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"Shortly into his term as president I realized that he is truly a villain. in every sense. He's a liar. He's a conman. He's a chauvinist. He's a racist. He's homophobic. He's anti-science. He's anti-democratic. He's a thug. He's a thief. There have been other dastardly characters in American history, but none have reached such a high level of chicanery. I started to think of him as the "American villain." And, of course, I had to write a song about it. The song is as much about his followers as it is about him. That so many millions of seemingly normal people could find this sociopath appealing, much less someone to become slavishly devoted to, is mind-boggling, and sure to be a sickening topic for generations of psychoanalysts and sociologists to ponder. We will be rid of this villain sooner or later, but will be stuck with the problem of his cultists. So I think the song will remain relevant for quite some time, and hopefully serve as a cautionary tale of how (apparently) easy it is for some such charismatic thug to cause half the nation to swoon. You'll notice the villain isn't actually named in the song, but I trust that everyone - including his cultists - will know who it refers to."
INTERVIEWS FOR "AMERICAN VILLAIN"
PUNK HEAD January, 2024
Interview: American Villain (Remix) - Rusty Reid
Can you share any interesting or unique musical elements or production techniques used in "American Villain?"
Hello Punk Head, and thanks for the conversation. "American Villain" involves a very weighty topic, so I knew the chord structure, melody and instrumentation would have to verge on the dramatic. Yet I wanted it to remain raw and fairly stripped down. So it was a challenge to come up with that balance. Thankfully, Daniel Ribeiro of Sao Paolo, Brazil devised a brilliant backing track to base everything on, with swirling slide guitars, then I was able to add electric guitars where appropriate, and Brandon Davis on drums and Jack Williams on bass brought it all together. The instrumental break features me on electric lead guitar at first, then Daniel swoops off with his slides. I love that section. Several people have commented that it sounds "like a movie song," which I take as a high compliment.
What impact do you hope "American Villain" will have on your audience or the music industry?
I hope I'm not just singing to the choir with listeners who already know what dire straits we are in with all of these selfish, conservative autocrats mucking about around the globe, and that maybe the song will awaken some who haven't quite snapped to what is really going on. With the help of their own cults, plus the unawareness, uncaring and/or apathy which pervades in many nations, these would-be tyrants are using our liberal democratic systems to usurp power, and they don't want to let go of it. I doubt I will ever have any real impact on the music industry, but I do hope more artists will start getting serious about using their talent, art and voice to address these existential problems.
Was there any challenge that you encountered while making "American Villain?"
That challenge to craft lyrics, melody and instrumentation that was equal to the task of describing this great calamity was the primary concern. I had actually written a different song about the same subject, more or less, but it took a more traditional musical approach. So I ditched that one, and started anew. This song needed to be unique, not a cookie-cutter approach.
How do you approach the process of creating a new song or melody?
I've written songs in all kinds of ways. Usually, something gets it started. That can be a beat, a groove, a riff, a snippet of lyrics, a title, a theme. Early in my songwriting efforts, I would have no idea whatsoever what I was going to work on, but just bang around on guitar or piano until something emerged. For some years now I've come into the writing process with at least a vague idea of theme, still no concrete vision of how it should develop, but at least a firm starting point. This one started with a theme, the "American Vilain," and everything flowed out of that. Sometimes songs will start coming together in kind of a rote, or clonish, manner. That can be true of chord structure and melody and lyrics. As the song begins to emerge, I'll begin the process of figuring out how to break away from the clone and make it more original. So you start thinking of what alternate chords you could use, and that usually points the way to a more interesting melody. I prefer that all my melodies be all-original. Same with lyrics. I detest singing words that have been sung before.
Do you have a favorite song that you've performed or recorded? What makes it special to you?
I don't really have one song that I favor over all the others. Certain songs have components that I really like. For instance, "Rio Frio" may be my best melody. "To Find Me," is a mystical lyric, but the melody is kind of standard. "Head to Heart," is a very spiritual lyric, plus it has a strong melody. I think "The Meaning of Life" is one of my better efforts, lyrically and musically. If I've released it, I think it's a strong song. I'm creatively and emotionally attached to all of these that are out there. That's nowhere near close to all of my songs. Most of those I regard as "noble failures." They won't be released. I don't want any "fillers" in my catalog. Some of my original songs (and cover tunes, as well) are easier to play in my solo show than others. That's pretty much what determines what's in the set: what I can play and sing the easiest.
THE INDIE GRID with Matt Warren - January, 2024
DECODING 'AMERICAN VILLAIN' - RUSTY REID UNVEILS THE MEANINGS BEHIND THE SONG
Welcome to an exclusive interview with Rusty Reid, the visionary artist seamlessly blending rock with a hint of country, known for his politically-charged singles such as 'The United States of Selfishness' and his latest release, 'American Villain.' Coming out of the vibrant city of Seattle, Rusty fearlessly confronts the urgent issues of our era, channeling a raw and unfiltered commentary into his music. Today, we embark on a deep exploration of the inspiration and creative process behind his most recent work, delving into the profound messages intricately woven into his thought-provoking compositions.
HEY RUSTY, IT'S GREAT TO CHAT WITH YOU AGAIN. CAN YOU TELL US WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE 'AMERICAN VILLAIN' AND WHAT MESSAGE YOU HOPE LISTENERS TAKE AWAY FROM IT?
Sure, Matt. And thanks for the chat. You know when Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016 the sane half of America was aghast because we thought he was a buffoon. But as his term in office unfolded, many of us realized he is not just a narcissistic clown, he's an evil narcissistic clown. He's so clueless he's actually outfront with it. He adores and envies Vladimir Putin. Virtual dictators Modi and Erdogan and the Saudi prince are his buddies, and he swaps "love letters" (his phrase) with Kim Jong Un. I'm a bit of history buff, and I began to look back through American history and we don't really have a super-villain. Until now. 'American Villain' was actually written four months before the 2020 election, so I wasn't sure if we were soon to be rid of him or not. And as I was writing the lyrics I had no idea that he was saving the worst for last, actually orchestrating a campaign of devilish deceit and inciting a violent effort to overthrow American democracy. He tried to steal an election by claiming the other side had stolen it. When you think about it, that's diabolically evil. It's one thing to commit a crime, and additional ignominy when you try to pin it on some innocent party.
