Interview featuring alternative rock artist Lazarus X
(Part 1 of 4)
Our own Michelle Bass recently sat down with David Lazarus to ask him about the ideas behind his new solo release Weapon of Love and the many influences it represents both musically and spiritually. She was good enough to share the results of her talk for this article.
Q: "Some of the new album embraces lofty ideas such as freedom and nonviolent resistance. Was that a conscious or unconscious choice?"
A: "I didn't make a conscious decision to write a political album but after the breakup of PQA I found that there were many things that needed to be said and very few people who were saying them. Out of that feeling naturally came songs like Weapon of Love and darker observations like Free Radicals and Honorguard."
Q: "What is the inspiration for a song like Weapon of Love?"
A: " It's a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. In my opinion MLK was one of the truly great Americans. His words meant so much to me as a child growing up in a racially mixed neighborhood. He was a not only an incredible force in bringing races together but as an inspiration to all of us as human beings. He represented the best of American ideology, risking his life to make the promises of freedom come to life. He wanted fair treatment for all men and women regardless of race or economic condition not just for his own race. In the end he paid the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. He is the epitome of a hero in my opinion."
Q: "What drew you to MLK as opposed to other leaders like Meadger Evers for example?"
A: "I know a lot of people are focused on the racial fight he waged and the politics of the time but I was actually drawn to the overall philosophy of nonviolent resistance and was impressed with how he joined together with people of all races to accomplish a mutual goal of coexistence. He took the teachings of Gandhi and others and put them to practical use. He joined forces with ordinary people who were drawn to the ideas of justice and fair treatment for all. I also liked idea of all races sitting down at the table together. Its a beautiful image if you ask me. His dream became the dream of all of us. I hope we get there soon."
A: "Thank you. It's one of my favorites too. It is basically a caution against the changing face of technology. That in the guise of an easier life we are all becoming slaves to a false sense of human contact."
Q: "So it's anti technology?"
A: "No. I wouldn't say that. It's just a caution about the negative effects of technology. It's the other side of the coin. For example, I've seen in my lifetime how television shows and internet relationships are quickly replacing real relationships and experiences. People are drawing back from society in general. In the meantime personal freedom and transparent democracy, even our very way of life is hanging in the balance because we rely on people being in the world to have a democratic society."
Q: "So we have basically given the government a free pass to do what they want?"
A:" Basically, yes. After 9-11 privacy has become a dead issue. Emails and phone conversations are now free game to prying governmental eyes. We are not supposed to speak out for fear that we be ostracized or worse. Also big media is controlled by a few companies and individuals who have their own interests at heart. The feeling seems to be if the pressure comes from outside the normal realm of government then it's ok to silence free speech and to propagandize public opinion to the detriment of us all. The media revolution of the internet and other distractions feed into this idea of disconnecting from the real world into the virtual world where we feel safe and protected and where big brother is watching all the time."
Q: "Wow, I never really thought about it that way. How did you come up with the idea for the song?
A: "I don't know really. I have lost a few friends to the dreaded net. Maybe that's where it comes from."
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