Nine Inch Nails, My Morning Jacket, Maroon 5 and Ben Harper are among the latest artists to join The Sound Strike, a collective of musicians that are boycotting performing in Arizona after the state passed a controversial law that encourages police officers to target residents they “reasonably suspect” to be undocumented. Sound Strike is being spearheaded by Rage Against the Machine’s Zack de la Rocha — and the outspoken singer has also said there’s a “strong chance” RATM will perform a protest concert in the U.S. in July.
“We have to intervene in order to do whatever we possibly can to limit that state’s ability to function and implement the law,” de la Rocha said in a public service announcement on the Sound Strike website. (Check out video of de la Rocha’s announcement above.) “Number one, not allow our economic power that we generate through our art to be used by the state of Arizona to implement these kinds of laws, and secondly, to create a new cultural solidarity within popular music that can help educate our fans, help create a conversation between artists that take a position.”
Rage guitarist Tom Morello has also been active in getting more musicians to sign on for the boycott. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Morello says he has personally reached out to Cypress Hill, Rise Against and Joe Satriani to get involved. “Some artists have contacted me,” he says. “I’m just a soldier in this.” As Rolling Stone previously reported, Rage Against the Machine, Kanye West, Sonic Youth and Tenacious D were among the first batch of artists to align themselves with Sound Strike; the roster of artists boycotting Arizona has increased by over a hundred acts since then.
In an effort to not hold Arizona music fans accountable for their government’s actions, de la Rocha told Billboard that Sound Strike is “organizing a series of concerts that are respectful of the nature of the boycott in its attempts to isolate the Arizona government but not isolate the people.” The concerts, which will likely be held outside of Arizona, will feature many of the acts involved in the boycott, including a “strong chance” of Rage Against the Machine performing. No specifics concerning possible dates were revealed, but de la Rocha hinted at one giant show toward late-July.
Additional reporting by David Browne.