Stereotytans "Breathe4You" tackles systemic racism in America
Philadelphia “comic book rock” band The Stereotytans are taking on systemic racism as their latest villain in a special single release titled “Breathe4You,” which was released Friday, October 9th.
The Stereotytans are normally known for being a comic book-inspired hard rock band with hints of soul, funk and metal mixed in. However, the mostly Black band felt compelled to speak out against racism and oppression due to the tragic events this summer.
“Like many people in America, we were and still are outraged and deeply affected by the George Floyd murder and we also felt the weight of ongoing level of oppression and unnecessary violence by the hands of some racist members of law enforcement. Everything that recently occurred got us thinking and searching for answers and solutions,” explains singer/ frontman Damon, aka St. Prometheus.
While the Stereotytans have developed a loyal, diverse fan base in the tri-state area, unfortunately they also have dealt with subtle and blatant displays of racism. Right after watching the video of Officer Chauvin leaning on Floyd’s neck, Damon began penning the lyrics to what would become “Breathe4You.”
The lyrics include calls for justice that have become emblematic of the Black Lives Matter movement, such as “hands up, don’t shoot” and “I can’t breathe.” Damon wails, “No I’m not your slave / I’ve marched through hell just to tell the stories of our yesterdays.” However, the song ends with a call for community: “Will you breathe for my brother / I will breathe for you.” While this protest song differs from their other subject material, “Breathe4You” still rocks as hard as their other songs.
The song was produced by Billboard-charting producer and engineer Ron DiSilvestro, who is also the lead engineer of Forge Recording. Damon and Ron are former bandmates and have been friends for a long time. “Ron is right at home with our style and sound. When we approached him with this song, he didn't think twice to offer his services and the amazing facilities at Forge Recording to record the song free of charge,” Damon explains.
With “Breathe4You,” the Stereotytans hope to contribute to the growing canon of modern protest songs as well as bridging a gap between different genres and cliques within the Philadelphia music scene. “Today, we study the music of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s as a way to understand the mood of people and how it was a means to galvanize. Music brought both spirit and message to the Civil Rights Movement as it did in the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. We really wanted our song to continue that tradition in which we not only spoke truth to power, but provided a feeling of hope, positivity, and provocation,” says bassist Chris aka Kronos.
All proceeds from “Breathe4You” will benefit the Philly chapter of Black Lives Matter and WE: The Caucus of Working Educators, an organization of PFT members who believe educators, parents, students, and allies have the power to improve Philadelphia public schools. Their goal is to bring more socially just education policies and practices to the school district. “We wanted to use our platform to help support a local teacher coalition that is passionate about and effectively pushing for change in schools - the space that has the most potential to transform our society,” drummer Marc aka Okeanus explains.
Damon and Marc understand the power of education: Damon is a Behavioral Specialist Consultant and Mobile Therapist within the Philly area where he works with inner city families (many of which are Black) who have children that have been struggling with behavioral and mental health disorders. He collaborates with school officials and outside community agencies, and mediates conversations between home, school and community. Marc is a professor of education at Arcadia University and their Senate President working to address systemic racism impacting Black students in higher education.
The band, who is inspired by the socially-conscious bands Rage Against The Machine, Living Colour, and Public Enemy, among others, encourages everyone to get involved in the cause however they can: educate yourself, motivate and guide the youth, and provide the moral, logistical, and/or financial support to ensure social justice sustains. “This is not a fight that will be resolved overnight; help take care of those who are leading and supporting the change we need to see in the world,” says guitarist Gabriele aka Hyperion.
The Stereotytans prove that heroes do not necessarily need to wear capes (but they are a great accessory).
Visit the Stereotytans website, www.stereotytans.com, to learn more about the band and the Breathe4You initiative.
Support BLM Philly here: https://blmphilly.wedid.it
Support Working Educators here: https://www.workingeducators.org/donations
ABOUT THE STEREOTYTANS
The Philadelphia-based, comic book inspired, hard rock band, is taking Olympus and Earth by storm. These aren’t your ordinary rockers, however. The Tytans describe their sound as “if Living Color, Fishbone and Radiohead had a threeway while Public Enemy watched and then birthed sweet, sweet musical babies with hints of soul, funk and metal mixed in for good measure.” Fans who experience crew’s elemental superpowers will be transformed through a truly unique musical experience.
The Stereotytans are:
St. Prometheus / Damon / singer
Okeanus "Okie" / Marc / drummer
Kronos / Chris / bassist
Hyperion "Hyper-Gab" / Gabriele / guitarist
Hades / Ken / DJ
The Oracle / Sam / actor
Athena / Tiffany / actor
The Protector / Jarred / actor
Facebook, Instagram + Twitter: @stereotytans