Reflections and Growth
I feel it is important that I make the following official statement:
If you do some searching on the internet, you will find that I spent several years of my life working with a band called Madison Rising. I joined this band in 2011 when I was 23/24 years old. The opportunity to record in world-class studios, tour the United States, and make a full-time salary was a dream for me as an aspiring professional drummer.
Management made it clear that the band was going into the conservative political space. As someone who had attended a liberal arts college, I was intrigued to learn more about that space while becoming a sought after drummer. It was foreign to me. I was not even aware of how politics worked. All I knew was that there are different philosophies on the role of government and society, and that there were two major parties. Beyond that, I was never involved in any sort of political groups. I saw this as a chance to learn and grow, and see parts of America I would have never been able to see in such a short amount of time. I was exposed to a culture I knew little about, and overall, it was a special time. I try hard to listen to others and hear their stories, even if I disagree with them. I have always wanted to know the “why” and look to understand why there are differences in thought.
Around 2016, the band started to devolve into something I never thought it would be. Management made a business decision; to commit to showing full support for Donald Trump. When I learned of this, it rubbed me the wrong way. The band had never sided with a president before. We were always conservative in our mission statement, but we did not want to back a specific candidate. I was glad we operated this way, and it is unfortunate that new management took the easy way out and sunk so low, abandoning our mission statement. Since when did being a patriot mean you should support Donald Trump? He essentially hijacked patriotism for his own benefit, and to control masses of people.
Given the amount of time I had already invested in the project, I felt that I had to try to make things work, ignoring the implications of management’s decisions. I soon learned that ignorance can catch up to you. Seeing how things were going, and feeling more and more uncomfortable with the band’s new positioning, I made the difficult choice to leave the project. Imagine a time where you may have been a part of something that was toxic for you, but you had trouble leaving because it became a part of you, it was what you were used to. This was a standard case of being in a dysfunctional relationship and I am so thankful I was able to find the strength to leave the situation.
As of August 2018, I have not been associated with Madison Rising, nor do I support or subscribe to any of their messaging/positioning/music.
Many of my good friends would say that I am a hippy at heart, filled with love, kindness, wonder, and creativity. It is unfortunate that my name is linked to this band on the internet. So, here I am, setting the record straight. I am hopeful that as time moves forward and my drumming career blossoms, my association with this group on the internet will get buried.
I sure learned a lot about human nature by working with this group. People will get involved with what they think things are as opposed to what they really are. By the mere fact that our singer was a navy veteran, we gained thousands of fans. It did not matter that we were put together like a boy band. That was not relevant to our audience. If they knew we supported the military and the right to own a firearm, they were sold. Even if our music was slightly above average (but nothing mind blowing) it did not matter. What mattered was that people identified emotionally with our message of limited government and support for our troops. This was a project that had a business model all laid out ahead of time, but even all of this did not matter, because people were moved by our music, especially our rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. We saved lives with this song. I remember hearing of a soldier who spared his own life after hearing the rock and roll star spangled banner. We had fans drive 8 hours and more to see us perform because they felt like they had a voice. As a band, we could stand up for them and say “hey, we hear you, we support you, we care about you, you are not alone.”
To this day, my time with Madison Rising is still a topic I can reflect on and have new realizations about. Can you be a part of something and not believe in it? Now that’s a question to ponder!