SWMRS Politically Charged Music and Activism

The Oakland-based band, SWMRS, have been making music since they were kids, under various names and record labels. Their first album under the name of SWMRS came out in 2016, the year of the most recent presidential election, with many of the songs holding a political message. The song ‘Palm Trees’ is just one example, with the lyrics “There's a rich man with a spray tan / In a new suit he wants you / Thinks you could be great again / He'll broker the deal too / If you can abandon your standards and soul / He'll buy you a lawyer and chopper you up to the top,” which most people understand to be about Donald Trump, along with a handful of other songs talking about our current political climate.

The band has become much more popular since signing with Fueled by Ramen (the same label as Twenty One Pilots and Panic! At the Disco) and has begun touring with larger bands (they recently toured with Muse), leading more people to see the politically charged messages of their songs, particularly with their newest album, ‘Berkley’s On Fire.’ While most of their fans love this about them, some people do not feel the same way, as is evidenced by guitarist Max Becker’s recent tweet (seen below).

Via Twitter


I personally think that if you have the platform to voice your opinions, you should take full advantage of that privilege. They have always encouraged their fans to get involved in politics and other topics they are passionate in, despite their age.

Lead singer, Cole Becker, recently tweeted “white boys who look up to me: If it ever feels like I am leaving you out of the picture its because rock shows are often extremely hostile environments for women, for queer/trans folks, for POC. harassment and assault are far more prevalent than we ever talk about at shows.” Rock shows have long since been an uncomfortable environment for minorities and seeing a band go out of their way to make them feel included is incredibly refreshing and something others should take note of.

Seeing people use their platform to advocate for issues that they are passionate about and encouraging others to do the same is something more musicians can and should be doing. Take a lesson from SWMRS and never be afraid to voice your opinions.