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2001-06-29

Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls and Michael Franti Talk and Sing About Life, Love, Their Music and Their Activism

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At a time when many female musicians are achieving commercial success by baring their sculpted midriffs and singing bland bubble gum pop, the Indigo Girls continue to deliver folk-inspired music that is achingly poetic, unabashedly feminist, spiritually searching, and often explicitly political. [includes rush transcript]

They have also earned a devoted following that crosses lines of age, race, class, and sexual identity, despite little airtime on commercial radio.

The Indigo Girls have sold more than 7 million records and earned six Grammy nominations, but founded their own record label, Daemon records, in 1990 to support independent musicians in Atlanta and connect to a broader activist community.

In 1998, Amy and Emily initiated the "suffragette sessions tour," a gathering of female musicians that Amy described as "a socialist experiment in Rock and Roll" with "no hierarchies, no boundaries."

Amy Ray and Emily Saliers are also dedicated activists who have used their voices and resources to promote women’s rights, indigenous struggles, gun control, the Zapatista movement, environmental protection and the movement against the death penalty. On their most recent album, "Come on Now Social," Amy wrote the song "Faye Tucker," a meditation on the death penalty and former Governor George Bush’s execution of the first woman in Texas since the Civil War.

This year, Amy Ray released her first Solo album, "Stag."

For nearly a decade hip hop artist and activist Michael Franti has been one of the leading progressive voices in music. Rising out of the Bay Area music and political scene in the early 1990’s, Franti founded the Beatnigs, Disposable Heroes of HipHoprisy, and most recently the musical collective Spearhead. His distinctive style has been infused with hip hop, soul and jazz influences and driven by his eloquent political lyrics.

Franti’s latest album, "Stay Human," proposes that grassroots community activists infiltrate, overthrow, and take the media into their own hands to get important political messages out to a wider audience. The album also takes on the death penalty, with songs interspersed by broadcasts from an imaginary pirate radio station, Stay Human Radio.

Stay Human Radio details events leading to the execution of a fictional activist, Sister Fatima, framed for a murder she didn’t commit, to the backdrop of a right-wing governor’s bid for re-election, with the governor played by actor Woody Harrelson.

This week the New York Times featured Franti in an article about musicians who have devoted themselves to the movement to end the death penalty.

Guests:

  • Amy Ray, of the Indigo Girls, who just released her first independent album "Stag".
  • Michael Franti, just released "Stay Human" with Spearhead.

Related links:

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s Amy Ray, singing "Lucy Stoners" from her first solo album, Stag. And, yes, as you heard, it’s about Jann Wenner, publisher of Rolling Stone. Amy, you lambaste the white boys network and Rolling Stone Magazine. Why focus on them?

AMY RAY: Well, he’s just — I mean, he’s kind of like the epitome of sexism over the years for a lot of women musicians. But it’s really about so much more than that. It’s about the commercialization of media and radio in general, I think just the mergers and the way the disenfranchised were just kind of left out of that, and the — I think the importance of just kind of saying no, at some point, to all that, and just creating your own infrastructures and supporting the ones that exist. So he was just a very, a very convenient target, I guess. And his name rhymes really well with other things, for me.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, for those of you who don’t know, for nearly fifteen years Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, otherwise known as the Indigo Girls, have been at the forefront of women’s music. The openly feminist and openly gay duo are a continued testimony to the power of popular music to inspire progressive personal and social change.

At a time when many female musicians are achieving commercial success by baring their sculpted midriffs and singing bland bubblegum pop, the Indigo Girls continue to deliver folk-inspired music that’s achingly poetic, unabashedly feminist, spiritually searching, and often explicitly political.

They’ve also earned a devoted following that crosses lines of age, race, class and sexual identity, despite little air time on commercial radio. The Indigo Girls have sold more than seven million records, earned six Grammy nominations, but founded their own record label, Daemon Records, in 1990 to support independent musicians in Atlanta and connect to a broader activist community.

In 1998 Amy and Emily initiated the Suffragette Sessions Tour, a gathering of female musicians that Amy describes as a socialist experiment in rock-n-roll, with no hierarchies, no boundaries.

