Interview: 'EAT THE BUGS' by THE REFUSERS 09/09/2022
Hailing from Seattle, The Refusers are an up and coming Modern Rock band with a penchant for writing infectious music and controversial narratives. Rallying 107K followers on Facebook, Michael Belkin (Songwriter, Guitar & Lead Vocals), Ehssan Karimi (Drums), Eric Robert (Keyboards) and Steve Newton (Bass, Backing Vocals), blast through the establishment’s twisted goals - performing songs of melodic defiance.
Gearing up to release their latest musical escapade, ‘EAT THE BUGS’ [9th of September 2022] features signature modern rock sounds and tendentious lyricism. The single will be the first release of many more to come, satisfying the political symposium of the quartet’s global following. The Refusers draw inspiration from personal issues - coupled with societal commentary that evokes emotional responses, the band intends to engage existing audiences and reach out to new ones. Planning to release four original songs in the near future, the band continues to provoke with material that’s exciting yet profound. Homogeneous to Rage Against The Machine, Frank Zappa, the Clash, Metallica, Greta Van Fleet, and Guns N' Roses, The Refusers bellow an in in-your-face message through punk vibes and rock riffs - reminiscent of an industrial era exuberayting metal, guitars and anarchic resilience.
Being avid storytellers, ‘EAT THE BUGS’ touches on themes relating to the World Economic Forum (Davos) and Klaus Schwab; questioning the status quo and contemporary rhetorics. The track echoes complaints against a ridiculous proposal made by economy puppeteers. A musical protagonist, frontman Belkin contextualises his musical motive for rebellion as a mouthpiece for personal hardships;
“For people who have never heard of the WEF or their agenda… this song - the album art & video could open their eyes and get them to ask questions. It also rocks.”
What does punk mean to you; how has the subculture shaped your own perceptions of the world, and the impact music has as an effective tool for activism? Most modern music is disgustingly slick: Robo drums, hard tuned vocals, over-produced, no message, transparently aimed at corporate sponsorship. Punk is the antithesis of that, or should be. Raw instruments, pounding drums, blazing guitars, in-your-face vocals with a message that upsets the establishment and unconscious people. And inspires rebellion.
Which artists and creative influences have had the largest influence on your music career? What's your favourite song? Clash, Rage Against The Machine, Marley. Nobody modern that's popular.
What has been the best/worst surprise that you've had when releasing the music video on social media? Our hard rock/punk style, songs and message cut like a knife through the status quo. Sheeple don't get it and are offended. That's what punk rock protest music is supposed to do. Our fans love the fact that we perform songs of defiance about topics that are considered off-limits by most commercial music.
Speaking of, who was the curator behind the video and artwork? What drove you to them as the collaborator for visuals on this single? William Banzai in Hong Kong did the cover art according to my directions. He is amazing. A low-profile video maker in Colombia who shall remain nameless did the videos according to my template. They are both fantastic. I looked at multiple video and photo shop artists and they were all extremely boring and mainstream except for these two.
If 'Eat The Bugs' was a soundtrack to a film or TV programme, what would it be? At this point in history, no Hollywood production would touch it with a 10 foot pole. Maybe in the future it would be perfect for a remake of Orwell's 1984.
“Belkin is a courageous musician who proves he’s not afraid to speak his fiery truth about not approving of the corrupt injustices that are presently being committed by leaders in power across America. The current indie rocker and former Wall Street worker has fearlessly expressed his displeasure with the country’s modern divisive political discourse with his band’s latest record, which emphasizes the uplifting message that society often fails to embrace: that that love is always going to shine, even in desperate times.” Karen Benardello — Shock Ya!