But there is something even more alarming, even more diabolically evil than Trump himself. That's his cult. My song is about them, too. At some point we will be rid of this charlatan, but what about his cult? That organism is potentially immortal! And they, too, are villains. I'm not a fan of the Jesus cult (or any religion), but he did have some great ideas. One of those was, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." This is a quick, easy and accurate litmus test of what is moral, fair, just. And these people are trampling all over that concept, not to mention pretty much everything else their "Lord and Savior" had to say. This is no real surprise, because conservatives don't really believe in anything other than I-Me-Mine. They believe what feels good. Their hypocrisy is miles deep. You can take any characteristic of Trump, or a snapshot of any particular thing he said or did, and flip it around so that a Democrat was and did these things, and they would go apoplexic. Conservatives would be outraged and up in arms if the Democrats, the liberals, had acted the very way they have. It's not that liberals aren't subject to hypocrisy themselves, but they are capable of self-reflection and actually do aspire to higher ideals. For sure, if a liberal boasted about grabbing pussy, gushed racist tropes, cozied up to dictators, spewed lies like a Gatling gun, demonized science or threatened democracy, they would have no future within the party. The more I study history the more I realize conservativism is the Ideology of Seflishness. What conservatives conserve is their own advantage, privilege and power. Nothing else. They don't play well with others. In this country, they believe they are the "real" Americans and "real" Christians, but actually are the worst of both. Indeed, they are anti-American and anti-Christian. And the proof of this fact is that they swooned for a blatant conman who embodies all of the Seven Deadly Sins.
I could go on and on, but suffice to say I had to write a song about the debacle, and hope that I'm not just singing with the choir but that some listeners may think a little harder or deeper about this wholly evil phenomenon - which, sadly, is not confined to the United States. I hope they will lend their voice and vote to stand up against the rising tide of authoritarianism, at best, real, deadly fascism, at worst. That this horrid and dangerous ideology is rising right at the very time that humanity needs to come together to solve the worst dilemma it has ever faced - environmental disaster - makes you want to just vomit. We are now in a complete cluster you-know-what. But, very importantly, let me just add that we liberals must not become them, we cannot lower ourselves to hate. We cannot abandon virtue. We must shun violence toward other living beings if at all possible. We can defend ourselves and what is good and right about the world, but we have to do it from a perspective of love, love of people, love of life (all life), love of the planet, love for the Universe. All of these people who are believing and behaving in such hurtful ways are misguided souls, they have been abudcted and emprisoned by the Ideology of Selfishness, which tries to get us too if we are not careful. We are liberals. We liberate. They need liberating. Love conquers, in the end. Hopefully.
CAN YOU SHARE INSIGHTS INTO YOUR WRITING PROCESS FOR 'AMERICAN VILLAIN?' DID YOU START WITH LYRICS OR MUSIC AND THEN HOW DID IT FURTHER DEVELOP FROM THERE?
There was an earlier song, simply titled, 'Trump,' that I dashed out, but decided it wasn't what I wanted or needed. When the 'American Villain' phrase came into my head, the lyrics flowed out pretty easily. For the music, I figured this needs to be dark and dramatic, raw and stripped down, but maybe is intersected with a ray of hope. The basic chordal structure I had been noodling with for over a year, and couldn't find words for. So when the lyrics to 'American Villain' came flowing out, I wondered if those chords would be appropriate, and sure enough, a match. I worked up a rough demo and sent it to my friend Daniel Ribeiro, a multi-instrumentalist down in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Daniel had worked on a few other songs of mine, and it's like he sprinkles magic. He sent back more or less a full backing track with basic drums and bass, and those soaring slide guitars and keyboards. It just blew me away. The simple drums were replaced by Brandon Davis in Los Angeles, and one of my old Houston bandmates, Jack Williams who now is in the Dallas area, worked up a super cool bass part. I added electric guitars, and the vocals, and we had a record.
IN YOUR OPINION, HOW DOES 'AMERICAN VILLAIN' DIFFER FROM YOUR PREVIOUS POLITICALLY-CHARGED SINGLE, 'THE UNITED STATES OF SELFISHNESS?
I think of them as siblings. 'The United States of Selfishness' was written shortly after 'American Villain.' And, it has a kindred theme. But this time we are taking a wider view, beyond a single person and his cult, and looking at social and political conservatism as a long and continuing threat. The slavers, the Indian killers, settlers rampaging across the continent, the Tories, the Confederates, the Ku Klux Klan, the Robber Barons, the commie witch-hunters, the corporate pirates, conservatives and all. Musically, these two songs are very different in soundscape and demeanor. While 'American Villain' is energetic and dramatic and charges defiantly into the fray, 'The United States of Selfishness' is a more contemplative lament with a fairly traditional chordal and melodic structure. Totally different set of players, as well. For this one I used a couple of Nashville cats, Jed Demlow on keyboards setting the mood, and Jason Roller on guitars. I'm playing along on electric guitar (you can hear me on the left channel), but that's Jason on that amazing lead break. And my vocal approach is a little different on this song, a little huskier. It also has no background vocals. I felt it should remain just a single voice pleading this case.
DO YOU THINK IT'S CRUCIAL FOR MUSICIANS AND ARTISTS TO ADDRESS POLITICAL AND SOCIAL ISSUES THROUGH THEIR WORK AND WHY?
I do. I think it's crucial for every thinking adult to get involved and help address these multiple existential crises that we are facing, rising fascism and impending environmental disaster being the immediate very deadly threats. There are others: among them wealth disparity and our horrendous, cancer-causing, heart attack prompting, life shortening, planet ravaging diet. But our very societies are now threatened with dissolution. And this might not even matter so much if this planet becomes pretty much unlivable. Hello? Wake up! This is an all hands on deck timeframe in human history. We really are in multiple "cultural wars," and to stand by and do nothing, to pretend it isn't happening, to absolve yourself from any responsibility - for society, for your nation, for your world - is a form of extreme and absurd selfishness, and I would say, really, insanity. Certainly, with their platforms, their potentially very loud voices, artists and celebrities and politicians and other luminaries should figure out what side they are on and get into the fray. For artists, not every painting has to be "Guernica," not every song has to be "Ohio," not every novel has to be "The Grapes of Wrath," not every play has to be "Hamilton," but lend your voice, demonstrate you know what's going on, show you have some values and ideals you are willing to stand for, even if it loses you some audience, some dollars. If you aspire to the least bit of real gravitas, you can't be twirling on stage singing songs about how sexy you are while the world is burning.
HAVING RELEASED THE IMPACTFUL SINGLES 'THE UNITED STATES OF SELFISHNESS' AND 'AMERICAN VILLAIN,' WHAT CAN LISTENERS EXPECT FROM YOU NEXT? ARE THERE ANY UPCOMING PROJECTS OR THEMES YOU PLAN TO EXPLORE IN YOUR FUTURE MUSIC?
