Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Political Music

I just wanted to ask a question in order to get some sort of discussion started on this matter.

The question is: Should musicians keep politics out of their music? Or vice versa, should musicians keep their music out of politics?

It seems like a real clear cut issue in that it is a First Amendment issue so I guess what I am really asking is more along the lines of do you listen to music strictly for entertainment purposes or do you support specific artists based solely on their political and/or worldviews?

Or do you support specific candidates or support specific political issues because a particular artist does?

In my case, I do not support bands based solely on political/worldviews. There are even a few bands whose music I really like but I don't listen to them often because I do disagree with their particular worldview. And also, in my case, I do not support specific candidates or political issues based on the fact that a particular artist or band that I do like supports those causes or candidates.


  1. Steve said: “There are even a few bands whose music I really like but I don't listen to them often because I do disagree with their particular worldview.”

    Okay…now I’m curious. Who?

    I personally have no problems with musicians writing about politics in their music or speaking out on issues they care about. Like you said, it’s a First Amendment thing.

  2. The main one is Bad Religion. I really really like their music as you well know. But I do not listen to them very often because of their religious worldview. In all honesty, it disturbs me.

  3. I support musicians writing whatever kind of music they want... and support the free market to accept it or reject it... as with the Dixie Chix, sure they have the right to get political and we have the right to not support them financially by not buying their music.

    I prefer that my musicians stay out of politics... I wrote last year about my favorite band becoming the official band for Hillary Clinton and it broke my heart.

    I still listen to the old BHTM cd's I had, but haven't bought anything new of theirs since.

  4. I am with Dave. I don't care if a musician stays out of politics or is way into them. I just want the right to buy or not buy from them as I see fit. If I choose not to support an artist specifically because of their politics, that is my prerogative, just as it is their prerogative to sing about their politics. We both win.

  5. I agree.

    I am glad people are actually getting involved on this discussion. Let's keep it going!

  6. I’m not surprised that the band in question is Bad Religion. I’ve often wondered how you reconciled their music with your own beliefs. Luckily not all of their songs are those that are of the subject matter that bother you.

    Strangely, most of the bands that I listen to seem to hold worldviews/political beliefs that are similar to my own. Granted there are some definite differences but most of them seem to lean in the liberal/libertarian direction.

  7. well, for the msot part, i just don't listen to them.

    but for those times that i feel i do need a shot of some BR i just ignore the anti-god stuff and listen to the music. with them over the years, i have gotten to a point where i can sort of "phase out" the lyrics on their stuff.