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INTERVIEW: Digital Resistance


Who are Digital Resistance?

Ana Kee: Aliens sent from a far far away Galaxy to study mankind…. Just an unknown punk(ish) band

SiR: Human Beings from Earth that care about stuff and like to make noise.

Psy: The antidote to right wing populism.

Wolf: A thunderstorm of grooves and beats spotlighting issues of injustice and inequality

How did the band form?

Ana: Conceptually Digital Resistance has existed since 2018/2019, but we only really found the right people this year. It started with me and Psy, a fellow academic who I met through work, we often had talks about everything that’s wrong with the world. One day during a work lunch break I was going on a rant and he stopped me and asked if I had ever consider putting these ideas and messages into lyrics. Oddly enough I had written poems on and off about these things. Psy told me he played guitar and showed me some riffs and in a few hours we had two draft songs Deferred Hope and Out of Sight written. Some time went by and we thought it might be fun to try to write some more, so Rain and Fire were written.

We didn’t really have any plans but started thinking maybe we could form a band so started looking for people. We met Wolf around 2019 for a coffee and had a jam with him later that year. Then came the drummer search, we went through I think 4, maybe 5 over the next year and a half, it really felt like something out of Spinal Tap (we’re still in touch with some of them, everyone left on good terms). Anyway, eventually Wolf moved houses and by coincidence his neighbour was Si R our present drummer. He’s definitely a keeper. So I’d say we only really managed to complete the band this year, though of course we’ve written songs and I had to record the drums for previous songs

SiR: DR is my first drumming spot making original sounds so it’s a real big deal for me. Me and Wolf knew met when he moved onto our street but it was actually his partner that brokered my try out for DR! Also, in some respects we’re still forming. As we gel more and more since I joined the sounds are progressing. We’ve got two milestones coming up that are helping to drive this…

Psy: I had been making music essentially on my own for several years, testing it out on soundcloud to see the reaction to it. One day after a political rant with a Ana Kee at work, I asked if she had ever written poetry or lyrics. We soon got to work on our first couple of tracks and Digital Resistance was born!

Wolf: Slowly. Like an oak tree. We continue to grow a little each time we play together. We’ve only very recently reached our current form!

Your music and lyrics are uncompromising and pack strong political messages. Do you think that music can change society?

Ana: Yes I do, I believe all art form can change society, the problem is it often just reflects it. I think there’s a few reasons for that. One is that musicians seeking recognition are driven to create music as a response to market forces, whereas underground bands like us that don’t give a rat’s bottom will create music that’s true to the artist, and in our case true to our egalitarian, antifascist message. All lyrics I write start with a poem with a very strong message, and often based on things I’ve witnessed directly or indirectly, not a single poem has been written with dry eyes, there’s always tears for those suffering. As a result, the music is genuine, and I so wish known popular artists could somehow get that integrity, they have a real platform and they waste it on narcissism.

SiR: Yes. Music always has impacted society and always will. It guides our attitudes and our beliefs and even what we wear. There’s no reason for that to change. Bands like NOFX are such an inspiration as they’ve always stayed true to themselves and not sold out and they’ve built a huge global and loyal fanbase through their commitment.

Psy: Yes definitely, for me it is about appealing to peoples inner narrative. Getting through to people on a individual basis, think of the great works that have gone before us. For instance Rage Against the Machine – their music speaks to me now as it did when I first heard it at age 14. It energises and stirs you, eventually you understand the meaning and the struggles described by the band. In time, this can change things.

Wolf:  In this instance, music is a platform for some very powerful messages. If people are listening, then we can influence and hopefully affect change, even if one person learns something new or is challenged in some way, then society has changed a little bit.

There is so much going on in the world right now. What are the issues concerning you most?

Ana: Yes, the world can be a dark place, existential threats of climate change and neo-fascism, but Bolsonaro’s regime genocide of native populations in Brazil is something that keeps me up at night. It’s not mentioned much, at least not on this side of the planet, but it’s difficult to comprehend how peoples have had their existence threatened for so long and still do. There’s a new song we are working on, “Mirror Mirror” and it includes several passages of real life despairing stories coming from the Amazon. Of course it’s all intertwined; neo-fascism, climate change, threats to indigenous populations, it’s nothing new and at the core of it lies the same beast: greed.

SiR: There sure is a lot going on. I just hope that we can all remember we’re all human beings on a small planet with no known neighbours. What concerns me most is that our leaders seem very reactive, short term and localised. We’re all going to have to work together for a better world.

Psy: The general tendency for far right fascists to win “democratic” elections. This mindset is the root of all evil, it prevents us from seeing the truth. Every human being on earth is your brother or sister, we all stand together, we are not divided by race, nationality, religion or any other divisive line. When this day comes, humanity will have earned its future. If I had to write a list it would be: Climate Change, War in Ukraine and other parts of the world, Poverty, Famine and the unnecessary human suffering that occurs every minute of every day. We have the power to end these hardships but we choose not to. We need to wake up before it is too late.

Wolf: The impact of social media polarising opinion and creating social echo chambers for individuals. A perfect climate for hatred and division.

When not changing the world through music, how do you like to unwind or generally have fun?

Ana: Yoga, meditation, I have done several different martial arts along the years, one thing that really works for me is long nature walks with my little Jack Russel, getting that connection with nature reminds me how beautiful our planet still is, there are still so many beautiful places to explore. I also absolutely adore baking and making elaborate desserts look pretty (I often bring home-made pastries and cakes to rehearsals, particularly if it’s a long one, no better drug than sugar, right?)

SiR: I traded in my xbox for drums 5 years ago and haven’t looked back so there’s that. I love mountain biking and am lucky to live in North Cardiff with some world class trails on my doorstep. I go to the gym at 6am weekdays to balance out sitting down all day at work. And I love TV, there’s so much good stuff out there these days. Nothing like when I was a kid and had four channels (yes, pre channel 5!).

Psy: Cat bothering, Cats are epic and a great source of humour and affection. I also like finding abandoned places, places where you can feel really alone and isolated. It’s very liberating!

Wolf: Connecting with the outdoors and family mainly.

What were your early music influences?

Ana: I like quite a lot of different music, as long as it makes me feel something I’m into it (that largely excludes pop).

SiR: Probably all the usuals for my generation, alt.punk.metal just nothing mainstream.

Psy: I grew up on metal and punk via my older brother and sisters. Black Sabbath, Ozzy, Metallica and The Sex Pistols. Later on I discovered the Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, Radiohead, Portishead, Sneaker Pimps, Massive Attack and loads more. I discovered I love music, I can always find something I love in any genre. When I was about 14 I heard Rage Against the Machine for the first time and it changed my world

Wolf: RATM, Primus, Rush, Metallica, RHCP

What have you enjoyed listening to recently?

SiR: Korn, QOTSA, RATM. Cake. I love the True Blood TV series sound tracks. Penguin Cafe while I work.

Psy: Later on I saw Muse at Reading Festival and instantly loved their music. Korn are another favourite, Animals as Leaders and Meshuggah at the sharp end of progressive metal.

Wolf: Khruangbin

What is on the horizon for Digital Resistance?

Ana : Whichever direction we go, I know we’ll be having lots of fun together.

SiR: A gig and recording some new tracks. Then we’ll see!

Psy: Our live debut! Can’t wait, then most likely some more studio material!!! In fact we will be performing two new tracks on our debut at the Fleece in Bristol.

Ana: Hopefully more gigs and continuing to create more music.