Green Day, Linkin Park, Pearl Jam, Etc. Sign Open Letter Demanding Politicians To Get Clearance Before Using Their Songs

Green Day, Linkin Park, Pearl Jam, The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, and more have partnered with the Artist Rights Alliance to demand politicians to get proper clearances before using their music at rallies and other public appearances. The artists sent an open letter to the Democratic and Republican National, Congressional, and Senatorial committees and they are seeking to get a response by August 10.

Here’s the full letter:

“Dear Campaign Committees:

As artists, activists, and citizens, we ask you to pledge that all candidates you support will seek consent from featured recording artists and songwriters before using their music in campaign and political settings. This is the only way to effectively protect your candidates from legal risk, unnecessary public controversy, and the moral quagmire that comes from falsely claiming or implying an artist’s support or distorting an artists’ expression in such a high stakes public way.

This is not a new problem. Or a partisan one. Every election cycle brings stories of artists and songwriters frustrated to find their work being used in settings that suggest endorsement or support of political candidates without their permission or consent.

Being dragged unwillingly into politics in this way can compromise an artist’s personal values while disappointing and alienating fans – with great moral and economic cost. For artists that do choose to engage politically in campaigns or other contexts, this kind of unauthorized public use confuses their message and undermines their effectiveness. Music tells powerful stories and drives emotional connection and engagement – that’s why campaigns use it, after all! But doing so without permission siphons away that value.

The legal risks are clear. Campaign uses of music can violate federal and (in some cases) state copyrights in both sound recordings and musical compositions. Depending on the technology used to copy and broadcast these works, multiple exclusive copyrights, including both performance and reproduction, could be infringed. In addition, these uses impact creators’ rights of publicity and branding, potentially creating exposure for trademark infringement, dilution, or tarnishment under the Lanham Act and giving rise to claims for false endorsement, conversion, and other common law and statutory torts. When campaign commercials or advertisements are involved, a whole additional host of rules and regulations regarding campaign fundraising (including undisclosed and potentially unlawful ‘in-kind’ contributions), finance, and communications could also potentially be breached.

More importantly, falsely implying support or endorsement from an artist or songwriter is dishonest and immoral. It undermines the campaign process, confuses the voting public, and ultimately distorts elections. It should be anathema to any honest candidate to play off this kind of uncertainty or falsely leave the impression of an artist’s or songwriter’s support.

Like all other citizens, artists have the fundamental right to control their work and make free choices regarding their political expression and participation. Using their work for political purposes without their consent fundamentally breaches those rights – an invasion of the most hallowed, even sacred personal interests.

No politician benefits from forcing a popular artist to publicly disown and reject them. Yet these unnecessary controversies inevitably draw even the most reluctant or apolitical artists off the sidelines, compelling them to explain the ways they disagree with candidates wrongfully using their music. And on social media and in the culture at large, it’s the politicians that typically end up on the wrong side of those stories.

For all these reasons, we urge you to establish clear policies requiring campaigns supported by your committees to seek the consent of featured recording artists, songwriters, and copyright owners before publicly using their music in a political or campaign setting. Funding, logistical support, and participation in committee programs, operations, and events should be contingent on this pledge, and its terms should be clearly stated in writing in your bylaws, operating guidelines, campaign manuals, or where you establish any other relevant rules, requirements, or conditions of support.

Please let us know by August 10th how you plan to accomplish these changes.”

[via Loudwire]

My Chemical Romance, Slipknot, Tool, Guns N’ Roses, Etc. Received Pandemic Assistance Loans

Earlier this year, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Treasury launched the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to give loans to businesses to help them pay their employees amid the coronavirus pandemic. According to a new report, $660 billion was given out to 600,000 companies including ones owned by Slipknot, Green Day, Tool, My Chemical Romance, Guns N’ Roses, Disturbed, Eagles, Nickelback, Papa Roach, Pearl Jam, Weezer, Cheap Trick, and more. One of the aforementioned artists, My Chemical Romance, told Rolling Stone the following about their decision to take a PPP loan:

“Like most tours that were happening this year, My Chemical Romance’s world tour was cancelled. MCR received PPP money to ensure their crew is funded in these times of uncertainty until we are able to be out on the road again. We are so grateful to these skilled, dedicated people – some of them are parents, others caretakers, still others who simply have rent to pay – and this money helps them take care of themselves and their families.”

Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament Releases New EP “American Death Squad”

Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament has released a new solo EP titled “American Death Squad.” The effort is available in digital outlets now and it can also be pre-ordered on vinyl. Ament commented:

“In the days following the postponement of our tour, I found it necessary to find an outlet for the energy we had created going into the tour. Pivot was the word of March. So, every morning, I retreated to the studio with the goal of writing a song every day, no matter how shite. Days of isolating and watching the news of the destruction courtesy the virus (and the ineptitude of our leadership or as named here, the American Death Squad) made for vivid dreams and a helplessness. These were some of the first songs out of the gate. Raw and succinct.”

Sons Of Silver (Ex-Pearl Jam, Ex-Skillet, Etc.) To Release New EP “Doomsday Noises”

Sons Of Silver, the band featuring Dave Krusen (ex-Pearl Jam), Kevin Haaland (ex-Skillet), Adam Kury (Candlebox), Peter Argyropoulos, and Brina Kabler, will be releasing a new EP tilted “Doomsday Noises” on June 26. The effort will come with five tracks including: “Rude Awakenings,” “Outbreak,” “Deep Division,” “Read ‘Em Their Rights,” and “World On Fire.” You can check out the latter two below:

Argyropoulos said the following about “Doomsday Noises”:

“All of these songs, including all of the lyrics, were written and recorded a few months before the COVID-19 pandemic.

