How the devil are you Son Lux?
Hey guys, how the devil are you?
What have you been up to today?
Drinking cold brewed coffee and listening to the new Shabazz Palaces on loop.
And where are you right now?
I, Rafiq, am in Brooklyn. I think Ian is either here or on a plane to Dallas right now. And Ryan is probably just starting his day in sunny LA.
So, an EP. What can you tell us about Remedy?
It's a collection of songs that came to life in the week following the 2016 election. Ryan's wife was eight months pregnant at the time with their first (and only) child, Remy. Though Ian has been living in the US since high school, he's a citizen of a foreign country and is here on an O-1 visa. My parents are Muslim immigrants, and they live in a state that Trump carried decisively.
The title of this EP is absurd, at least when interpreted in a certain way. We're in a moment of widespread activation among the left, and it's encouraging to see so many people tweeting, marching, and speaking out. But there's a real danger in fooling ourselves into thinking that these "feel good" sorts of efforts are in-and-of-themselves addressing the challenges we face. (There have been so many incisive roasts of this kind of "slacktivism" recently; see, for example, Louis CK and SNL's Thank You, Scott.) Similarly, it's a little ridiculous to suggest that the "remedy" to this malignancy is going to come from three privileged dudes making angsty jams out of an LA studio in between trips to the Whole Foods downstairs.
In that sense, I think the title is a little misleading â€” more than providing a solution in and of itself, the music represents our search for a remedy. For us, it was the only way to cope; it was our way of trying to make sense of the new reality around us, of reaffirming our values, and of redoubling our efforts.
You've chosen to donate all profits to Southern Poverty Law Center, which is uber cool. What is the Southern Poverty Law Center? And what is it specifically about them that makes you want to support it?
The SPLC is an organization dedicated to serving the most vulnerable members of American society. They do everything from monitoring hate groups to providing teaching materials to decrease bias and promote tolerance. They also litigate anti-discrimination cases â€” the founders were civil rights lawyers working in Alabama in the early 70s. You can learn more at splcenter.org.
In the immediate aftermath of the election, we saw the SPLC immediately step up to catalog and spread awareness about the uptick in hate crimes, intimidation, and abuse. We've also seen how they work on the person-to-person level by hearing about how they've engaged with friends of ours who have been targeted and threatened. And it's important to us that they've been working effectively at this for decades now. In general, like with anything else, I think those of us who are relatively new to this kind of engagement have a lot to learn from people who have been in the trenches for a much longer time.
There's loads of weirdness going on in the world and lots of people seem to be looking after themselves. How important is it that people continue to support charities and others doing altruistic things?
What we think is vital is a sustained, active engagement in political life. Sure, we can share stories on Facebook, march in rallies with our friends, and make songs that soundtrack those kinds of activities. But none of that is going to make a bit of difference if it doesn't also inspire us to grow actively involved with and/or give as generously as we can to organizations leading the charge; to keep the pressure on our representatives; to refuse to accept the new, post-truth normal; to throw sand in the gears of everything. For us, the process of making and releasing this music has been one of reflection on what we could be doing for others, and about the situation we're facing in this country right now. And that starts with recognizing that there's always more to be done, and I hope we will continue to strive to do better.
How dangerous is Donald Trump?
As dangerous as the void behind our teeth. Ultimately, we as citizens collectively have the power to stand in the way. The question is whether or not we will have the willingness and the wherewithal to call it what it is.
What's the single most important issue to you that weâ€™re currently facing?
I don't think it's possible to cherry pick. But perhaps much of it can be boiled down to our unwillingness to accept the truth â€” about our history, the present moment, and the consequences of all of that for the future of our planet.
Which of your songs are you most proud of?
The ones we are making now.
What's the single most influential piece of music on you?
Again, impossible to narrow it down that much. But John Coltrane's A Love Supreme is pretty high on the list.
What does the rest of 2017 hold for you?
Unfortunately we can't talk about most of it right now! But we are very excited to share more details in the months ahead.
You're really active on social media so my question is: pain in the butt or vital outlet for artists in 2017?
It can be both, but generally we enjoy it. Connecting with people through music is a big part of why we do this.
If you could only listen to one song this week, what would it be?
This new Shabazz Palaces track!
What are you doing with the rest of your day?
Trying to keep focused... "Often, it's thought that I'm lost in."
Finally, how do you take your coffee?
Thanks so much for your time Rafiq
You can buy Remedy from all decent stores, or stream from the usual, including Tidal below. To find out more about the band visit their website or follow them on Twitter.
Last updated: 06/08/2018 11:46:46