‘Joy As An Act Of Resistance’ is a parade.
It is a parade of laughing at the funeral, of listening to the bastards, of phlegm on the mirror.
It is a parade of my Grandfather’s wit, it is all the shit haircuts I’ve ever had.
It is a parade of naivety, of a warm embrace, it is Young Thug’s dress.
It is the parade of being carried through the grim dark.
It is a parade of laughing at yourself. It is love. It is loving yourself.
It is a parade of Tony Benn’s smile.
It is Idles, for now. It is the beautiful smell of immigrant food.
It is a parade of vulnerability. It is Ilie Nastase
It is a parade of being at your worst. It is our best, for now.
It is our thank you. It is our sorry.
It is a parade without fluff but with a ton of glitter and violence.
It is a parade of what I truly miss and what I truly have.
It is a parade of the second album. It is us cutting its fucking head off.
It is a parade of joy in the face of all we don’t want and all we fear.
It is a parade of you.
“Joy is an act of resistance”; I saw the phrase and sat back awash with ecstasy. Sometimes, all your shit aligns in perfect order as words touch your heart and mind in one swift kick. This album was on its way and we, as always, were moving forward with big old grins up front, but I felt I was scrambling a bit; scrambling for words and scrambling for notions that fit where I was. We hold honesty as a paramount concern in our art but the trouble with being honest is that the harder you work to find the truth within, the more dislocated you become from…You. One can’t be themselves if one spends too much time outside looking in; and that’s exactly what I was doing on the heels of ‘Brutalism.’ It wasn’t until my partner and I had our world obliterated and I felt cut in half that I realized I was nothing alone and that I was only here because of my partner and my loved ones and the band, whose love and compassion carried us through such deep anguish. It was at that moment I realized that our “success,” so far, was due to us being naive and vulnerable: our strange ugly transparency had encouraged others to be honest with themselves and in turn others and us. It is that bravery to freely express yourself that so terrifies the tyrants, as when we share each other’s pain we become stronger as communities and less reliant on our State. All we needed to do was enjoy ourselves again, not as the “Idles” we were expected to be after ‘Brutalism,’ but who we were at that exact moment; it was beautiful.
When I read the phrase “Joy is an act of resistance,” I immediately knew that that was something we were gifting from the very first moment we started fucking around with each other. There was always something fearless in our band, we laughed off the bullshit and loved the interactions our music created, writing exactly what we loved and not being fearful of judgement or being told we’re derivative or clumsy. Now with the second album I’ve realized that I needed to truly love myself in order to write honestly. Once again, I let go of worrying about the world telling me something that I already knew: I am completely flawed…but so are you and that’s ok. We are not alone.
This album is an attempt to be vulnerable to our audience and to encourage vulnerability; a mere brave naked smile in this shitty new world. We have stripped back the songs and the lyrics to our bare flesh to allow each other to breathe, and to celebrate our differences and act as an ode to communities and the individuals that forge them. Because without our community, we’d be nothing.