Op-Ed: Red, White, Blue and Bruised
This time, a year ago, Fire From the Gods had just released the timely song and video “Break the Cycle” as singer AJ Channer had just traveled to Minneapolis and Atlanta to participate in the protests after the death of George Floyd. The musician wrote an editorial for Loudwire le Juneteenth about his experiences and provided a photo gallery of his participation in the marches. Now Channer checked in a year later with another op-ed titled “Red, White, Blue and Bruised” sharing his thoughts on the situation after a year in which many difficult conversations have taken place.
This comment comes as Fire From the Gods releases its new EP, American sun (reinvented), a collection of stripped-down versions of songs from their 2019 album still relevant American Sun. The set of four songs is seen as a reflective statement on the events of the past year as the group prepares to work on their next album.
Regarding the EP, the group said the following in a collective statement: “American sun (reinvented) is a reflection of what we all experienced in the past year. We originally dropped the album while touring the arenas with an exciting and busy year of tours and promotions ahead. Sadly the world ended a few months later and we never felt this album had the life it deserved. American sun (reinvented) is our love letter to this album; now we feel a little more complete and ready to create the sequel.
Check out AJ Channer’s editorial, “Red, White, Blue and Bruised” below:
Last year I wrote an opinion piece about the two days I spent in Minneapolis after the George Floyd riots started. Amidst civil unrest and a global pandemic, America has been forced to look at itself coldly and honestly.
I mentioned the regrouping of several communities. I spoke of openness and the willingness to heal centuries-old wounds. For the first time in a long time, it seemed like we wanted to face our dark past and heal. It was as if we wanted to change and finally break the cycle of ignorance, hatred and division. There was a lot of confusion, but there was also a lot of hope.
Many questions have been put to us. We the people have been put to the test. But for every step we took, we apparently took a couple of steps back. Here we are a year later and some of these questions are still unanswered.
Buzzwords and political slogans become the language of every conversation.
My opinion against you. My feelings against your reality. Very rigid lines have been drawn and a war of attrition has begun with this looming threat of hostility in the air.
Difficult topics were brought to light, such as “What is white privilege?” “” What is institutional racism? “What is Defund the Police?” Why does one band shout “Black Lives Matter” and another “Blue lives matter?” There was a lot of “What’s going on?” All the while, we were battling COVID-19 and lockdowns. Ouch!!!
Then there was this damn election. Our social and political leaders were jostling for support for their various platforms. There were fake calls for calm backed up by a disturbing message from us against them. There was the noise coming from the talkative politicians, media figures and a set of more dangerous individual toxic voices. Voices that have arisen from a culture growing among the people, the culture of random political commentators on social media. A group of ordinary people varying from educated to uneducated and uninformed to logic.
Even when someone “made a good case,” they used the platform or medium necessary to create echo chambers where their opinion could not be challenged or challenged due to the enormous support it received. has collected. Right or wrong, these self-proclaimed gurus and masters of social understanding were leading people down a dangerous path. These geniuses have done nothing but fuel the fires that are already raging in American cities.
In all fairness, who could blame them? We are individualists and rebels by nature. It is in the DNA of our culture to express our opinions. But still, sometimes it’s best to shut up, listen and let the guiding voice speak within all of us.
We all want life, freedom, security and happiness. These things do not need to be acquired at the expense of others. These social media know-it-alls seemed selfish, ignorant, and at times downright hateful. I was fed up like many others. We had to purge ourselves of this poison. The Divisive Vitriol exposed people and vindicated the very reason why these difficult questions – and more – needed to be asked.
We went from hope to despair in seconds. People acted like the apocalypse was upon us. Acting on a whim, we went from “showing solidarity” to absolutely wanting to destroy everything in our path. The division and the hatred were palpable. Who are we? What happened? The death of a random Minnesotan sparked what seemed like a cultural revolution and a summer of change. But it ended up in an exaggerated and politicized mess.
Fire From the Gods released a record called “American Sun” a year before it happened, and the words on that record spoke the truth like no other. We had written the soundtrack for times like these. It wasn’t because of foresight, but rather a desperate need to make changes. Fans have told us that songs like “Right Now”, “Break The Cycle” and the main song “American Sun” have become gospel.
The message that I have always supported seemed more important to me than ever. But unfortunately, due to COVID-19, we were unable to tour or reach the many ears, minds and bodies that needed to hear our music. While some members of our scene took the opportunity to take advantage of the tense social climate, we decided to let our music express our thoughts for us. It’s a power that we realized we have as artists, now more than ever.
As we continued to recognize this power, to pay attention to every emotion and words put into our music, to convey what we felt last year, as the rest of the world cried out, the Capitol Riots of January 6 ensued. produced. It ended a year of chaos and marked the culmination of our descent into madness. We haven’t completely rectified our situation, but there is a feeling that people have had enough. Did the cooler heads prevail? I do not know.
The blocks are lifted, people are returning to work, and the reliance on media types and politicians seems to have eased for the time being. I have always said that politics is only a small part of the human experience. It should never be our end and be everything. Social problems are not always solved by political solutions. We had forgotten who we were. There are still quite a few things that have been overlooked in our efforts to regain our sanity, but overall people’s voices have been heard and the anger has been purged.
Unfortunately, now that the world has returned to normal, it is business as usual in the United States. We always shoot at each other as if gunshots were the only means of communication. The standard of living has not improved much. The rich keep getting richer and the poor die just to live.
Our great society has taken a few licks and is still in the fight. A fight that should never be abandoned. On the album we say, “I am the refugee emerging from the shadows of my past and doing all I can to improve myself.” I am not your enemy and if we trust each other we can all bask in the light of a new American sun. It is a real gift as an artist to be enlightened by your past and to discover new truths through a different lens. We cannot control how we are affected by the world, but we can control what we do with these experiences, thoughts, and feelings. We’ll see you on the road soon with a more complete perspective.
Stay up, family.
IN US, WE TRUST.
As stated, Fire From the Gods’ American sun (reinvented) released today (June 18). Watch the title song video below and grab the EP via your platform of choice here. The group is also back on the road and you can see them touring at the stops listed on their website.
The Fire of the Gods, “American Sun (Reimagined)”
Fire of the gods, American sun (reinvented) Illustration + list of tracks
1. American Sun (reinvented)
2. Right now (reinvented)
3. Truth for the weak (not built to collapse) (reinvented)
4. Break the cycle (reinvented)
PLAYLIST: Follow Loudwire’s Spotify playlist of the best rock songs of 2021 (so far).
Best rock songs of 2021 (so far)
Loudwire’s picks for the best rock songs of 2021 to date.