The Protest Survey: Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros’ Josh Collazo

On the Election, the Conventions, and the Most Underrated Political Issue of our Time

Nov 01, 2012 Issue #42 - The Protest Issue
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In conjunction with our Protest Issue we asked several artists the same set of politically-themed questions. These answers were provided by Josh Collazo of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros. The California-based band released their second album, Here, this past May on Vagrant. [Note: These questions were answered before the presidential debates.]

What are your thoughts on how the U.S. presidential election is shaping up so far?

I think it is going surprisingly well for the Democrats. In my opinion, Romney and the Republican Party have gaffed themselves into a corner leaving themselves in constant defense. Watching the Romney campaign trip through this election season has been like trying to make a new friend with someone but as time goes on, you starting hearing horror stories from other friends about this person. Stories that you don't want to be true. “No wayyyyy! He strapped a dog to his roof?! Yikes!” Animal cruelty is not a good way to start.  Anyways, you get the point. The Romney campaign has tried to turn the tables but the laundry list of gaffes and dirt is tough to fight through. From offshore accounts, to predatory capitalism with Bain, to insulting Palestine while visiting Israel, to saying blatant lies in campaign ads that were then fact-checked and then still having the audacity to stand by them, and finally going on to insult 47% of the U.S. population at a fundraising event. On top of that, Beth Myers, one of his political advisors, just released a memo regarding the upcoming debates basically saying to not expect too much out of Romney since it is his first one. Great! He sounds like the perfect candidate to represent our nation. No thanks. All in all, this season has had all the usual trash talking, lie checking, fact smearing, political machismo that past ones have had. Only this one seems slightly more comedic in a sick way. All in hopes for a better future? I hope so.

What is your favorite protest song?

“Give Peace a Chance” by John Lennon. Can't really think of much that would be better than peace on earth. This song basically says, “stop the bullshit and do it!”

Did you watch the Republican and/or the Democratic Conventions? If so, what were your impressions and did they alter your perception of either party?

I watched both. Major differences in overall vibe of the conventions. The RNC reminded me of walking down the street and seeing a dog barking angrily and desperately. The DNC made me feel like I was cuddling with it and it was calm and loving. Joking aside, I watched the RNC hoping to actually alter my perception of their current stances on many issues but no luck. 

Where do you get your news in this day and age?

I usually read CNN and BBC online everyday. LA Times, NY Times, and Huffington Post a few times a week. Then lightly sprinkled with a little FOX News for laughs.

What, in your opinion, is the most pressing U.S. political or social issue?

Political—the economy but it should be education because they go in hand in hand.
Social—women’s rights and gay rights. Come on people, it is 2012! Choice and equality for all! 

What is the most underrated political or social issue of our time?

Poverty. It will always be talked about and we have made huge leaps in helping people get off the streets through government programs, etc. And also good old fashioned TLC by amazing individuals but it hasn’t been such a hot ticket item on the political agenda. Pretty much anywhere we travel in the world as a band, we encounter some sort of poverty. How is this still possible? Are we not advanced enough as humans to take care of all humankind? Or even care?

www.edwardsharpeandthemagneticzeros.com



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