Am 27. Mai veranstaltete Uncle M in Zusammenarbeit mit der Band The Prosecution ein Benefizkonzert für Attac. Im Vorfeld zum Konzert, bei dem unter anderem Wolf Down, The Prosecution und Anti-Flag spielten, fanden Workshops zur G7 Problematik, die der Initiationsgrund waren, und ein Pressegespräch mit Vertretern von Attac und Uncle M und Mitgliedern von Anti-Flag und The Prosecution statt.
Zusammengefasst ist die Hauptmotivation sowohl der Veranstalter als auch der Musiker, die Koalition gegen den G7 Gipfel, einem nicht-öffentlichen Treffen von Vertretern der sieben Wirtschaftsstärksten Staaten, bei dem über gemeinsames ökonomisches und militärisches Vorgehen debattiert wird, wie beispielsweise das medial vieldiskutierte transatlantische Freihandelsabkommen TTIP oder der weitere Umgang mit der griechischen Schuldenkrise. Der größte Kritikpunkt den Justin und Pat von Anti-Flag hier nannten war die Tatsache, dass hinter verschlossenen Türen über das Schicksal von Millionen von Menschen verhandelt und entschieden wird, was ein aus demokratischer Perspektive äußerst fragwürdiger Prozess ist. Umso wichtiger ist es, dass die Bevölkerung im Umkreis dieses Gipfels auf die Straße geht um zu zeigen, dass sie auch da ist und das ganze nicht hinnimmt. Simon von The Prosecution ergänzte das ganze darum, dass es wichtig ist, eine öffentliche Debatte um den G7 Gipfel anzustoßen und Menschen den Anstoß zu geben das zu hinterfragen.
Im Anschluss hatten wir noch die Gelegenheit ein Interview mit Pat Thetic, dem Drummer von Anti-Flag, über die Problematik des G/-Gipfels, Kritikpunkte an den Gegendemonstrationen und ihrem Selbstverständnis als politische Band zu sprechen.
You’re together as a band for 22 years now and see yourself in tradition of political musicians like Woody Guthrie and Joe Strummer. Did your political approach change in that period of time?
As we’ve gotten older we’ve gotten more educated and we’re thankful to be surrounded by amazing, intelligent people. So our approach has become more precise, when we were younger we were angry at everything and would explode on a moments notice about nearly any political injustice, now we’ve realized how to focus our message to get the most change for our efforts.
One of the most well-known quotes of German sociologist Theodor W. Adorno is “Wrong life cannot be lived rightly.”, which describes the issues of life as a political individual in our society.
Well, I agree with that, I think in the worst situiation people make decisions about their own interests and in the best situation, they make decisions in the interest of all people, so that’s not a right or wrong, that’s just the way people make decisions. I don’t think there’s a god that might come down and smite people who make wrong decisions but I do believe, that decisions with the most people in mind are always the best ones.
Today, you’re playing a show to put focus on the G7, why do you put such focus on it?
Because there needs to be a response to it. Every community has to respond to it, if they don’t, the people in power feel like they can do whatever they want and there are no boundaries on what they can do and there are very little boundaries now. When thousands of poeple show up to say we don’t agree with your methods, then there’s a boundary there.
Left wing critics on the Fight G7 Alliance say it only critizies a part of the problem and focuses on western capitalism instead of critizising mechanisms of exploitation of every size. Could you please comment on that?
I can’t comment on the specific alliance as I don’t know the internal politics of it. If the question is if it is appropriate just to fight the G7 the answer is no. You have to fight injustice of every kind it doesn’t matter if it’s American injustice, German injustice or whatever kind of injustice.
Personally, I’d claim that there’s one positive aspect on this years G7 summit which is that Russia had been disinvited to sanction their politics. Could you please comment on that, too.
Well I wish that Russia would have been disinvited because of human rights issues and not because of their military aggression. If the war on aggression would be a reason, the US should have been kicked out, too, so it’s just politics as ususal. I think both, the US and Russia long for a time when they could have an enemy and they try to fall back in that and that’s not in the best interest of their population.
Some people call you hypocrites because you signed at RCA some years ago which is a big company, too. How do you defend yourselves to that accusation?
I’m not on RCA now! [laughs]
Majorlabels have always been a problem for bands, unfortunately the way of music being transported to peoples ears is all coprate, it doesn’t matter whether you’re on an independent label or a major label, you’re gonna be on iTunes, you’re gonna be on CD which are owned by Sony Music, the format is owned by the Sony Corporation, so by putting out music you’ll always make the big companies earn money. Having said that, fuck major labels, fuck bands on major labels, fuck us for being on a major label, I’ve always hated major labels. For us, we found it to be the best choice at that time, we’ve spent their money for a lot of things that would make them cringe. We did a lot of activism with major label money, so in that sense for us, me being on the inside I understand it, on the outside I understand people throwing stones at bands on major labels.
If I can’t dance to it, it’s not my revolution.
Yes, I agree. I think, today we’ve been part of an education Seminar on activism. One of the things that is important, that a lot of people don’t know is that activism is a fun and rewarding thing. It’s not just getting beaten up by the cops, it’s about standing up against the power and organizing and creating something, finding the art in humanity and protest. So, the sentiment is, that politics doesn’t have to be stuffy and boring, it should be fun and creative, that is the activism and the politics I love.