The Residents and Black Francis Release a Musical Criticism of Trump’s Handling of the COVID
Many musicians have used their music to send a public message to the world regarding their position on politics. Avant garde collective The Residents have done this is in a very over the top way releasing the song ‘Die, Die, Die’ a collaboration with The Pixies front man Black Francis.
The song is a blues number originally written by blues musician Alvin Snow, aka Dyin’ Dog back in the 70’s. The group’s version of the song is punctuated by percussion and Francis’ growling bluesy vocals making it a very powerful number.
But it is the video’s imagery that leaves fans’ with the unmistakable knowledge that this is indeed aimed at Trump and his handling of the coronavirus. The video pictures imagery of people falling, Trump’s distorted face and the number 666.
Reportedly the song was recorded pre-COVID but, following the outbreak, the band felt that it was relevant to what is currently going on in the world. Hence, they added the video.
The Residents released the following statement about the song “The group felt the song’s relevance was more compelling than ever but they pondered the writer’s motivation. What betrayal damaged Snow so deeply that he wished to see his transgressor die?”
“Then, without warning, the world was quickly captivated and consumed by the COVID-19 health crisis,” they go on to explain, “And as the pandemic grew, eagerly enveloping an entire civilization both physically and emotionally, one voice stood out from the cacophony generated by a world gravely stricken with suffering and pain. And for the Residents, something about that voice was familiar… not the actual voice itself but its tone… larger than life, sneering and utterly empty of empathy, love and compassion. And in that moment, almost 50 years of reflection back to the Seventies was complete. ‘Die! Die! Die!’ became ‘Now! Now! Now!’ A perfect parallel with its all too eager protagonist snidely and indifferently turning his back on a world whose approval he so desperately sought.”
The song is part of a double disc the band will be releasing on June 10 called Metal, Meat and Snow. The album celebrates Snow’s career featuring 10 of Snow’s demos, 10 of the band’s takes on those demos and 6 completely original Residents’ songs inspired by Snow.
Snow reportedly went missing back in 1976 and some wonder if he existed at all. However, the Residents post a short bio on their page explaining that the musician did indeed exist and, in fact, worked with Roland Sheehan, a songwriter, organist and guitarist who would later collaborate with the Residents. Reportedly Sheehan rediscovered some demo tapes he had recorded with Snow and brought them to the band in 2018. The rest, as they say, is history.
Political opinions aside, the song sends a powerful message that may be worth checking out for shock value alone. It is definitely working to draw attention to the band if nothing else.