Los Angeles alternative rockers, the Silversun Pickups, have a message for Mitt Romney’s campaign: stop using our song.
The band’s attorney sent Team Romney a cease and desist letter yesterday after the Pickups learned on Twitter that their song “Panic Switch” was used during a Romney campaign stop in North Carolina.
As for the idea of a candidate using a song called “Panic Switch” at a campaign stop, the Pickups’ lead singer, Brian Aubert, issued this tongue-in-cheek statement obtained by the Associated Press:
“We don’t like people going behind our backs, using our music without asking, and we don’t like the Romney campaign. We’re nice, approachable people. We won’t bite. Unless you’re Mitt Romney! We were very close to just letting this go because the irony was too good. While he is inadvertently playing a song that describes his whole campaign, we doubt that ‘Panic Switch’ really sends the message he intends.”
The Romney camp responded with spokesperson Andrea Saul saying, “As anyone who attends Gov. Romney’s events knows, this is not a song we would have played intentionally. That said, it was covered under the campaign’s regular blanket license, but we will not play it again.”
The Pickups, for their part, say they disagree with that license covering this kind of usage, hence the cease and desist letter.
This is certainly not the first (and unlikely to be the last) time musicians have asked conservative politicians to take them off their campaign stop playlists. Others musicians to make such demands include K’Naan, John Mellencamp, the Foo Fighters, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, and Cyndi Lauper to name just a few.
One of the nastier fights of this sort happened between former Florida governor, Republican-turned-Independent Charlie Crist and Talking Heads frontman David Byrne. That bizarre incident led Crist to release this hostage-video-type statement on YouTube.
As for the song in question, “Panic Switch” – it’s fantastic. And you can hear it in the clip below.