Q And Not U's Christopher Richards Speaks Politics
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g you out--that's all going to come out in your music.
That said, I think our band has quietly found our political voice over the last few years because we've been consuming--and to some degree, choking on- world events as they transpire. We never had any kind of specific political awakening. It's just gotten into our bloodstream. And obviously, we're outraged by the agenda that the administration is pursuing, and we're saddened that our fellow Americans feel so helpless, when we should all be getting in the act.
Do the various members ever disagree on the issues? Does this affect the song-writing process? Has it ever been a problem? If so, when? And how?
For the most part, our politics are all on the same page. We disagree mostly over how to present our views. We just have to keep ourselves in check because we don't want to proselytize, and we don't want to be known as "that political band." Sure, politics is a part of it, but we don't want that to be the party line. And we need to try and keep things positive. I've had to catch myself on stage in recent months because my comments on Bush have slowly descended into rather pointed, one-dimensional rants. And I shouldn't do that--we want to keep things positive and make people feel strong and beautiful and empowered. I know that sounds grandiose, but I believe it. Music makes me feel like I'm worth something.
What are your thoughts on gay marriage?
I'm totally for it, and I think we'll see it legalized everywhere in America in the coming years. That might mean 20 years, but it's still going to happen. I really feel that the division on gay marriage is a generational division. I've met very, very few young people who are against it--and that includes very conservative, very Christian-right folks. So once our generation takes the reigns, it should get resolved. But hopefully we won't have to wait that long. And then how long before America accepts it socially? That's going to take a bit longer.
When ranked among the states, our nation's capital is #4 in the category of "highest levels of poverty." 16.3% of its inhabitants live below the poverty line. This is a land consisting of a high minority population who live in some of the worst neighborhoods in the country, i.e. Anacostia. It thus seems strange that such a place could stand as the figure-head of our nation. This is not to mention the close proximity DC has to such affluent regions such as Montgomery County and the Arlington area. Did this land of irony play a role in the formation of the band? In the bands politics? The bands mission? If so, how, and does this influence continue today?
Because of the federal government, DC is a city of moneyed transients. Very few of our most affluent residents are natives to the city. People come here for four years to make their name, and they go back West to run for Governor. So there's not a lot of investment in the city--and by that I mean not only financial investment, but cultural and spiritual investment, as well. (I should note that I moved here from Annapolis, MD in 1997 to go
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