We were psyched, but not surprised, when NYC hardcore heavyweight Most Precious Blood contacted us about shrink-wrapping the PETA2 “Question Authority” cards and our new “Friends Don’t Chain Friends” stickers in the first 15,000 copies of the band’s new album. Members of Most Precious Blood are known within the hardcore community for their pro-active stance on animal rights. They always distribute PETA literature at their shows and visited us last year at our offices—check out the below photo of vocalist, Rob, bassist, Matty, and MPB merch king, Tim, from that visit.
When Most Precious Blood’s second Trustkill release came out, “Our Lady of Annihilation,” we contacted guitarist Justin in order to bring you this long overdue interview.
Tell me why the issue of animal rights is important to the whole band.
All of us are either vegan or vegetarian and have been so for the better half of a decade now. Most of us love our pets more than we love most people just because you don’t get much more sincere than an animal’s unconditional love and trust. We all have dogs we’ve adopted from shelters and stray cats we’ve given shelter to. We are strongly against the buying and breeding of dogs and cats. We believe the compassion of being a vegan or vegetarian should extend into your daily life and not only what you abstain from on your dinner plate. It should extend to thinking about what you wear and where or WHO it came from, not buying from or supporting companies that endorse animal testing, and an overall awareness of “the truth.”
We are all vegan or vegetarian because of our love for animals, and it only expands from there. It is also very important to us because we were all introduced to animal rights via hardcore and punk rock. So to us, it is very important to pass on this infinite wisdom to all the new blood at the shows these days. Years ago, you couldn’t go to a hardcore/punk show without seeing someone passing out literature or a table with a VCR showing direct action midnight raids and vivisection. It made you think. We want kids to leave a Most Precious Blood show with more than just a new T-shirt. It’s important to pass this message on because to us, the 20-somethings, it’s all very second nature. We’ve already been indoctrinated with all this good stuff, now we have to teach the next generation because they have no idea yet. I wish there was a computer chip you could stick in the back of everyone’s head that just filled you with this knowledge. We want to lay it out there for people to see and then they can make their own judgment from there.
We aren’t looking to convert people or change the world. We’ve already changed ourselves for the better—all we can do now is put the information out there and hope the common sense of people takes over. I don’t think cynicism is bad, I think cynicism makes way for the search for the truth behind everything. You have to be smart enough to look beyond what you’re being fed and what you’ve been taught—question the answers, if you will.
Why did you want the “Question Authority” card and the “Friends Don’t Chain Friends: Let Dogs Inside” sticker included in your CD?
We thought the “Question Authority” card was great for younger kids. It’s very cut and dried, black and white, gets you interested and tells you how to learn more—it’s very easy. People are lazy and always want something free, so if you offer them free stickers and literature and all they have to do is make a phone call, then you’re all set. The more people that get involved, the better, and if they get involved because they first saw it in our CD or because we’re into it, then I will die a very happy man. The “chaining your dog” sticker is important to us because neglect is a big problem with people and their pets. Sometimes the novelty of the new puppy wears off, but the dog still needs your love and attention and care. You have to realize that whether you adopt or buy your pet, every day that animal has life because of you and it’s your responsibility to care for the animal like he/she is a member of your family. We also have a rabbit and it’s always depressing around spring and Easter time when you see pet stores overflowing with little bunnies. Half of these poor babies will be returned once the little brat gets bored. It’s not a toy—it’s a life!!
What would your message be to your fans about having compassion and getting involved?
You can’t force it within yourself. Either it’s there or it isn’t. If you can watch footage of animals being tortured for toothpaste and slaughtered for food and not get upset, then this isn’t for you, but for a lot of us, it’s enraging. It sparks something inside of you. It’s important that you recognize that fire if you feel it inside and do something about it. Spread the word. Start with yourself. Change your diet, change the way you live, your life, and the way you view the world around you. Think about how we all use and abuse the world. Think about eating flesh. It’s barbaric and disgusting and cannibalistic. Think about how we cherish our domesticated animals, our family dogs and cats, but we would never imagine eating them. There is no difference with any other animal, a chicken or a cow. They’re all the same. They all have emotions. They know pain and sadness and fear. When we look in their eyes, we see life—a living, breathing, feeling creature. We definitely aren’t looking to force people into anything, but we hope that it reaches people and makes a connection in one way or another.