Yep, lots coming up. First, I'm remixing and will soon re-release my 2019 album 'Head to Heart.' This is its fifth anniversary. I have learned a lot about mixing since then and wanted to spiff it up so it sounds better. It's my most important album. Every song is either philosophical, political and/or spiritual (not religious). I call it a "Revolutionary Manifesto in Song," as it calls for great transformation of the individual and society so that we might all live in peace and harmony and sustainability and in love with each other and the rest of the world. A stretch? Hell yes. But if we don't have some blueprint or framework for how all this all could work, if we just try, then we will never even get started. Certainly what we are doing now, and have been doing for millennia, has not worked out very well on the peace and love front. I also have three other albums, and a smattering of singles, already recorded and just awaiting final touches. Those will be released in the coming months and years. And then, yapping at me for attention, are a couple of books I've been slowly but surely compiling. At some point, I need to hammer those out.
AND, FINALLY, FOR FUN. WITH THE INTENSE THEMES IN YOUR RECENT RELEASES, IF YOU COULD CHOOSE ANY UNCONVENTIONAL SETTING OR SCENARIO FOR A LIVE PERFORMANCE OF 'AMERICAN VILLAIN,' WHAT/WHERE WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
Ha. Well, I would hope it would be part of a concert, and not just a one-off, but the best place probably would be on the Mall of the U.S. Capitol, the very spot where Trump egged on his crowd to attack the symbol of American democracy, ideals and aspirations. His mob intended to rip down the most sacred precepts of our nation. America has never fully actualized those founding ideals - liberty, equality, justice for ALL. But 'American Villain' is a retort to the traitors. you'll have to get past us first, because we are still determined to get there. And bring your selfish asses along with us into a better world for all.
And there you have it. Rusty fearlessly navigates the turbulent waters of contemporary politics, urging us all to wake up and face the challenges that threaten the very fabric of our society. As he teases upcoming projects and themes, we eagerly anticipate the continued impact of Rusty's music on our collective consciousness. Keep your ears tuned for more from this artist who refuses to stay silent in the face of injustice and strives to create a soundtrack for change. Thanks Rusty.
Q&A: Rusty Reid
Can you introduce yourself?
Hello Tongue Tied. Thanks for the interview! Yes, I'm an American singer-songwriter, orginally from Texas, now living in the Pacific Northwest. No "genre" will have me because I won't stay loyal. But my style is kind of a mishmash of folk, pop and country-rock. I'm mainly a guitar player, so there's usually some cool licks going on in my songs, either mine or other great guitarists that play with me. My voice has been compared to Roy Orbinson, Tom Petty and Elvis Costello. Make sense of that if you can. I'm a huge Beatles fan, so I try to emulate how they hardly ever wrote two songs alike, always had great melodies and said interesting things. Not all, but quite a few of my songs are philosophical, politlcal and/or spiritual (not religious). If you'd like to know what the Meaning of Life is, or learn about the history of the universe in one song, I've got you covered.
Can you describe "American Villain" in three words?
Hmm. that's a toughie. Let me select three words from the song. How about; "A conservative plague!"
What were the first and last parts of "American Villain" to be written?
Well, the title came first. American Villain. In our history, we've never had such a flawed and evil person arise to such heights of infamy. The lyrics pretty much flowed out from that. The melody came last. I was tweaking that right up to the recording.
What's your favorite lyric or production element of "American Villain"?
I was pretty excited as the lyrics flowed. Several times I was like, "Wow, did I write that?" But I'd probably say this line sums up what is actually going on with Trump and his followers: "He gives them what they need, supremacy guaranteed, their advantage supercedes American democracy."
As for the production, multi-instrumentalist Daniel Ribeiro down in Sao Paolo, Brazil game up with the moody, swirly background, and he is playing those sensational slide guitars and moog synth.
Did you learn anything new about yourself while creating this song?
Well, when you are writing a song that is non-fiction, that's about extremely important current events, you want it to not have any weakness, no baloney, no phoniness. It's got to be almost perfect, or else it stands to be mercilessly ridiculed. Not that this one won't be, but they will be wrong. So the sheer gravity of this one was pretty intense. And I can be my worst critic. So, I think I succeeded, and that's what is important. Any artist's only real responsiblity is to themselves, no one else.
Is there a certain place that you feel the most creative in?
Not particularly. I've moved around quite a bit, but I've written songs I still like in my hometown in Texas and in Nashville and Houston and Los Angeles, and now i"m based outside of Seattle. I think I'm writing and singing and playing better than ever, but I don't really ascribe that to this geographical area, but more to my evolution emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. Not that this area isn't incredibly beautiful and inspiring. It's the best match for my personality I've found.
What was on your playlist as you worked on "American Villain"?
Probably Bluewater Highway. It's a Texas band that I really like. Or maybe Larkin Poe. Love those ladies.
If you could transport listeners to the perfect location to hear"American Villain" for the first time, what would that place be?
I'd say the Mall of the United States Capitol. That's a long stretch of park that runs from the Capitol building to the Lincoln Memorial. That's the very spot where Trump, after lying about the 2020 election being stolen, egged on his suporters to attack the symbol of American democracy, and attmpe to overthrow 240 something years of this liberal political experiment. As we listened to "American Villain" we could be looking right at the Capitol and thinking of how close we came to true evil almost destroying our nation.
If you had to describe your music to someone who couldn't hear, how would you describe it?
One reviewer called me "All of the Wilbury's rolled into one!" I love that. Don't know how true that really is, but my style is an amalgamation alright. I didn't plan it like this. I was going to be the Beatles or Glen Campbell or Tom Petty or Paul Simon, but somehow just ended up being me. Who could have guessed?
What comes next for you?
I'm currently remixing by 2019 album, "Head to Heart." I've learned a lot about mixing in the past five years and figure I should really get my most important album sounding better. I call that album a 'Revolutionary Manifesto in Song!" The new version will be released soon. Then I've got a lot more material pretty much ready to go. It just needs some minor tweaking and that will be released down the road a bit.
Make sure to listen to American Villain on Spotify and follow Rusty Reid on social media to see what he's up to next!
By Jeremy Bregman
Where do I begin when it comes to Seattle-based indie artist Rusty Reid? It was his 2023 album 'Bayou Line (Songs from Houston)' that launched my affection for the musician, and in turn, got me exploring some of his earlier work like 'NWXSW'. Most recently, however, Rusty has been delivering pointedly political tunes with the likes of 'The United States of Selfishness' and 'American Villian'.
