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Irreversible

from by The Flaming Tsunamis

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Although the song seems to be a general anti-violence, it was initially written specifically about violence at shows. I’m sure most, if not all, music scenes deal with violence on some level. Connecticut especially has a history of violence, sights like people moshing with chairs or with bricks in their backpacks was a common sight when I was going to hardcore shows in the early 2000s. But even at shows of most genres, violence is a problem. I hate playing live and being the soundtrack to someone who is there to hurt others. Obviously if you step into any arena where a live band is playing there is a chance of some physical contact, but there is a definite line between getting rowdy and aiming to hurt someone. I wrote this song because it felt like no one in our scene was really talking about this issue publicly and anytime someone brought it up they would be marginalized, made fun of and potentially ostracized from the scene if they didn’t back down on their opinion. I don’t think the stance we are taking in this song is anything new, it’s a discussion that has been had before, but I felt it important to put where we stand on the record. Over the years, however, my opinion on the use of violence in general has changed drastically. I don’t know if I would have ever considered myself a pacifist but I was certainly against the use of violence in all situations. However, I have come to understand that position as one of coming from a place of privilege. The last line in the song “violence can not be undone” are words spoken by my late friend, Mitch Dubey, who was himself a victim of gun violence. He said those words to me as we drove home from a show where I was minorly assaulted during an altercation over the lyrics of our song, Dead Girlfriends Can’t Break Up With You. This is a story that is incredibly embarassing for me, I wish I could just bury it but I think it’s important for people to hear. One of our biggest “hits” was Dead Girlfriends, it was written about necromance, but could very easily be misconstrued as promoting violence against women. It took me way too long to finally accept that, despite intention, what matters most is how a message is received. It now makes me incredibly regretful to have ever put out this song or defended it. We even put the title of the song, on a shirt. That shirt is what sparked a confrontation between our band and a woman who pointed out the problematic nature of the song. I took it upon myself to publicly insult the woman from stage using a number of very fucked up words that I knew would cut deep. After the show she confronted me and we exchanged words for a while before some of her friends stepped in. At one point a cup of water was poured on my head and then pushed into my face, which knocked my glasses off. My glasses were never found and Mitch had to drive the car home, which is when he issued the line used in the song so many years later. I felt that moving the conversation into the physical realm had crossed a line. But upon reflection upholding the sanctity of non-violence would have only served to protect me and my feelings in that situation, not the women who were being violated, offended and oppressed by the ideas we were putting forth in the song. To hold violence as wrong in all situations is to place the comfort and safety of the oppressor above that of the oppressed in nearly every situation. People should have the right to defend themselves in the right circumstances. I still don’t know if that means I think what happened in this incident was the best course of action, but certainly as an outside observer my sympathies would have been with the woman and not myself.

lyrics

aren't you sick of the way we've sold ourselves out
and the way we gave up without a fight, WITHOUT A THOUGHT
we abondoned each other
we've lost one another

brothers and sisters
what are we waiting for
it's our fucking right to demand more
of ourselves, and of each other
all of us, part of another
celebrate the decay
keep the violence at bay
pack up the world's problems
throw them away
we see the path
we know what's good and true
we see the path
we're gonna make it through

we are so much stronger than this world thinks we can be
we have so much life left inside our hearts
we need to reclaim, RECLAIM
we won't give up, we won't let go, we will not condone
violence, in our name we won't condone this hate

violence can not be undone

credits

from Externalities, released April 1, 2015
Guest vocals by Darrel Tauro.

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The Flaming Tsunamis New Haven, Connecticut

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