Gotye — real name Wally De Backer — is turning his sights from somebody that he used to know to politics, forming a new political party with his band, the Basics, and planning a run in the November elections for the Australian state of Victoria, The Guardian reports.
De Backer is entering the political world with bandmates Kris Schroeder and Tim Heath, and the trio are fittingly calling their coalition the Basics Rock’n’Roll Party. The movement itself is centered around three tenets: innovation, education and rock music.
“We’re interested in giving an equal opportunity to all as far as access to music is concerned,” Schroeder said.
Over the past few weeks, the Basics have been outlining their beliefs on their Facebook page, and among numerous initiatives, they hope to improve education for indigenous Australians and promote programs in Victorian schools that focus on indigenous cultures. They also are looking to provide high schoolers with mandatory first-aid training and make music more accessible to residents of rural areas.
The Rock’n’Roll Party is also running in opposition to Australia’s lifelong politicians, whom they criticize for their lack of experience outside being representatives of their parties. “Decisions don’t have to be made by these elite; you can just be musicians,” Schroeder said. “We’ve all got higher education degrees so we’re not just musicians, but we haven’t come up through any political ideology. We just care about certain things like indigenous affairs and education.”
In order to make it onto to the ballot, though, the party needs to secure 500 registered members with the Victorian Electoral Commission. If they are successful in November, Schroeder believes the Rock’n’Roll Party could even take on federal politics in Australia.
The Basics wouldn’t be the first Australian musicians to segue into politics, though, following the footsteps of Midnight Oil frontman Peter Garrett, who served as a member of the Labor Party in the House of Representatives and was later appointed Minister of Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts and Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth. While Schroeder believes Garrett compromised some of his ideals out of political convenience, he said the Basics still admired the frontman: “We look up to the ideals that Midnight Oil espoused through their music, and we would like to look at his example as a lesson learned and think if you’re going to do something like that you should do it on your own.”