Keen to get to know Reid better, I was honoured when he agreed to an interview! Going in-depth about his most recent two singles, his admiration for acts and artists like Chuck Berry, Roy Orbison, Hank Williams, and The Beatles, and what "being successful" in the industry looks like to him, please give a big welcome to our friend Rusty Reid!
Hi Rusty, it's awesome to finally have the opportunity to chat with you! We've been following your work for quite some time now. Before we get into the nitty-gritty, please tell us a little bit about your musical journey. When did your love affair with music begin?
Hey Jeremy. Thanks for the discussion. My earliest memory is when I was two years old and my dad and I were out in the backyard in the snow with our two black cocker spaniels running around us. I'm not sure I was into music at that point, but it wasn't long after that I became mesmerized (isn't that a great word?) by it. My dad's side of the family was not very musical, even though he had played tuba in his high school band. But my mom's side made up for it and then some. Seems like all of her relatives were either players or singers or both. She was a good singer, played the piano, and had an eclectic batch of records, which after graduating from "children's music" by the age of four or five, I glommed on to. This was Elvis and Nat King Cole and Hank Williams and such. And the local hero in West Texas at that time was Roy Orbison, who was from Wink, Texas, about 30 miles from my hometown of Midland. So I was exposed to all of that, plus whatever was on Top Forty radio, and couldn't get enough of it.
I actually resisted when my mom decided I was going to take piano lessons. But then loved it. Still, I kind of always thought of it as just a hobby, not something very serious. That changed when my mom brought the album 'Meet the Beatles' home. She used to say it was the biggest mistake she ever made because it certainly launched me into a different orbit than she would have preferred. She could have been John Lennon's Aunt Mimi, thinking, "The guitar is alright, but you'll never earn your living by it." Aunt Mimi was, umm, wrong about that. But, so far, looks like my mom may have been right.
Your latest tune 'American Villain' is an all-out assault on the twice-impeached, four-times-indicted former president of America, Donald Trump. Can you elaborate on the emotions and convictions that drive 'American Villain'?
Absolutely! As you know, good old America is currently split in its evaluation of this individual. Seems about half think he is "sent by God." And the other half is aghast by this buffonish creature, and even more alarmed by his allure to our fellow citizens. It is at the same time bizarre, confusing and sickening. What is going on here? It makes zero rational sense. It's all visceral. It's all emotional. I wouldn't have believed it could happen. Not here in America. We were making such good progress not long before when we elected a guy named Barack Hussein Obama as president (twice). Now look at us. It's pathetically absurd. Hitler at least looked the part of a villain. Dumpy Trump, with his orange makeup, garish ducktail, wimpy voice, wandering ignorance and fountain of easily refuted lies, is just a cartoon. He would be hilarious if he was not the most dangerous cartoon we have seen in American history.
This man has already badly wounded America, and therefore, as we are in some senses the "leader of the free world," the entire planet. His MAGA movement, which is just an escalation of the worst of conservative impulses that pre-existed, has set us back 50 years or more (his three Supreme Court appointees could well muck things up for generations). Not to mention the damage he has done to the efforts to combat Global Warming. And now here he is again, poised to get right back into the White House. If you believe in liberal democracy, it is a cruel joke, travesty and disaster rolled into one. Seems like an all-hands-on-deck moment for those who actually believe in American ideals, or just plain old sanity. Alas, I'm not sure enough people understand the real situation.
'The United States of Selfishness' was another track of yours that really stood out personally. What does the song mean to you and do you remember its "birth" so to speak?
Yeah, I think of these two songs as siblings. Both are pointedly political, addressing much the same problems and were both written about the same time, with 'American Villain' coming out first. It then inspired 'The United States of Selfishness,' which addresses the wider dilemma of perennial conservative resistance to moral progress. This has been going on for centuries, indeed, millennia. Every stitch of moral progress made in human history has been achieved by liberals liberating, and staunchly, often viciously, opposed by conservatives conserving. What do conservatives conserve? Only one thing: their own advantage, privilege and power. Nothing else. Liberals seek to liberate individuals (and even things. animals, the environment, etc.) from conservatives conserving. So this has established a dynamic that is ever present and ongoing. If you read history as such, it makes perfect sense, and it's the only way to understand the commonality between all the issues that conservatives claim to be concerned about. Just poke through the icing, and you'll find that cake is pure selfishness. No surprise. Conservatism is the Ideology of Selfishness.
Of course, it's not just America that faces this dichotomy. Every nation does. What is singularly diabolical about America's conservatives is that they are so defiantly determined to undermine what this nation was founded upon: Liberty, Equality, and Justice for ALL. We the People. They think of themselves as superior, and thus judge themselves the "real" Americans (and also "real" Christians), when in fact they are anti-American. They are the "rot in the belly," and have been since the Tories, the Confederates, the Ku Klux Klan and a litany of other villains throughout American, and world, history. Who killed Socrates? Conservatives. Who killed Jesus? Conservatives. Who killed Bruno? Conservatives. Who killed Joan? Conservatives. Who killed Martin Luther King Jr.? Conservatives. Who started the Crusade? Conservatives. Who started the last two world wars? Conservatives. Who will start the next one? Conservatives. Where are the violent hotspots in the world today? Wherever the most conservative conservatives are in charge.
Who are some of your biggest musical influences? Who did you grow up listening to? And would you say that your tastes have changed over the years?
I'm a child of the 1960s, so very influenced by that era of music. There was an innocence, hopefulness, and positivity to so many of those songs, and even the propagation of spiritual (not religious) concepts such as universal love and harmony. That kind of mystic thinking had rarely, if ever, been part of popular music. Suddenly "peace and love" was everywhere. So much positive seemed to be happening in the Sixties, including Civil Rights, which in the music sphere manifested as Black artists not being excluded as before but being brought right into the mainstream of the Top Forty. Environmentalism became a thing. and you had songs extolling Mother Nature. The hippies enshrined women's rights, free love, and "unisexual" approaches to everyday life, and I think this helped spark the LGBTQ movement, which had its beginnings in that era. My particular heroes, after Chuck Berry and Roy Orbison and Hank Williams and The Beatles, were Simon & Garfunkel, The Doors, Glen Campbell, Jimi Hendrix, The Band, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Cream, and later The Eagles, Tom Petty, Elvis Costello. And many others. I've always been open to the latest and greatest.
