Outside of Carnival, I have a second "job": I lead a band. We're from Hammond, and we play a mixture of traditional country music and southern rock. Two weeks ago, our lead singer (a man by the name of Alvin Moore) left to form his own band, and in his place came two people, my long-time friends Martin and Darrell MacIntyre.
Within the past week, we've made it into local newspapers twice, and not for good reasons. Why? Political controversy. Once the MacIntyre brothers got on board, we booked one of our first gigs at a rally in support of our new president, good old Donald Trump. Sure enough, we soon had people hot on our heels from all over the region. Our first break into the news last week came three days before the show, when Martin took the issue to the Daily Star to respond to all of our critics, boldly stating that we had no regrets over our decision.
Yesterday, the same thing happened when Darrell and I met with Alvin to give our own thoughts. As for what we all said?
Darrell [51; lead singer/guitarist]: "There's no reason to be searching for drama to start here. Martin and I have no intentions of backing out on performing for our country. We performed at these same pro-president rallies for presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, and anyone who hates our guts for continuing this tradition, just because of the current president, needs to learn about something called maturity."
Alvin [37; former lead singer/guitarist]: "At every one of these, Darrell and Martin have taken the opportunity to give all of our leaders the respect they deserve, even if they stand entirely against their policies. Our leaders are just as human as we are, and in a time like this, we need to unite now more than ever. But God forbid we even attempt to promote that, right?"
Will [myself, 26; founder/lead guitarist]: "We aren't the Dixie Chicks. We have no desire to get up on stage and use it as a damn political soapbox. That being said, trying to claim that patriotism is politically divisive really says a lot about how sad we've become."
I've put up with political drama since the election cycle, and this - having it damage my band's reputation - is the breaking point of nonsense. Would anyone else agree?