Amy Ray and Emily Saliers are also dedicated activists, who’ve used their voices and resources to promote women’s rights, indigenous struggles, gun control, the Zapatistas, environmental protection and the movement against the death penalty. On their most recent album together, Come On Now Social, Amy wrote the song "Faye Tucker," a meditation on the death penalty and the execution, under former Governor George Bush of Texas, of the first woman to be executed in Texas since the Civil War.

And this year, Amy Ray released her first solo album, which is Stag.

And that issue of the death penalty is one that unites you with our other guest today, Michael Franti. And Michael, it’s great to have you here, as well.

MICHAEL FRANTI: Thanks, nice to be here.

AMY GOODMAN: And it was wonderful to see you at the Wetlands the other night. Wow, you were rocking, rocking the nation! But Michael is with us, once again, and it’s great to have him with us when he comes through New York.

For nearly a decade, hip-hop artist and activist Michael Franti has been one of the leading progressive voices in music. Rising out of the Bay Area music and political scene of the ’90s, Michael found the Beatnigs, Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, and most recently the musical collective Spearhead. His distinctive style has been infused with hip-hop and jazz influences and driven by eloquent political lyrics.

His latest album, Stay Human, proposes that grass-roots community activists infiltrate, overthrow and take the media into their own hands to get important political messages out to a wider audience. The album also takes on the death penalty, as does Amy, and is interspersed by broadcasts from an imaginary pirate radio station, Stay Human Radio. Stay Human Radio details events leading to the execution of a fictional activist, Sister Fatima, framed for a murder she didn’t commit, to the backdrop of a rightwing governor’s bid for reelection, with the governor played by actor Woody Harrelson.

This week the New York Times featured Michael Franti in an article about musicians who have devoted themselves to the movement to end the death penalty. The death penalty, Michael, has been your latest focus. Why?

MICHAEL FRANTI: Well, I think it’s really important now that we have a president who, as governor, signed more death warrants than any other governor. And, you know, with all this talk about the McVeigh execution, people are asking me, you know, "Do you think McVeigh should fry?" And, you know, certainly Timothy didn’t do very much to make himself the poster child for compassion. But I’ve been opposed to the death penalty for one simple truth, which is that I feel that none of us has the right to kill. And that goes for Timothy McVeigh, it goes for our nation dropping bombs in other countries, and it goes for us granting our government the right to kill its own citizens.

AMY GOODMAN: Amy, you did a song about Carla Faye Tucker. And I’m wondering — I think it would probably be better to play the song on the CD, rather than have you play it acoustically here. We’re going to go to "Faye Tucker," of Amy Ray, and talk a little about how you wrote the song.

AMY RAY: Yeah, I thought it was — there were some interesting things that struck me about the Carla Faye Tucker case, and I think one of them was just the way we gather around issues in the death penalty movement, and the person sort of becomes almost mythic in a way and creates these interesting situations and arguments. And one of them was her becoming reborn, and then all of a sudden the Christian Coalition stepping in and deciding they wanted to save her, which I thought was interesting, because it created strange bedfellows amongst the movement. And I think I wanted to just try to take it out of just the black and white of the death penalty argument for me, which is that the death penalty is obviously wrong in my eyes, but also the way that we do activism around it sometimes, we forget about the person and the personality and the humanity of it and the humanity of the people involved. And so, I sort of wrote a song trying to deal with those different things.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, we’re now going to take a listen to "Faye Tucker," the Indigo Girls.

["Faye Tucker" by the Indigo Girls]

AMY GOODMAN: "Faye Tucker," the Indigo Girls. Their latest CD together, Come On Now Social, here on Democracy Now! Amy Ray is our guest, as is Michael Franti. And, yes, we have to break for stations to identify themselves, and so Michael has borrowed Amy’s guitar and is going to do a little sixty second riff. Stay with us.

[break]

AMY GOODMAN: You are listening to Democracy Now!, the Exception to the Rulers. I’m Amy Goodman, here with Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls, and that was Michael Franti riffing on Amy’s guitar, Michael Franti of Spearhead and, well, so much more. Michael, this latest CD that is both music and radio play that is interspersed throughout the songs, you’re putting out on the internet. And I want to talk to both of you about this, this idea of independent labels and taking on the music industry. How are you doing it?

