The Coathangers have shared new single "Fuck The NRA" from their forthcoming album The Devil You Know, out March 8 on Suicide Squeeze. The song was written by guitarist/vocalist Julia Kugel, who felt compelled to make a political statement in the face of potential backlash in part because she is a refugee from Belarus, a country with limited freedom of speech and press. She's expanded upon her motivations to speak out in an essay published today at The Talkhouse, replete with contributions and advice from Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill), Brendan Canty (Fugazi/The Messthetics) and Dennis Lyxzen (Refused, International Noise Conspiracy).
From the essay: "I do not take the freedom of expression that all U.S. citizens are granted lightly. The band was confident that we wanted to put 'F the NRA' on the record. It provided a personal catharsis and a sense of empowerment in the wake of the immense feeling of helplessness that was weighing heavily on us as we coped with continuous reports of mass shootings. It was not until those around us started warning us of the repercussions we could face, did we realize the risk involved in yelling at the giant. My ingrained fear of speaking out came back to me. Yet the reason I am a musician is because of a need to express my truth, personal or political. I began to question everything: the rights of an artist, the responsibility of being political, the fear of backlash, and the desire to be heard."