Neil Young Gets Activist on New Album Out 6/29

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unknownThe veteran rocker won’t eat GMO foods here in the The Monsanto Years the title of his newest record on the Warner Bros. Reprise label – and isn’t drinking Starbucks coffee or “Rockin’ in the Free World” with just-announced presidential candidate Donald Trump. In other words, Young is again taking political and economic stances with the same fervency last seen nearly 10 years ago on his Living with War album.

His June 28 LP release recorded with Lukas and Micah Nelson (sons of Willie Nelson) and their band Promise of the Real (aka POTR) addresses genetically modified organisms on the title track and “A Rock Star Bucks A Coffee Shop” along with corporatism, chain retail stores (“Big Box”), agriculture and populism (“Workin’ Man”) alongside other less-loaded subjects on the nine-song collection.

The music trade magazine Billboard reached out to Young’s targets mentioned in song and received these responses from them:

Walmart: “Walmart [recently] raised its lowest starting wage to $9 an hour. We’re proud of the opportunity we provide people to build a career and have a chance at a better life.”

Monsanto: “Many of us at Monsanto have been and are fans of Neil Young. Unfortunately, for some of us, his current album may fail to reflect our strong beliefs in what we do every day to help make agriculture more sustainable. We recognize there is a lot of misinformation about who we are and what we do – and unfortunately several of those myths seem to be captured in these lyrics.”

Starbucks: “Starbucks has not taken a position on the issue of GMO [genetically modified organism] labeling. As a company with stores and a product presence in every state, we prefer a national solution.”

Chevron: “I received your media inquiry, however we are not going to participate in the interview.”

In a post on Facebook, Young replied: “I do not trust self serving misinformation coming from corporations and their media trolls. I do not trust politicians who are taking millions from those corporations either. I trust people. So I make my music for people not for candidates.”

Young also objected to real estate developer and reality TV star Donald Trump using his song “Rockin’ in the Free World” at the recent announcement of Trump’s candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. A statement from Young’s Lookout Management representatives said: “Donald Trump was not authorized to use ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’ in his presidential candidacy announcement. Neil Young, a Canadian citizen, is a supporter of Bernie Sanders for President of the United States of America.”

Young will take his latest causes and other music on the road in July for 12 shows with POTR in what is titled the Rebel Content Tour (see dates here.)

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