Rise Against Tell Their Own Fans to 'Make It Stop' -- Exclusive Video
Despite an antiquated parental view of punk rock (and, before that, rock 'n' roll at large), you'd be hard pressed to find better role models than the guys from Rise Against. They're PETA-supporting vegetarians who actively promote animal rights -- including those of humans. When the band formed in Chicago in 1999, they were part of the left-leaning punk movement which placed an emphasis on politics as much as power chords. And, in the beginning, they played to an audience of like-minded individuals in Chicago's close-knit punk scene. But with mainstream success comes mainstream audiences and a wider swath of belief systems -- including those that the band rallies against.
So, for Gay Pride Month -- which is this month -- the band is releasing a new video for 'Make It Stop,' along with a statement addressing their views on gay rights... which, of course, are human rights. According to frontman Tim Mcllrath, the video for 'Make It Stop' was a response to the wave of bullying of gay youths that led to their suicides this past fall.
"When the song says 'Make it stop,' it's talking to the parts of society that would hide behind euphemisms like 'family values' to justify bigotry," writes Mcllrath in a letter sent to the Huffington Post. 'When it says 'Let this end,' it's addressing hate-filled TV networks that masquerade as news stations."
But, perhaps more boldly -- and certainly bravely -- Mcllrath isn't afraid to single out members of his own fanbase. The message of 'Make It Stop,' he says, is intended, in part, to "let our own audience members know that if they would make a fellow concertgoer feel unwelcome at a Rise Against show, then perhaps it is they who are not welcome at a Rise Against show."
Applause, applause. We'll see you in the pit. Read McIlrath's entire blog here.