By Bree Davies
By Emerald O'Brien
By Gina Tron
By Jon Solomon
By Drew Ailes
By Courtney Harrell
By Kyra Scrimgeour
On There's Nothing Safe, Vendetta Valentine's latest, the Los Angeles-based trio draws inspiration from George Orwell's 1984, touching upon topics ranging from Big Brother to the falseness of government. The album, soaked in electro-pop and Pixies hooks, was produced with the help of famed sports talk-show host Jim Rome. We recently spoke with frontman Thomas Monroe about the new album and the impact the film V for Vendetta had on the band.
Westword: Tell me about There's Nothing Safe.
Thomas Monroe: We tried to make a CD that's a kind of story. There's kind of a story line running through the whole thing about a couple of dissenting individuals who are living against the backdrop of a repressive society and a world where everyone has to be paranoid all the time. So that thread of a story runs through from the beginning to the end. It's about individuality and individual freedom. The album title and the song "There's Nothing Safe" basically have to do with how we are living in a time where there's terrorism, there's wiretapping. On the other hand, there are no safe bets in the world, like your life is so precious and people should go out and live their lives and really go for their passion and their dreams. You could go try to have a safe career as a doctor or a lawyer, but there's no guarantee that's going to work out. There's no safety in homogeny, and that's what we're trying to say, too, like reach for your goals.
Would you consider There's Nothing Safe a concept record?
The only way we stopped short of making it like an actual concept album is that the songs are not totally cohesive to the story line. The music is always about a couple of people who are trying to live and love and rebel and exist and thrive in a hostile climate. That's pretty reflective in almost every song.
You guys were big fans of the film V for Vendetta. What was it about the film that inspired you?
I guess it was the overtones of anarchy and its poignancy relating to a kind of endless war that we're in now against terror. It just seemed like it had a lot of parallels to today. And it was inspiring to see this faceless Everyman standing up against tyranny. It was also very artfully done and visually very striking. It resonated a lot with us. We read a lot of books and some anarchist philosophy that definitely resonated with us and resonated with the kind of songs we were writing and wanted to write. A lot of the same ideas are reflected in our songs, like "Dissidents" and "May Day."