From the 2014 US tour archives! "The Piper's Mirror" live at Groovebox Studios in Detroit. Shot in an abandoned car factory.
We'd love to tour the States again but we need your help. Support our new album crowdfunding at pledge.thesunpilots.com to help us make it happen!
Exactly 1 year ago today we were standing in Times Square celebrating the end of our first US tour. We were freezing our asses off & running late for our flight (as usual) but we were buzzing. Touring the States was the most amazing experience we've had.
We recorded tons of awesome footage & we're putting together a documentary of our roadtrip. 3 months, 40 states, warts & all... Can't wait to share it with you guys!
A Colorado restaurant owner came up with "White Appreciation Day" on which Caucasian customers get 10% off. It's his response to Black History Month & Hispanic Heritage Month:
At first we just rolled our eyes, but then #WhiteAppreciationDay started trending on Twitter... We tweeted our thoughts & got a barrage of ignorance in return. How can some people so completely miss the point? Look at any American school history book & tally up the pages which focus on white history, black history, Native American history... If you can't see which groups are being under-represented, you need to work on your maths.
Every month in America is white history month. These "special" months only exist because of a lack of awareness about other groups' histories. America should be congratulated for them. It's a shame we don't have an Aboriginal history month in Australia.
Sadly it seems a lot of people don't understand the purpose of Black History Month, which President Ford officially recognised in 1976. He said "we can seize the opportunity to honour the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavour throughout our history". Too-often neglected are the key words here. The month helps address inequalities in history teaching and awareness. Once these imbalances are addressed, it will no longer be necessary.
All these people are doing is perpetuating ignorance. Education & knowledge are things to embrace, not feel threatened by. And besides, how is giving only one skin colour a discount "celebrating all Americans"?
After 3 truly awesome years with us, Adil Baktir is stepping down as bass player for The Sunpilots. He's heading back to Vienna to pursue other musical directions & we send him all our love for the future.
Adil joined the band in the middle of our 2012 European tour. Our last bass player had quit unexpectedly (overnight) & we were booked to play a festival in France the next week. We'd just moved out of our apartment & were living on the road for the first time, so cancelling the tour would have meant no place to stay. Needless to say we were super stressed.
The A-man learned all our songs, quit his job in Vienna & saved our collective asses. We had the audition over Skype so the first time we met him was when we pulled up outside his place. Luckily he wasn't a serial killer & turned out to be an awesome dude who will always be one of our bros.
Here's one of our fave photos from the US tour. Thanks for all the memories mate! Looking forward to sharing some beers & cheese-filled sausages next time we're in Austria.
PS. We're announcing our new bass player tomorrow!
We stayed with fans in 35 states when we toured the US last fall. During that time we had some eye-opening conversations with our American friends about police brutality & racism in their towns. What we were told was disturbing- while there are plenty of good cops out there, there are more bad ones than you'd think. A lot more. Stories of police harassing black communities, excessive force, racial slurs, barbaric beatings & even shootings were not uncommon. Several of these incidents were witnessed first hand by white friends & experienced first hand by black friends. We heard some horrific things involving homeless people too. What's unbelievable is American police forces are basically self-regulated, meaning they can do whatever they want and are accountable to no-one but themselves.
On Tuesday a cop in South Carolina shot a black man in the back 8 times. A witness filmed the entire incident. Before the video came to light the officer claimed he feared for his life. The video shows the man running away when the officer gunned him down in cold blood. The cop can also be seen planting something- experts believe it to be his tazer- next to the body afterwards. Here's the video (warning- it's graphic):
So does it matter what colour the cop & the victim were? It shouldn't because "All Lives Matter" right? The problem is a large number of cops (and citizens) don't believe in that philosophy. You'd have to bury your head in the sand to deny the institutionalised racism in many police forces. The videos, leaked racist emails, first-hand accounts & statistics are there for all to see. The media is heavily colour-skewed as well.
Here's one of many day-to-day examples: A black friend in Texas told us how two cops stopped him the previous day and asked to search his car. While he had the right to say no, he knew from experience that refusing would cause more problems. They ripped apart his car for 3 hours searching for something... anything... till they found an old bottle of Naproxen (a painkiller you can get from any pharmacy). The label was half ripped off so they arrested him on a drug-related charge. He paid his court fee the next day, the charge was dropped and they released him and "apologised for the mistake." He told us it wasn't the first time it had happened and it wouldn't be the last. Apparently the court fees the black community pays are an important source of revenue for the city. He's an accountant with a college degree who speaks 3 languages. It happens all the time.
Your life matters. My life matters. All lives matter. We all know that, it's common sense & repeating the obvious is pointless. The reason we need to get behind "Black Lives Matter" is because to many people all over the world, they still don't.