Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Mar 16th 2010 12:00PM by Kenneth Partridge
"I've read a couple of things that refer to some element of ironic patriotism in our lyrics, which is completely off the mark," Stickles tells Spinner. "I really think America is the greatest country that's ever existed."
With the War Between the States as a metaphorical backdrop, Stickles uses the 10 songs on 'The Monitor' to explore his own internal conflicts. By the end of the album -- a 65-minute mix of ramshackle punk rock and spoken-word recitations of Civil War-era speeches and poems -- the singer learns a valuable lesson: "We have to account for our own happiness."
If Stickles is optimistic about the possibility of finding contentment, he's equally sanguine about the future of the United States, recent foreign-policy blunders notwithstanding.
"Even though we have a lot of problems, we also have the best ideas," he says. "We still have the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and all [these] beautiful documents, and the idea that all men, or all humans, are created equal, and with work there is nothing you can't accomplish, and everyone deserves a fair shake," he says. "That is, you know, pretty much as good as it gets."
While Stickles admits that America has its shortcomings, he speaks of the nation with words reminiscent of fellow New Jersey songwriter Bruce Springsteen, an obvious influence.
"It hasn't always worked out like that, but I still think our country has the potential to live up to all its promises," Stickles says. "I might not see it in my lifetime, but maybe my kids or my grandkids might."