MICHAEL FRANTI: Well, we just sell our records through our website and at our live shows, and we’re also part of Six Degrees Records, which we signed a marketing and distribution deal with them, so they distribute it through stores nationwide. But, you know, we really, along with Six Degrees Records, have the spirit of being independent, both in terms of what we say and also in terms of how we get the music out there. And with a major label, their method is to throw as much money at it as possible and hope it sticks somewhere. And the independent spirit is to play the songs live, to keep touring and to have a group of devoted people who love music behind you doing all the hard work, which they do, and I’m very proud of all of them.

AMY GOODMAN: Introduce this radio segment, the idea that you have throughout the CD.

MICHAEL FRANTI: Well, there’s a narrative that takes place throughout the CD of a woman who’s on death row and this governor who’s trying to execute her. And myself and this woman named Nazelah Jamison play these radio hosts of this pirate radio station, who are interviewing this governor about the case. As he’s trying to get re-elected, he feels if he executes her right before the election, he’ll win.

MICHAEL FRANTI: You’re a Christian man. What do you think about the Bible, which says, "Thou shall not kill"?

CALLER: Well, that’s a good question. I think that — I think that at the time that the Bible was written, people could not necessarily consider the world that we would be living in now. It’s desperate times, and it calls for desperate measures. And if you think about it, too, there’s an overpopulation situation in the world. We’re going to eliminate the people who do not function within the society, and we’re going to encourage those who do.

MICHAEL FRANTI: How are you going to eliminate them?

CALLER: Well, there’s various means. There’s electrically. There’s cyanide gas. There’s a lot of different options to these people. It’s relatively painless. It’s not cruel. And it makes more room in our prison systems today, and frankly they’re overcrowded. So it’s actually a much more humane thing to do for the rest of the prison population.

NAZELAH JAMISON: If you’re accusing Sister Fatima of a crime such as murder, aren’t you therefore committing the same crime by killing her?

CALLER: That’s leftwing, pinko philosophy, if I ever heard it.

["Soul Shine" by Michael Franti and Spearhead]

AMY GOODMAN: You are listening to "Soul Shine," Michael Franti, his latest CD, Stay Human, Michael Franti and Spearhead. And they’re touring around. He’s heading to Philadelphia today. I saw him the other night at the Wetlands, a grassroots musical and political venue in New York City. Michael Franti, with us live in the studio, as is Amy Ray. And Amy has put out her first stag album, and it’s called that. Her first solo album, it’s called Stag. And she is one of the Indigo Girls.

You two toured together in the last year. What is that like, putting together your issues? You’ve been focusing a lot on sexuality and sexual identity, Amy.

AMY RAY: Yeah. I mean, we tour — Indigo Girls and Spearhead toured together, actually. I mean, on Stag I definitely focus a lot on gender identity, as well as a lot of other activism, but I think that that grows out of a lifetime of experience with trying to figure out, you know, where I come from. And I think the interesting thing about our combination, obviously, is that Emily and I have a very strong gay identity and a very strong activist identity, and Spearhead has a very strong activist identity, but probably without the gay identity, although historically Michael’s known for defending us, the gay rights of people.

And — but I think that, you know, we try — I think the [inaudible] one that’s been the hardest barrier for us to break, you know, in Atlanta, the music community is very segregated, and there’s not a lot of effort made to merge. I think there’s some effort, but I just wouldn’t say a lot, and I think it’s very hard. And I was on part of Lilith Fair, where that was an issue, with Lilith Fair constantly of how to tackle that issue.

AMY GOODMAN: Explain Lilith Fair.

AMY RAY: Lilith was, you know, the tour — more mainstream tour of women in music. And oftentimes the act, the black act, the urban, hip-hop, soul, R&B act, whichever class it fit in at the time, would be sort of — would have to go first, you know, and for a combination of reasons, and I think that it goes — it’s very complex. It’s like how do you advertise the show? How is it accessible to people? Why is the demographic white, instead of…? If you’re going to have these acts, you really have to reach out to those communities that historically support them, so that your audience can become a blend of people and can cross-pollinate and you’re — and it can break down the barriers.

And I think Emily and I, out of that experience, we saw this as being like, we really need to tour with some black artists, you know, Hispanic artists, you know, just start to try to work — and Suffragettes did that, the Suffragette Sessions Tour, we really worked a lot of that in. We had a Spanish-speaking artist who toured with us, who played in Spanish. And we had a black artist who was, you know, renown. A black bass player, Gail Ann Dorsey, and vocalist.

AMY GOODMAN: And this was going to high schools?

