Billy Bragg | Music | Interview | The A.V. Club

While The Onion itself these days runs hot and cold, the Onion A.V. Club is nothing but stellar. I’d been saying this before they did a main-feature on my beloved Billy Bragg (a performer who never seems to get more than a cursory mention in any other entertainment media) so you can imagine how chuffed I was this week to see Big Nose in the interview spotlight.

I love Bill’s A to the Onion’s Q here, as most of my friends can’t get past Bill’s politics, despite my efforts to show them how fantastic his “sappy love songs” are:

I don’t mind being labeled as a political songwriter. I’ve chosen to do that. What really annoys me is being dismissed as a political songwriter. That really pains me, because life isn’t all about love; it’s not all about politics, either. It’s a beautiful mixture of events that absolutely baffle you, and you think, “Why can’t I do something about that?”, whether those events are in your bedroom, or out there in the wide world. In our daily lives we engage with them at different times, and I’m trying to write about the whole human experience, or my perspective on it anyway. And to ignore one or the other would be foolish. I’ve done gigs with bands who only write political songs; every single one of their songs is polemical. And you know, they just beat the audience into submission with these ideas. There’s very little concession to entertainment. My experience has been, if I can entertain people and get them to open up a little bit, then they’re much more conducive to any ideas I might have, whether they’re about relationships or politics. The most interesting songs, I think, are the ones where the two overlap.

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