Guitarist Craig Locicero of reactivated San Francisco Bay Area thrashers FORBIDDEN has released the following message:
"I've been meaning to share my feelings about the upcoming election for weeks now, but articulating them is very difficult for me. And if you live somewhere other then the USA, please don't hold anything against FORBIDDEN. This is MY opinion and not the band's. But I believe many of you may relate to my feelings about the state of things in America from your point of view.
"I realize that most people today are going to say, 'Who the hell is this guy and why should we care?' or 'Why don't musicians and artists just stick to what they do and shut the fuck up about politics?' That would be the typical, wrong and flat-out ignorant way of going about our daily lives at this most critical stage. I missed the memo that said we're supposed to jump off the cliff and die like lemmings.
"The reason I began with this synapses is a good one and it will make sense to most of you.
"About four years ago, after the last 'so-called' election, I had written my first-ever blog on the SPIRALARMS web site when there was no FORBIDDEN at that time. I'd managed to not get very involved in the Internet up to that point. I was disillusioned with a few things and just one of them was the state of my the world and especially America. I used the term 'illusion of freedom' and a shitstorm had begun.
"I had no clue that my personal blog was going to be picked up and plastered on BLABBERMOUTH.NET, I had never even seen Blabbermouth yet or even been there for a visit. My verbal crucifixion was on, and I found out the hard way that, evidently, metal musicians are not supposed to have opinions that hit home. I was told that we, as musicians, are supposed to only entertain and keep our opinions to ourselves. That we are not 'qualified' to shed any light upon and situation that we are not well-versed, like the experts from the Associated Press, Fox News and CNBC etc. Yes, we are supposed to follow the regurgitated rhetoric that lines the sheep up every day and tells them what side of the fence they are supposed to sit upon. As if there are only two sides in the first place. Left and right. That's another problem in itself.
"Well, since the 2008 election is in less than one week from this day — I'm here to say BULLSHIT!!! There is no time to screw around and wait for anyone else to figure out our problems. Every single living, breathing, eating, drinking, thinking, brain-dead, buying, selling, shitting and fucking human being on this planet deserves a chance to voice there concerns and opinions about whatever they want. The fact is most people can't even get anyone's attention who's in the room with them let alone get up on the soapbox and speak from their heart. That's that hard part, how can we make anyone listen when there is so many illusions to distract us from the massive issues that are looming over us?
"As any kind of artist that has the public arena at their disposal, it could be abused all too easily. To ram opinions down the throat of 'Joe Sixpack' on a daily basis is just narcissistic and the point most likely would be lost. I certainly don't want to come across as a self-important jack-ass, but there is going to be no chance of that not happening now. This is about all of us. You and your loved ones and my family and ours. So that is why I'm choosing to speak out to anyone who will read this today and hopefully get motivated enough to be angry. Angry at the apathy we've settled into or angry at me for pointing out what should be obvious to everyone anyhow. But goddamn it, we should all be furious! The world has become unhinged and is swinging from a tiny little thread. There are so many lies covering lies that it's damn near impossible to navigate through it all. Modern propaganda is the newest religion. That much I believe to be truth.
"What I will NOT do is tell you WHO to vote for. That's something everyone would hopefully do with a clear idea of what they believe in when the lever is pulled. Because once we do that, there is no turning back. This is the one, 'The Mother of All Elections.' No joke, because as a country, we screwed the last election up so badly that we'd better hope it's going to be the outcome that we bargain for this time. Believe it when I say that everyone in the world is watching us closer than ever. It's obvious that nothing is like it used to be and all things are magnified. If you have already taken a big swig of the Kool-Aid that says either side has it wrapped up and you're not going to vote now, you've been duped! This election is swimming in more money (when the country supposedly has none) and disinformation then any campaign in history. Ever! So don't settle on polls and experts. Trust nothing but your own choices. Then you'll at least know who's partially to blame. Take a little responsibility.
"Every four years I get wrapped up in the utopian dream that one of these two candidates actually may do something to set things straight. Fix the leak in the roof. Save the world from imminent disaster. Both sides would have you believe that one guy is peaceful reformer and the other is a tough wiley maverick. Please! Not to put a damper on those generalizations, but let's face the simple fact that if anyone actually makes it to this point of a presidential race they are not who they present themselves to be anymore. Sorry, it has never worked that way and it's only gotten worse. We are talking about the president, figurehead of the 'free' world.
"I will admit that I'm more then a little jaded about the honesty and integrity of what's at stake. Part of me really wants to believe that government can be cleaned up and reformed without making more back room deals and corruption. But at this point, that seems irrelevant. Now it's time to go down the street and commit to one side or the other. And that choice should be on the issues that have us on the brink of a world implosion. War, energy, economy, jobs, health care, retirement funds etc. Not to mention all of the personal freedoms and liberties that are being taken away almost every day. Huge decisions will be implemented after one of these bozos takes office. The new world agenda will be realized either way. That part won't change.
"Look, I'm not naive enough to pretend that race and gender are not going to play into this election, they are. But it is truly amazing that it hasn't become a bigger focal point and distraction then it is. That shows some progress in this quagmire. And quite honestly, that alone give me some hope for humanity.
"Please use your illusion of freedom wisely; it might be the last chance you ever get. Go vote!"
Professionally filmed video footage of FORBIDDEN's June 28, 2008 performance at the Graspop Metal Meeting in Dessel, Belgium can be viewed below (clip uploaded by YouTube user "Sebastos1").