Hailing from New York City, the intense and socio-politically inclined punk rock-influenced progressive metal band Signals Of Bedlam are set to release their latest album, Liar’s Deception, in February.
Liar’s Deception was produced by Frank Mitaritonna (The Dear Hunter, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Glassjaw) and follows up 2016’s Escaping From Velocity.
On the fierce and fiery Liar’s Deception, vocalist Cero Cartera, drummer Rich Abidor, guitarist Tom Hoy, and bassist Chika Obiora confront relevant issues of inequality and injustice head-on, including the “deliberate deception” that certain devious politicians/institutions and businesses use to delude the general public.
Signals Of Bedlam have dropped two tracks so far from their upcoming full length; raging “Take The Crown” and searing new single (with a DIY shot-on-iPhone accompanying video) “Twilight Rebel With Red Cap.”
Cartera explains that the track tackles the recent rise in the willfully ignorant and twisted who think that, “taking a principled stand against the poor and downtrodden somehow became the greatest form of patriotism.”
The band members have graciously taken part in our on-going Protest Interview series, shedding light on our common plight in the face of climate change, as well as the scourges of racial and economic inequity.
Hello! Please introduce yourself/yourselves and give a description of your sound/musical vision.
Signals of Bedlam is the place where 4 people with different backgrounds and approaches to music come together to agree on a common vision. We love a lot of the same music, and are drawn to it for similar reasons, but a lot of our tastes are also very divergent as well.
Signals of Bedlam is the musical commonality we can all agree on, and that's orchestrated, calculated chaos. The sort of music feels like it should be careening into chaotic pieces, but that gets held together by a beautiful melody, or a tight, locked-in rhythm. The tension between tight compositions and musical insanity. It's funny how sometimes they really are one and the same thing!
What is/are the main personal, national, and/or international issue(s) concerning you the most these days?
Climate and ecological breakdown. The current climate and biological emergency is leading us toward the collapse of civilization, or as Noam Chomsky put it ,"The end of organized human life." And we are careening headlong towards it because our current system is utterly incapable of prioritizing human welfare over the power and profits of a privileged few.
The scale of death, destruction, and suffering coming down the pipeline this century is so mind bogglingly enormous it's hard to wrap your head around. And the vast majority of the costs of this crisis are going to be borne by the world's poorest citizens, who did virtually nothing to cause it.
At the crux of this is a worldview that ranks human life, that sees certain people as disposable, whether because of the color of their skin, their country of origin, or if they're poor, a "loser" in a sham meritocracy.
We could go on for a while about this, so we'll just leave it there.
What song, video, or lyrics quote of yours best represents your current viewpoint on this/these important topic(s)?
I'd direct you to our latest single, “Twilight Rebel With Red Cap”:
What’s your favorite song, video, or lyrics quote by another act or artist that best exemplifies, or at least partly relates to, your current viewpoint?
Rage Against the Machine – “Sleep Now In The Fire.”
"Raise your fist and march around / just don't take what you need." Polite rallies are limited when you're trying to force a system to do something. Real change has always come from people standing up and being willing to disrupt the status quo.
The strikes of the Great Depression, lunch counter sit-ins during the civil rights movement, ACT UP's confrontational tactics to get the country to acknowledge AIDS; these tactics worked because they were impossible to ignore, and the issues they illustrated were clear moral wrongs that the rest of society had tacitly accepted.
These things worked because these movements didn't ask for permission; they confronted the powers that be on their own terms.
Run The Jewels new song “Ju$t” is pretty spot-on too.
"Look at all these slavemasters / posing on your dollar." Just everything about that lyric.
What other forms of protest, besides through your music, are you involved with to get your message across?
Tom, our lead guitarist, has been active with Extinction Rebellion. Everyone in the band donates money to support efforts to alleviate global poverty, and for racial justice as well. We also all try to get out there and hit the streets when the time comes to make some noise, be it Occupy Wall Street or Black Lives Matter.
It’s easy to judge and criticize others, especially in these unsettling times of overt intolerance, ignorance, and insults, but the fact remains that we need to work together to ensure that positive change occurs. Name an action to take, or a campaign/charity that would be worthwhile to contribute to, for your cause.
The Integral Heart Foundation in Guatemala does great work in alleviating the cycle of generational poverty in Guatemala through education and nutrition programs. They're a relatively small operation but very near and dear to our hearts as we know some of the folks who run it and how hard they work and how passionate they are.
At the end of the day, I think most of us can agree that no one on this earth should be going to sleep hungry, and have a chance at having at least some kind of choice about how they'd like to live their life.
What gives you hope for the future?
The George Floyd uprising. Look at the legions of people across the country and world who demanded a better world than one that treats black life as disposable. There's so much work left to be done, but the mass show of support and defiance was truly inspiring.
The politicization and radicalization of young people as well. So many of them are realizing that middle of the road, status quo solutions just aren't up to the job of addressing the issues we face.
Where can we purchase/stream your music and find out more about you?