At this time, especially here in Scotland, you cannot get away from all the politics that is going on. Every day I see and hear something about the independence referendum, it annoys me yes, especially with what some people say and how some people are also treating others who are not voting what they want them to. But should all this politics be brought into the band? Music is about bringing people together not about dividing people which politics does easily.
It was with another band that I was with that it became a problem. I am not a political person at all but there were other members of the band that were. A number of times we had to play gigs that were all about politics, for the SNP, in the ‘Yes’ campaign shop in the town and at a protest against the BBC for apparent Bias towards a number of issues. These situations I did not agree with nor did I want to take part in them but I felt I had to for the rest of the band. It got to a point in which we had to speak out about some of the gigs we were playing, and my band mate was the one with the courage to speak out about it. He told us that he wasn’t happy with these gigs that we were playing as he said that politics should not be part of a band. None of our songs were politically motivated but the views of one person got us these gigs. For the gig against the BBC I decided against doing it myself, as I said I had work, although I was doing what I want to do as a job it wasn’t the one I was getting paid for. There were a number of reasons why I didn’t do that certain gig. One was because the BBC could have been a vital lifeline to the band to get bigger in the future and of course if they found that we had played a protest against the BBC then we would have no chance of having their help later on in our careers. Also this may sound a bit selfish but it was for me as well, I am a sound engineer, studied it for 6 years in all and trying to get as much experience that I can get. If I try for a job in the BBC later on in my career and they find out that I have proceeded to engage in a protest against the BBC then I would not have a chance at all in getting a job ever with them which could be a huge blow to me and my career prospects.
Of course there are those bands and artists that make music for political reasons, think of Bob Dylan, think of most Punk bands from back in the day, think of Punk bands around today, a vast amount of them are politically motivated. I am fine with that, I listen to it and I enjoy it. Politics could be why they have come in to music. Bands like that are different from what we were. We were just a normal Alternative Rock band where politics was not our motivation but it started to come into the band, I didn’t like it, it made me very uncomfortable in the band and my head was all over place.
My view is that unless the band is politically motivated then it should not be brought into the band. It is not what the band is there for and it can lead them to be driven apart because of their views. I would like to know how others feel about this issue though.