MAR 28, 2012 – JTMP has been blogging on the freethinker event and concert Rock Beyond Belief this Saturday, March 31, 2012 at the Fort Bragg, NC military base, and JTMP got a chance to interview one of the musicians Jeffrey Lewis that will be performing. This event is being held in response to a 2010 Billy Graham Evangelistic Association “Rock the Fort” event that was heavily evangelical in nature. The activist organizers of the event, such as Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, wear the uniform but spoke up as citizens and wanted equal access, and wanted to promote non-discrimination towards freethinking people such as agnostics, atheists, secularists, humanists and people who just want to be left alone when it comes to religion. (photo: Sonya Kolowrat and courtesy of TheJeffreyLewisSite.com)
Jeffrey Lewis is a musician who describes himself as anti-folk, but also does animation, video, comic books, illustrations and more. Here is the interview, and check out Jeff's cool website here.
JTMP: I love your anti-folk style, very interesting. I have to confess I was not very aware of this genre. Can you describe what the anti-folk means to you?
Jeffrey Lewis: “Anybody who was playing music at the Sidewalk Cafe in New York City in the 1990s or 2000s was automatically labeled "antifolk" no matter what kind of music you played, so the term doesn't really mean anything other than that. But it also makes sense for me, more than for some other people, because it describes a certain attitude towards writing and recording and performing that the term "singer-songwriter" would not describe. I had never heard of antifolk before I started playing at Sidewalk in 1998, but I already would not have thought of myself as a "singer-songwriter," I was more into music as a raw expression in words and sound, NOT so much the delicate craft of piecing words and melodies together. So I'm glad there's a term that already existed that seems to be some sort of description of that, a description of songwriting that falls outside of the normal image. So that's what "antifolk" means to me, if it means anything. I don't mind it, because no matter what you play there will be people who come up with a genre tag for it, you can't escape that, so at least antifolk is a more unique and mysterious tag than "indie rock" or "alt country" or "post punk" or whatever. If people want to call me antifolk I won't fight it.”
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