Energy Whores Discuss Gun Violence, Protest Music, and New Single "Den of Sins"
Updated: May 2
Energy Whores, an indie-electronica group known for their danceable political anthems, have returned with their latest track "Den of Sins." The song highlights the reality of gun violence in the United States, laying bare the true horror that comes out of these tragedies and the ease at which they can occur. We sat down with Carrie Schoenfeld (one half of
Energy Whores alongside guitarist Attilo Valenti) to discuss the message behind this track, and what she hopes it will accomplish as a contribution to modern protest music.
FLEX: "Den of Sins" is such a topical track. Did any recent events in the U.S. in particular influence the songwriting?
CS: Absolutely, but not a particular event but an unrelenting surge of mass shootings. Here is a list of mass shootings and gun violence in the USA from January – April 2023: gunviolencearchive.org. Most of these events didn’t even make the news. That’s how prevalent mass shootings are. One would think we live in a war-torn country. We do, but it’s an internal war against the NRA and politicians who are being paid by them to keep us knee deep in assault weapons with no way to check who’s buying them.
F: What was the artistic purpose of making the track upbeat? Was the contrast deliberate in sound and subject?
CS: Yes, we wanted to make the horrible event taking place in the song feel as realistic as possible. A family at a county fair should be upbeat and happy. They should not be thinking that the next moment will end their happy family with the death of their child. Throughout the song, the malevolent plot to kill innocent fair goers is boiling in the mind of the killer who has access to as many guns as he wants. The family is enjoying their day portrayed by the whimsical synth and guitars, then “the bullets hit the crowd."
F: Who do you hope the audience for this track is? Would you want it used in protest/as an anthem for gun control organizations?
CS: We think everyone will be the audience for this track. Because of relentless mass shootings a large segment of the US population knows someone who has been a victim of gun violence. The most vulnerable population are children and young adults who go to school worrying if this day will be their last. Imagine sitting in class trying to pay attention while the possibility of a violent death sits in the back of your mind. These children, along with their parents and young adults are fed up and are protesting for better gun control laws. We hope the “adults” in the room will do everything they can to stop this gun violence insanity. If gun control organizations want to use our song that’s great. We would be happy to help in any way we can.
F: Energy Whores is a wonderful, modern take on protest music. How have you seen protest music evolve, personally, and what do you hope to contribute to this evolution?
CS: Protest music has always been the people’s voice. In the 1960s and early 70s it was rock and folk music that were the voice of young people who were tired of corrupt governments, war and racism. Late 70s early 80s was punk, anti - establishment music. The late 80s and early 90s socially conscious hip hop and rap arrived also reflecting the people’s voice at that time and still is as relevant and powerful today.
For protest music to be relevant and powerful, something horrific has happened or is unfolding greatly affecting people’s lives and the music of that moment reflects those events and issues. We started writing protest “avant-guard art rock” when Trump and his MAGA movement started threatening truth itself, unleashing racism, and xenophobia. From then on, things have gone terribly wrong. We are once again fighting corrupt politicians, racism, police brutality against black and brown people and unprecedented gun violence. We are also fighting for women’s rights, voting rights, climate change solutions and even our democracy. A multi-generational multi racial effort is needed to stop the wave of authoritarianism and fascism growing in America. This is a time of crisis. Like so many protest rockers, rappers, and folk singers before us we are driven to help bring change and be a continuation of the people’s voice. In our songs we like to incorporate many genres and beats with our lyrics. There is a beautiful diversity of people, music and art coming together now more than ever before. Our music wants to embrace it all while telling it like it is.
F: Finally, what can we expect next from Energy Whores?
CS: We will keep on “writing cruel art” in our basement. Also look out for a music video for our song "Freedom Fadeaway." Coming soon.
"Den of Sins" is available across streaming platforms.
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