Propagandhi – 2005
Propagandhi need no real introduction, they’ve released three of the all time best punk rock albums. This interview was done in early ‘05 across email.
LH: First please shortly introduce yourself…
Todd: Hi, I’m Todd, I play bass and do some vocals in Propagandhi. I’m from Winnipeg, a dirty city that is cold in the winter and hot in the summer. We’re in the middle of Canada. I’m ugly and I stink.
LH: You are currently working on a new album, right? What should we expect from it: more anger or more melody? Or both?
T: We’re working hard on the new songs, we’ve got thirteen under way as we speak. It should be a killer record. I’m looking forward to it, and I’m also excited to go back on tour again. The record is all around better. There is anger and melody. [laughs] Everyday is a new day, ha!
LH: I read the article, “How PunkVoter.Com Became Just Another Tool of the Democrats” that mentions an incident between Propagandhi and Fat Mike… Is it right?
T: I think that it’s partially correct. Fat Mike want[ed] Bush out of office at all costs. I think replacing him with Kerry will not change the course of the world; it will just make Americans and punks (ha!) feel better about themselves. Throughout history the Democrats have proved themselves to be criminals with reckless disregard for human life. I think within the United States life may be a little better off with Kerry in office. Perhaps it will just lull America back to sleep for a while as millions get crushed under the plague of famine, war, environmental catastrophe, and illegal deals worldwide. Let the world keep paying for the inflated consumption of Americans, and Canadians for that matter. Watch the punks go back to singing about leather wristbands or whatever the hell they sang about. [laughs]
LH: What do you think about the Punkvoter campaign itself? There are voices that it just encourages people to participate in a system…
T: That’s true. I don’t think they’re being too honest with the people, really. Inside the “Rock Against Bush” CD it says “Bush isn’t just another bad President, he’s the bad President”. In fact he is just another bad President. I don’t understand people encouraging others to keep towing the line and voting for people who are from criminal political parties instead of encouraging them to vote for legitimate candidates who they believe in. These Democrats certainly were in on the war with Iraq etc… They should be blamed and held accountable as well. It is also sad to see the punks just join the Democratic party. What kind of democracy tells people, ‘Don’t vote for who you want to’ because it will takes votes away from the other party who isn’t quite as bad as the party in power? I don’t think that is really the role of a movement who’s role once was to make people think and to agitate those in power, as well as keep them in check. Also contrary to the Rock Against Bush comp, people in the world did not regard the U.S highly two years, especially in South America as it is reported in the liner notes.
LH: OK, back to the band. I wonder why don’t you release your albums on G7WC and rather do it on Fat Wreck?
T: Our records are released on G7 in Canada. There is only two people there, and I believe they aren’t quite capable of doing the record all over. Fat was there at the beginning, they are our friends and do a very good job. Fat Mike is our friend as well. We obviously differ in a lot of ways but we really like the guy and he has helped us a lot. He tries to do what he thinks is right no matter how wild it may seem. [laughs]
LH: And my last question: You’re all vegans in band, right? There are only a few bands connecting anti-capitalist approach with animal rights appeal… Often it is seen as “counter-revolutionary” etc. What is your point?
T: Yes, we’re all vegans. I think people should do what they feel is right. If someone believes it is absolutely wrong to have animals in factory farms they should say it. “Counter-revolutionary” doesn’t mean much to me. There are people here in Winnipeg that we know who grew up in rich families, who were vegans for a while. Now they want to appeal to the “working class” so they started eating meat. They said the same thing about vegans “alienating the working class.” I think it’s crap, an excuse. It’s really condescending, and ridiculous to think the “working class” can’t possibly grasp these ideas. It all shows a lack of real connection between the people and the working class because here in Winnipeg I am constantly around people at community centres and other places who respect me and what I’m doing enough to never write me off because I’m a vegan. Posers get written off when they are perceived as people going through some kind of “revolutionary” phase. If you are true to yourself it is not an issue. If the people can’t handle it too bad. In fact I came from the same place and exist at the same income level as all the working class and I am a vegan. How did I manage to figure this out without the help of rich revolutionaries, we’ll never know. [laughs]
LH: If you want to add something, do it now…
T: Thanks! Check out www.congopost.com for updates on the worlds bloodiest war that exists outside of most news. This site has links to many other great websites. How can 3 million people die with the bringers of “Freedom and Democracy” not stepping in to get rid of the tyrants? In fact the U.S is very guilty of inflating these wars and supporting the criminals involved. Check it out and see the war in Iraq in yet another new light. Thanks Pavel for good questions and for the interest in our band, See ya sometime over there!
www.propagandhi.com. Propagandhi have three albums out on Fat Wreck Chords, and a b-sides comp and a coupla EPs on G7 Welcoming Committee.