Everyday that we get closer to his inauguration we find even more to hate about Donald Trump. His cabinet picks are billionaires who are climate change deniers, likely to funnel public funds to their interests. (Say goodbye to public schools, national parks, and the EPA as we know it.) President-elect Trump just said he’s too smart to have daily intelligence briefings; his ethical and business conflicts are unprecedented, and he’s STILL fighting with private citizens on Twitter. And did we mention that the CIA says that Russia helped him win the election, the one wherein he lost the popular vote by 2.7 million?
So what do we do? We fight chaos with chaos — in music. After all it’s not like we can do anything but drown Trump out for the next four years. Here are our favorite metal protest songs from past administrations that would do us good to revisit.
BYOB – System of a Down
Serj Tankian and company may be talking about bringing America’s bombs to the party, but it’s a not-so-gentle reminder that in the United States, the government has a long history of sending the poor to serve. Hey, Donald Trump had bad feet and couldn’t serve; he’s therefore been accused of having “sacrificed nothing and no one” for the country. And yet, and yet: “For brand new spankin' deals./Marching forward hypocritic/And hypnotic computers/You depend on our protection/Yet you feed us lies from the table cloth.”
Refuse/Resist – Sepultura
In 1993 Max Cavalera wrote “Refuse/Resist” as an anthem for sticking it to the man, an ode to his time in Brazil as a teenager. It’s a good reminder for those who oppose Trump’s facist leanings: “Silence means death/Stand on your feet/Inner fear/Your worst enemy/Refuse, Resist!”
Turn it up, and let the tribal drums be your guide to the resistance.
And Justice For All – Metallica
If Metallica had written this song especially for this year’s election and Donald Trump’s gas lighting, they couldn’t have been more prescient. Now that billionaires and climate change deniers are lining his cabinet, it’s not hard to imagine that the world’s natural resources will be plundered in the name of the good ol USA.
“Halls of justice painted green/Money talking…/The ultimate in vanity/ Exploiting their supremacy/I can't believe the things you say/I can't believe the price you pay/Nothing can save you”
“When All Is Said And Done” – Napalm Death
Napalm Death’s first three lines nail it: “Blindness feeds the world to madness /Faith's crumbling, there's no doubt about it /Religion and science fighting a new kind of war.” In the post-truth era, life is meaningless if you don’t fight against social injustice. So in the end, despite the song’s grinding guitars and frenetic drumbeat, it’s the most optimistic of the lot. Fight the power!
“Territory” – Sepultura
Not sure why a lot of Sepultura’s songs seem like they were written with the President-elect in mind, unless it’s that his demagoguery is pretty pedestrian, but from beginning to end, this song rings true: “Unknown man/Speaks to the world/Sucking your trust/A trap in every word/ War for territory/Choice control/Behind propaganda/Poor information/To manage your anger.”
“Viva Presidente Trump”- Brujeria
Mexican-American metal band Brujería released this last May, right after Trump said Mexico was sending their rapists and criminals to the United States. Back then, it was an anti-Trump song that was more a joke than anything (after all, no one believed Trump could really be president.) Today? It might as well be a daily chorus. Translated, this song says: “I actually want him to be president gabacho, because he wants war and so do we. I want the Trump president to win because if he starts something, we're definitely gonna finish it.”