AMY RAY: No, this was actually — we did the high school tour, too, but this was actually just clubs. But the thing about Spearhead was that we have an activist bond, you know? We’re trying to achieve that idea of grassroots activism and community support and revolution in art and the importance of having your voice heard. And Spearhead’s the same way, it was a perfect combination, as far as I was concerned. But I think, you know, Michael, I mean, I’ll let you speak for yourself, what your experience was, coming out in front of us, and our audience being pretty white, you know? I mean, even if it is very diverse in some ways, I think it’s still pretty white as far as in Michael’s eyes.

AMY GOODMAN: Michael Franti.

MICHAEL FRANTI: Well, I mean, I just found the audience that you guys have put, you know, together over the years as one that was just really open to new music and new ideas, you know. So it was really — I mean, we’d go out on the stage and most times, you know, most of the people hadn’t seen or heard of us before. But, you know, by the time we started playing and they listened to us and they listened to what we had to say, they were open and receptive to it. And I think that’s testimony to what the Indigo Girls have accomplished over the years, is that they’ve built up a loyal fan base of people who aren’t just Indigo Girls fans, but they’re music lovers, period. And they’re open to experiencing new things. And I think that’s something to be — that’s really something to be proud of.

AMY GOODMAN: You also went together to Cuba.

MICHAEL FRANTI: Yeah.

AMY RAY: Yeah.

AMY GOODMAN: Music Bridge.

MICHAEL FRANTI: Yeah.

AMY RAY: Yeah.

MICHAEL FRANTI: That was really exciting.

AMY GOODMAN: Why were you there?

AMY RAY: Well, that was a case of kind of the opposite thing. One day I said, Amy and Emily, you should come down. We’re going to go down to the ’hood in Havana, you know? Take these two little white girls down to where there were very few little white girls and have them hook up with some ancient drummers, you know, Pancho Quinto and players that were, you know, Cuban rumba drummers who were just on a whole ’nother level. And we all jammed, you know? We all went down there and shared our music together, and just the whole experience of going there. We met Fidel at the end of our trip there. But I think it was — the most enlightening thing was to just be collaborating with Cuban musicians and seeing how all these, you know, different American musicians and European musicians, how some people were really able to let go and be there in the spirit of collaboration and how others were still really — had a hard time, and they were trying to cling to their — what they knew about music, you know? And it was a great experience.

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to go to a piece of yours, Amy, that you did, Indigo Girls did, about someone that our listening audience, I think, in New York and also around the country, came to know, or at least hear about, her death with two other activists in Colombia several years ago, and we did a number of specials at the time that these three activists who went down to Colombia were murdered.

AMY RAY: Yeah, I was friends with Ingrid Washinawatok, Elisa and I. She was part of a board called Honor the Earth, which is a group me and Emily started with Indian activists to support indigenous rights in all of the Americas. And she was on the board and a very big help to us and a mentor to me. And she was kidnapped by the FARC, and our government was very, I would say, very irresponsible at the time, when she was being held hostage, in the middle of dealings with arms and money and very much in a way that would target any American that was down there.

And she, you know — in their eyes, she wasn’t considered, you know — to whoever, to her kidnappers, an indigenous person, you know, on their side. She was looked at as being an — "She’s an American, you know, and we’re going to show the Americans." And I think it’s just very complex, and it shows you how complex it is, because when she first got taken hostage, honestly, I was like, well, it’s the FARC, they’ll see her as a, you know, a sister in arms, or she’s fighting the good fight, you know? I was very idealistic about it and naive. And they did end up killing her, and it was — it’s a very complex situation, because there’s not a lot of organization sometimes, and it just shows you how chaotic it gets. And it shows you that our government is constantly mishandling things down there and, I think, helping to create the chaos and add to it.

And I wrote a song for her called "On Your Honor," just to say, you know, keep on kicking butt, all these activists out there, just keep on doing it. And here it is.

["On Your Honor" by Amy Ray]

AMY GOODMAN: Amy Ray, "On Your Honor," from her new solo record. It’s called Stag, here on Democracy Now!, as we talk with Amy Ray and Michael Franti about their work, their politics, their art. Billy Bragg, the English songwriter, once said, "The two driving forces in my life are love and politics." Amy, Michael, both of you are activists and write political songs, yet you write music that often deals with intensely personal subjects, like love and relationships. Do you see these issues as in any way separate from your political commitments, Michael?

