Tom Morello joins forces with The Bloody Beetroots, Shea Diamond and Dan Reynolds for new track “Stand Up.” The song comes in support of the protests which have swept throughout the entire world, with all four artists pledging to donate 100 percent of their proceeds towards the NAACP, Know Your Rights Camp, Southern Poverty Law Center and the Marsha P. Johnson Institute.
“When I call the police will they just kill me?/Will they just kill you?/When you call the police would they just protect you cause you’re white skinned too?” Diamond sings. The song incorporates Reynold’s rough voice screaming “Stand up/Cause you are standing for nothing.” The Bloody Beetroots and Morello incorporate loud guitars and heavy synths into the track. The drums kick and snare, the entirety of the track flowing with anger.
“I grew up in the tiny lily white, archy conservative town of Libertyville, Illinois,” Morello said in a press statement. “When I was a kid, someone hung a noose in my family’s garage, there was occasional N-word calling, etc, etc. On June 6 of this year, there was a Black Lives Matter rally and march in that same town that drew over 1,000 people. It seems that the times, they are a’changin’. I was so inspired that night, I reached out to Dan from Imagine Dragons. The Bloody Beetroots and I had conjured a slamming track and within 24 hours Dan had sent back a completed vocal. We got Shea Diamond, a Black transgender woman with a long history of activism, on the track and the coalition was complete.”
Diamond’s lyrics sing, “If you walked a mile in my shoes/You’d probably take em off wouldn’t you/If you had to live in my truth/You’d probably tell a lie wouldn’t you.” Diamond discussed her involvement and activism in a press statement, as well as described her experience as a black and trans woman.
“When I hear people talking about being allies of the LGBTQ+ community, mainly in the Black and Trans community, it’s almost laughable,” Diamond said. “We watch them profit from our pain, making these surface level posts of solidarity – especially in music. When I think about Black Lives Matter and Trans Lives Matter, you don’t see any representations of collaborations – many would never share a post, let alone do a song together. So when I heard Dan Reynolds wanted me on his song, I nearly flipped. I wasn’t surprised, though – he’s been so intentional in sharing posts, helping to raise money within our community and more. He really puts the A in ally! This is a proud moment in music history, and I feel so honored to be a part of such an important song during this climate … we need to know where everyone stands in the music community, as music is an essential tool that can change the hearts and minds of so many.”
Last year, Imagine Dragons were awarded with holding the Top 3 songs on Billboard’s Top 10 rock songs of the decade. Morello had joined M. Shadows and John Dolyman for a cover of Radiohead’s “Street Spirit (Fade Out)” last January.
Photo credit: Marv Watson