I do think my tastes have matured and further diversified over the years, but I still look for melody, interesting chord structure, singular voices, cool guitars, an organic "style," and great musicianship. I don't like clones, and I'm afraid I do find too much "modern" music very clonish. Not to mention entirely vapid in theme and lyrics.
Einstein famously said, "If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician." If you were not a musician, what would you be?
Yeah, Einstein would have probably have taken music into the cosmos. He would have come up with some stuff! It's probably not entirely a coincidence that musicians like Brian May and Brian Cox became astrophysicists. Actually, I don't really consider myself a musician. I noodle around on guitar on keyboards, and I think I have some talent for melody and coming up with catchy licks that serve the song. But it would be an insult to real musicians to put me in that category. I guess I consider myself first and foremost, a songwriter. And secondly, a singer. I hit the right note more often than not.
But wondering what I was going to "be when you grow up," was kind of looking dubious for a while there when I was a pre-teen. I looked around at all the men I knew, and what they did for a living, and thought to myself, "Ugh. I don't want to do that!" Then The Beatles came on the Ed Sullivan Show, and I watched it in awe and said, "That's what I want to do." And so set off on this long, strange musical-philosophic-political-spiritual journey, upon which I feel like I'm still carrying the banner, the spirit, the head and the heart of those crazy Sixties.
What would "being successful" in the music industry look like for you? And do you see it as an imperative or more of a cherry on top?
I think any artist must consider "success" just creating something that they feel "succeeded" as art, as some pretty close approximation of their original vision and goal. That's the baseline, which is not always easy to reach, especially as most great artists are their own worst critics. Still, nobody else counts in the scheme of your own art. Everything else beyond your own approval as an artist that comes to us is that "cherry on top." The "cake" is what you as the artist think of the piece. If one other person likes it, great. If millions of people like it, great. If you make $10 million on it, great. If you make nothing on it, great. If you go in the hole making it, great. It can make you rich and have people fawning all over you, but it's still a failure if you, as the artist, and as the creator, don't think the creation actually succeeds. Not that I've ever experienced anything like this scenario just described. I'm sure being able to buy a Maserati or a mansion with your "failed" art goes a long way to assuaging your disappointment.
As for myself, I'm not in the music "industry." I get what you are saying, and the "industry" is a real thing. But I'm not commercial. I'm not a product. I'm not a part of the "star-making machinery" Joni Mitchell described. No corporation can own, sell, or hurt me. My stuff is for sale, but barely, and it's "art," not a commodity. I'm so far in the hole money-wise in this "business," that I'll never break even. I'm just doing this for me, and throwing it out there for anyone else to maybe notice and enjoy, or not. Of course, it is gratifying when people respond positively, but if I were to ever throw something out there that I knew wasn't that good, wasn't up to my standards, and people swooned over it, I would think, "Well thanks, but you're wrong."
If you were allowed to collaborate with one musician or band, who would you choose?
I've been asked this question before, and I answered The Byrds. They were right up my country-rock alley, and I think my songwriting and voice might have melded well in that situation. But reflecting on this possibility further, I remembered a near-miss in my own real life. A singer/songwriter named Emitt Rhodes was very influential to me back in the early 1970s. He put out five dazzling albums and was one of the pioneers of home recording. Do check him out. But, speaking of the "industry,' it chewed up Emitt, leaving him jaded, disappointed, and broke, having had his music stolen by the record label.
Well, fast forward two decades and I was living in a suburb of L.A. called Hawthorne. Yep, the hometown of The Beach Boys. And also, Emitt Rhodes. I had entirely forgotten that Emitt was from Hawthorne. Nor did I know that, while The Beach Boys had long since moved to Malibu, Emitt still lived in Hawthorne. This was pre-internet, so you couldn't just look people up, though, if I had thought to look, he was right there in the frickin' phone book! Only years later, after I had moved to the Pacific Northwest did I finally research Emitt's whereabouts on the internet and learn that he lived two blocks away from me in Hawthorne. I could have walked over there and knocked on his door! What if I had? Would he have come over to my house for a good home-cooked meal? Would I have been able to cajole him to get back to writing and recording? Would we have written songs together? Would we have formed a band? Would we have recorded together? Magic might have ensued in one way or another. Emitt finally released one last great album in 2016, and he died in 2020. We never met. Oh, if I could travel back in time to when I was living in Hawthorne and learn that the great Emitt Rhodes is hanging out two blocks away.
Thanks again for chatting with us Rusty! It's been great getting to know you a bit better. Before we let you go, what comes next for you musically?
Yes, thanks again, Jeremy. I'm re-mixing my 2019 album, 'Head to Heart,' which I consider my opus. I call it a 'Revolutionary Manifesto in Song.' It's the fifth anniversary of that album, and I've learned so much about mixing in the meantime, I feel like I really should go back and spiff up this album. Every song on it is either philosophical, political and/or spiritual (not religious). That re-mix will be released this year. I've also got at least three other albums pretty much in the can, they just need tweaking. That material will be released down the road a bit. Hope you will continue to give a listen.
Interview With RUSTY REID
Your latest track 'American Villian' is out now. How has the reception been so far?
Hi, Our Sound, great to talk with you. Yes, the reception has been very positive, which is a bit surprising. I expected more channels and zines to shy away from it. And some have, for sure. But many more have waded right in and taken it on. It's cool that so many appreciate the message, but an added bonus that they like the production as well. So that works for me.
Based in Seattle, what is the scene like there?
The "Seattle" scene is really more like a "Pacific Northwest" scene because Tacoma and Olympia and Portland and Vancouver, British Columbia are all nearby. A lot of back and forth among these population centers, and the music kind of blends together. It's a healthy musical ecosystem overall. We've got strong blues and jazz and Americana vibes going on up here, and, of course, this is where American "garage rock" and later "grunge" was invented, so there are guitars and drums plenty still bashing around. It's not as competitive, or driven, as some other scenes I've witnessed. There is a lot of local pride in the importance and originality of our successful acts from the Ventures, the Wailers, the Sonics, Jimi Hendrix, Heart, Nirvana and the other 90s groups, Macklemore and Brandi Carlile more recently, and others. There's a lot of comaraderie and support, especially in the singer-songwriter category. In some places it seems like the goal is to make it big and get outta there. Here, very few want to leave. Everybody kind of understands that we are already in the best section of the United States. Paradoxicallly, that hasn't prevented some famous suicides, which itself lends a mysterious somberness to the generally fun-loving scene.
What other bands or musicians influence your songwriting?