MICHAEL FRANTI: Well, I think that the reason any of us should be political is because we care about our families and our friends and our wives, our children, our spouses or lovers, whoever, community. And, you know, in our lives it’s a constant journey of trying to match our body and our mind and our emotions, and when we bring them all together, that’s our path that we call our, you know, our spirituality. And then, once we sort of discover what that is, we have to then try to connect it to the whole of humanity and the whole of the natural world. You know, and so, for me, music is part of doing that. It’s part of taking what I have that’s inside in my mind and my body and my emotions, trying to put it into words and into music and then trying to share that with other people. And sometimes it comes out in a political truth, sometimes it’s an emotional truth, sometimes it’s a musical truth. But I’m always trying to find what it is that’s a truth for me and then put it out there.

AMY GOODMAN: Amy?

AMY RAY: I’ve always found, in most cases, that any time a large or even a small group of people come together to hear music, there’s a sense of rebellion. I mean, I don’t care if it’s Britney Spears, you know? It’s like there is a sense of something bonding people together about music that creates an energy that feels like rebellion to me. You know? And so, for me, it’s this — I can’t separate anything out, you know, as an activist and a musician? Ever since was a kid, anything that I thought about in terms of music was, this is the voice of a community type of feeling. And so, even when I was singing David Cassidy songs in front of a mirror, you know, I had a sense of righteousness, you know? So I don’t know where that comes from. It might be false, but it’s there.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, let’s break for our stations to identify themselves. When we come back, I’m going to find out where you both come from, how you came to what you do. You’re listening to Democracy Now! Back in a minute.

[break]

AMY GOODMAN: You’re listening to Democracy Now!, Free Speech Radio. I’m Amy Goodman, joined in our continuing series on art and revolution by Amy Ray and Michael Franti, who are making a lot of noise in the background here. But we want to talk about how you got started. Michael, before you start fiddling with that guitar that you said Amy taught you to play?

MICHAEL FRANTI: Actually, last summer —

AMY RAY: Emily.

MICHAEL FRANTI: When I — yeah. When I was in Cuba with them, there was a couple nights, almost every night, I guess, when everybody would sit out late until like two, three in the morning, and all the Cubans would sing a song and then pass the guitar to an American to sing a song, and back and forth. And they passed the guitar to me, and I’d go, "Uhhh." And then, also, because of, like, language, I felt like I just didn’t want to like rhyme, you know, do one of my raps a cappella, because they were — you know, most of them didn’t understand English well enough to really get what I was saying, apart from just the feel of the voice. And so, when I was on tour with the Indigo Girls last summer, I went up to Emily and Amy and their sound — their guitar tech Scully, and I said, "You gotta just show me like one or two chords so that when I get around a campfire, I can like just do one song." So, from that time, I’ve been slowly progressing as an amateur guitarist, but I finally got the nerve to play on stage a couple times.

AMY GOODMAN: Okay, you’re on stage. Play.

MICHAEL FRANTI: Right now? OK, OK, alright. Ready, Manas?

[Michael Franti singing "Yes I Will"]

AMY GOODMAN: Wow! You want to introduce your friend? Want to introduce you friend, Michael?

MICHAEL FRANTI: Thanks. That’s Manas Itiene from Lagos, Nigeria. He’s the drummer for Spearhead, and he’s singing background.

AMY GOODMAN: It’s great to see you. I went to Fela’s shrine in Lagos. I was there a few years ago and, you know, there was just music there throughout the night.

MANAS ITIENE: Yeah, yeah. Music and smoke.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, this is really quite an hour, because music has such a tremendous effect and reaches so many people beyond language across cultures. We’re joined by Michael Franti of Spearhead and Amy Ray of Indigo Girls. Her latest CD is Stag. She did it solo. And we’re talking about life and love and politics.

Amy, you went down to Chiapas. You were with the Zapatistas there. You’ve been at the School of the Americas protests. In fact, one of the times you were at the School of the Americas protests, you were wearing someone’s T-shirt that said "Support the Troops," and they were talking about the Zapatistas. "Support Our Troops," I think it was. How do you connect Chiapas with Cuba, with what you’re doing now, going around the country with your Suffragette Sessions?

