Bad Religion envision conspiracy theories as a retro dance craze in their rattling new song, “Do the Paranoid Style.”
“It’s a paranoid style in American politics/Casey Jones, you better watch your apocalypse,” frontman Greg Graffin snarls over a pummeling drum pattern and power chords — a spin on a famous Grateful Dead lyric. “All kinds of wild interpretation/Are open to the paranoid imagination.” Later, he references political division and “Communist plots against the population.”
The band paired “Do the Paranoid Style” with a wild video that pairs vintage propaganda footage with shots of early rock dancing. Director/editor Dan Fusselman weaves in glimpses of rocket launches, flying saucers, the first moon landing and Elvis Presley meeting Richard Nixon.
“When fringe groups blame shadowy forces for their problems it is, at worst, delusional,” guitarist Brett Gurewitz said in a statement of the song, which was inspired by historian Richard Hofstadter’s 1964 essay “The Paranoid Style in American Politics.” “But when those holding the levers of power do the same thing, it’s not delusion, it’s a method of delegitimizing the opposition. It’s a tool of authoritarianism.”
“Do the Paranoid Style” appears on Bad Religion’s upcoming 17th LP, Age of Unreason, along with lead single “Chaos From Within.”