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So You’ve Registered to Vote? We speak to bands about the Snap Election

So you’ve registered to vote, what now? A snap election has been placed upon us. You’re now expected to scroll through snap manifestos and promises you’re talking yourself into believing. The importance of young people voting is one that has been spoken of by many and by this point, those that intend to vote or at least would like the option will have registered. It’s too late for this piece to reach the “Oh they’re all the same”ers but that’s not to say that because you’re registered, you’re confident in your choices or even settled on a choice for that matter. So we thought we’d knock the email doors of some bands and labels that may be in that exact same position as you and see where their voting history stems from; whether they’ve been tempted to avoid the election and if they’d be happy to share their voting intent for June 8th. Whether you’re in a political band doesn’t determine whether you’re a political person and I wanted to dig beneath the music. We spoke to Wolf Alice, Slaves, The Big Moon, Baby Strange, Eagulls, Cannibal Hymns (Brighton label who were the first home for bands such as Dream Wife and Our Girl), The Rhythm Method, Shame and Goat Girl to see how they’re feeling as June 8th approaches. These bands are just like you and I, for some it’s their first time voting, for some it’s been hard to conjure an interest. But ultimately they’re all going to vote next month and hopefully the information below will encourage you to do the same. In a time where social media can deceptively provide you a warm blanket of hope, a feed which says you cannot lose, it’s important to realise that this isn’t the truth and your vote counts.  Has voting always been a priority?

“I am very lucky, in that my mum has always reinforced the importance to vote very heavily in my home life, before I was eligible to do so she had outlined the importance of engaging with politics and its effects on the every day aspects of life. Seeing family members go through our healthcare system to buying a pint of milk, such important and trivial aspects of life are directly affected by the political choices we make.”  Theo Ellis, Wolf Alice

“I have definitely missed a few opportunities to vote. During an early tour and not registering in time for a postal vote.” 

“I’ve voted ever since I turned 18. I’ve always thought it’s so important to use your power, however small it seems – it all adds up. I think voter turnout is only something like 60% which means that the people making the rules and literally changing how things affect your life only represent 60% of the people in the country, which isn’t really a proper democracy. If the other 40% of people bothered to vote I think things would be seriously different. Also if you don’t vote, you can’t complain when things happen – if you lose your job and can’t get benefits, if you work a zero hour contract job and struggle to do enough shifts to cover your bills, if the bus suddenly costs an extra 20p, if someone dumps a fridge in your front garden, if you get fined for pissing in a bush outside a club, if you trained as a rocket scientist but can make more money working for Facebook. Go vote! If you vote I will buy you a beer.”       Juliette Jackson, The Big Moon

“We’ve only been eligible to vote since the 2015 election and yes that was a pretty overwhelming and exciting prospect for us. We have and always will vote in any election that’s called. I find it frustrating when people think it’s edgy or anti-establishment to abstain from elections, when in fact it’s pretty fucking moronic.”  Eddie Green, Shame

“I have definitely missed a few opportunities to vote. During an early tour and not registering in time for a postal vote. I also felt in the last general election there wasn’t a party I wanted to vote for at all. Brexit has definitely electrified the country and I hope it has made people realise their vote counts and not to waste that opportunity.”  Laurie Vincent, Slaves

 “I have always been less concerned with voting than i am this year. I think the reason being is that there has never been a leader which I believed would make changes applicable to my life. I was cynical and thought that all politicians would be the same and that I would hold  more of a powerful position to not vote during some elections. Inherently, our political system is flawed in that it’s foundations  lie within huge social inequalities.”  Ellie, Goat Girl

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18 is young, and at 18 you’re invited to join life’s majority to have the option to vote for the government of your country. You’ll be choosing changes you may not feel financially or physically for another two, three or four years when the bank of mum and dad loses patience or plans have been fulfilled. But you will feel them and you will see them. There are still reasons to vote for YOU but it’s likely that your choices will be determined or influenced at home and this is a shared thought…

