SB 1070 hasn't won Arizona a lot friends in the music business. First you had Canadian indie poppers Stars proclaiming their "boycott" of the state over the controversial new immigration law, then Belinda Carlisle asking Lilith Fair organizers to move the tour's Arizona date. Zack de la Rocha has condemned the immigration law, and Shakira met with Phil Gordon to express her displeasure.
Thankfully, the members of Minus the Bear, an ambient rock band from no less progressive of a city than Seattle, Washington aren't interested in denying their AZ fans over the bill.
"I don't think the kids that want to see us in Arizona should be punished over the legislation that's going on over there," says keyboard player Alex Rose. "We're going to keep our show."
Minus the Bear, scheduled to play the Marquee Theatre in Tempe today, isn't known as a politically charged rock band--it's hard to find traces of social commentary in "Turn off the lights and touch me in the dark," the opening lyrics of their current single, "My Time"--but Rose makes it clear they still have some strong opinions.
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"I don't know if it necessarily manifests itself in the music too often," he says. "If you listen to 'Lotus' on Planet of Ice you can hear some tinges of that. We definitely have views and opinions, and they would definitely be on the liberal side of the spectrum."
Rose admits that he hasn't personally kept up too closely with the news surrounding SB 1070 ("only on the surface, in that every one I know seems pretty up in arms about it"), but the band, touring behind latest album Omni, had a fairly common reaction.
"It's definitely something that struck us as just crazy, basically," he says.