Rocktober: Get Out And Vote!

Warren Haynes - Gov't Mule, Allman Brothers Band

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

This is the most important election in my lifetime. If we don't start making serious changes in our government immediately we're going to find that it's too late to get back what we've lost as a nation. Having traveled abroad since the early 80's I can tell you from talking to so many people in so many other countries that America has always been loved, emulated, and held in high esteem around the world. After 9/11 we had the entire world on our side. But what's happened since then has alienated us from the international community as well as creating a division in our own country. We are gradually/steadily eliminating the middle class in America. Most Americans can't afford to go to the doctor and our health care system is a joke. Those that don't believe that need to do some research and stop buying into the propaganda. Oil companies, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies etc. are running/ ruining our country. The good news is that more young people than ever are coming out to vote. This is the only way to implement the change we need.

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

I grew up in a time when the Vietnam War was being protested heavily by our citizens, especially young people. The music that reflected those times was very intense but has somehow maintained a timeless quality due to its integrity and intent. There are proven theories that war and civil unrest always creates or stimulates waves of great, important music. Music should be important. It always has been - why should that be different now? Up until recently the political messages in my music were a little more subtle but now is the time for immediacy.

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

Vote. Speak out. Pay attention to what's going on. Don't buy in to the soundbites. Talk to people outside your circles and listen to what they have to say. Read up on the issues. And vote.

The Allman Brothers play tonight (10/03) in North Carolina, ABB dates can be found here. Gov't Mule's next gig is on October 30 in Vermont. Complete Mule 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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