“My parents have always been Labour members and supporters which naturally influenced me as a kid. We share very similar principles in that sense.“  Theo Ellis, Wolf Alice

“My voting values are definitely derived from home, but also through my own thinking. For a while I thought it would be an anarchist statement to not vote. However then I came to realised that I don’t think there will be a revolution in my lifetime.” Ellie, Goat Girl

“My upbringing certainly motivated me to vote Labour. It can sometimes be a blinkered outlook. But I’ve stuck to it. I lived through some fairly tough moments but as cliched as it sounds, they shape you and can liberate you.” Tim Hampson, Cannibal Hymns

“The foundations of our voting values have largely come from our respective upbringings, yes. It’s no secret that young people develop their moral compass (or lack thereof) through the lessons they’ve learned as children, through their parents and general home environment. There are certainly current social issues that influence the way we’re likely to vote but the foundations of those definitely came from our parents and the issues and injustices we’ve recognised throughout our lives.” Shame

“Absolutely, I come from a Labour voting family. A tribal mentality which is apparently dying out. It’s always been a question between good and bad for me, I appreciate that element of my upbringing immensely.” Joey Bradbury, The Rhythm Method

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 The General Election is one of the only Glory Hunt free competitions in the nation. At no point should we feel like we should follow, at no point should we be told and at no point should we feel guilty enough to follow others. This is your election. We will grow up, we will have good times as well as shit times and we will attribute them to those in power. The snap election is forcing some of us to grow up faster and maybe this can mean temporarily growing away from those around us…

“Interestingly I think when I first left home I did harbour my parent’s opinions, as I started to live my own life and travel my opinions changed quite a lot. Travelling the world, seeing places and meeting lots of new people really opens your mind up.” Laurie Vincent, Slaves

“Corbyn’s leadership has been the only time we have mildly disagreed and its been interesting to directly witness an older generation’s reluctance to follow someone based on notions of “leadership qualities” rather than defined principles.”

“Where you come from will always effect the way you see the world. I come from a socialist household but it’s up to you to educate yourself and make your own mind up in the end.” Connaire McCann, Baby Strange

“Corbyn’s leadership has been the only time we (my family and I) have mildly disagreed and its been interesting to directly witness an older generations reluctance to follow someone based on notions of “leadership qualities” rather than defined principles. Finding out who I am and what I really stand for in the world has pushed my political stand point further left the older I get.” Theo Ellis, Wolf Alice

 

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And there lies the case and point, it’s your decision. We may not all be able to travel the world and meet countless new people in order to shape our opinion within 2 weeks but, we can look out for the points that apply to us. Look around your hometown, look at your friends, look at your job or education and think about what you like and what you don’t like. Research both. Who is responsible for your favourite things, and who is to blame for those less favourable things. What is it that you’ve seen change in YOUR world? And don’t limit yourself to today, this is a decision for the next 5 years. If you’re in college right now, before the end of this government you could have graduated and about to sit in your career chair. How will a change in government effect your future? It’s past, present and future.

“I think living in a big multicultural city surrounded by all kinds of different people makes you more liberal. You see every shade of life in London, and you feel this huge contrast between the wealthiest people and the poorest living side by side, and when you see this kind of inequality every day you just want to help.” Jules Jackson, The Big Moon

“I’ve had my own share of personal issues in recent times and I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve been into therapy to work through them. I spoke to a doctor on several occasions and I was palmed off toward anti depressants. A road I’ve been on before and didn’t want to do so again. I recently discovered that CBT and other therapies can be as short as a 6 week course on the NHS. I defy anybody to feel they can really work on some deep lying issues in 6 weeks. That psychological barrier of trying to ‘get better’ in a time limit will stop you.  As a result I had to work some extra bits and pieces to pay for the sessions privately. In no way am I blaming the NHS but in terms of being affected personally. That’s something I was shocked about but was fortunate enough to be able to support myself on this occasion, that and a very understanding therapist. Others are not so fortunate and that’s a genuinely frightening prospect.” Tim Hampson, Cannibal Hymns

“…as a young person growing up I could vividly see that it’s a political choice to have tuition fees or attack disabled people.”

