Interview: Taxman

interview by james wright

I was first introduced to the Taxman after hearing the Corporate Avenger’s “Freedom Is A State Of Mind”. This was just prior to 9/11 and the Bush administration had just started their own reign of terrorism on the US.

“Freedom Is A State of Mind” spoke volumes about how fucked up and scary things had become for everyone. The judicial system was in complete shambles, where people were doing 25-30 years in person for growing marijuana, while child molesters would get 10 years for violating our children. Big corporations were running the show and leaving almost everyone penniless and living paycheck to paycheck. The world was definitely a scary place.

Then 9/11 popped and the world became even scarier. Personal freedoms were taken away, the military machine began pumping out weapons and overseas more lives were lost so America could have more oil. In the midst of all this, the Corporate Avenger’s “Freedom is A State of Mind” was lost; a product of what labels consider “bad timing”.

Corporate Avenger has since disbanded but their anti-establishment spirit lives again. Taxman has returned to carry the torch and let America have it once and for all. With the release of the Taxman movie entitled “Fuck the Bullshit” on DVD, it’s apparent that this is the story of one man’s fight to let the truth be heard.

I caught up with Taxman to go behind the lies and read between the lines.

Do you think the message of “Freedom Is A State Of Mind” went over some people’s heads when it was released?
Yea’ a little bit. Some people got it and then it went over some people’s heads.

I remember your album came out right around the time September 11th hit and Koch dropped the ball on doing anything for that record probably because they didn’t want any of the backlash that record would have created.
Well the way I see it things like September 11th have been happening in other countries for years before it happened to the US. The media lets you see what you need to see.

One of the most powerful things I ever heard come out of the Suburban Noize camp was the motto, “Every Moment Is A Gift”
Absolutely. You have one life to live so make the best of it in whatever you do.

When it seems like the media is lying, the president is lying and everyone is fighting, where should people turn?
People need to join together and go back to the way things used to be before all this modern technology came in and took over. Back then people had to survive off the land, if one farmer had something they bartered with another to get what they needed. It was kind of a tribal thing where people helped each other to stay alive instead of just fighting for themselves.

Do you think that the US government has created this state of fear where everyone thinks that everyone is out to get them?
Yes. If everybody just woke up one day and said, “This is my life and I don’t have to do anything unless I want to,” everything would just stop! We didn’t ask for this life, we were projected into reality and if everybody stopped thinking, “I gotta have a dollar so I can have a roof over my head,” or “I need this car so I look cool,” then things would change. People are always striving to fit into these social classes, which manage to separate them for another group of people. If all the classes of people united there would be this huge uproar and it would show everyone what’s really going on here. Look back to the Los Angeles riots that happened in like 94′ because people were just fed up. You have single mothers and homeless people living on the streets and the government has done nothing to help them. Then you have addicts and junkies who have a very serious disease and the government refuses to deal with them, so they just lock them up.

They recently opened the first injection clinic in Vancouver where addicts can go shoot up out off the streets without fear of prosecution. They can also get counseling and help to maybe get back on the right path.
Wow, that’s great. See that’s a step in order to help those people. We need to keep going and continuing using these new technologies to help people. Do you remember that Freedom concert that they had a few years back to promote AIDS awareness? Whatever happened to that? All the sudden we cared about AIDS and what have you heard since then? We’re cloning sheep but yet we can’t find a cure for AIDS?

How did this film come together with director Rocky Vodka?

This was just an idea Daddy X and I had so we put it all down on paper and just started putting it together. Ricky Vodka was the old guitar player from a punk rock band I used to listen to called the Humble Gods. I’ve known Ricky for a while now so we just started collaborating on this project. We’d sit down and I’d let him know what I wanted to see and what my vision for this project was. We’re trying to write the sequel right now and keep the story going and just try and touch on some issues that I haven’t gotten to yet. I just hope that this brings an understanding of these issues for a lot of people. I want to get across the point that these are issues that need addressing.

What are you hoping this film does?
I want the people to see this and to start a conscious revolution just like we say in the film. We’re all living in society and see what’s really going on. When you’re born you don’t really understand what’s going on and when you’re in high school you still don’t really know what’s going on until you get older and realize,”This is my life. I’ve got to make due with what I’ve got and try to understand and further my ability to live freely.” The way I see things is, I want to give people my two-cents of what I see going on so that maybe it’ll help them. You know how you would go and hear stories from an older wise man about problems he’s encountered in his lifetime? Well I started coming across all this knowledge and it just didn’t make sense to me. “Why do I have to pay these taxes?” You have to do all these things to keep living further down the line but why don’t they teach you these things in school? School doesn’t really prepare you for life. Sure they teach you to read and write but they don’t teach you how to survive every day. They start teaching you how to stand in a line way back in kindergarten, but what they don’t teach you is how to live. You gotta take 32% of your paycheck and give that to the government, you gotta pay car insurance, health insurance, rent and then you’re left with next to nothing wondering, “What do I do now?” Go work job number two!

Can you explain the significance of the white face paint and the single line?
The way I look at it is the back/white is like truth and lies, black/blue means chaos brings pride, black/red is for my beliefs and the tears for our ancestors that have passed before us and finally the black/black is for conformity and fear. It’s like I bring this knowledge to you so please take it and make do with what you can.

Do you think your opinions are unpopular with the public?
Sometimes. Everything has its ups and downs and you gotta take the good with the bad and spin them into a positive. The Taxman is a positive thing. Sure I might look weird and I paint my face but the way I look at it is I’m just a rebel out on the street living life as free as possible. I’m not a socialist but more of a revolutionary with a little bit of anarchy thrown into the mix. I wanna say fuck you to the establishment in a structural way. Imagine if everyone just quit, we’d take a stake out of the heart of slavery. People are giving up right now thinking they’ve gotta go to work but if everyone just stopped then this whole thing would stop.

Do you think government tries to lock the average person in with credit cards, mortgages and their desire to purchase bigger and better products?
Totally. We’ve all just become numbers in some bizarre lottery game. You’ve got your credit cards, your social security card, health card and we’re all stored in some computer. If we took off running, they’d probably be able to print off a print out of where we’re running. It’s surprising to me that we haven’t been branded like cattle yet, we’re one step away from having bar codes. We already have a social security number!

You can’t preach these things without offering some kind of solution to the problem. What’s your solution?
Taxman points out a lot of problems that are going on and I don’t have all the answers but I’m just pointing out that there are problems that need to be dealt with. I think you have to stay in the machine to survive today. It’s like anarchy through capitalism, you take what you can get and make do with what you can. If the Taxman can get $2, he’s gonna give back $1.50 and keep $0.50 so he can keep going. It’s like a Robin Hood theory, where if I can bring enlightenment and knowledge onto somebody then already I’ve won. Make due with whatever you can and run with it because it’s not my life; it’s yours. It comes back full circle where you have people saying, “Let’s send a whole bunch of food to South America.” Well what about those people living off the streets in the ghetto back at home? We’re going to war to supposedly help the people of Iraq but yet there are lots of people here that need to be taken care of first.

So what should someone with a mountain of credit card debit and loans do?
In this world there will always be people who dig themselves into a hole. I think you just gotta try and walk that line and hope that you don’t fall into the red. It’s hard because if you get into trouble there’s always that threat of them locking your ass in jail.