Courtesy of Living With Lions Well, that's that. Consider the Living With…
- Posted on Nov 9th 2011 3:00PM by Jason MacNeil
Black Box Recordings
"I think it's a very slippery slope," singer-guitarist Chase Brenneman, who just kicked off a Living With Lions European tour, tells Spinner. "When 'art funding programs' start putting limits on how people are allowed to express themselves or what people deem offensive, I would hardly call that an arts funding program."
In response to the Living With Lions debacle, a revision to the FACTOR Recipient General Agreements has been made, with the addition of a new clause that "allows FACTOR to refuse funding of projects featuring lyrics and/or artwork that contain illegal or offensive material."
It's an update that baffles Brenneman.
"Art is supposed to evoke emotion and sometimes that emotion is content or offensive," he says. "So for them having standards, it's like, 'Define what is offensive?'"
Brenneman also says the revision could leave some bands changing their lyrical approach to ensure a greater chance of receiving FACTOR financial assistance.
"I wouldn't be surprised if it definitely influences how people write their music or express themselves," he says. "For a lot of people getting that FACTOR money is very important to them and it helps jump-start their career or keep their career going. A lot of people need that money."
Meanwhile, Living With Lions have mounted a Kickstarter fundraising campaign dubbed "Defend Living With Lions" in order to pay back the grant. The drive ends on Nov. 14 and has raised nearly $10,000 so far. According to Brenneman, their original goal of $7,400 was surpassed in "a day and a half," so the extra funds will be donated to Canada's National Portrait Gallery, who had their funding cut a few years ago. The band plan to donate the money in the name of Canadian Federal Heritage Minister James Moore, a public dig at the official who criticized the band for receiving FACTOR assistance for 'Holy S---.'
"The whole idea behind it is that we wanted to have something to say when we went to go pay back the money to FACTOR," he says. "We could say, 'Hey this money was given to us by taxpayers.' Not necessarily towards FACTOR but more towards the Conservative government."
Brenneman describes the whole experience as "eye-opening" and notes that at least it inspired the band to become politically active.
"We're all young guys and not very politically motivated, and to be so personally affected by the Government, it really opened our eyes to how important politics actually are. Things can really affect your livelihood if you're not really aware or paying attention."