A whole lot of them. I am a connoisseur of songwriters. Certainly the Beatles are the leading influence for me. Not that I've ever written a song like theirs, but the notion of never being a clone, even of yourself, every song is different, every melody and production unique and never before heard in the world, saying interesting things. I think, as a child, I absorbed enough Hank Williams and Buddy Holly to be kind of rooted in their type of story-telling and simple, but unique, melody. In my wildest dreams I could write lyrics like Bob Dylan or lyrics and music like Paul Simon. Then there's Jimmy Webb. Tom Petty. Stephen Stills and David Crosby. Andy Partridge and Colin Moulden. So many others comparatively unsung. For instance, I love the writing of Justin Currie of Del Amitri. That guy is severely underrated. I could go on and on about songwriters. They are a special breed of Earthling.
What was the writing process behind this new single?
Half of America was shocked and dismayed when this obvious charlatan was elected president in 2016. But most thought, "Let's give him a chance. Maybe he won't be so bad." And then he promptly kicked all trans people out of the military, and we pretty much knew this was going to go downhiull. We didn't know how bad it would actually get. We've never really had a super-villain in our national history. Well, unless you want to lump all the slavers and Indian killers together in a toxic ball. Sometime between his praise of Putin and love affair with Kim Jong Un, I realized this is the most evil major political figure in our history. He is our "American Villain." The lyrics to the song just flowed out from that phrase, and then I matched it up with a slightly older chord structure and melody I had been working on. Then the arrangement was mostly facilitated by multi-instrumentalist Daniel Ribeiro in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Daniel is playing those spooky slide guitar parts. And Brandon Davis, of Los Angeles, and Jack Williams, of Dallas, really nail the drums and bass respectively. I'm singing and playing the lead guitar bits here and there.
What can new listeners of Rusty Reid expect when listening?
They can expect a well-crafted song. I'm a songwriter, first and foremost. Secondly, a singer. And last and least, a musician (guitar usually, but sometimes everything). A goodly proportion of my songs are philosophical, political and/or spiritual (not religoius). I've written my share of personal relationship songs, but more and more I'm leaning toward universal themes and concepts. The meaning of life? The history of the universe in a single song? How to love Mother Earth? Why religion is not spiritual? Just how horrible is our culture? I've got you covered.
What are your plans for 2024?
So my back-to-back politically-charged singles, "The United States of Selfishness" and "American Villain" just came out recently. I consider them siblings, covering some of the same contextual ground, one looking at the overall harm that conservatism brings to our culture, and the other focusing on one particular individual and his cult. Promotion for those is winding down. Presently I'm re-mixing my 2019 album, "Head to Heart," which is my most important work in total. Every song on that album is philosophical, political and/or spiritual (not religoius). It's my opus. I call it a "Revolutionary Manifesto in Song." I've learned a lot about mixing in that five years, and felt like this album is important enough to try to improve sonically. I've also got about three albums of material more or less finished. I'll be releasing that in the near future, as well. Hope you can join me on this grand adventure into what is really important, what is really meaningful, what is truly beautiful, and what is not and that we should stop doing.
Interview With RUSTY REID
'American Villain' Will Charge You up to Pick Up Your Weapons And Get Ready to Fight!
February 9, 2024
Rusty Reid is a Seattle-based artist who is known for his intricate genre-bending creations that are based on modern liberal philosophical, political, and spiritual content. This is one of those artists who uses his unique musicality to create art that will bring about a change. He often talks about all the things that are wrong with our generation and humanity in general and this is what sets him apart from the crowd. I fell in love with this artist's innovations which are mesmerising. The way Rusty blends rock with country and pop music is sheer magic! This is something to discover for sure.
"Rusty Reid is going to be the epicenter of the earthquake that'll wake everyone up from their fantasy worlds!"
I recently discovered this artist and was hooked on his musical sense immediately. His recent release, 'American Villain' is one of his best works yet and my personal favorite from his discography. The track starts off with an elaborate guitar melody and then various elements flow in. The vocals are exquisite and the way he blends his vocals with the music will transport you to a whole different realm of reality. The drums are impactful and create the perfect backbone for the track. This is surely a track that you should listen to! Do give it a spin, you'll love it for sure!
We had a chance to have a little chat with the artist and here's how it went-
1. What is your favorite track?
I don't have a favorite track of my own. They are all like my little babies. They are all different. Some are silly. Some are funny. Some are sad. Some are happy. Some are in love. Some are mad. Some are hard to get along with. Some are very deep philsophically. I tend to write more of those lately. A good place to get to know me is my second album, "Head to Heart." That's my belief system encapsulated in one album. There's even an Indian music/spirituality-influenced song on it, "Sat Cit Ananda." Recently, I've brought the song "I Went Searching" into my live show, and audiences really seem to like it.
2. What is your biggest motivation to create music?
I think most artists just create to be creating. It's fun. It's what they do. They may not be very good at anything else, or even interested in anything else. To be "successful" as an artist, you only need please or impress yourself. Everything else is a bonus. Sometimes artists want to make a statement, and expect that others will react to that statement. But, really, all art is a statement, intended or not. Whatever notice, good or bad, that the art, or the statement the art is supposed to represent, receives from the public is essentially irrelevant to the piece itself. Its reason for being, and true worth, is known only by the artist. Of course, being commercially or critically successful in your art can make it easier to continue to be an artist and open up more opportunities, but even that does not speak to the actual quality of your art. Just because a lot of people like something doesn't make it great, or even good, or even not horrible. Look at McDonald's.
3. Being an artist, you might face a lot of criticism, how do you deal with them?
Yes, I have had diffculty with that. I didn't know this about art when I was younger. I mistakenly believed that what others thought about my art was more important than what I thought about it. I thought if others didn't like it that meant it was not very good. Then I learned the tale of Vincent Van Gogh, and realized I was totally wrong. Virtually nobody thought his paintings were very good during his entire lifetime. Now one of his paintings has sold for over $100 million. Sadly, it seems Vincent, himself, did not fully understand that his lack of "success" did not mean he was any kind of "failure."
4. How do you make sure your projects are better than your last?
I don't think of it that way. I'm not in competition with myself, or anyone else. I have a baseline of quality. What I'm looking for is authenticity and originality. Something true to me, but different. How can you compare two statements that are true but different and say one is better than the last? I'm not doing avant garde art or trying to invent a new genre or leaving everything behind to explore where no one has ever gone. I'm working within the framework of the popular song and standard chordal structure. But I am searching for that unique combination of original melody and original lyrics that is true to me, that reveals something about me to me.
