The Drive-By Truckers have released their powerful new music video to “Surrender Under Protest,” a track from their recent album American Band. The song, sung by co-frontman Mike Cooley, uses an old Confederate slogan to address ongoing racial violence and tension in the modern South.
Directed by noted music video director Lance Bangs (Arcade Fire, the Shins), the video features the band performing the song below a highway overpass while footage of civil unrest in the United States is interspersed throughout.
“The victims and aggressors / Just remain each other’s others,” Cooley sings during the clip, which juxtaposes peaceful scenes of recreation with tense moments of protest and arrest.
“Surrender Under Protest” was inspired in part by the decision to remove the Confederate Flag from the South Carolina Statehouse in 2015.
“It’s interesting to read about the Civil War, but to live your life still obsessed with the war, that’s just sad to me,” Patterson Hood told Rolling Stone before American Band was released. “It was a long time ago, and I hate how much some Southerners define themselves by it. It was fucked up then, so it’s even more fucked up to talk about it 150 years later in such reverent tones.”
The Drive-By Truckers are currently on tour through March, with a pair of shows scheduled for the National in Richmond, Virginia on November 10th and 11th.