Nestled just below the grapevine of Los Angeles is Bakersfield, California, a place otherwise forgotten and surrounded by oil fields and almond orchards. It doesn’t seem like a political town, but punk artist and native son Nate Parrish could no longer ignore the media bias he was watching on the daily news.
Today he is premiering his latest single, “Bullets and Blades,” an anthemic song that revels in the backlash against mainstream media, its misrepresentations and intolerance of opposing views.
“I don’t really consider myself a political person, but I couldn’t ignore the divide that is happening in our country largely due to politics,” Parrish told American Songwriter. “I see people every day walk away from relationships because they disagree on some policy. I see people align themselves with some party or movement and let it become their identity.”
“We’ve become so desperate for affirmation and acceptance that we will allow ourselves to be used as ammunition against our own friends and family,” he continues. “Meanwhile the heads of these groups watch from a safe distance. It seems like we have abandoned the concept of civil discourse because we have been conditioned to believe those that think differently are the enemy, and violence is warranted if someone is your enemy.”
Parrish’s single is sullied in basic chords and riffs, with upfront vocals that ride along with the guitar melody. To slice up the simplicity, Parrish layers some brass instruments and a saxophone solo where you’d expect a guitar. And he lets the lyrics speak the message, shouting, I’m not your bullet, I’m not your blade, I’m not marching in your brigade, I’m not a weapon in the war you wage.
“I hope this song encourages the listener to exercise a healthy skepticism of anyone that is trying to tell you what to think instead of encouraging you to think for yourself,” Parrish says. “Unplug and have an actual conversation with another human face to face. Ask yourself why we are so quick to demonize those who disagree with us. Ask yourself if it’s worth losing people to win an argument. Ask yourself, if unity is something that we’re really fighting for, then why do we keep settling for settling scores?”
Parrish kickstarted his journey as a musician playing in other bands before making the move to a solo career. In addition to “Bullets and Blades,” he released a full-length album titled I’m a Wreck earlier this year. He is already working on his sophomore album planned for next year.
Catch the premiere of “Bullets and Blades” here today on American Songwriter and be sure to give I’m a Wreck a spin here too. You can also follow Parrish here and be the first to know what’s next from him.