5. If you could send a message to the young artists, what would it be?
Focus. Don't get distracted. Practice. Only practice will make you as good as you want to be. Learn. What you know right now is not enough. Explore. Open yourself to a much wider variety of unique influences. Question. Yourself most of all. Who are you? What is your essence? What makes you different from all the rest? What do you have to say? Evolve. Don't accept that you are fine "the way you are." Your potential as a human being is exponentially greater than "the way you are" right now. Love is the North Star. The more you love in the world, the fuller human you will become. The Beatles said it: "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make. " So start making love. with everything!
Catch a Muse Down Here - [Rusty Reid social media links]
"This song is GREAT...!!! I TRULY enjoyed it. It's 'telling it like it is'...!!! The writing, arranging, performance and engineering on this are Stellar... Thanks so much for all of this..., and most of all for sharing this with the world at large... Thank you Rusty."
"That is pure craft at work! It is a phenomenal track and I felt every guitar note!"
"'American Villain' is the fiery new Indie-Rock political track from Seattle-based singer-songwriter Rusty Reid as he shows his frustration, and ultimately anger, with how the previous four years has gone in the USA. Rusty Reid is a true singer-songwriter who has seen the ups and downs of the music industry. This is a true American comeback story. This is a man who knows who he is deep inside and being totally honest is one of them. Rusty Reid sings about his true feeling on Donald Trump with his new single 'American Villain'. He went with his gut and releases a brave single that is all about how things have gone backwards in the country he loves. With a gritty voice, skillful guitar playing and lots of lyrics that cut deep into the truth, this is a singer to be admired."
"Great track, appreciate the poignant political lyricism and theatrical quality."
"Hey Rusty. Good to hear from you again. This song couldn't be more timely, obv. Or more lyrically pointed. Musically, seems like your signature blend of Texas hippie and British Invasion, with a dash of heartland rock.
All the Wilburys rolled into one. Especially George and Roy."
"A nice and honest way to express your folk vibes. Suggests
Neil Young, Counting Crows, Beck."
"Once you begin listening to 'American Villain', you can pretty much assume who it is about. Then when you get to the lines: 'A cheat, a creep, a crook, a thief, traitorous commander-in-chief' you can be assured this song is about the one and only Donald Trump and his reign of terror over the United States. One interesting line states, 'The history books will warn of conservative plague,' and I hope they do because history books tend to have a way of forgetting a lot of the bad things which happened in history and paint it in a way which seems to benefit someone else. So, if you have kids or plan on having kids when you're older, when they're old enough, let them listen to this song as a history lesson and way to have an open conversation about the 'American Villain.' Through these words Rusty Reid does more justice than I could typing up paragraph after paragraph. One of the differences between this song and me trying to type up how I feel as well is that Rusty Reid makes it sound good. This is dreamy rock n roll, which reminds me of Stone Temple Pilots to some extent but also a theme song from James Bond. How I wish time aligned so that Scott Weiland could have done one 007 song. But having the music of Rusty Reid might in fact be better. He's the voice of a generation which everyone might not agree with but he's right and he's got loads of talent."
"Nice one. Reminds of Neil Young, not the timbre of the voice but the guitars and the melody. We've added your track straight to the top of our Rattler Radio Jams spotify playlist and followed your spotify profile."
"Nice mixture of indie rock and pop.
There's a little bit of classic rock here, such as Bowie and Echo & The Bunnymen."
"Performance is impressive."
"The song is good, well produced, the realization is on point, everything is well done here."
"Rusty's confident sound is again crafted with real care and attention to mood."
"The song is solid with great production and the writing is strong."
"Really interesting vocal style on this one."
"Beautiful production. Amazing sound."
"Good energy, I like your voice."
"Really cool, great vocals here."
"Strong recording quality."
"Your vocal delivery is awesome and your lyrical style is great; you have a talent and you are making music with real passion."
"Lovely singing and catchy rock vibes!"
"Cool ideas behind the track and professional arrangement. Overall great creativity."
"You have one of the best voices of this kind of music! You have so much talent and your lyrics are so original. Your vocal performance is very professional and the melodies are incredibly catchy."
"Liked the moody tone and guitar work."
"This kind of has an action film cinematic vibe to it."
"Lovely track. Evokes Tom Petty."
"Effective vocal emotion, enjoyable guitar. Lyrically interesting."
"The song has this intense and energetic rock quality throughout that we appreciated."
"Confident rock effort that has some classic rock spirit."
"Hello Rusty. Dig the intro guitar part. Cool melody. Cool addition of vocal harmonies and string sounds. Cool lyrics. Nice change in harmony and guitar melody. Dig the guitar harmony and counterpoint. Cool falsetto. Solid songwriting."
"Very clean guitar and classic sound, you also have a great voice and nice melodies to bring it all together! I think you have everything there that you need!!"
"Your vocals have such a distinct tone, and the production does a good job of highlighting it."
"I think its rock n roll! A little bit of Green Day in there.
"Classic, authentic, heartfelt! :-) Reminds of Tom Petty, Neil Young and even a bit Roy Orbison! And Janne Laurila from Finland. Check him out! Yes, I'll share your music! Wishing you the best of luck."
"Reminds of CCR. Thank you so much for sending me this cool song, and I've added it to my playlist."
"I really loved the soulful vocals and the heartfelt lyrics. Quite a great quality of production too! The melody is very catchy! The solo on the bridge is just amazing. It reminds me of some good 80s rock track :)"
"Nice guitars and vocals. We have added your song to our playlist 'Best Indie Rock.'"
"Hey Rusty, production is great, has a nice Travelling Wilburys vibe.
Voice is great, there's definitely a mass market on American Radio for this."
"Hey Rusty, thanks for the submission and hope you're well. 'American Villian' is a solid track I like the moody guitar layers fused with the more uplifting vocals. You have a well crafted sound with a nostalgic country rock edge and some evocative lyrics. Your look is definitely Tom Petty with a vocal which has a sprinkling of Roy Orbison in the higher sections."
"From the heart alternative with Americana and 80s soft rock blend. Actually,
it evoked a bit of Paul McCartney having a try on Americana music! Will share 'American Villain' soon as part of Young Folks."
"American singer-songwriter Rusty Reid captures a timeless sound on his latest single 'American Villain.' Lightly gritty guitar tones, shuffling drums, pulsing bass lines, bright synths and heartwarming vocal work all serve to make this moody country rock anthem another highlight from his fantastic catalogue of releases. Rising to anthemic heights and peppered with graceful lead guitar flourishes, "American Villain" delivers another irresistible slice of Rusty Reid's classic songwriting as he continues to share his original sound with the world."
