James Gerde

Music

premiere! marshall law band gets real on the new video for “reel news”

January 22, 2021
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During this summer’s protests in Seattle, Marshall Law Band morphed into the house band for the revolution. Taking the stage nightly to perform in the streets to energize and lift up the protesters, the outfit went from party band to the band of The Party. On their new single “Reel News,” the band takes aim at a media culture that thrives on creating conflict rather than informing or creating solutions. We spoke with the band about their experiences this summer, their hope for a radical transformation of society, and what to do when Fox News calls you “CHAZ Marshall of Antifa.” Check out their glorious new video and our exclusive interview below.

 

 

The thing I love about “Reel News” is the way it deals with serious topics with heart and levity. How do you find the joy in the struggle?

We really believe that if you can’t find joy when you only experience pain, history has shown you’re going to have a tough time enjoying life. So we brought in the Anchorman homage and 70’s outfits to lower everyone’s defenses and delivered through music our very serious experience of being a part of the mainstream media’s coverage of this summer’s George Floyd protest in the Capitol Hill Occupied Zone (CHOP) in Seattle.

 

What prompted you to start performing during the summer’s protests?

A Black journalist named Omari Salisbury, founder of “Converge Media,” was live streaming from the front lines of 11th & Pine and after being pepper sprayed, he called out for leadership and more bodies to support the protesters. We had already been active in the music community organizing events and fundraisers for local events. so we figured we could use our network and skillset to provide some more bodies, awareness and leadership to an intense situation.

 

What is music’s role in direct action?

Throughout the history of social change, music has been at the forefront. Look at the 1963 March on Washington that featured Joan Baez, Mahalia Jackson and Bob Dylan.

Music provides inspiration and a diversity of tactics for the direct action community. Similar to the revolutionary war or the Titanic, depending on how you look at it, music keeps people inspired, calm and hopeful and provides a platform always for leaders to get the word out without having to use the traditional tactic of a megaphone or screaming at ground level. Music also has the unique ability to speak to all cultures.

 

How does art impact the tone of a protest?

Art is the glue that connects all walks of life at the protest. During the day, you would see families walk through and pay their respect to the George Floyd Mural and snap photos of street art and then at night, you’d have us playing a 5-hour set with skaters, dancers, artists, bikers and a lot of free-thinking people mixed in with the tension of the active police brutality.

 

What surprised you most about playing live during the George Floyd protests?

We were surprised at how many moving parts go into a protest, from the demonstrators, medics, mutual aid, artists to the bike brigades. You really see how many seemingly regular people can come together and unite as a family behind the common cause of making the world a better place for everyone. Day after day people would come up to us and thank us for providing some joy and unrelenting vibrations of justice to the fight that demanded for reallocation of police funding to the community.

 

How do you see your role in the movement moving forward?

Our goal is to continue to do what we do best and create experiences that inspire other people to be the best version of themselves and organize our collective networks to actively participate in the global revolution. We hope to grow each day and use our platform to amplify others who believe in a better future and who also believe you can have joy while achieving this hefty task.

 

So much of “Reel News” is engaging with our failure of a media culture. What do you think needs to shift for a healthier media culture?

People need to change the way they consume information and put their resources into independent journalism, like Converge, who are rooted in their own communities. Get educated on local issues and politics and stop being so enamored with the national pattern of headlines and news clips. Take a step back and realize your environment is what you make it, treat others with respect and an open mind and you’ll find most people are good with the potential to be great if nourished.

 

What’s the most surreal way you’ve seen yourself presented in the media?

When Fox News called Marshall Hugh, our Lead Singer, “CHAZ Marshall of Antifa” we all couldn’t stop laughing and calling him that at rehearsals. CNN was a strange experience too because they didn’t really highlight the artistic/healing elements of what became “CHOP.” They more so focused on the click bait narratives “Police vs protesters” “Good vs Evil” “Black vs White” So that’s where you get the lyrics:

“Why they always make it bout what’s black and what’s white, when they should really report what’s wrong and what’s right.”

 

What are your hopes for 2021?

Our goal is to get the message of 12th & Pine heard around the world and continue to develop as humans while simultaneously growing as a band, brand and independent record label/production company. We’re currently in the review process for the Pulitzer Prize for Music, so we’re swinging for the fences out here and really trying to show the world the spirit of the PNW. Super grateful for the opportunity to be on a platform like AFROPUNK cause this is a win for all of us trying to make noise out here in the upperleft.

 

Follow Marshall Law Band on Instagram at @MarshallLawBand

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