Editor’s Note: This article is reprinted from Lit & Woke Music Blog / Magazine here on word press. It appears here because it is about an issue that is near and dear to my heart, school shootings. I have posted articles and commentaries on school shootings including Sandy Hook, The Florida High School Shootings among others. It is reprinted with permission.
It has been said that great art is a reflection of society The song we are about to tell you about puts a very big mirror up to reflect a very big problem.. The entire rock music industry is based on fantasy. Heavy Metal is based on middle age knights and folklore. Goth is based on the fantasy of the living dead. Death Metal is based on a fascination of death. Rarely are rock songs based on societal problems that consistently headline the news.
The thin line between fantasy and reality is about to be blurred permanently by a little known band with their new single. The band, made up of public school teachers in an inner city school of an urban school district is called Teacherz. The song is entitled Sonny Brought A Gun To School. This song is so true to life that it’s sparking controversy throughout America and even beyond America’s borders.
We sat down with members of the band at a modest, small home that one of the band members lives in with his wife and two dogs, to ask them about their new single.
Lit & Woke Magazine: You guys are teachers?
Teacherz: Yes. We work in public schools during the day but at night we are a four piece band that rocks the house.
Lit & Woke Magazine: Most of your songs are about what?
Teacherz: Most of our songs are about school, kids and teachers. They do, however go beyond those subjects and are a lot deeper than they may seem on the surface.
Lit & Woke Magazine: Can you give me an example?
Teacherz: Welcome To Our Institution is about a school but if you look at the lyrics, it can apply to any public institution, like prisons or mental hospitals. We have another song Microcosm which compares aspects of school culture to the events in most people’s lives.
Lit & Woke Magazine: Where did you get the idea for Sonny Brought A Gun To School?
Teacherz: From the headlines in the daily news. We were inspired by the fact that school shootings keep on happening, children and teachers keep on dying yet school shooters, be they kids or adults with mental issues are still able to get their hands on automatic weapons.
Lit & Woke Magazine: The lyrics are just out there, in your face but the music is dark and eerie. Is that done on purpose?
Teacherz: They lyrics are true to life. The first verse talks about the events that led up to the shooting. The second verse talks about the actual shooting. The third verse talks about its aftermath. The lyrics are like that because that is how a real shooting unfolds. As far as the music being dark and eerie, well, it’s meant to be. School shootings are not a happy subject. School shootings are dark and ugly. They are mysterious. Often know one ever finds out what really caused the shooters to act as they had. We thought that Dark Errie music fit perfectly with the lyrical topic because that’s how they play out in real life.
Lit & Woke Magazine: What do you think school shootings say about society?
Teacherz: We think they say a lot. America is a very divided, polarized nation. America is also a nation that politicizes everything. School shootings are no different. Children are dying in their own classrooms and society isn’t doing anything about it.
Lit & Woke Magazine: Why do you think that is?
Teacherz: It is because the easy solution would be to make it impossible for children and criminals to get their hands on guns but the Gun Lobby is one of the most powerful in America. Many politicians are afraid of the Gun Lobby and so, they won’t vote for laws that go against what the gun lobby wants. The gun lobby is powerful with politicians but not necessarily with the public. They are powerful but not too smart.
Lit & Woke Magazine: How so?
Teacherz: They have a PR campaign that caters to stupidity. Their slogan is something like guns don’t kill people, people kill people. I mean it’s true that people do kill people but if they didn’t have guns they wouldn’t shoot them. Besides, the proliferation of assault weapons in America make it possible to kill a whole lot of people. Perhaps a better slogan would be People kill people but Guns kill a whole lot of people.
Lit & Woke Magazine: There are some people reading this who might ask You guys are an alternative rock band not governmental policy makers, what qualifies you to get up on a pedestal and tackle an issue that seems unsolvable?
Teacherz: What qualifies us is that we are on the front lines dying with the students. This issue has changed the meaning of school, in this nation and likely around the globe. Nowadays children have to undergo periodic Active Shooter Drills. Studies are coming out that state that this is traumatizing children and reinforcing the trauma of seeing actual shootings in the news.
Lit & Woke Magazine: What are your goals with this song?
Teacherz: We’d love to see it as part of a national ad campaign or at least have radio stations play it every time there is a school shooting to remind American’s that School shootings are not something normal. They are not something that people should become numb to. They are dark and mysterious and ugly. This song might make some people uncomfortable but if it does, that’s okay because school shootings should make people uncomfortable. Uncomfortable enough to stand up to the Gun Lobby and do something about it.
Sonny Brought A Gun To School is available on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Music, Google Play, iHeart Radio, Napster, Apple Music, Deezer, Instagram Stories, Media Net, bandcamp and Tik Tok.
Copyright 2020 Lit & Woke Blog / Magazine. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.