School shootings in America have been around for years and it is FUCKING absurd that tighter gun laws haven’t been implemented since the tragic 1999 Columbine High School Massacre claimed the lives of 12 students, one teacher and made international headlines which (very fucking slowly) started the conversation about making a change.
Here we are 19 years later in 2018 and America still hasn’t done a single thing about those laws, resulting in the world’s deadliest school massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14th where 17 people lost their lives and a further 17 were wounded. However, the only difference this time around is the students aren’t taking “NO” for an answer when it comes to moving on from this tragedy without change and we back them all 100% with their cause.
But back in the early 2000’s, there were only two memorable movements designed to draw attention to these kinds of tragedies and call for change, one of which was Michael Moore‘s documentary Bowling for Columbine which raised eyebrows but sadly, nothing really came from it. The second was Payable on Death aka P.O.D.‘s hard-hitting track ‘Youth of the Nation‘ which featured a verse about what happens inside a school during a shooting.
Frontman Sonny Sandoval spoke with Wall of Sound: Up Against The Wall podcast host Browny about the moment they decided to get involved and do their part to try to raise awareness on the issue and the band’s connection to Columbine High School stating:
“…the first time was with Columbine; because our music was underground we were asked to actually do a show in Colorado by the kids that attended that school at the time and so we’ve always had a connection…”
He then goes on to say that the idea for their song ‘Youth of the Nation‘ came about after a close-to-home incident near where the band were writing their breakthrough album Satellite:
“We were rehearsing and writing literally two blocks away from when it happened here in our own hometown of San Diego.”
“It was very personal to us at the time and it was something that we felt we had to address”
When something like that happens close to you and you’re in a position of power where your voice can be heard louder than others who are fighting the same cause, you should always do your part to get involved and help, especially with such a hard-hitting topic like mass school shootings. To date, the amount of support surrounding the #NeverAgain campaign is exciting to witness as these kids will not step down until their voices are well and truly heard. (Check out the amazing work campaigners are doing online via Twitter)
We are doing this for the 17 innocent lives that were unjustly lost. We are doing this so that no other town has to be turned into a cemetery because of a mass shooting. We need to be the change. We NEED to do it for them. #NeverAgain pic.twitter.com/S0UoGfNDEu
— john #NEVERAGAIN (@John_Barnitt) February 24, 2018
When asked if it’s ever crossed his mind to consider writing a follow-up song to address the current state of America’s shootings and lack of gun laws and restrictions Sonny added:
“Yes it has, but it’s [got to be] more of a natural process for us and not forced, I think at the time [of writing ‘Youth of the Nation’] it happened so naturally…”
“We were never a political band, but we always like to raise questions and throw things out there. We always like to do that and leave things up to people’s interpretations. We’re actually writing and recording now so we’ll see what happens.”
Let’s hope they (or someone else) jump on the idea sooner than later. Something needs to change and I personally feel like it is coming, it’s just a matter of who else will join the revolution now to make it a reality sooner than later.
Catch the full chat on this week’s forthcoming episode of Wall of Sound: Up Against The Wall and catch P.O.D. touring Australia from April 17th via Metropolis Touring
P.O.D. – Australian Tour
Tuesday 17th April – MELBOURNE, 170 Russell
Wednesday 18th April – ADELAIDE, The Gov
Friday 20th April – SYDNEY, The Factory Theatre
Saturday 21st April – BRISBANE, Eatons Hill Hotel
Sunday 22nd April – GOLD COAST, Coolangatta Hotel