Ben Gibbard wrote his first political song to protest Donald Trump
"Million Dollar Loan" was released as part of the "30 Day 30 Songs" project
Thirty musicians from around the nation have joined forces to release thirty songs protesting Donald Trump — one on each day of the last month before the November 8 election.
The “30 Days, 30 Songs” project was launched by author Dave Eggers and so far, includes songs like “Million Dollar Loan” by Death Cab for Cutie, “With Love From Russia” by Bhi Bhiman, “Same Old Lie” by Jim James and “Demagogue” by Franz Ferdinand.
“I firmly believe that Donald Trump is the most offensive and dangerous presidential candidate we’ve ever had, certainly in the 20th century,” Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard told CNN in a phone interview last week.
“I am not supporting a candidate in as much as I’m voting against Donald Trump,” he added.
Ahead of the interview, Gibbard had just heard that Trump criticized the appearance of one of the women who are accusing the Republican presidential nominee of sexual assault.
“Unbelievable, absolutely unbelievable,” Gibbard said, before launching into a tirade against Trump and explaining why for the first time throughout his music career, he has chosen to get political.
The Seattle native, who was also the frontman of the Postal Service, has been making music for decades, but “Million Dollar Loan” is the first political song he has ever recorded.
The song was inspired by Trump’s story that he got his start in business in Brooklyn with a “small loan of a million dollars,” given to him by his father.
Gibbard said that while “there’s almost too much material,” for protest songs against Trump, that particular moment especially “enraged” him.
“The fact that he would choose to share that story in an attempt to relate to Americans and specially to working class Americans, I found so egregious,” Gibbard said, “to refer to a sum of money that most people will never see in their lifetime as ‘small,’ to use this as a feeble attempt to relate and prop yourself up as some sort of self-made billionaire — absolutely outrageous.”
A message left with Trump’s campaign for comment was not returned.
Gibbard said that he has “empathy” for Trump supporters and can relate to their dissatisfaction with Washington, but slammed what he calls “the racist, mysoginistic and xenophobic rhetoirc that has come out of (Trump’s) mouth and by proxy, the mouth of his supporters.”
The musician was a supporter of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders during the primary, who also rallied against the establishment, but Gibbard said that he Sanders’ platforms were too “idealistic” to become reality in today’s political climate.
“I appreciate (Sanders) bringing all of these issues to the table,” Gibbard said, but added that he was unable to “latch on completely to his campaign” in the same way he is unable to passionately rally behind Clinton.
“I’m voting for Hillary Clinton, there’s no doubt about that,” Gibbard said, “But I’m disappointed in the choices we were given.”