Fear No Empire is a new project from Ali Tabatabaee (zebrahead) on vocals, Ben Ozz (zebrahead) on bass, Dan Palmer (zebrahead, Death By Stereo) on guitar, and Mike Cambra (The Adolescents, Death by Stereo, and Common War) on drums. Their debut song, “Revolt,” was released on Aug. 19 and is an angst-ridden attack at those in power who have used their position to further the divide in this country. We asked the singer, Ali Tabatabaee, a few questions about the band and his thoughts on the state of the nation.
Degraded: In the past you stated that “music is the ultimate way to express culture.” What are you hoping to express with Fear No Empire?
Ali: As artists we draw from our personal experiences to create. I started writing lyrics as an outlet for my frustration and anger with things going on around me with the COVID-19 pandemic and the senseless killing of black and brown people. We started Fear No Empire as our protest to use our platform to shine a light on these and other issues plaguing our society. I hope our music inspires people to use their voice and stand up for what they strongly believe in.
Degraded: Your first single, “Revolt,” conveys a lot of angst that many Americans are feeling at the moment. What’s your message to them?
Ali: I would say my message to them is that even though we are in a distressing time, it is not permanent. We can and will move past this angst we are feeling if we become active and challenge the many social and racial injustices that have become even more prevalent during the past four years.
Degraded: What would you like the state of America to look like in five years? How do we get there?
Ali: I want America to become more inclusive and welcoming again. A lot of damage has been inflicted on our country from the divisive policies of the current administration and the hateful rhetoric spewed by their supporters and enablers. We need to get to a place of treating all individuals with respect and dignity. We should not only acknowledge our past history and recognize systemic racism in our society but enact real policy and reform to guard against the color of someone’s skin bringing them harm. I am hopeful we can get there if we all use our voices and unite for change.
Degraded: It seems like America hasn’t been this divided on the direction of the country in years. What’s it going to take to reunify the nation?
Ali: I think voting out an administration that thrives on dividing us in November’s election is crucial. So many people feel marginalized and have become exhausted by the whole political process. Encouraging them to vote and elect leaders that value diversity and understand that we are stronger together is of the utmost importance. We cannot be passive or sidelined by voter suppression tactics. We must be a part of this process and mobilize our communities.
Degraded: Musically, what else can we expect from the EP when it drops in October?
Ali: The EP has high energy and a raw sound that crosses genres by pulling influence from rock, hip hop, punk, and electronic music.
Also, check out their powerful debut song below!
You can listen to more great new music on Degraded’s August 2020 Spotify playlist!