By John Clay, Columnist-Rock At Night London
Editor’s Note: Sometimes music and politics are intertwined (and guess who ends up on top?). We in the music industry know how COVID effected the livelihood of millions of people. Independent venues have been shut down–or are in fear of closing. There have been protests in cities, like the “Unmute Us” marches in Amsterdam, related to the opening of arenas for sporting events but not allowing gatherings such as music festivals.
Listening to music isn’t enough to support the arts and artists in general. Sometimes one must take a stand or become actively involved in saving the musicians and artists, which typically are overlooked unless they have money and political clout.
Investigative London journalist John Clay is producing a series of interviews related to issues that effect not only British artists but others around the world.
Lynks (anarcho musician) and John Clay (director/author) discussed the fight to keep the former’s housing Co-Op (The Rising Sun) safe from being levelled in the name of luxury flats. The legacy of collectivism in the modern artistic endeavour is also explored in this fourth of a series of in-depth articles between the pair.
Being an artist during a pandemic puts things into perspective, doesn’t it? Lynks (Self described ‘Drag Monster’) and John Clay (director/author) discussed the former’s campaign to save their housing co-op from destruction. Even if you’ve not read the previous three segments of this exchange, this fourth one displays worthwhile musings for creatives who spotted contradictions in mainstream press with their reality, the benefits of housing co-ops for musicians and the calling out of unconstructive right wing media bias.
‘It’s all about them looking out for their own, right? Appealing to their base. Tory voters like music don’t they?’ – Lynks
John Clay: Can you explain how musicians have benefited from the co-op’s ethos.
Lynks: The very first thing I’ll say is that it’s difficult creating stuff on your own in a bubble. The pandemic showed us this. When you’re living here, you end up having conversations everyday, watching weird films, listening to new music, all those things have potential to drop little nuggets and create something new. It’s seemingly a soft and non tangible thing, but it’s so important for a creative person to have that network. Covid really showed us how that works out, like having a microphone or paper and pen, it’s invaluable.
John Clay: It is so valuable you saying this as the government and the state seems to disavow the truth. You have a five billion pound record industry and they are only focused on the elements of it that pertain to an upper middle class intersection.
Lynks: Yeah, they have a blindspot. The evidence is all there and they’re just not buying it. They are so committed to the idea that it doesn’t matter. It’s so depressing.
John Clay: The government will support football as a cultural priority over grassroots music venues. They think that’s what we need to keep certain community concerns going. They think they can make more money from it, and technically, they can, but for two things. One: Musicians as a counter cultural concept aren’t going to go away anytime soon and will serve to remind anyone who will listen that they are being hard done by. This really works now as people, especially the young, are becoming more politically aware. Ignoring an entire section of industry is not great PR for the government when people’s little brothers and sisters are hearing from their older siblings and family as to what’s going on, figuring out the issues of capitalism and being open to philosophy in a refreshing way. You can again, thank the pandemic and its lockdowns for that. Two: Footballers are becoming more active in this discussion, in a way they are becoming the new rockstars. So this government is in a lot of trouble as there is a whole groundswell of people who are dissatisfied.
Lynks: It’s all about them looking out for their own, right? Appealing to their base. Tory voters like music don’t they?
Lynks: Seriously though, it’s like they think it’s “libtards” complaining, don’t they, but like football fans not getting what they want is not framed as whining right? It’s like, ‘you’re taking away my culture,’ but then they get to moan about football. If you’re left and complain then you’re whining, but if you’re right wing and you complain then it’s valid.
John: Aspects of social media haven’t really helped with discourse, let alone coalition. The trick is to have a coalition where it’s not under false pretenses.
Lynks: There really is something I’m trying to figure out when it comes to the invalidity of left winger’s complaints, It’s in America and it’s here.
John: For right wingers they don’t want the boat to be rocked as the boat is seen as perfect so long as they are in control of it. They won’t disagree with that, they just won’t like the way I’ve said it. ‘There is no racism or sexism, get over it.’ Y’know?
Lynks: There is the whole “snowflake” thing, that any genuine complaint made by the left is seen as too sensitive, whereas the right wing don’t get that critique. When they complain it’s seen as practical and valid.
John: Well if we really want to get into it, it’s all about old man Thanos or Rupert Murdoch as he’s commonly known, owning a certain amount of press that is favourable to right wing bias. There will always be a certain legitimacy of those right wingers coming out as there aren’t as many left leaning journalists in positions of power. Anyway, this has become a philosophy and politics school!
Lynks: Yeah, time to get back to the house, ha!
Follow Lynks and John Clay to read future parts of their conversation and do take a moment to see how you can become an aid to assisting The Rising Sun.
NEW Lynks & Grove Music Video (Premiered September 23, 2021)
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Buy the mixtape here: https://risingsuncollective.bandcamp.com
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