2016 Artist Survey: Brandon Welchez of Crocodiles | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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2016 Artist Survey: Brandon Welchez of Crocodiles

Welchez on Trump and the Election, Moving to Mexico, Brexit, and Self-Driving Cars

Feb 13, 2017 Web Exclusive
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For Under the Radar's 14th annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to 2016. We asked them about their favorite albums of the year and their thoughts on various notable 2016 news stories involving either the music industry or world events, as well as some quirkier personal questions. Here are some answers from Brandon Welchez of Crocodiles. The duo also features Charles Rowell. Their latest album, Dreamless, came out in 2016 via Zoo Music.

For our annual Artist Surveys we emailed the same set of questions to musicians about Trump and the election, 2016's deaths, self-driving cars, Stranger Things, first kisses, scary movies they shouldn't have seen as a child, which Friends character they are most like, and much more.

Pick up or download Under the Radar's Best of 2016 / 15th Anniversary Issue for Artist Survey interviews with Amber Arcades, Austra, Faris Badwan of Cat's Eyes and The Horrors, Boxed In, Caveman, The Charlatans, Cursive, Lucy Dacus, The Dears, C Duncan, Sadie Dupuis of Sad13 and Speedy Ortiz, Dutch Uncles, Ezra Furman, Robyn Hitchcock, The Invisible, Justin Lockey of Editors and Minor Victories, Lost Under Heaven (LUH), Lush, Midlake, Phantogram, The Range, Springtime Carnivore, Sunflower Bean, Surfer Blood, TEEN, The Thermals, Nick Valensi of CRX and The Strokes, Jenn Wasner of Flock of Dimes and Wye Oak, and Yuck.

2016 was regarded by many as a fairly tough and negative year. Was it also a hard year for you personally? If so, how? And also what were the high points for you?

Yes, this was definitely one of the harder years I've experienced so far, personally. My whole life changed and I lost friends, family, a pet, and heroes. The music business did its best to kick my ass but I'm still here. The high points for me were releasing our sixth album and moving to Mexico.

What are your thoughts on how the U.S. presidential election played out?

I was as shocked as anyone. I don't like Hillary Clinton but I hate Donald Trump. I'm not sure that he won the election fairly, he certainly didn't win the popular vote, but that's not how our country works anyway. If he did win fairly and there wasn't any foreign meddling, I'm shocked and saddened that so many of my fellow citizens could vote for such a bigoted demagogue. I understand people are frustrated, I am too, but thinking a billionaire is going to give a shit about working people is extremely foolish.

Let's discuss Donald Trump. What does the rise of Trump tell you about America in 2016? What concerns you most about a Trump presidency? How do you think his presidency might personally change your life? What message do you have for those who voted for Trump? What actions will you take over the course of the next four years to either protest a Trump presidency or support it?

The rise of Donald Trump tells me that people are frustrated and scared. The demographics in our country are shifting. The USA has always been a white supremacist society but I'm hoping this is the last gasp of white supremacy in our country. I feel a lot of poor and working class white people were conned using the oldest trick in the book, which is for the rich to pit the poor against each other based on things like race, gender, sexual orientation, religion etc. I think his presidency will most affect me in terms of my health insurance and taxes, both negatively. Even if I'm half Latino and half Jewish, my skin is white and I am a straight male so I don't know that I'll personally be affected by his bigotry and that of his supporters, though plenty of my friends and family will be. I can only hope to be as strong an ally to them as possible and to voice my dissent as publicly and often as possible. I left the USA a long time ago so I can't physically be there for all the protests but it's nice to be in Mexico where I can show the people here that not all Americans are assholes.

What reality TV star would you have rather been elected president?

RuPaul.

What are your thoughts on Brexit and the future of the European Union? To what extent do you think the Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump were motivated by the same factors?

I think they were both motivated by fear and xenophobia.

Are you ready for self-driving cars and a more automated future?

My fear of a more automated future is how many people it will put out of work.

Which news source did you trust and turn to the most this year, in particular during the U.S. election?

I read a lot of different sources but I think I trusted The Guardian the most.

What do you miss most and least about the touring lifestyle when you're not on the road?

The thing I miss the most about touring is the camaraderie and good times with my best friends and getting to see all the people I miss around the world. The thing I don't miss is the non-stop partying and lack of sleep.

What's usually the biggest stumbling block to your happiness?

Myself.

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Don
May 14th 2019
2:21am

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