It doesn’t really seem like a political song in that sense, but it does speak to a greater sociological problem that is a little different than your normal focus, personal rage, moral and religious aspects. It just seemed to be an idiosyncratic personal interest.

I think very much so. I kind of became just obsessed with mercenaries and I am kind of an idiosyncratic type of person, all sorts of weird shit. My band and my wife are like, ‘Oh, there goes Randy again, now he’s interested in elephants or something. He’ll get really into that for a while.’ I guess on this record I was trying to paint with perhaps a little broader brush than I had before. Maybe a little more encompassing worldview, not strictly this narrow aspect of politics, this narrow aspect of myself, but kind of bring things together. Because I believe the world is in bad shape right now.

Is there anything that you’re researching now?

I’m interested in the idea, it’s kind of a catchphrase now, of sustainable architecture, sustainable living and stuff. There’s a neat book I got recently called Toolbox For Sustainable City Living. It comes from not just an economic or ecological perspective but also from a moral perspective. Small sustainable communities within cities, particularly lower income neighborhoods. It’s an idea of ‘Okay, I don’t think the whole world is going to go green and we need to redesign everything with permaculture buildings and all this shit, we need to work with what we have right now.’ It’s an interesting book, it addresses a lot of that stuff. It was written by dudes from Austin called the Rhizome Collective [Scott Kellogg and Stacy Pettigrew]. I would recommend checking it out.

That’s a good point about the green movement and how it affects lower income populations. There’s a saying that the people who are most interested in environmentalism, organic foods and sustainability are people who never had to worry about their shopping bill.

Absolutely. This book is pretty realistic, I believe, of what I’ve read of it so far, in looking at people particularly in urban areas of what they can do to sustain themselves. It’s pretty cool. But I think you’re right. The average health-conscious, tofu-eating, Whole Foods-shopping person normally makes a good amount of money, enough so that they don’t have to worry about actually sustaining themselves.

And there’s no Whole Foods by the projects and Salvation Army you’re near right now.

Exactly. This book addresses it from a different viewpoint.

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