BLACK TEENAGER / PIGS ARE CREEPING
As a band, we decided to release these 2 songs a little earlier than we would have liked because of last week's tragic events.
We do have an impending full length album to be released hopefully in 2016, probably 2017. It's at the tail end of post production, so I would say we're a bit early in releasing these songs. We don't even have a record label squared away for the release or even an album name and these 2 songs probably wouldn't be the first 2 songs we’d want people to hear representing the album.
But in light of the loss of life last week, for both Philando Castile and Alton Sterling and for the 5 Dallas Police Officers, we felt that these songs were important to share.
BLACK TEENAGER was written probably at the end of 2012, close to a year after Trayvon Martin's death. Many other lives have been taken by gun violence (and other kinds of violence) since then, particular from Black American’s under suspicious or unjustified reasons.
Four years later nothing has changed really. Of course all lives matter. But right now, people are reminding each other why black lives matter. I am convinced that when an African American wakes up every morning and faces America, their day is a lot different from the majority of Americans. Their view on police is a lot different than the majority of Americans. Their life experience, as an American, is a lot different than the majority of Americans. Until that changes in America, the conversation will always be that Black Lives Matter. Because of the way our society is, and the way bad police officer's conduct themselves, their actions plainly say “black lives don’t matter.” So they keep being reminded.
PIGS ARE CREEPING is not an anti-cop song. It’s an anti-shitty cop song. I know there are good police officers in America. I personally know a few and I’ve encountered a few. I also know there are absolutely terrible and racist cops in America. I’ve encountered a few and I’ve seen plenty of video of a few.
This specific song is about a day in the Summer in Fountain Valley, a middle class suburban city in Orange County, California. I was probably 12 years old, walking down the street with my middle brother who was maybe 14, and my 2 cousins who were 15 or 16? We had just left a comic book shop and were walking down a main street when, out of nowhere, 2 police officers come out of the bushes next to the side walk, one with a gun drawn, the other with some kind of nightstick. They pointed their weapons at us, yelled at us to sit and harassed us on the main street, in front of traffic, for probably an hour.
I was scared for my life and humiliated. All the people in cars sitting at the street, waiting for the light to turn green, just stared at us. I had no idea what was happening or what we had done wrong. After verbally abusing us, pushing a couple of us to the ground for not sitting down right away when we were told because of the shock of seeing a weapon pointed at us, and basically telling us to “go back where we came from”, the police told us they had the wrong guys and ordered us to leave. They thought we had stolen mail from a nearby home.
We had comic books in our hands, our heads shaved (which we did every Summer), and half of us had skate brand clothing on, while the others wore white t-shirts and shorts.
At 12, that was my experience with the police and my first (and not last) time of total racial profiling and mistreatment by a police officer. As a Mexican-American in Orange County, it doesn’t happen a lot. Not for me at least. But it’s real. And it’s embarrassing and disappointing.
When my parent’s found out about this, they called a lawyer and contacted the Fountain Valley PD. I don’t know if they spoke to the Police Chief or what, but whoever they talked to did treat the incident very seriously and handled the incident with respect.
Both officers were suspended for a few weeks without pay and a meeting with them and us was scheduled at the department. They were to apologize to us face to face.
Initially, I didn’t want my parents to call. I was afraid something bad could happen from it and I really didn’t want to see those cops again. But my parents said it was important.
So we went, the cops looked bummed, and it was embarrassing for everyone involved.
I’m in my mid-30’s now. Most of my teenage years I thought all cops were terrible. Didn’t matter, that was my opinion and I felt justified to think that. Things have changed. I have a child of my own and I live in the same community this happened in. I don’t believe all police officers are bad. That’s such an unhealthy way to look at the world. I refuse to let those shitty cops and the shitty cops out there doing bad to others, permanently mark me that way.
Be good to each other. Live a peaceful life.
released July 11, 2016
Andres Cendoya = Drums
Josh Smith = Bass / Vocals
Richy Verdugo = Guitar / Vocals
Jordan Salazar = Vocals
Paul Miner = Recorded, Mixed and Mastered
Buzzbomb Studios, Orange CA
all rights reserved