Tom Morello’s Firebrand Records have just announced a new collaboration with punk
legends Anti-Flag’s A-F Records featuring scholar and author Norman Finkelstein. The
limited-run 7-inch vinyl, a split with Swedish punks Lycka Till and Finkelstein, is half
poppy, angry punk-rock and half-academic analysis of the conflict in occupied Palestine.
It’s a unique project from a unique collection of musicians, thinkers, and activists.
“This release really summarizes what Firebrand was built for,” says the label’s co-owner
Ryan Harvey, who founded Firebrand alongside Morello in 2015. “An international and
multi-layered collaboration exploring the intersection of hard-hitting music, critical
analysis, and on-the-ground political activism. Tom and I are always excited to work
alongside our good friends from Anti-Flag and A-F Records, especially to provide
something fresh and challenging to the music world. “
“I remembered that old 7-inch split with Bad Religion and Noam Chomsky that came out in
the early ’90s… and thought that it would be cool to do sort of a follow-up on that,” Lycka
Till singer Victor Andersson says, referencing the 1991 Maximumrockandroll release to
protest the Gulf War. “To my knowledge the mix between punk rock and academia
never really took hold, so we might give it a second shot.”
“I am too old and over the hill to appreciate punk,” Finkelstein says of the
record. “Culturally, I’ve always been several time warps behind the curve. But I am not
so old as not to appreciate artists whose worldview exceeds the circumference of their
navels. To them, I send my heartfelt thanks for taking me on board.”
The split features two songs from Lycka Till and two spoken-word tracks from
Finkelstein. “So long as Humanity strives for a more just world, Palestine will be at the
top of our agenda, Finkelstein summarizes. “The likes of Netanyahu still hope to sweep
it under the rug, but they’ll never succeed: We won’t let it happen!”
Pre-orders for the physical release are available now through A-F Records’ website,
with a release date set for all online-distributers starting Monday, September 18.
Norman Finkelstein received his doctorate from the Princeton University Politics
Department in 1988. He’s the author of many books translated into scores of foreign
languages. His most recent book is Gaza: An inquest into its martyrdom. Finkelstein is
also a popular lecturer (youtube hosts 150,000 of his talks).
Lycra Till is a Swedish punk band founded in 2009. The band has been likened to
artists as diverse as The Clash, RVIVR and Paul Simon. In Sweden they are noted for
their well-crafted, angry and often humorous lyrics dealing with everything from the
occupation of Palestine and the war on refugees in Europe to leftist cults and how to
deal with anxiety and loss. The band released their first album on the cult label Plan-It-X
records, former home to bands like Against Me!, AJJ and Japanther.