Politics and music have always gone hand-in-hand, but views on issues always seemed black-and-white in the past. Rough-and-ready country boys were usually gun-toting Republicans and young punk rockers were often super liberal Democrats.
But these days, with socio-economic boundaries more blurred than ever and ready access to news from all slants on the internet, musicians like Daron Malakian from Scars on Broadway and System of a Down are rocking a diverse outlook on the current political climate.
Backstage at Epicenter 2012, Malakian told KROQ’s Rich Rubin that he’s not political in the sense that he wants to “stand up on a pedestal and fight for everybody’s rights,” but that he does think the public should be wary of their perceptions of politicians. Because that’s exactly what they are–politicians. He said that even Obama is a “king” at making people like him; maybe “better than Clinton.”
“Anybody that thinks that Obama was going to come and fix that mess in three or four years is nuts,” said Malakian. “I mean, that by itself–you’ve gotta give him a little more time. I think he’s doing a pretty good job. I ain’t got no beef with Obama. But I’ll tell you this much: he’s a politician like everybody else and he’s a damn good one.”
Although Malakian’s beliefs seem to skew left, the NASCAR-loving Armenian musician said that there’s always “two sides to an argument” and brought up hot button topics like stem-cell research and a rape victim’s choice to have an abortion.
“You can’t really hate people for thinking what they think,” Malakian asserts. “It’s just what they’re raised with.”
In the end, it’s not the never-ending debates of politics that Malakian has a problem with but organized religion being used as a tool of manipulation by politicians. Malakain said that it’s just Christian American politicians that use religion to “get their troops riled up,” but also “dudes like Bin Laden.”
“These dudes are all politicians themselves, you know. They use the simple-minded and the poor and they promise them things and that’s how they rile up their troops–using religion,” said Malakian, passionately. “I just think religion could be a beautiful thing for the individual, but when it becomes organized that’s when religion starts taking a kind of ugly turn.”