Posts Tagged ‘Eleanor Goldfield’

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 Patrick O’Heffernan, Los Angeles. What do you do if you have a classically trained operatic voice, the beauty and the bearing of a top model and the visionary soul of an artist and a poet?

You start a hard rock band with screaming guitars, pounding drums and in-your-face-political lyrics. That’s what our next guest did, and the rest is history.

Eleanor Goldfield wants to change the world with art and music. So she co-founded Rooftop Revolutionaries, a hard rock/alternative metal band that has a very direct  message:  Do Something. Using socially conscious lyrics, haunting melodies, driving guitars and hammering drums to back her soaring and plunging voice, Eleanor entertains, educates and motivates. And it works.  People listen and act, whether it is at an Occupy event, a march or a protest, Eleanor’s voice and Rooftop Revolutionaries music is a soundtrack for action.

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Eleanor also finds time to blog, host a radio show and produce music/art events.  She calls herself a “creative activist”; I call her a multi-platform cultural provocateur.  Eleanor sat down for an interview with me today between writing her blog and prepping for tomorrow night’s concert at Molly Malone’s in Hollywood with the bands 3 By Design, Malaki, and Hidden Amongst Us.

Patrick: Eleanor, usually when I talk to artists my questions usually center on their music, but in your case, I think a different approach makes more sense.  Let’s talk about the way you use the tools of  culture to make political change.  You front a hard rock band with a powerful social message, you write a political blog, and you create art and events with a political theme.  Was I close in calling you a multiplatform-cultural-provocateur?

Eleanor: Yes you were.  I actually came up with the phrase “creative activist”, which is the same thing.  Using creative mediums like photography, music, film visual art to send out a message of change and engagement.

Patrick. How did that happen.  Was there a change event in your life? Or have you always been aware of the need for social change and your role in it?

Eleanor. This is something just happened naturally by looking around.  My parents were politically interested and active – not to the same degree I am, but active.  For example, as a child I was not allowed to watch TV, but I was allowed to watch the news.  From what I remember, it was more informative than the infotainment or mainstream news of today. Being engaged was always something that I was aware of.  I was aware of the world around me.  When something around me felt wrong I acted upon it.  I didn’t think of it as activism.  When I was a kid I would run around the neighborhood picking up trash because it looked bad. Before I knew it I  was an environmental activist.  These things happen because you pay attention.

Patrick. You speak often about your generation, millennials– young people born in the early 1980s- to the early 2000’s.  They are very socially liberal, except on abortion.  About 38% are Democrats, 25% Republicans and the rest Independent –  which is growing. And  they don’t vote. why doesn’t your generation vote?

Eleanor.  Like any difficult question, there is probably not one answer. Looking back on my parent’s generations, the 60’s, when people were very politically engaged, there was a time of disillusionment after assassinations of political icons like JFK and RFK and Martin Luther King Jr., and coupled with the Vietnam War, I think a lot of people felt that they could not trust their government, they felt that the government had let them down  They were disillusioned and they stepped away from the political stage and instead of taking a 5 minute break, they took a 20 -30 year break.  And that’s when you saw the rise of the  neo-cons and de-regulation because when people didn’t pay attention and when you don’t pay attention, all hell breaks loose.  People just got comfortable in apathy.  When my generation was raised  a lot of us were not taught to be present in the political-social framework.  We were taught work hard and you would get where you needed to go.  My generation is just comfortable with apathy – they don’t understand that democracy can’t exist without participation. A Pew poll reported in 2012  that only 5% of my generation get news from any source – that’s terrifying. I wrote a piece on my blog about this.

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Patrick.  Is consumerism shot through our whole society the world your generation operates in?

Eleanor: Absolutely.  Art today, pop culture, preaches escapism – not the escapism of a beautiful sunset – but pop culture that preaches an escapism that takes you away from reality and sugarcoats and warps things.  That is what my song “Con Artist” is about.  These representatives of pop culture are con artists; they are conning you out of the reality of life, both the beautiful and the not so beautiful parts of life. The song is a call to stop that sort of consumerism and the acceptance of that as popular culture and art.

Patrick. How would you describe your politics.  What do you believe?

Eleanor.  My primary political concern and my primary message in all that I do is to get money out of politics. I think the system is broken, the two-party system is flooded with corporate money. The Democrats and Republicans alike are bought and sold to the highest bidder and the people are the ones that suffer from that.   I don’t believe in anarchy or Communism, I don’t believe in pure socialism or pure capitalism.  I think the best thing for this country to do is to find a combination of various  forms of government…to work within the system we have.  I think we can make change through a Constitutional amendment and legislation and I would like to see that happen.  My politics are not left or right;  I consider myself a Progressive because I want to move forward, not left or right.

