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How Phoenix's Smokus Pocus Accidentally Joined the Sound Strike Boycott

"I've been taught that we have one vote and one voice all my life, but people are making decisions around us that I have no part of," says Francis.

However strong their individual opposition to SB 1070 may be, Smokus Pocus didn't mention the bill or the Sound Strike at their performance on a recent Saturday night. Francis says that their members disagree with the bill, but that they, as a band, didn't feel right making a public statement about it at their shows.

"There's a fine line between musicians and politicians," Maguire said.

People in other local bands have noticed their name on the Sound Strike list, but Smokus Pocus has had no negative feedback from other local artists or concert promoters, since most people who know them assume they did it ironically to begin with. Phoenix concert promoter Stephen "Psyko Steve" Chilton said he laughed when he saw it but hasn't given it much thought, given that he has since worked with them to book shows.

"I'm sure that them being on the list is nothing more than a dumb joke," he said. "I have a show with them coming up in August and they have not mentioned once even thinking about not doing it."

Ultimately, whether the band stays on the list or not, they did what they (sort of) set out to do: get their name out more widely.

"There are so many different sides to this," Maguire said. "I never thought it would actually come up, but if people think we're stupid for it, then whatever."

"And if they think we're cool, even better," adds Francis.


Sat., Aug. 21, 9 p.m., 2010
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