***Any funds raised until 31 January will be donated to the Refugee Council of Australia. For more info or to donate directly, head to: www.refugeecouncil.org.au
"I had a dream last night of some kind of revolt,
bigots spreading hate were now victims of assault.
Somebody tried to put a halt to Andrew Bolt,
strapped him into a chair wired with a 1000 volts… "
In 2003, amidst the political climate of the US-led invasion of Iraq and the ‘overboard’ Howard-era, I penned the verses for what became ‘Hello ASIO’, later released on Fire in the Belly in 2006. I was appalled and frustrated and trying not to feel powerless to affect change in the world. Writing the track channelled that energy and on my own terms I felt I clawed some kind of power back - as small as it may have been.
Jump to 2014 and Tony Abbott is in full word-fumbling force, Scott Morrison won’t comment on human rights abuses (ahem, ‘operational matters’) and, to back up his homeboy Andrew Bolt, the rights of bigots are being advocated for by The (dis)Honourable George Brandis. I was again appalled and frustrated, we had sunk to a new low. A new low we would surely be judged harshly on by future generations. With a head swimming in the political banter of the moment, I had a dream...
"...Tortured like it’s Abu Ghraib in Adelaide,
safe to say it probably wasn’t his average Saturday.
No blog posts, opinion pieces or TV shows,
Just head blows in a room with no windows…"
The ultimate outcome was ‘Dream State’ a kind of morbid comedy follow-up to ‘Hello ASIO’ with some of the same sentiments revisited. Unfortunately the song stalled after the verses were written in 2014 and on reflection (or over-thinking) I came to view it as petty and immature and, as it involves the capture and torture of right-wing figures, y’know it just might be taken as something more than it is - an expression of frustration.
"Now seemingly they had a little more planned, shit -
they got Scott Morrison and George Brandis.
Put ‘em into a truck and roughed ‘em up a bunch,
George said he had rights too - then copped a punch.
Scott promised he’d abolish current policies
But his captors wanted him to suffer properly..."
Once the raps were written I had also moved on from that frustration so I wasn’t that keen on revisiting that ‘dream state’ again to finish the track. What eventually helped drive it forward was the idea to sample the voices of those mentioned in the song. Once I had sampled old mate Brandis, I knew he had my back on this one: “In a free country people do have rights to say things that other people find offensive or insulting or bigoted.” Well, if you insist then George.
"Water-boarding for all of them was what’s in store,
They begged for mercy but only got more and more…"
When it did finally get roughly finished it’s politics were a bit out-dated so I sat on it again. Eventually with the recent release of the Fire in the Belly ‘10 year anniversary deluxe digital version’ and the kind words that followed from peeps that still rate that album, it gave me the push needed to just put it out for what it is - a bit outdated, a bit immature and potentially a song that will get taken out of context. But hey, sometimes you just gotta do it.
"...Abbott and Hockey - they came up with a plan
to abort mission in a Navy ship - yep, to leave this land.
They claimed brave intentions but they were running scared,
Full of fear for a future they couldn’t understand."
For the record, I do not endorse or wish violence upon anyone - yes, even the worst of our politicians and right-wing shock jocks. That won’t make the world a better place, their ideas are what need to be challenged. We do however live in a world where violence exists - including the violence in the words of our politicians and shock jocks when sweeping statements, fear mongering and outright falsehoods are often granted prime time airplay, devoid of self-awareness of the privileged perspective from which they speak and devoid of respect for worldviews different to their own. Consider this a mirror held into the face of that violence.
"...So they set sail to seek safety elsewhere,
Took their families with ‘em in the interest of their welfare.
But guess what man?There was no help there,
Treated as illegal everywhere their ship touched sand."
released January 5, 2017
Production: Cam Bluff
Raps, politician samples, production edits, recording, mixing & home mastering : Rainman