There’s a lot of ‘shouting’ going on in the world at the moment, a lot of bullying, a lot of pontificating. The noise is deafening. These are the sounds of societal transformation. But they can easily be misinterpreted as social collapse. We probably should’ve put a question mark at the end of the phrase.”

He also added:

“We all love hanging out together. We probably spend more time talking politics, sports, food, family or whatever than we do making music. All those interests, all of those conversations, they make their way into the music. The songs are a snapshot in time of whatever happened to be on our minds. There’s some comedy and some tragedy; some dissonance and some harmony; some nostalgia and some abandonment; some punk and some rock. Even more, the fact that we can talk about anything and everything translates into a very comfortable and supportive musical environment. Everyone feels free with any idea and no one feels any idea is sacred. We’re all good enough to lead the band., but none of us is good enough to be the band. We allow space and time for one another to find our way. The EP represents where each of us was at along our journey together.”

“Pearl Jam: Art Of Do The Evolution” Book To Be Released In October

A new book focusing on Pearl Jam’s 1998 video for “Do The Evolution” is set to be released on October 6 via IDW Publishing. The 200-page hardcover book, which is titled “Pearl Jam: Art Of Do The Evolution,” is currently available to pre-order from various retailers including Amazon.

Here’s a description of the book:

“See the art that helped create the Grammy Award Nominated music video Do the Evolution by legendary band Pearl Jam, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2017 inductee.

Drawing inspiration from the Grammy Award nominated music video of the same name, Do the Evolution takes fans inside this unforgettable work of art. Directed by visionary comics legend Todd McFarlane (Spawn) and veteran animator Kevin Altieri (Batman: The Animated Series), this achievement in animation told a graphic and dark history of the world in four gripping minutes and is widely considered one of the best music videos of all time.

Now, the full story of the making of this historic video will be told. Lushly illustrated by the video’s striking animation cells with never before seen storyboards and designs from the video, the video’s co-producer, Joe Pearson, will guide readers through the fascinating process of bringing the band’s vision to life in this one-of-a-kind art book.”

McFarlane said the following in the book’s introduction:

“The history of mankind in as condensed a version as you will ever see. In this book, you’ll see and read about some of the process of how we pulled off such a Herculean task… It’s filled with so many wonderful examples of how dozens of creative people come together to put together what would soon become a Grammy-nominated video.”

Pearson commented as well:

“Being able to produce this seminal animated video at my studio for Pearl Jam and to work with super talents like Eddie Vedder, Todd McFarlane and Kevin Altieri was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. And then to see the positive and continuing worldwide reaction of millions of fans to our group effort was the icing on this dense cake of edgy music and animation.”

Justin Eisinger, IDW’s editorial director of graphic novels and collections, added:

“Pearl Jam’s ‘Do The Evolution’ brings the threat of man’s quest for domination into stark, relatable terms, a theme that remains at the forefront of current conversation. Filled with bold imagery and layered visual storytelling that accentuates the already searing lyrics, McFarlane and Altieri created a video that spans the history of mankind. And now their groundbreaking work can be fully appreciated in this in-depth, behind-the-scenes book that explores how it all came together.”

Pearl Jam Release Uncensored Version Of “Jeremy” Video For First Time

Pearl Jam have officially released the uncensored version of their “Jeremy” music video for the first time. The band commented:

“In addition to the equity protests taking place around the country, [June 5] also marks National Wear Orange Day. The increase in gun violence since the debut of “Jeremy” is staggering. We have released the uncensored version of the video which was unavailable in 1992 with TV censorship laws. We have also released an updated Choices shirt with all proceeds to support organizations working to prevent gun violence. We can prevent gun deaths whether mass shootings, deaths of despair, law enforcement, or accidental.”

Pearl Jam Go Behind-The-Scenes Of Their “Retrograde” Video

Pearl Jam have shared a behind-the-scenes look at their animated video for “Retrograde”. You can check that out below:

Director Josh Wakely told Rolling Stone the following about making the video during the ongoing quarantine:

“The workflows were very weird, the video conference calls innumerable, and the sheer number of people involved — over 150 — was huge. Even though most of us have never met, I think we all feel inspired by what we accomplished together.

My sincere hope is that in the future, people everywhere can think of themselves as part of a unified team in pursuit of an urgent, common goal. This new kind of distributed teamwork seems like the right way to overcome not just complex video production challenges, but also the many shared environmental challenges we face as inhabitants of planet Earth at this moment in history. We can use technology, creativity and everything else in the toolbox to battle the existential crises of our time — from COVID-19 to the climate crisis to homelessness, inequality, hate and more. As the song says, ‘It’s gonna take much more than ordinary love to lift this up.'”

Pearl Jam To Perform At “All In WA” Virtual COVID-19 Relief Concert

Pearl Jam are among the artists that are set to perform during a virtual COVID-19 relief concert for All In WA, the nonprofit started by Washington governor Jay Inslee. The event, which will also feature Ben Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie), Brandi Carlile, Macklemore, Dave Matthews, and more, will broadcast on June 10 at 7:00 p.m. PT / 10 p.m. ET on Amazon Music’s Twitch channel and on Seattle-area NBC affiliates. Amazon will serve as the sponsor and the company’s founder and CEO Jeff Bezos will be matching all donations with a maximum of $25 million.