A Conversation with Boots of Street Sweeper Social Club

UTG: Hey Boots, how’s the day find you?

Boots: It’s going alright. Just around the house with my sons and his friends.

UTG: So you’ve been in the music scene for awhile, but we’re talking today about your newest creation, Street Sweeper Social Club, which you created with Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine fame. How did the two of you come to know each other?

Boots: He invited me in 2003 on the Tell Us The Truth Tour. On that tour we’d do Coup songs with Tom with us acoustically. We worked on Nightwatchmen shows and such. So after Audioslave split he took me to dinner and said we were in a band called Street Sweeper and that we were making songs fo rthe revolution. he gave me 26 tracks to write for. So, I still ahven’t agreed to be in the band. I’ll wait til we sell 30 million, then decide. haha.

UTG: Now, I think this pairing has created an interesting sound. How would you describe the music you and Tom make?

Boots: Tom did all the music so it has his riffs and flavor that most people know, but it feels funkier I think. Both of our music sets have always been close to the line between funk and rock. He came close and I went all the way over the line. The music is personal stories and the correlation bewtween the stories and politics. It’s meant for a crowd.

UTG: Now, you made a name for yourself with The Coup. Is that group still going or is this your main focus at the moment?

Boots: The Coup is pretty much my music and lyrics so it’s still going. You’ll hear more from it eventually. It’s where I get to call all the shots and this was a good experience for me as Tom is the expert and I learned a lot. If it was hip hop I would have second guessed and stuff, but he produced this and I just wrote. It was a fun experience.

UTG: Also, The Coup was known for the political stances you took. What messages does SSSC have?

Boots: That you are the one that will make the change. No one else will do it and no one is just waiting around. It’s on you. If you have a problem with that it’s because you arne’t participating.

UTG: Are there any plans past this record? You have a few dates announced, but will there be more touring and albums or is this a one off?

Boots: We’ll be touring throughout the fall and record more records.

UTG: Well, I don’t want to keep you too long, but we do ask that you make a closing, non SSSC related, closing statement. Whats on your mind?

Boots: The fact that there are so many demonstrations and protests going on in Iran shows that the people there have not given up hope for real democracy. When the election was stolen here less people took to the streets and fewer media outlets discussed it. You have groups like Rock The Vote that are doing campaigns to expose the face of Iran, but you heard nothing from them after the 2000 election and that’s a very important thing right there. We’ve all decided thatr everyone else needs to be and that we are free here, but that’s one of the biggest lies. We’re living where people are homeless and jobless or working 40 hr. and sleeping on a couch. When you’re in a bad situation, the media makes it seem you’re the only one in the problem or with those thoughts. We need more people flexing their power by shutting down the institutions that are holding us back. We need unions at Best Buy, McDonalds, Wal-Mart. Those people ened to make more because the companies can afford. If you’re looking at a quick economic fix, look at a trickle up idea instead of a trickle down one. GGive the people what they need. This won’t fix it, people joining groups will, not this interview. Individuals can’t do it. you need a campaign.

James Shotwell
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