“I saw university fees triple, I personally don’t always agree with university. I don’t feel everyone should feel they have to go to one but if you do desire to get a degree then the fact the fees have gone up so substantially is horrendous.” Laurie Vincent, Slaves

“Since the Scottish parliament was reconvened it’s been highlighting to me how important government can be. When you watch the endless lies told by Mrs May about the way things apparently have to be for the good of the nation, it’s nice to have a parliament that acts differently so as a young person growing up I could vividly see that it’s a political choice to have tuition fees or attack disabled people.” Connaire McCann, Baby Strange

“As a result of the last terrifying wave of Tory rule we’ve found ourselves in a position where we’re all very unlikely to be able to afford a place to live in London, any time soon. I suppose in a way you could blame this on our wildly irresponsible career choice. Jokes aside, London property is being essentially gifted to obscenely wealthy foreign investors who can afford to monopolise the property market in certain areas, solely because the Tories seem to think it will bring some totally fucking warped idea of prosperity to our city. For us it’s incredibly sad that were unlikely to be able to afford to own or even rent a property in the city we grew up in, if things continue on this trajectory.” Shame

“The most direct effect to my immediate family is the hike in tuition fees, meaning my sister is set to come out of the higher education system plagued by the debt of a small fortune (something Labour have proposed to change). These impacts pale in significance compared to millions of Brits waiting months for basic health care while battling benefit cuts based on the new found bedroom tax constraints. The way I have chosen to vote in the upcoming election is not based so much on how I am effected but how we will all be affected by the severity of conservative propositions in the future.” Theo Ellis, Wolf Alice

“I”m lucky enough to have the privilege of growing up in London with a decent level of comfort. However, I remember when I first signed on in 2007 and it was a completely different experience to when I last signed on in 2013. There’s so many hurdles you have to jump nowadays, you’re treated as a number on a screen as opposed to a human looking for work. I’ve seen London be sold off rapidly. Myself and my peers have grown alienated and distant.” Joey Bradbury, The Rhythm Method

 

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With clear ideas, clear knowledge and a clear conscience, you can make an effective decision. One of which you can be proud of. In my voting lifetime, I’ve never won an election but I’ve never regretted where I put my mark in that booth.  I asked the bands within this feature who they’ll be voting for, why and what they hope to achieve by doing so…

“I have a clear view to vote for Jeremy Corbyn in the upcoming election. The principles he stands for and the policies outlined in the recently leaked manifesto I believe will make for a much fairer country to live in. Where higher earning corporations are taxed based on the huge amounts they earn to make way for the scrapping of tuition fees and the maintenance of public hospitals. These intentions speak volumes in comparison to Theresa May’s stale notions of hard Brexits and mass fox hunting sessions. I hope that my voting choice will mean the further financial sustaining of our National health service that directly affects mine and my families lives. That my sister will not emerge from university already struggling to comprehend the debt she has to pay back and that we can live in a less nationalistic more understanding country that will tackle big business’s bonus’ and oppose the idea of nationwide grammar schooling. ” Theo Ellis, Wolf Alice

“Labour.  Labour leader Corbyn has a lot of socialist-leaning policies, which the older generation has experienced before in British politics, until Blair and Thatcher tore them down. For me, it is exciting to see a leader who could make a difference, a real labour leader, rather than a labour cop-out. I can see London is financially getting out of hand – its £20 to even breathe one breath of air. If Corbyn were to re-nationalise transport, that alone would be hugely positive and hopefully lay the way for more to be taken back into the people’s hands, rather than in the hands of greedy, corporate owners” Ellie, Goat Girl

“Caroline Lucas is my local MP in Brighton. I will be voting for her. The green party feel like hope to me. It feels like she really has the seat secured here and it’s also another place the Conservatives won’t have control of, I think voting tactically is also important.” Laurie Vincent, Slaves

 

“As a committed socialist I will be voting for a left of centre pro Scottish independence candidate. I see Scottish independence under a civic progressive banner as the best thing for the UK as a whole.”

