The lead singer of Drive-By Truckers, Patterson Hood, admits that he fits right into Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” – at least on paper. He’s a middle-aged white guy from north Alabama and frontman of a Southern rock band. But nothing scares Hood more than a potential Donald Trump presidency.
“We’re supposed to hold democracy as this beacon of light to the rest of the world,” Hood told CNN’s John Vause in a recent interview. “If we elect somebody like that, it’s gonna make people question, ‘maybe their queen’s not so bad.’”
Still, Hood said he can empathize with some of Trump’s supporters.
“I understand some frustration as far as people feeling disenfranchised and their businesses moving away,” he said. “But at the same time, I can’t really quite fathom coming to that conclusion.”
The Drive-By Truckers just released their eleventh album “American Band,” and their frustrations with the current state of the country are seemingly uncorked with every note. On the album, the band pulls no punches when it comes to race relations, gun violence, crooked corporations and political fear-mongering.
Hood said he see parallels with Trump and the late governor of his home state, George Wallace.
“They both tapped into a seething anger that was under the surface and was able to catapult that into their own power,” Hood said. “It’s scary.”
Racial strife is a theme that runs through “American Band.”
“The song I wrote, ‘What it Means,’ unfortunately doesn’t have any answers. But it asks a lot of questions. I look at that song as the beginning of a conversation that, perhaps, we all need to have. I think white people are afraid to talk about race. Maybe it’s time for us to get past that, too.”
Hood hopes his new music is a start.
“This fear of the other – and I think as long as you have politicians who are stoking that fear of their other for their own means – it just drags it out and makes the healing take longer.”