On the verge of a European tour supporting Refused and Thrice next month, Petrol Girls have released a brand-new music video for their current single “No Love For A Nation.” It’s a song that questions the very idea of the nation state and the video is a demonstration of its intent. As the song is set to impact radio in the UK tomorrow (the original Brexit deadline) the band has announced plans to tour in US next year and are already confirmed for NYC’s New Colossus Festival (3/11-3/15) and SXSW (3/16-3/22) – with headline dates to be announced.
Petrol Girls’ vocalist Ren Aldridge discusses the concept and motivations behind the “No Love For A Nation” video:
“This video is a collaboration between myself and the incredibly talented Martyna Wisniewska (@gingerdope). The video is a manifestation of an art project I’ve been doing for ages, cutting and stitching national flags.
‘Cut the shapes, out of the flag, swap them, switch them, patch and stitch them, hoist that rag.’
Lyrics from the song describe this ongoing art project with flags, and it’s also where the title of our album ‘Cut & Stitch’ comes from.
We shot this video on the way from Austria to the UK for our September tour, via Germany and France. Zock had the idea of hiring radical spaces to shoot the video in. DIY social centers and a radical bookshop – these are places in which radical organizing takes place, where information can be disseminated and our community can gather. We filmed at Sub in Graz, Kafe Marat in Munich, Villa Bellevillein in Paris and Freedom Bookshop in London. Thanks to all of those spaces and to everyone who took part in this project so last minute!
It was in these kinds of spaces that I first encountered the slogan ‘NO LOVE FOR A NATION’ in the form of stickers, banners and graffiti, and it has informed my politics ever since. I’ve found that many people are quick to make accusations of naivety against those of us that question the nation state, but I would argue that it’s far more naive (not to mention heartless) to think we can continue organizing human society in the way that we do. Nations create borders and borders create violence like detention, deportation and the denial of safe passage. It is a bizarre and often cruel way of organizing societies on the basis of where people happen to have been born. It is those on the fringes of these definitions that suffer their harshest consequences – refugees, migrants and asylum seekers. It is not acceptable that 18,000 people have lost their lives trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea since 2014, because they were denied safe passage on the basis of their nationality.
Simultaneously, populist nationalism takes aim at these people, and uses them as a scapegoat for the failings of capitalism and neoliberalism. If history has taught us anything, it’s that we must resist the rise of populist nationalism that is sweeping the planet.
We stand in opposition to Fortress Europe but mourn Brexit as the result of populist nationalist politics and a xenophobic, dishonest and, at times, overtly racist campaign. We are not proud of Britain – we are embarrassed. Above all we are angered by the rise in racism and xenophobia since the Brexit result. We are deeply troubled and angered by the way in which populist nationalism has emboldened racists and fascists across the world.
At its core, the Nation State is just an idea – a notion – something that exists in our collective imagination and is consolidated through culture – through monuments and museums, through football and flags.
This song, video and art project aim to question and contribute to destabilizing the idea of nations. Can we collectively imagine ourselves in a different way? The nation rose from the decline of the monarchy – what will rise from the decline of nations? Can’t we find better and more inclusive ways of collectively understanding ourselves?
The video also celebrates the punk community, which stretches across borders and nations, and has inclusive and anti-authority politics at its core. I feel like this community offers us a glimpse of what might be possible.”
More information about the Cut & Stitch concept and album can be found in Ren’s book – out now via Rough Trade and also available at Petrol Girls’ live shows. Click HERE to watch the band’s new video for “No Love For A Nation” and stream Cut & Stitch HERE. Petrol Girls kicks-off their European tour with Refused and Thrice next week and please stay tuned for more U.S. dates to be announced – all confirmed dates can be found below.
PETROL GIRLS CONFIRMED TOUR DATES
November 3rd @ Melkweg in AMSTERDAM (NL) *
November 4th @ Carlswerk in COLOGNE (DE) *
November 5th @ Grosse Freiheit in HAMBURG (DE) *
November 7th @ Ancienne Belgique in BRUSSELS (BE) *
November 8th @ Elysee Montmartre in PARIS (FR) *
November 10th @ Alcatraz in MILAN (IT) *
November 11th @ Tonhalle in MUNICH (DE) *
November 12th @ Huxleys in BERLIN (DE) *
November 14th @ Kulturfabrik Kofmehl in SOLOTHURN (CH) ^
November 16th @ La  de Apolo in BARCELONA (SP) ^
November 17th @ Sala Cool in MADRID (SP) ^
November 20th @ Altemeierei in KIEL (DE) #
November 21st @ UJZ Korn in HANNOVER (DE) #
November 22nd @ Die Friese in BREMEN (DE) #
January 14th @ Le Pub in NEWPORT (UK) #
January 15th @ Green Door Store in BRIGHTON (UK) #
January 16th @ Oslo in LONDON (UK) #
January 17th @ Bodega in NOTTINGHAM (UK) #
January 18th @ The Deaf Institute in MANCHESTER (UK) #
January 19th @ Nice & Sleazy in GLASGOW (UK) #
January 21st @ McHughs in BELFAST (UK) #
January 22nd @ Whelan’s in DUBLIN (IRL) #
January 23rd @ Kasbah Social Club in LIMERICK (IRL) #
March 11th – 15th @ New Colossus Festival in New York, NY
March 16th – 22nd @ SXSW in Austin, TX