scheduled to headline a stage sponsored by the U.S. Army's Recruitment Dept. As a band that has worked in counter-recruitment in the past, we decided it would be hypocritical and inappropriate for us to headline this stage.
To be clear, this was not an event to honor the military, this was an event that the U.S. ARMY was interested in recruiting people at, and we felt that our fans should be free from that interference at a rock show on a Sunday night in a time of war. Recruiters are a part of the military that even many members of the military will admit their distaste for their documented unethical tactics.
We asked if something could be done, and when we were told no, we respectfully bowed out of the unannounced show for obvious reasons, and left it at that. We assumed the station was depending on the financial support of the sponsor and so we held no grudge.
Thinking that was the end of it, the radio station retaliated. In an act reminiscent of McCarthyism witch-hunts, the radio station has come to the unfounded, false and irresponsible conclusion that Rise Against is "against the army" and, as of this morning, has decided to spread this misinformation over the airwaves, threaten to not play songs, and call for a boycott of Rise Against. Listening to the broadcast, we were surprised at the willingness of the DJs to spin off of a lie. At no point did they consider the information simply wasn't true. In addition to a number of lies, they even decided to tell their listeners that we said "F-U to the army" from the stage at past Buzz Bake Sales, something that simply isn't true and that we would never do.
Surprising that in this day and age the media would misinform, isn't it?