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Hostage situation



You won’t see Connecticut pop-punk act Hostage Calm refueling at Chick-fil-A on the road between gigs. The group’s guys are some of the most vocal supporters of marriage equality touring today, playing rallies, helping assemble a documentary on the movement and even selling merchandise that benefits organizations fighting for same-sex legal unions.

“For my generation, this is such an obvious injustice that seems so easily reconciled. It’s our civil rights issue,” singer Chris Martin said. “It just seems clear to us that every punk band should support that cause.”

As reasoning that others should follow suit, Hostage Calm points to a long history of pop-punk bands — as varied as The Smiths, Quicksand and Turning Point — fighting for similar causes.

“The bands we listened to growing up were so vocal about social and political issues,” Martin said. “Those were the driving lyrical forces, those calls for equality and fairness. Social justice is such a fundamental element to punk.”

Call it karma or what you will, but their actions and words seem to be coming back to them in a good way. Hostage Calm landed a spot on this summer’s Warped Tour, and has found more and more fans loving not only the group’s music, but its awareness work offstage.

“It goes to show that a lot of people want to say something and want the bands they like to say something,” Martin said. “Sometimes, they just don’t know where to start or how to connect the dots. To have a band or organization helping organize those rallies, they can plug into a force that is going to do something.”

That’s not to say the band’s message is limited to marriage equality, as its forthcoming fall album, Please Remain Calm, takes aim at the ongoing economic recession and the country’s general gloom.

“I felt like I was in a spot where I was constantly just losing. I kept swinging and missing,” Martin said. “My mom was struggling to keep her house after losing her job. Three houses on
the street I grew up on were foreclosed. So much was going on with this
recession and no one was talking about it.”

So Hostage Calm did, just like some of its musical heroes had three decades ago.

“In 1979, when England was grinding to a halt, The Clash put out London Calling,” Martin said. “I didn’t feel like there was something like that record that captured what it felt like to be a young person in this stagnant period. I wanted us to make a record that helped communicate that struggle that a lot of people are feeling.”

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State Rep. Sally Kern on the Chick-fil-A controversy  

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