Rocktober: Get Out And Vote!

Joel Cummins - Umphrey's McGee

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

Joel Cummins by Adam George
While every election has certainly been its own event, we as a country haven't had this many issues unfolding daily leading up to an election day in recent history. The housing crisis and stock market free fall have left many of us wondering what happened to our nation. It's unfortunately very clear that George W. Bush will be regarded as an ineffective leader both in the present and the future. Our country is now mired in a costly war that began based on lies purported by our government, and that government has since turned a surplus into trillions of dollars worth of debt. We are at a crossroads that will determine whether or not the United States of America will still be a superpower in the future.

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

The relationship between music and politics can be quite different depending on if you're looking at the music of Bob Dylan or let's say, Poison. For me, I don't really see my music as a place for politics to rear its head. We certainly encourage people to vote and make their voice known, but for the most part, my music and the music of Umphrey's McGee, doesn't have much to do with politics. If anything, our music is about trying to help people forget the rest of the world and have a few hours of pure enjoyment.

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

First off, to vote in the first place. Other than that, I would ask, "Are you satisfied with the state of our country? Are you satisfied with the way in which we've been represented at home and abroad? What can you do to help make our country a better place?" This is a time for us to come together and embrace each other as well as the principles we espouse. Embrace those differences between us, embrace change and embrace the present moment.

Umphrey's McGee is on tour now, dates available here.

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