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ADF's Steve Chandra Savale: "The music itself must be sonically radical in its approach"

London based band Asian Dub Foundation (1993-, electronica, rapcore, dub, dancehall, ragga) changed life of many. Steve Chandra Savale-Chandrasonic - guitarist/lyricist/producer - also composed and co-wrote the musical Gaddafi: A Living Myth with the Asian Dub Foundation and has presented a series of documentaries for Al-Jazeera English called Music of Resistance. The Music of Resistance is a six-part documentary series that tells the stories of musicians who fight repression and sing about injustices. They are unique musical personalities from some of the world's most troubled areas - what makes them different is their need to communicate their politics through music. They are all ambitious and talented but for them 'making it' is not about diamonds and sports cars - it is about radical political change. They come from Nigeria, Mozambique, the favelas of Brazil, Cape Verde, the desert of the Sahara and London. Savale has interviewed prominent leftist intellectual, historian, political campaigner, author, and filmmaker Tariq Ali about the War on Terrorism, Pakistan, 1960s musicians and their activism, and health care in the United States. Steve Chandra Savale answers to some questions.

Mindaugas Peleckis
2012 m. Birželio 07 d., 03:32
Skaityta: 351 k.
Asian Dub Foundation. All photos taken from Facebook page of ADF.
Asian Dub Foundation. All photos taken from Facebook page of ADF.
 
 
Asian Dub Foundation. Steve Chandra Savale - in the middle. 
 
First of all, Happy Birthday, Steve Chandra! Wish You the best! How is Your life now? 
 
Thank you, life moves between predictability and unpredictability. 
 
You are well known for lots of projects, especially for outstanding musical band Asian Dub Foundation, Your TV show on Al Jazeera about informal groups‘ life in London, and, of course, musical about Muammar Ghaddafi. Could You please tell us what are You main activities now? 
 
Making an album based on our live re-score for the French film “La haine” .We recently performed this at Broadwater Farm Estate (where the London riots started last year) on the night of the mayoral elections and in Paris on the night of the Presidential elections. 
 
 
Your first famous song as Asian Dub Foundation was „Rebel Warrior“ by famous Bengali poet, musician and revolutionary Kazi Nazrul Islam (Bidrohi Kobi, Rebel Poet, 1899-1976). As ADF started almost 19 years ago, it became a synonim of rebel against oppression by capitalism and other negative things. Could You please explain Your point of view about rebel, radicallity and modern world?
 
I believe music can be part of building a counter-hegemonic bloc against the dominant ideas in society. But the music itself must be sonically radical in its approach. It is possible to be counter-hegemonic without intending to be so (eg. early rock‘n'roll, Iggy Pop) and to be pro-hegemonic by not challenging existing musical structures even though you may have “political” lyrics (eg. most groups that give me a cd thinking I will like it because it has “political” lyrics). 
 
 
What do You think about Occupy movement and other worldwide or smaller movements that see the threat of modern world to a simple man? What are the biggest threats, talking about living in peace?
 
Occupy was very positive because it embedded a very simple but powerful idea in the public consciousness: there is a 1% that exploits the 99%. 
 
Your band consists of people from different nations. What nations / languages / religions / worldviews does ADF represent?
 
We represent no one but ourselves. 
 
Are You an optimist? Do You believe in conspiracy theories like New World Order? If so, what we, simple people of the world, can do? Take „The Anarchist Cookbook“ and read it thoroughly or act as Mahatma Gandhi tought, with ahimsa
 
Antonio Gramsci: “Pessimism of the Intellect, Optimism of the Will”. And no I don’t believe in the NWO order conspiracy. The world is defined as much by incompetence and unintended consequences as it is by conspiracy. One can never completely rule out violence though “ahimsa” is preferable. 
 
Wonderful music of ADF probably made lots of young people less addictive, as, if i understand correctly, it‘s one of Your aims to help those who cannot help themselves? Could You please tell more about this mission?
 
“Less Addictive”? Not sure where you got this idea, but we have always been involved in music education as a means to self-improvement. 
 
What about „Ghaddafi“? Is it finished? How could You comment this terrible killing and torturing of him and all USA / Western world policy towards small and not so rich countries?
 
That would require a book! 
 
What inspired You mostly while creating music and texts?
 
Phillip K. Dick,George Orwell, The Prisoner, Nusrat, P.I.L., Public Enemy, Margaret Atwood, Marvel’s The Black Panther, Gerry Anderson/Barry Gray, Antonio Gramsci, The Slits, Kerieva, Nathan Flutebox lee, Plan B, Mum, Dad, my son Chandra, The Wire (TV show), Wire (the band), The Atom Spies (my old band), Panawave (my new band). 
 
Thank You so much. Good luck! 
 
 
 
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