A friend going through addiction recovery inspired the new song from Ireland’s Def Nettle, “War Machine”. “I was driving home from dropping a good friend to a drug and alcohol recovery clinic,” explains frontman Glen Brady. “I found myself making a comparison between that experience and the planet’s profound need for ecological rehabilitation.”
The track, featuring Andy Rourke of The Smiths on bass, Jay Oglesby on drums, and guitars by Graeme Slattery, touches upon these themes – as well as human arrogance. It is a powerful commentary on current events and the destruction of the planet through war, industrial agriculture, and ecological disaster.
Taking a cue from classic Green Man imagery, the haunting video (similar to the previous release The Pills) places the words directly in the proverbial mouth of the earth’s elements. The video is influenced by skateboard graphics artist Jim Phillips’ ‘Monster Target’ series from the 1980’s, featured on Rob Robskopp’s deck graphics.
The video incorporates various natural elements to show opposing ideas of our place in the environment.
“We are being shown how by destroying our environment we, in turn are ultimately destroying ourselves – and are going to be swallowed up and destroyed as we are just a part of our universe as opposed to being masters of it,” Brady explains. “Our addictions and our environmental habits can and may destroy us, however we are still part of our environment and have a perfect place in it if we choose, where we belong and are safe. The idea of being swallowed and buried alive by our environment can interchange with the idea of being kept safe and belonging to it, ultimately expressing our agency and the idea that environmental salvation is up to us.”
Watch the video below:
A common theme in Def Nettle’s work is a focus on eccentric (and sometimes dark) central characters that have had a lasting effect on Brady’s life. What starts as a story about one character incorporates the disenchanted lives of several people, weaving a tale of arrogance and recklessness intertwined with references.
Formerly known as DJ Wool, Brady won the Irish leg of the DMC World DJ Championships and formed cult Irish band Third Eye Surfers in the 1990s. The band built a solid following in Ireland playing support to the likes of Public Enemy, Jurassic 5, and The Sugarhill Gang. A performer’s credit on R.E.M’s 2001 album Reveal prompted Glen’s move from Ireland to the States.
For the last three decades, the native Dubliner (by way of New York, Berlin, LA and San Francisco) has worked at the top of his field in DJing, production, engineering, and performance; making music with the likes of R.E.M., Andy Rourke (The Smiths) and the late Dolores O’Riordan (The Cranberries). Brady’s club DJ roots can be found in the beats and arrangement, but his sound has evolved and includes references to The Smiths, David Bowie, Tom Waits, Lou Reed, and ZZ Top.
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