He's not their president. But that's not stopping a handful of Canadian musicians from penning Trump-tinged tunes and putting out music videos ripe with anti-Trump imagery.
Sure, he's not their president.
But that's not stopping some Canadian musicians from penning Donald Trump-tinged tunes and putting out music videos ripe with anti-Trump imagery.
They join the many American musicians fighting Donald Trump's presidency through song. It's an obvious platform for a ticked-off American musician. But why do Canucks feel the need to chime in too?
Hollerado frontman Menno Versteeg likens it to a love song.
"Every single love song has been written. But when you have your heart broken or you've fallen in love, you want to express your version of that song," he said.
"It's kind of the same … it's like, finally we've had enough and we kind of needed to express that."
The Ottawa band's new tune, Grief Money, tackles leaders who put money ahead of people; its music video stars Trump on the campaign trail, mouthing along to the lyrics.
The song was actually written before Trump was even in the running for president, but Versteeg said he ended up fitting the role. "It was an unhappy coincidence."'Who tells Jann Arden to shut up and sing?'
Versteeg knows he is singing to people with similar views — "People in the Deep South aren't listening to Hollerado." But the band has come across a few haters online, including a Twitter user who has been badgering Canadian musicians like Jann Arden for criticizing Trump.
"He said to her 'shut up and sing.' Who tells Jann Arden to shut up and sing?"
The phrase hearkens back to the early 2000s, when outspoken American musicians the Dixie Chicks got similar threats for criticizing George W. Bush during a concert. A documentary about the band was named just that: Shut Up and Sing, taking a lyric from their song Not Ready to Make Nice.
That's no surprise to David Clayton-Thomas, because he has seen a few comments like that directed at him.
The former Blood, Sweat and Tears singer put out his own tune about Trump based on a satirical poem he wrote the morning after the election. The result was Ode to the Donald.
"I'm a Canadian and some might say 'What right do you have commenting on an American election?'"
Clayton-Thomas takes issue with that. He said the decisions Trump makes will have a big impact on Canadians, something he is encouraging fellow musicians to bring up in their music.
"We have that forum and it's up to us to speak out," he said. "It's our duty."
Unlike some other protest songs, Clayton-Thomas' tune isn't intended to bash Trump. Rather, he calls on Trump to follow through on his promises and to "be careful" what he wished for during the campaign.
"I felt a certain sympathy for Trump, even though I don't particularly like the man," he said. "It's not an attack. I'm not attacking Trump. I'm showing the total absurdity of the entire process."'You're allowed to have an opinion'
Wintersleep were one of the early Canadian bands to feature Trump in their music during his presidential run. In the music video for their song Amerika, they used an excerpt from one of his speeches to highlight the song's critique of the American dream. This was well before Trump was even chosen as the Republican Party's presidential nominee.
Frontman Paul Murphy said it is condescending to think musicians can't speak out about politics, even politics in another country. He brings up the Tragically Hip's Gord Downie, who called on Justin Trudeau to take action on behalf of Canada's Indigenous people during a concert in Kingston last summer.
"I think if you can bring awareness to and fight for causes [in which] you believe using whatever platform you have available — go for it," Murphy said in an email. "You're allowed to have an opinion and you're allowed to share it as loudly as you want."
Versteeg is not sure what impact his song will have; he just wanted to have the band's opinion known. He doesn't care if people are critical, though he is a tad nervous about the band's show in Moscow later this month — the same video takes a dig at Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"To be honest, I'm pretty disillusioned with all politicians," he admits.
Though he will make an exception and that's playing music with politicians; he says he's into "bipartisan" jamming. Hollerado once played Chumbawamba's party anthem Tubthumping while then Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau joined them on vocals.
"I would jam with Trump in two seconds."
- Horizon: Zero Dawn and the evolution of the video game heroine
- La La Land was best picture for 2 minutes 29 seconds. Here are some other Oscar numbers
- Are video games the key to world peace?
