But are you a political band?

So, if you’re reading this, it means you’ve visited the website. Which in turn means you’ve been faced with the very first page, the tab to watch the Hollow Man video. Which probably means you’ve watched it, because let’s face it, people come to a music site to read blogs as much as they buy Playboy for the articles.

So, let’s assume you’ve seen Hollow Man, and you have the idea that Neverwoz is a political band, something like Rage Against the Machine but without guitar solos which sound like electrocuted chickens. Or Chumbawumba without that one song. (Did you know that Chumbawumba was actually a hardcore punk-rap-folk anarchist rock group whose oeuvre stretched from a capella anti-war songs to thrash metal? No, you didn’t, because you’re now singing Tubthumping in your head, aren’t you...)

Anyway. Where was I? Oh, politics...

(WE’LL BE SINGING)

If you haven’t read the Nicky Hager book ‘The Hollow Men’, do so immediately. It’s several years old now, and pertains to the backroom dealings between the National Party and Crosby Textor leading up to the 2005 election. If you’re too young to remember that one, or weren’t paying attention, it’s the one where Don Brash came within a whisker of winning the election against Helen Clark. The whole sordid tale is too complicated to unravel here, but it’s compelling, fascinating and infuriating. The main villains are the faceless suits of Crosby Textor, the PR firm that has branches around the world and specialises in training conservative politicians to hide vile policy behind bland doublespeak and vilify their opponents.

One of the stars of the book was a young National MP by the name of John Key, who proved to be far more adept at the Crosby Textor script than his hapless boss, whose ‘gone by lunchtime’ soundbite about reversing New Zealand’s anti-nuclear stance may have saved Labour the election.

Anyways: Hollow Man, the song, was written not long after reading the book, and doesn’t (necessarily) pertain to any one three-way handshake-attempting, ponytail-grabbing, catwalk-strutting, morning radio-presenting, scandal-denying politician. No way. No sirree.

(WHEN WE’RE WINNING)

So put that aside. It’s a very simple song, because it’s a very straightforward message. But it’s not a message I’ve carried through in any other song. I felt the need to express my outrage at the vacuity of modern politics and the tendency to obscure horrific policies behind snappy soundbites, deflection and assigning blame to the poorest in our society. But now that I’ve shared this song, I don’t feel the need to write a concept album about politics, or walk around in a beret. Now I’m going to sing about time travel and hedgehogs, ex lovers and ex friends, spare parts and broken hearts.

(WE’LL BE SINGING)

So, if you liked Hollow Man for its message, thank you and I can put you on to some other cool music which has a political slant. If you like the song for the melody and music, but don’t care for politics, good news! I have 11 more songs to share which don’t share the topic, but may just infect your ear.

Just a reminder: don’t take political advice from musicians. Do enjoy the music, and if it makes you think, check out Nicky Hager for some really incisive political journalism. And if it makes you angry, use that anger productively to make your voice heard.

And now back to the earworm:

I GET KNOCKED DOWN! BUT I GET UP AGAIN!