Rocktober: Get Out And Vote!

Dave Schools - Widespread Panic, Stockholm Syndrome

Is this election different than past elections, why or why not?

Dave Schools by Willa Stein
I'm not sure just how different this election is from others. The faces have changed but things seem to be basically the same: the same hot button issues, the same waffling and mudslinging from two candidates who seem to have de-polarized themselves from the campaign planks that separated them during the primaries. I do KNOW that things seem to be far worse for the average American and far more desperate for the Constitution than they did four years ago (and I didn't think it could get any worse).

What is the relationship between music and politics - and how, if at all, has this relationship affected your music?

When I was a little kid, music seemed to be the voice of change and dissent. In the best cases it could galvanize a crowd to take to the streets in a constitutionally guaranteed show of civil disobedience. These days it seems that many artists are actually SUING candidates (McCain at least) for using their songs without permission as aural wallpaper for the image of their campaigns. I'm sure that artists are just as angry and have plenty to say, but I can't seem to find their music anywhere. Perhaps it is confined to "Free Speech Zones." The idea of areas where protesters are kept well away from candidates (and in some cases behind chain link fence) is outrageous in this country. As far as my own writing goes, I would say that I shot my political wad four years ago with Stockholm Syndrome. The writing continues, but with less venom and more hope.

If you could speak directly to all American voters, what would you say?

If I could speak to all voters I would have to say that we need to demand more transparency in the voting process. These electronic voting machines that have no real way of being secured scare me. We should have the option of voting on paper even if it means navigating all kinds of chads and counting ballots that take much longer. Finally, I would suggest to never give up hope in the dream of democracy. Find ways to educate yourself about the candidates. Learn all you can about your LOCAL elected officials and make your voice heard to them. Remind them that they are supposed to be working for US. A good place to get unbiased information about your representatives and their voting records is: www.votesmart.org. Check it out!

Widespread Panic's next gig is tomorrow night (10/10) in Austin, Texas. Complete Panic tour dates available here.

If you've got your own answers to these questions, or want to respond in any way, check out our new Politics Forum...


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