A shot snapped during "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
FP: Tell us a little bit about Afro-Punk and your current sound.
SW: I’ve known the organizers of the Afro-Punk event for many years, and I thought it was essential to participate because what they were doing is a safe haven for kids, especially those of a different color or who grew up in different areas, who listen to different kinds of music and have different influences and maybe skateboard — whatever it is that they do that makes them feel like they’re different or that they don’t fit in.
They’re told that they don’t fit in or they’re weird because they listen to Bad Brains or what have you. A lot of these kids usually end up feeling very alone and ostracized. So to create a little safe haven for these kids and say “Hey, actually you’re not alone — there are a lot of us all over the place and just because we are expected to listen to this or that kind of music doesn’t mean we have to.”
I’m glad to be a part of it, especially with this album because Niggy Tardust is all about the idea: I can’t let me or anybody else prevent me from becoming my fullest self in this lifetime. Which means that I can’t let my idea of race, my idea of gender— I can’t let any of those things get in the way. So I have to challenge myself beyond my comfort zone and allow the essence of myself to blossom and see where it leads me — where it takes me. This album is meant to inspire that. It’s about confident self expression in the face of uniformity.
FP: Those artists painting the murals on the dance floor were pretty cool. Tell us a little bit about that.
SW: Afro-Punk has started to reach out to a lot of visual artists. So they’ve been meeting us in every city we’ve been in and adding to those murals. They’re new artists, local artists. Every town that we’ve been to so far on this tour we’ve hooked up with local people — artists, DJs, skateboarders, local weirdos, and basically initiated them into the sense of knowing that we’re about the same stuff. You’re not alone, dude. You’re not weird.
Local artists painted this mural live on the dance floor.
Remaining tour dates: November 4: Atlanta, GA @ The Loft November 5: Orlando, FL @ The Social November 6: New Orleans @ House of Blues November 8: Boulder, CO @ Fox Theatre November 10: San Francisco, CA @ The Independent November 11: Santa Barbara, CA @ Velvet Jones November 12: San Diego, CA @ Delta Room/House of Blues November 13: Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy November 15: Portland, OR @ The Aladdin Theater November 16: Seattle, WA @ Neumos November 17: Vancouver, BC (details coming soon)