The Enemy Gets Political

“The First Thing I Said When We Got Onstage In Chicago for Lollapalooza was, ‘Hi, we’re the Enemy from England— the 51st state of America. Tony Blair never ruled Great Britain. George Bush was in charge from the start,’” says guitarist Tom Clarke (left), whose band not only stands strong in the political arena, but also headlines arenas back home. “At first, our songs weren’t so much political as they were social—they were about the things affecting us and our mates. We thought, ‘As soon as we leave Coventry, people aren’t going to get it.’ But when we toured the rest of England, we found factories closed everywhere, and people would say, ‘It’s the same for us, too.’ We were also apprehensive about coming to the United States, but we found that people our age in America are totally switched on, and really into politics and what affects society. That was a pleasant surprise, because our music is about depression and recessions—not very cheerful stuff. But it’s disappointing, as w

“You know, I almost hate mixing politics with music,” adds Clarke, “because politics pisses me off, and music brings me no end of joy. But, in today’s world, combining the two has become a necessity for me.”