Soul Asylum have shared a pair of tracks — including their cover of Dead Kennedys’ classic “Nazi Punks Fuck Off” — as free downloads to encourage fans both to register to vote and sign a petition demanding justice for George Floyd, who was killed by police in the band’s hometown of Minneapolis.
“To show our support for George Floyd, his family and everyone peacefully seeking justice to be served, we are releasing free downloads and streaming of our song ‘Black and Blue’ as well as a cover of ‘Nazi Punks Fuck Off’ by the Dead Kennedys,” singer Dave Pirner said in a statement. “Black and Blue,” a song about police brutality, previously appeared on Soul Asylum’s 1984 debut album Say What You Will… Both tracks are available on the band’s website.
“We also encourage everyone to register and vote in all elections, especially locally where you make the largest impact on change in our police and justice departments. Systems can be changed through voting, and it is important to learn about your local and national elections so you can elect people who share your points of view. We must vote out systemic racism,” Pirner continued. “Let’s all unite to fight racism peacefully and intelligently. Nazis, racists, white supremacists and fascists, you have no business in our amazing city.”
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Soul Asylum drummer Michael Bland, a former member of Prince’s New Power Generation, recently spoke to Rolling Stone about the George Floyd protests and race issues in the Twin Cities.
“Racism here in Minnesota, it’s a pervasive thing that is also elusive if you’re not really looking for it. I know a lot of white people who own a lot of Black Lives Matter gear,” Bland said. “They’re all impassioned, and they really do want to see change in the world, starting here. But a lot of my woke white friends think that because they’ve done their homework, they don’t have to feel a certain kind of way about people of color. One of them once tried to convince me on the idea of a post-racial America. No — race is built into the system. “