The Oklahoma City band LESS LOVE has gone against polite society. In the new single Snow White Trash (Trump’s Americans) the band likens Trump supporters to ignorant bigots in an angry and loud way that is equal parts Randy Newman and The Sex Pistols.
In 2017 the president of the United States referred to a group of white supremacists in Charlottesville as “fine people.” Constituents in the Republican base largely defended Trump’s statement. Shocked and angered by this Sky Mac, singer for the band LESS LOVE, began writing the song Snow White Trash (Trump’s Americans). The result is a searing and at times uncomfortable look at America’s everyday Joe.
“We wrote a protest song. The video concept for that song became a very long discussion regarding ways to visualize the protest,” explained Sky Mac. “The director as well as outside directors offered great ideas. Then a conversation began regarding something Merle Haggard once said. Merle came from the pre-video era of music. Once music videos became popular, he said the music had become just soundtracks to the videos. He felt the audio no longer mattered as much as the visual. We reached a consensus. A music video for this song would need to not distract from the song’s message. The song had to remain the focus. So we basically made an antithesis music video.”
By antithesis video, Sky is referring to a video that times in at almost four minutes in which nothing happens Sky offered this explanation, “It’s like an Andy Kaufman joke. You wait 3 minutes and 41 seconds for something to happen and just as it begins to happen the video ends. The best example is Kaufman’s Tony Clifton character. He was a lounge singer that intentionally sucked. This video is our Tony Clifton. It was the director Mike Mills that came up with the idea. He wanted it to be streamlined and minimalistic while still making it powerful. The song is about discrimination. The image is an animal to which skin color is ever-changing. It’s kind of perfect, but like an Andy Kaufman joke, I didn’t really expect people to get it. Some people have. Online video magazine metalvideo.com picked it up and included it on their playlist right next to Body Count’s “No Lives Matter.” That was flattering. At the same time, I had an Arizona radio station reject the song and tell me I need to stay out of politics. That made me laugh.”
The video is the stark opposite of what you would expect a Rock video to be. There are none of the staple images. There are no scantily clad ladies, motorcycles, or fire. It also lacks the trite, strange, eerie weirdness intended to frighten and confuse. The video for “Snow White Trash” is an almost hypnotic moment of introspection that some may dismiss as a blank slate.
Despite that, the video has resonated with those that matter. The Los Angeles Music Video Awards has nominated “Snow White Trash (Trump’s Americans)” in the category of Best Rock Video of 2020.
“Our competition is pretty impressive.” stated video director Michael J. Mills. “I am honored just to be nominated… I can’t imagine we will win. Music videos don’t allow a lot of room for interpretive thought. If Jean-Luc Godard was making music videos today people would hate them. Moving pictures was once an artist’s medium. Now it is just a commercial application used to fulfill pre-existing expectations. Yes, the video is just this animal looking around but open your eyes. Take a look around. The system isn’t working. People often take a moment of silence to honor those lost during a tragedy. After centuries of hate and bigotry time has proven that silence benefits nothing. This video takes a moment to pause and remember while refusing to stay silent.”
“It’s time we call a racist a racist,” Sky added. “The United States elected our first African-American president. That is something that should have happened decades ago. Instead of continuing to move forward, our nation took a major step backward. In 2016 the ignorant majority responded by electing an openly racist leader to supersede Obama.”
Snow White Trash (Trump’s Americans) is a crass look at the hateful side of society. Similar to the Randy Newman song Rednecks LESS LOVE utilizes words normally considered to be hate speech. “This song is about the people around us. We politely ignore them when they say things that are just “a little” racist. We are to blame for allowing things to get worse instead of better,” said Sky.
Snow White Trash… is the first single from the band’s upcoming anthology. The album titled “Everybody’s Somebody’s Satan” will be released on December 15th, 2020.
The video for Snow White Trash... is the second collaboration between Mills and the band to receive critical acclaim. In 2016 working with Grammy award-winning producer Michael Trepagnier (Coldplay) and engineer Kevin Lively (Rage Against The Machine), LESS LOVE recorded the song “Horse Race.” The video for the song, also directed by Mills, received multiple awards including a Global Music Award for Best Music Video of 2016.