Chicano Batman's New Video Is All About 'Freedom'

Sep 19, 2017

"'Freedom Is Free' is a move to unravel our minds of fear from the powers that be and replace it with self-empowerment. FREEDOM must be restored to what it has always been: controlled by no person and subject only to the infinite flow of the elements. While we are here on Earth, we should rejoice in its worth."

What a powerful statement by Chicano Batman. You can insert your own idea of just who "the powers that be" are in the band's song "Freedom Is Free" and it would hold true no matter who or what you struggle with.

This expansive existential meditation on freedom is hiding behind funky bass- driven groove and crisp, chicha-influenced guitar riffs. The first time I heard it, I had to listen twice. I thought to myself, "Wait, what? Are they trying to liberate our minds, hoping our asses will follow?"

The new video for the song leaves no doubt about the message. In an age when extreme interrogation techniques command headlines and our attention, holding the band members' heads in buckets of what looks like ice water is a powerful metaphor for the "powers that be." It's jarring, to say the least.

In an interview, Chicano Batman bassist Eduardo Arenas said while some may think of a certain politician and what some claim are abuses of government power, this song was actually written in early 2015.

"This song was written before the Trump administration even came into existence," Arenas said. "So these themes have been around for hundreds of years. But now it's our time to really flesh this out and protect those themes with music."

But it's not surprising that this bold, visual statement came from Chicano Batman, a band whose very name screams bi-cultural genre splitting.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.