AMY RAY: I guess I connect a lot of those things —- I mean, Chiapas, Cuba, the indigenous rights, you know, the disenfranchisement of people, I mean, it’s based on a paradigm that needs to shift, you know -—

AMY GOODMAN: And your Honor the Earth —

AMY RAY: A corporate paradigm. And Honor the Earth tours. And I think what we’re working towards is trying to put humans before profit, basically. And I think that when you look at Cuba and you look at indigenous struggles and you look at the Zapatistas and you look at a lot of the things we do, it’s trying to work against a government that is complicit in so many things. I mean, SOA, you know, it’s — and they’re all complex issues, you know? It’s not — I don’t pretend to know everything about every issue, but I do know that I’ve been in these places, and I know what’s right, you know, in my eyes, and that people should come before money, and dignity.

AMY GOODMAN: You’ve spent a lot of time touring with Winona LaDuke —

AMY RAY: Yeah.

AMY GOODMAN: — with Honor the Earth.

AMY RAY: Yeah. Winona is one of the lead people in the Honor the Earth campaign. And we’ve been doing this since '91, and she's been part of our campaign since then. And so, she really — I mean, my model of activism was really taught to me by the indigenous struggles, and more than any movement I’ve been a part of.

AMY GOODMAN: Would you like to sing something?

AMY RAY: I will. I’m going to sing something which is — we’re — I mean, I’m just working on a new record with Emily. We’re putting together a folk record. And I’ve been working on this song, that it’s not done yet, but I’ll play it anyway. And it has a lot to do with just — I’m a Southerner, and my family is from generations in the South, and I deal — I’m constantly struggling with like, you know, my loyalty to, in an odd way, to the Confederacy, you know?

AMY GOODMAN: Now, this is interesting.

AMY RAY: Not the racism, you know, but loyalty as a Southerner. But I, you know, I fight the racism, but I also — people that are from other areas that think the South is all about racism don’t understand that it’s also the center of the civil rights struggle, you know, in some ways. And so, I’m proud of the activism that’s been done down there. But I’ve also been thinking a lot about the mainstream and the extremes and, you know, just how we work together. And how we solve our problems and stuff. So, I’m working on this song. I’ll just play you it, and I’ll fill in words that I don’t have yet.

[Amy Ray singing "Become You"]

AMY GOODMAN: Amy Ray. Wow! Gosh, we only have a minute to go, and —

AMY RAY: Oops, sorry.

AMY GOODMAN: Oh, no, that was —

AMY RAY: That’s too long.

AMY GOODMAN: Boy, what a session this has been! Art and revolution. Michael, we heard a little about Amy’s past. What about yours?

MICHAEL FRANTI: I grew up in California, mostly in a town called Davis. I was born in Oakland, and when I went to college, I moved to San Francisco, and I’ve been there ever since. When I was a kid, I always listened to artists like Sly Stone, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Bob Marley and soul artists that were putting a political conscience into music. And then when disco came about, that kind of died, so reggae became the next thing that carried that voice. And then it was punk rock, so I followed that, with the Clash and the other groups. And then hip-hop carried it, and that’s when I got involved.

AMY GOODMAN: Can we get a little "Rock the Nation"?

MICHAEL FRANTI: We’re living in a mean time, in an aggressive time. A painful time, a time when cynicism rots the vine. In a time where violence blocks the summer shine, lifetimes go by in a flash in the search for love, in a search for cash. Everybody wanna be some fat tycoon, everybody wanna be on a tropic honeymoon. Nobody wanna sing a little bit out of tune or be the backbone of a rebel platoon. It’s too soon to step out of line, you might get laughed at, you might get fined. But do you feel me when I say I feel pain everyday when I see the way my friends gotta slave and never get ahead of bills they gotta pay. No way, no way, hey, so make a living doing killing, Colombian penicillin. Some are willing to play the villain, they just chillin’ to pass the time, pass the information, or pass the wine. Pass the buck or pass the baton, but you can’t pass the police or the Pentagon, the IRS or the upper echelon. I think it’s time to make a move on the contradiction. Bam-bam. Rock the nation, take over television and radio station. Bam-bam, the truth shall come. Give the corporation some complications, y’all.

AMY GOODMAN: Your websites. Michael Franti?

MICHAEL FRANTI: Spearheadvibrations.com.

AMY RAY: My website for my indie label is daemonrecords.com.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, it has really been wonderful spending this hour with you.

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