“Labour. Brighton is green but where I live in Kemp Town is conservative, so it’s a no brainer. The alternative is a car crash toward a dystopian future Philip K. Dick couldn’t of imagined, or probably did but thought it was too far fetched. How can you believe in a party that have hinged one of their leading policies on one that was pioneered in the last General Election’s Labour Manifesto and labelled it ‘Marxist’ at the time? A party that have risen national debt to 700 billion, a leader that was Pro-EU now negotiating a ‘hard brexit’ and repeatedly almost mantra like stated they would not throw a snap election. Shapeshifting to the extreme.” Tim Hampson, Cannibal Hymns

“Labour. Because their manifesto prioritises everything that is actually important. And it’s not just important to a few people in society, it’s the things that most of us need. Teachers and doctors should be paid more. I believe in higher taxes for wealthy people. If you’re earning 80k and get taxed 45%, you still have like 45k. No one needs that much money. Even after paying tax, you’re still fucking rich. Share it out dudes. My life’s pretty good to be honest. I’m young and pretty carefree and I’m doing what I always wanted to do and I’ve got enough to get by. I’m not voting for me, I’m voting for everyone who’s having a hard time. The nurses who are on their arses trying to look after too many people at once, the people who get fat cos they can’t afford healthy food, teachers trying to teach 40 kids of all different abilities all at once, kids who can’t afford to leave home cos rents are too high or because university costs so much money. ” Jules Jackson, The Big Moon

“Firstly if I was in England I’d be voting for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party and I hope they win in England and Wales. Sadly the Scottish Labour Party has betrayed their own class and constantly lied to the Scottish people, they will not even properly back Jeremy Corbyn. I’ll never forget some of the tricks Scottish labour pulled on their own voters. As a committed socialist I will be voting for a left of centre pro Scottish independence candidate. I see Scottish independence under a civic progressive banner as the best thing for the UK as a whole.” Connaire McCann, Baby Strange

“We’re all voting Labour, quelle fucking surprise. We urge voters of all races, classes and cultures not to squander this truly once in a lifetime opportunity for all-round social and economic justice. Regardless of the fact we’d all vote Labour anyway, this election is particularly poignant because we’re unlikely to ever see a Labour manifesto like this again. Jeremy Corbyn has dragged the Labour Party back from the confusing centre-right mess it previously was, and I highly doubt any future leader will do anything as radical ever again.” Shame

“I will be voting Labour. Marsha de Cordova, I live in Battersea. One of London’s few Tory constituencies. A vote for anyone else is effectively a vote for the Conservatives. Being an unsigned band we still have to work. An increase in minimum wage would be a great start. Not losing freedom of movement, more council houses.” Joey Bradbury, The Rhythm Method

“Everybody I know here in Leeds will be voting Labour for this election. I will be too. Its a no brainer. Unless you’re sadly brainwashable. I believe Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour will win if the youth vote. And I’m looking forward to it. On the other hand, I don’t look forward to his assassination. It’s always the good one’s that get gone.” George Mitchell, Eagulls
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As is life, we don’t make all decisions based upon positives, we can’t help but consider our fears. What next if our choices don’t come through? If you have an opinion, why is it so important to get out there and act on it on June 8th?

 “I think a tory government will just widen the gap between a wealthy elite and all the rest of us. A minority will be having a great time while most people continue to struggle. Also it feels like the NHS is just going to die and that’s really really bad. I paralysed my shoulder last year while on tour around America and had to visit doctors and pay for it. I realised that not only is private healthcare really expensive, it means the doc has an agenda: they want to sell you the most expensive painkiller, they want to do that operation on you because they make more money. People are terrified of calling an ambulance because it costs thousands of dollars. We are so incredibly lucky to have a national health service and we need to protect it.” Jules Jackson, The Big Moon

“I’m concerned with the fact that a witch can round up the working class like sheep to leave them spellbound in hatred against a man thats trying to instruct positivity. Just because the positive man didn’t wear a uniform like the witch.” George Mitchell, Eagulls

“My main fear is that people will lose faith in pursuing the arts.”

