Here is the latest example of a rock band that does not like when a Republican candidate, in this case presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney vs the Silversun Pickups.
Well, the Silversun Pickups not only do not like the Romney/Ryan campaign using their hit song Panic Switch, but they proclaim their utter dislike for Mr. Romney.
So, because of their blind dislike of Mr. Romney, Silversun Pickups issued a cease and desist order that essentially bans the Romney/Ryan team from using it and any of their other songs at campaign events. They base the claim on the fact that the Romey/Ryan did not ask for their permission to use the particular song.
OK, the band probably has a marginal point. That Team Romney/Ryan should have asked for permission to use the song. But, judging by the overall reaction of the band, I think that would be a big fat nay!
Silversun Pickups mail objection is that using their song at an eeeeevvvvviiiiilllll Romney/Ryan rally implies they support the GOP team. Maybe some people would believe that. But the majority of people at any given GOP rally know that some music is canned to fire up the crowd. I am certain that the majority of people in a GOP rally crowd probably are muttering "What?! I can't understand a word of that song!"
Give Team Romney/Ryan credit that they are using pop/rock music at campaign events. While I do not expect a boatload of young people to suddenly become part of America's Comeback Team, it shows a willingness that often belies Republican campaigns of any kind.
But the larger picture is this.
Why do rockers and bands have an immediate dislike when their songs are used at campaign rallies? Especially Republican ones?
I like the Silversun Pickups. Good music. Kind of popish, but a lot of lesser known songs have more of an edge, such as The Royal We.
But again, methinks that these bands just want to make sure that they are seen as anti-establishment. Not realizing that if their dude is the Dear Leader, President Obama, they are supporting the establishment. It is indeed truly anti-establishment to support conservatives and or Republicans.
These bands are short sighted because, here is a dirty little know fact. A lot of conservatives and Republicans do like rock music. A lot like alternative, metal, all kinds of rock music. By seemingly making a big deal about Team Romney/Ryan using Panic Switch, they are potentially alienating a lot of fans.
Someone like myself pretty much expect this from bands that I like. So if I really like a band and know that they are out there on this kind of stuff, I will comment on it, but it will not make me dislike them. Another substantive difference between most conservatives and most liberals. As I wrote, I will not suddenly hate Silversun Pickups but question their open dislike, no hate against Mr. Romney. Band lead singer Brian Aubert said this according to the gossip website TMZ.com:
"We don't like people going behind our backs, using our music without asking, and we don't like the Romney campaign. We're nice, approachable people. We won't bite. Unless you're Mitt Romney!"
Like I wrote, they don't like Mr. Romney and would not have let them use the song had they asked.
That is their right. But banning their song from being played is just being spiteful. Again some fans could take this personally. I do not.
The bigger lesson both sides should take from this is that it is important that Republican staffs should at the very least ask a band for permission using their music. And to be clear that it is not going to be used as a sign that said band supports a candidate if they do not. They could be very surprised. And bands should not over react and sound so, well so establishment. With all the ways that music can and is accessed today, and free publicity never hurts, they should see it as a way to reach a potential new audience.
Rockers, lighten up and Republicans, just ask next time you want to use a song. That way everyone can be happy.
Oh, Brian Aubert. We Republicans are nice, very approachable people. And we don't bite either. And even though you are wrong politically, I still like you and your music.