THE HARD R: GOD FORBID’S DALLAS COYLE ON THE 2004 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION AND DIMEBAG’S MURDER
It’s The Environment, Stupid, Part 3
Last week I talked about our near collapse to oblivion and how it affected our writing on Gone Forever. On Gone Forever we did Ozzfest and we did thirteen and a half weeks with our good friends in Machine Head. We toured for three weeks in the states and ten and a half weeks in Europe with MH. It was a crazy schedule.
On Gone Forever, we learned how to really write an album and how to grab live crowds by being on stage with the best bands that year. Watching Slipknot every day on Ozzfest and playing main support to Machine Head for three months really got our band to a new level. I’m sure many of you who saw us on Ozzfest to our more recent tours can say our band has become a much better band as far as live concert and making music is concerned. We’re a much more confident band because our experiences really allowed us to open up and become something more. Our environment of bigger and better truly catapulted us into writing our best record yet.
But this blog is more than that. This blog is also about Dimebag and how his unfortunate murder shaped Constitution Of Treason. On December 8th, 2004 a ton of shit was going on. The presidential election just happened and we all saw how fucking stupid Americans were on a general level when they re-elected the best comedian our soil has ever seen. I’ll never forget that stupid shit and how Europeans couldn’t understand how Americans could elect such a fool. I got tired of explaining the two Americas most of us know and why George W. was still our president. I live in NJ which is the melting pot of ALL things but in most places in America there is no such thing as a melting pot.
On December 8th we were playing in Serbia with Machine Head. It was about 9AM over there when I heard our guitar tech Nick talking about how Dimebag was murdered. Him, his girlfriend and one of his best friends worked at the Al Rosa in Ohio. All of us were typically stunned, saddened and just fucking mad. His girlfriend was the one who actually called the cops when the gunman killed all of those people. One of Nick’s best friends was one of the bodyguards who was murdered trying to save and protect everyone from the gunman. So this incident for all of us was a lot more personal than any of us ever could have imagined.
Through that day, I got to thinking about the state of the world, my place in it and just how fucked things are in general. After the election and Dimebag’s murder it made me realize how Americans don’t recognize the power within themselves and how they fall into a general state of apathy to fight their problems. What happened in America with Dimebag would’ve never happened anywhere else in the world. That’s a fact. John Lennon was killed by a crazed fan just like Dimebag on the same day of the year. John Lennon was British. I’m not shitting on America, I’m shitting on the people in America who act like they can’t change things. I’m shitting on the people who make decisions out of fear; the people who want the same taste of the week every week; the people who take up space and don’t give anything back except complaints and bad attitudes.
That’s where the album title Constitution Of Treason came from. Americans every day are writing a constitution of treason against their country they are supposed to love. They sit in their seats watching reality TV succumbing to the worker bee mentality. If something bad happens they are able to gloss it over as if it never mattered to them and never will because of all the shit there is to distract them. Apathy is their form of treason. Not standing up and saying what pisses them off; not saying what they see to be unacceptable. These are things people are not doing that cause our country to fall into a terrible trap of apathy.
That’s where Robb Flynn shows how much of an amazing person he is. He wrote ‘Aesthetics Of Hate’ to battle that asshole who wrote that terrible article about Dimebag. The journalist said he deserved to die because of his music. For all of us metal heads we know what Dimebag meant to us and how important he was to us as people. Since we make music the only thing we can do is use our music to put our message out there. Thank God for bands like Machine Head and Lamb Of God who use their messages to try to teach as well as entertain. There are a lot of bands that use it in a positive way.
Constitution was born of our environment of just a month. God Forbid never supported the war as everyone knows from our song “Anti-Hero.” But when Dimebag was murdered the war seemed small compared to the real problem we were facing as a nation. The problem was not George Bush. It wasn’t Muslims or Christians. It wasn’t illegal immigration or black on black violence. The problem was ourselves and how we allow our emotions to control us; how we live in fear of our government when they should live in fear of us. That’s how America was born. We have the right to bear arms so we can fight our government if they want to take control. We don’t have the right to bear arms to kill our fellow man.
Constitution is about being a patriot. It’s about reclaiming your liberty and your pursuit of happiness. The arm breaking off of the statue of liberty is a symbol for motherfuckers to wake up. Dimebag lived free and was so joyous but he was cut down by a violent coward. Most Americans are cowards:. The self-loathing black kids who use violence and intimidation as a form of power are cowards. White power supremacists who need a group of people to show how powerful they can be are cowards. Wall Street brokers who make money their God are cowards. Most of these people are not powerful. They have the illusion of power. It’s not the same thing.
Fortunately for us we had so many experiences from many years of making music together that we were able to put that message out there. I did an amazing interview for an Alaskan radio station and the interviewer said Constitution was in his top 5 records of all time. I was like,”Come on! Interview over!” But he said when he puts it on he doesn’t blame everyone else for his problems when he’s angry, he looks to see what he can do for himself. That interview blew me away. It was so crazy because that’s what the whole album was about. That’s why Constitution is our best album to date.