“Well if the Tories remain in power they will finish what they started by ripping up what’s left of the social contract. Using brexit to push through any changes they want, these people are willing to screw over 99% of the country to get what they want.” Connaire McCann, Baby Strange

 “…the benefits of seeing this current shit shower out of power will see us all with a brighter outlook and provide opportunity that may be a bit fanciful. I think as a nation we are pessimists, we use negative quotes as the positive for a brighter outlook, ‘Oh but at least it can’t get any worse!” but the scary thought is, it can actually get worse.” Tim Hampson, Cannibal Hymns

“Who knows what another sickening bout of Tory rule holds for us. My main fear is that people will lose faith in pursuing the arts. As it stands, doing things like sacking off jobs/university to start a band is a pretty financially dangerous decision. If things continue in the way they’re going then I really wouldn’t be surprised if the arts as a whole took a major blow, solely due to uncertainty of what the future would hold. That’s how it would affect our work.” Shame

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Between now and June 8th you’ll be updated on countless opinion polls, comfort may come and go via social media, and mainstream media will spread their best interests upon you. But then you’ll be asked to make up your own mind.  Whilst ultimately it is down to you, the information you read and the perception you choose to take, we asked the bands within this feature to give advice for those of you that are registered but confused…

“Do some research, find out what parties are running in your local area and how it affects you. Use your vote, it really does have an impact.” Laurie Vincent, Slaves

Ensure that you don’t stay within the very comfortable echo chamber of your own social media, understanding other people’s political views is important and you won’t witness any of those if you remain within the algorithmic confines of your Facebook feed.”

“Read the manifestos. It’s all there. Once you’ve read them it’s pretty clear who the goodies are” Jules Jackson, The Big Moon

 “Get yourself informed. Know your history. Ask for more. If you’re young and not being represented why not run for parliament, look at Mhairi Black. Think Big. As the late great Joe Strummer said “Ignore Alien Orders”.” Connaire McCann, Baby Strange

 “It’s obvious, but get your backside to the polling station. I read a really surprising stat in that young women are the worst demographic for not registering and voting. That’s going to be a good percentage of the So Young readership I would imagine. You can bet that the older generations who won’t be decimated or effected by the current trajectory of modern politics are going to be at that polling station. Many of them fresh with the latest Daily Mail pull quotes and headlines buried in their skulls.” Tim Hampson, Cannibal Hymns

“Get off the internet, talk to your parents and Vote Labour.” Joey Bradbury, The Rhythm Method

“My advice would be to educate yourself as much as possible on the workings of our government and what prospective political candidates will do for you and the country you live in. If we understand our governing system the more likely we are to use it to benefit everyone’s day to day lives. The fact that politics doesn’t seem like it’s that accessible to a younger generation doesn’t mean that it won’t directly impact every single thing you go through, from how long you wait in A&E to how much you pay for a pint of milk. The next time you will have a chance to influence these things will be in 2022, as confusing as it can be, it is very important. Ensure that you don’t stay within the very comfortable echo chamber of your own social media, understanding other people’s political views is important and you won’t witness any of those if you remain within the algorithmic confines of your Facebook feed.” Theo Ellis, Wolf Alice

“It’s rare to find an election in British history where young people have had this much scope to generate change. The only piece of advice I can give to any eligible voters, young or old, in this election is, please, for all that’s good in the world just vote Labour. It’s an opportunity for societal change that we will probably never, ever see again.” Shame

“Young people can swing the election, do not let the 60+s take hold of our future, don’t be lazy – registering and voting is easy. Women and people of colour have fought for the right!” Ellie, Goat Girl

The General Election takes place on June 8th. You can find info of where to vote on your polling card and further info here.

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