Only four days before the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, American Punk Rock band Green Day have joined a growing number of famous figures vocalising dissatisfaction with a Trump presidency in the United States.
The lyrical content and imagery featured in the video for their latest single ‘Troubled Times’, released on the 16th January 2017, offers a clear message to the viewer. Frequent depictions of a crying Martin Luther King Jr., protesters with ‘Make America Hate Again’ placards, and barbwire border fences add up to draw some powerful pictures concerning the band’s opinion of current political and social discourse in the United States.
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The band draws a clear link between a resurgence in racist sentiment and the politics of President-elect Donald Trump. Lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong belts out the hook ‘We live in troubled Times’ over images of Trump, evangelizing from a podium, wearing his trade mark red ‘Make America Great Again’ baseball cap. Later on in the video, Trump returns with teeth comprised of figures wearing the white hoods synonymous with the far right, white nationalist movement the ‘Ku Klux Klan’.
However, this isn’t the first time Green Day have waded in with their opinions concerning Mr Trump. During their performance of ‘Bang Bang’ at the American Music Awards they began the provocative chant “No Trump! No KKK! No Fascist USA!”
The Californian Punk Rock band have added their voices to those of a number of other famous figures who have expressed displeasure with Donald Trumps politics. The most notable example being Meryl Streep’s comments at the Golden Globes regarding Trumps imitation of physically disabled New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski, which prompted backlash from Trump himself via Twitter.
In an age where the opinions of celebrity figures seemingly hold more weight than ever before, serious questions need to be assessed considering the role of music and celebrity in shaping our political landscape. Punk Rock music has a proud heritage of voicing important messages regarding politics and has arguably had a hand in shaping the cultural and political discourse of today.
Green Day’s latest studio album ‘Revolution Radio’, featuring the single ‘Troubled Times’, was released on the 7th of October 2016, reviewed here by GIGsoup contributor Dan Whitely.