- Denis Villeneuve is Hollywood's new (Canadian) king of sci-fi
- How this adorable Toronto-area dance trio got on Ellen
- From child star to A-lister: How Ryan Gosling navigated Hollywood and made it to the top
- CBC Breaking Barriers Film Fund announces inaugural recipients
- How saying yes to free Wi-Fi could mean 'you are the product'
- Men behind controversial publication fight minister's Canada Post ban
- Military watchdog limits scope of investigation into Afghan prisoner abuse
- 'Smyth shouldn't have been there:' Judge David Riche steamrolls Dunphy inquiry
- Q&A: New book sheds light on Newfoundland's quest for German industry, immigration
You might also like
- Famous blue whale gets own show at Royal Ontario Museum
- 'He could die': Boy with breathing tube kept home from school until staff trained
- Sexual assault victims should have access to free advice, says women's group
- Eastern Health's new walk-in mental health service aimed at cutting wait times
- Brad Gushue delights home crowd with win in Brier opener
- Q&A: New book sheds light on Newfoundland's quest for German industry, immigration
- Around the world in 11 months: Labrador doctor joins Clipper yacht race
- Student smart devices find a new place to dwell: The cellphone hotel
- Team Nunavut takes lessons from Brier losses
- 4 things to know heading into the Iditarod sled dog race
- Too much junk: Thrift store closure called 'a step backward' for Whitehorse's zero-waste goals
- Training for N.W.T. child protection workers now includes learning about colonization
- Powerful South Carolina political consultant implicated in indictments of a veteran state senator
- Will Donald Trump get a second Supreme Court nomination?
- "Hazing" rituals await Supreme Court's "junior justice" Neil Gorsuch
- The hunt is on for Planet Nine. Here's how to join it
- Trump approves controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline
- Trump praises 'Fox & Friends,' renews old feuds in early morning tweets
- Rex Tillerson finally answers question from NBC News' Andrea Mitchell
- First Read's Morning Clips: The Latest in the Russia Investigation
- Spicer: 'I've let the president down'
- Russian President Vladimir Putin met with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday
- OMB Diriector Mick Mulvaney: Washington's 'a lot more broken' than Trump thought
- Trump attacks conservatives over failure of health care bill
- A very consequential week didn't go well for President Trump
- Health Care Showdown: Republicans look to go big or go home
- No deal on health care bill after conservatives meet with Trump
- CA gov on those supporting health bill: 'Their name is going to be mud'
- Give it to me straight, doc: Is Obamacare dying?
- First Read's Morning Clips: Waiting for CBO
- 14 People Share What's It's Really Like to Have An Ex Who Is Now Their In-Law
- The Internet Is Freaking Out About The Way This Chef Cuts Pizza
- Angels manager Mike Scioscia rethinks the use of his closer in tight games
- Chemistry onstage makes Faith Hill and Tim McGraw a top tour
- I’m Taking A Break From Social Activism And OMG I Need Like Everyone I Know To Read About This
- 5 'Fate Of The Furious' Moments So Unnecessary, They're Necessary
- Noah Cyrus Reveals Her Next Tattoo & Dishes On Her Famous Family
- The Lonely Island Tell The Story Of How 'Dear Sister' Came To 'SNL'
- 'Marketplace' is America's most popular business show. Now it has ambitious plans to expand
- United fiasco shows airlines' power over passengers — and how it might change
- 'I really did it for my daughters': L.A. radio host Wendy Walsh on why she spoke out against Bill O'Reilly
- Trump backs Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, but advertisers keep fleeing
- IFC swings for the comedy fences with Funny or Die's 'Brockmire'
- MGM to spend $1 billion for full control of the Epix movie service
- YouTube TV launches today. It has some cool features and some big drawbacks
- 'Boss Baby' to sack 'Smurfs,' and other box office predictions
- Meet the new faces aboard 'Mystery Science Theater 3000's' Satellite of Love
- Werner Herzog wouldn't live anyplace other than Los Angeles, 'the city with the most substance'
- 'A blemish on America': The arts world reacts to proposed cuts in Trump's budget
- Brian Grazer and Ron Howard's Imagine Entertainment is getting into the booming, competitive animation business
- Fox News faces another sexual harassment claim as Mercedes and Hyundai pull ads from 'O'Reilly Factor'
- Roman Polanski is denied latest bid to resolve 40-year-old statutory rape case