Friendship Commanders Release New Singles “Stonechild” & “Your Reign Is Over”

Friendship Commanders Release New Singles “Stonechild” & “Your Reign Is Over” on Indigenous Peoples’ Day
Photo credit: Jamie Goodsell
Stream: “Stonechild” & “Your Reign Is Over” at Destroy // Exist or
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Friendship Commanders is a melodic heavy duo from Nashville TN comprised of vocalist/guitarist Buick Audra and drummer/bassist Jerry Roe. The band is pleased to present their new singles, “Stonechild” & “Your Reign Is Over.” The songs premiered at Destroy // Exist and are available to share now on Soundcloud or all streaming services. They can also be purchased with corresponding merch via Bandcamp.

Destroy // Exist calls the new songs “a pair of very dynamic post-grunge rockers fueled by the events of 2020, drawing its subjects from real-life tragedy.” About “Stonechild,” “Musically the song is up to par with the most powerful and vigorous moments in the catalog of Friendship Commanders, ardently performed and all-around impenetrable, and together with its solemn theme, it makes straight for an imperative listen.” About “Your Reign Is Over,” “Radical and politically charged… confronts racism, misogyny, and the system’s injustices head-on, and emphasizes how crucial and imperative is a change which must happen on all levels while underlining the frustration that comes with the current situation.”

The new singles follow their Spring 2020 EP, Hold On To Yourself∫, and were mixed and mastered by the same team of Kurt Ballou and Brad Boatright. While there is a sonic through-line, “Stonechild” and “Your Reign Is Over” cover new territory for the band. The music still occupies a heavy space, but the vocal presentations and energies vary, as do the subjects.

“Stonechild” was written about the circumstances of Stonechild Chiefstick’s death on July 3, 2019. Stonechild was a Chippewa Cree man who was part of the Suquamish Tribal community in Poulsbo, Washington. Stonechild was 39 years old when he was killed, a father of five.

Buick Audra says, “Through a friend of mine who lives on the Port Madison Reservation, I connected to articles in local publications about his death, all of which I read with horror. My brain kept going back to facts of the story: He was murdered by a white police officer . . . At the location where the community was gathered to enjoy the 3rd of July fireworks, at a waterfront park . . . Families with kids were everywhere and witnessed his death . . . And they still held the fireworks after he died. The song was written to acknowledge a life, question a death, and stand in solidarity with a community that has lost someone. We, alongside the people who knew him, demand justice for Stonechild. With this song, I am also asking questions to all of us about how we’re actually moving through this world, injustice all around us, systemic racism normalized and ignored. Are we helping, or are we hurting?”
Cassy Fowler, who speaks in Lushootseed on the track, does so on behalf of Stonechild’s family. The txʷəlšucid (Lushootseed) lyrics were written by txʷəlšucid Cassy Fowler (Suquamish), Zalmai Zahir ʔəswəli (Puyallup), and Chris Duenas (Puyallup).

“Your Reign Is Over” was written in a fit of frustration. During a year that has held a pandemic, a revolution for racial justice, economic uncertainty for so many, devastating environmental emergencies, and what is likely the most important presidential election of many of our lifetimes, the song was written to shout-down people who use immense privilege and platform to cause further harm. Do we have any more room for this? For racism, misogyny, misinformation, apathy, or carelessness? Friendship Commanders don’t think so. In this song, the band calls for all who are hell-bent on selfishness as their primary modality to step down and make room for new leadership, new systems, and new voices.
On June 19, 2020, the Tennessee legislature voted to pass the most restrictive abortion ban in the country. They did it in the middle of the night, without the public knowing. Buick was actually in the building for it. She says, “As an activist who advocates for bodily autonomy, the fact that our largely white and male Republican super-majority legislature took the extra steps to hinder the rights of so many – the middle of such a vulnerable time – really blew my last fuse. There’s no way to dress that action up as anything but deliberately harmful. Such action is rooted in racism, classism, and sexism There’s some junk science in there, too. I haven’t written much this year, but I have written this work to say that this chapter is over. We can no longer allow any of the above to go on. This election needs to flip the state of Tennessee, and also the presidency.”
“Stonechild” & “Your Reign Is Over” cover art by Ethan McCarthy
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