"While many artists shy away from overtly political statements, Reid embraces the role of the musician as a cultural warrior. In a musical landscape often dominated by lighter themes, "American Villain" boldly confronts the realities of the world. Reid's call for artists to engage in the "cultural wars" echoes throughout the song, urging listeners to wake up to the world around them while retaining the ability to dance amid the chaos. 'American Villain' isn't just a song; it's a powerful declaration, a sonic rallying cry that challenges the status quo. Rusty Reid's unwavering commitment to using his musical platform for social commentary sets him apart, making 'American Villain' not just a political anthem but a testament to the enduring power of music to provoke thought and inspire change. We love it and know you will too!"
"Rusty Reid is back with 'American Villain,' a song that intends to be a charge against one of America's most loathed men. The song is a powerful statement of protest and expression, informed by deep-set activism that resonates as an authentically heroic voice."
"Seattle's unconventional musical maverick Rusty Reid went ablaze with the incendiary release of his bold artistic adventure 'American Villain.' This thought-provoking and politically charged track fuses a distinctive Indie-Rock style, showcasing Reid's talent for blending socially conscious lyrics with electrifying melodies. This hit track thrusts Reid into the spotlight as a blistering critique of current political affairs and a rallying cry for cultural awareness."
"In this socially charged single, Rusty Reid once again showcases his adeptness in social commentary. 'American Villain' distinguishes itself as a poignant protest song, shedding light on a somber chapter in American history."
"'American Villain' to my ears, has deep Classic rock roots from the 70s with very inspired guitars and a simple but tasty arrangement. The production sounds perfect for the genre and, talking about guitars, enjoy the long solo session from 2.40, melodic but technical as well. Reid's vocal performance perfectly catches the spirit of the song's thematic weight and his interpretation is spot on, thanks to deep and meaningful lyrics as well. Honorable mentions also for the lyric video, very well made which leaves no space for imagination for who the subject in question is."
"Though he doesn't always pen political tracks, Rusty feels the need to wield his song-writing as a force for good when he sees evil abound. 'American Villain' is a track that cut straight to the point, painting a vivid, visceral picture with lyrics sung soulfully. It feels like modern folklore in its composition, and deeply important."
"'The American Villain' by Rusty Reid serves as a potent protest song and a scathing social commentary. The song echoes the artist's disdain for the political climate in the United States. The song, a remix of the 2020 original, is a part of Reid's continued artistic expression, delving into the ramifications of political decisions and societal upheaval."
"The single is a belter. The whole combination of a rock song with a cause played with passion and mastered to perfection will never fail to catch the ear. Rusty Reid has shown once again that there is a space for politically charged rock in the music world. Only problem for you writing some at the minute is that it has to compete with 'American Villain,' and that's a one-sided battle - it's just too good."
"Rusty Reid has made a thought-provoking commentary on today's turbulent political landscape in his new single, 'American Villain.' Reid has never shied away from using his artistic talents to address disputed issues, and 'American Villain' is certainly one of his most pointed releases to date."
"Rusty Reid's back with a serious new track called 'American Villain' that dives headfirst into examining one of the most controversial figures in America's history. Rusty's rustic vocals are as stirring as ever, laying out the story in poetic language."
"In the ever-evolving tapestry of music, Rusty Reid emerges once again as a provocateur, wielding his sonic brush to paint a vivid and politically charged masterpiece titled "American Villain." This isn't your run-of-the-mill chart-topper; it's a daring foray into the realms of social commentary, a musical opus that refuses to tiptoe around the pressing issues of our time. "American Villain" follows in the formidable footsteps of Rusty's previous endeavor, "The United States of Selfishness," and this time, he's zeroing in on a subject as bold as the title suggests. With a candor that's almost refreshing in today's musical landscape, Rusty doesn't mince words or hide behind veiled metaphors. Instead, he places the spotlight firmly on the stage of global politics and challenges the listener to confront the stark realities we face as a collective human family."
"Rusty Reid's vocal prowess shines, imbuing the track with an eerie quality that amplifies its thematic weight. Its musical composition, characterized by swirling slide guitars and a steadfast rhythm section, perfectly complements the overall atmosphere, crafting a haunting sonic experience."
"'American Villain' by Rusty Reid is a triumph of musical synergy and creative spirit. The song showcases Reid's captivating vocal and electric guitar talents, effortlessly weaving a narrative that resonates deeply."
"The chorus is a wake-up call, urging everyone to see what's really going on and take action. Reid's no-nonsense approach stands out in an era of superficial tunes. With "American Villain," he's not just making music - he's making a statement about the world we live in."
"The song has a strong beat and Rusty Reid's unique voice. It is not just a song to listen to but a call to action. Rusty Reid's words make us want to pay attention to the essential things happening around us. "American Villain" is not just a song but a message for everyone to wake up and do something."
"'American Villain (Remix)' goes beyond mere social commentary or nostalgic protest tunes aspirations-it stands as a battle hymn for our times; replete with rousing guitars, anthemic arrangements, and vivid lyrical storytelling poised between despair and hope. In dissecting distinctively American themes through personal tales interwoven within larger narratives on freedom or lack thereof-Reid reminds us: vigilance remains essential because villains are timeless; what varies is our response."
"Boldly addressing the state of American politics and society, Reid's latest song is a must-listen for music lovers and social activists alike."
"'The American Villain' is a melodic showcase in political expression from Rusty Reid, making for a quality follow-up to 'The United States of Selfishness.'"
"In the midst of the cacophony, Reid manages to strike a balance between a fiery political critique and an anthemic sound that invites the listener to join the resistance. 'American Villain' is not just a song; it's a sonic manifesto that urges us to wake up, take notice, and dance amidst the chaos. Rusty Reid's musical prowess combined with his fearless approach to societal issues solidifies him as a voice that demands attention in the realm of protest music. 'American Villain' is not merely a song; it's a battle cry for change."
"A one-of-a-kind singer-songwriter, he embodies a fascinating fusion of classic rock, soft rock, and alt-rock pop, delivering an invigorating, cinematic experience. His latest single, 'American Villain,' showcases the immense talent this artist possesses."
"I recently discovered this artist and was hooked on his musical sense immediately. His recent release, 'American Villain' is one of his best works yet and my personal favorite from his discography. The track starts off with an elaborate guitar melody and then various elements flow in. The vocals are exquisite and the way he blends his vocals with the music will transport you to a whole different realm of reality. The drums are impactful and create the perfect backbone for the track. This is surely a track that you should listen to! Do give it a spin, you'll love it for sure!
He is a nightmare
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