Patrick.  There is legislation in California to amend the Constitution to get money out of politics.  Are you following this?

Eleanor.  I am.  Vermont was the first state to call for a Constitutional Convention on this issue.  There are movements in over 40 states  to amend the Constitution stating that money is not speech and corporations are not people.  There is a tremendous groundswell and California is doing a great job.

Patrick.  How can music help change things?

Eleanor. Music like any form of art brings people together across lines of  race, religion, income, social standing – anybody and everybody appreciates music.  Art brings society together – it is inclusive, not divisive. Music is a way for people to engage through entertainment.  My generation needs entertainment – just go online and see the sensory overload.  We need to do something that delivers that…music can call for people to stand up and get involved.

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Patrick.  Your new album, Red, talks about these things in music form and it is out this Tuesday.  Where can people find it?

Eleanor. You can pre-order it at rooftoprevolutionaries.com and you will get a free track of “Diamonds” .  People can read my blog at my page artkillingapathy.com.

Patrick.  And you will be playing at Molly Malone’s in Hollywood this Saturday night.

Eleanor.  We are part of the :LA Unsigned which promotes the best of unsigned rock in LA, The bands on the bill Saturday night are all fantastic.  Check out our twitter feed @rooftopeleanor  and our Facebook page, rooftop revolutionaries…we love to hear from people.

By: Patrick O’Heffernan, Host Music FridayLive!

Hear the full interview at http://bit.ly/1tAdwYg

 

Eleanor Goldfield, Rooftop Revolutionaries

Resolute, Red, available at ww.rooftoprevolutionaries.com, iTunes, CD Baby

ARM UP

By: Patrick O’Heffernan, Host Music FridayLive!

Rolling Rebellion for Real Democracy, the national movement rolling into cities across the country during the first two weeks of July in an effort to loosen the corporate stranglehold over America’s democracy,  moved into the At Play At DTLA space in the LA Arts District Friday night. The event was a fundraiser for Occupy Venice and it featured  a lineup of  poets, activist  speakers and the comedian Lee Camp.  But for me, the highlight of the event was the LA-based  progressive hard rock band Rooftop Revolutionaries.

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Eleanor Goldfield, co-founder and lead singer, showed her stunning vocal range, moving from soaring soprano notes to gritty blues belts and then down into deep bass – almost Tibetan throat singing – in a high energy, 7-song set that electrified the room.  The musicians-  Brian Marshak on guitar, Stanley Love on drums, Mikael “Redbeard” Gustavsson on bass and Colin Reid on guitar, moved like a single organism,  scaffolding Eleanor’s singing and putting forceful beats to the political message she was pumping out.

The band opened with “Row”,  a commanding song telling you to pay attention – grab an oar and row because “you won’t see the light with your head in the sand/oh you don’t know what its like/hold the river right’s been sold up shit creek”,  driven by Stanly Love’s impeccable drumming and with guitar riffs interweaving with Eleanor’s vocals in a mix that pinned you down and wouldn’t  let you go.

Following up with “Chain”,Eleanor belted out “Born and raised by corporate chains, you know we’re sold….. all we know are corporate chains”, with the band’s every note and every lick and guitar solo driving the message home. They followed with “Folk Devils”, a near-heavy metal screamer from their album Resolute that filled with room with clashing power  and Eleanor channeling a deep-voiced Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill.  The effect was overwhelming – unnerving and precisely on target.

The band moved onto “Run Away”, “War” and “Save Us  and ended on a high note with the audience singing along. Although the event was packed with progressive partisans and  Eleanor was singing to the choir, she and her bandmates drove home the message that singing to the choir energizes the choir to go out and break molds, change policy and win elections. Art is part of political change, and often precedes political change: Rooftop Revolutionaries are a highly talented and dedicated  part of the art that is preceding political change in America.

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Rooftop Revolutionaries – the name comes from the founding of the band on a rooftop in Los Angeles –are the cutting edge of the return of protest music to the Progressive movement. They do it with skill and finesse – no easy feat for a hard rock band.  The music supports the message but the message never gets ahead of the music and vice versa. The band members are so well matched and tuned to each other that the vocals-thought-notes flow is seamless.  Eleanor’s phenomenal voice could run away with a lessor group of musicians, but they move forward together, with lyrics surging here, guitars surging there and sophisticated percussion and bass keeping the backbone solid and strong.

Even at a local fundraiser in a small space with minimal staging, mixing and amplification, Rooftop Revolutionaries gave 120% and sounded like they could fill an amphitheater.  Next time I see them, I hope it is at an amphitheater, singing even more truth to power.

Patrick O’Heffernan, Host Music FridayLive!

 

Rooftop Revolutionaires

http://rooftoprevolutionaries.com/

Resolute available at Amazon, iTunes and the website

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RooftopRev

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