Madison Rising shares a key belief with the late Andrew Breitbart: “The left is smart enough to understand that the way to change the political system is through its cultural system.”
Breitbart’s words, the band told The Daily Caller, are “exactly what Madison Rising is all about.”
In a phone interview, the conservative group of rockers discussed their new single, their favorite guns and the importance of their music to the conservative movement. And, of course, they gave a shout out to their favorite president, James Madison.
Their new favorite presidential contender, however, is not Mitt Romney. Though the band originally told TheDC that it had decided to endorse the former Massachusetts governor on Friday, calling him “the best qualified and most electable,” in a phone call on Monday the group retracted that endorsement.
Politics aside, the band said they were most influenced by acts like Queens of the Stone Age and Black Sabbath, but the one band they can always agree to blast on a road trip is Metallica.
While Metallica lead singer James Hetfield is a conservative, most people in the music industry don’t live by a conservative moral code.
Madison Rising is different.
“We’re not quite like anyone else,” one band member told TheDC, “We have values.”
Those values show up in some of the controversial topics they choose to sing about, including the Second Amendment.
Their latest single, “Right to Bear,” was a response to the lack of an anthem for gun enthusiasts.
“There was no great pro-gun rock song so we collectively decided we’re gonna write one,” the band said, “because we all believe in the right to bear [arms] and we want people to know it and crank it up in their car.”
The “Right to Bear” music video features a “pistol-packin mama” who uses a gun to protect herself and her child.
Madison Rising explained why: “If you take the guns away legally from people who are using them properly … all you’re doing is giving power to a criminal.”
Lead singer Dave Bray said, “When people can’t defend themselves, society will fall, tyrants rise.”
That’s a common theme in conservative politics — one that the band wishes more Americans were exposed to.
“The reality is pop culture tops politics every time,” Bray said, “Music has been one of the best ways to communicate with people forever.”
People have to feel something at an emotional level, he said, and music does that — repeatedly. Bray explained that while no one reads a book hundreds of times, songs are listened to over and over again.
While the band’s unique mix of hard rock and hard politics is catching on, drummer Sam Fishman said not everyone is ready for it.
“I was all ready to go out with this girl about two weeks ago and she found out that I was in the band Madison Rising,” he said, “and that we were pro-American, that we supported right to bear arms, and she called me up, she goes ‘I can’t go out with you.’”
Guitarist Chris Schreiner had a similar story. “I was at a good friend’s house and I told him that I was going to be on Glenn Beck,” he recalled, “and his wife said that if I appeared on Glenn Beck she was never going to let me into her house again.”
Madison Rising has also been turned down on a professional level. Schreiner said other musical organizations that normally help rock bands have told them they can’t help promote them or book shows because of what they stand for.
The band wants to play to the ears of those who both agree and disagree because, they said, “only then can we influence somebody.”
The right to bear arms is one area where they want to have the greatest influence. They don’t just write about guns: They own them, too.
Bray said his favorite gun is the fully-automatic and suppressed Heckler & Koch MP-5, a firearm that the band shot at Delta Arsenal. “It was totally cool!” he said.
Schreiner said his favorites are the SIG Sauer P228 and the Kimber 1911.
Madison Rising’s name is an homage to James Madison, America’s fourth president. They celebrated his birthday on March 16 with a prayer.
“We had a special gathering at rehearsal, we did a little prayer, a thank you for James Madison,” they said.