Rise Against were scheduled to headline the Buzz Bake Sale, an annual concert put on by West Palm Beach, Florida-based commercial radio station Buzz 103, this December, until the band found out that the stage was sponsored by the U.S. Army’s recruiting department.
The radio station decided to go public with the story, calling the band "un-American" and having "anti-American attitudes". You can listen to MP3’s of the sation talking about it via these three parts. 1, 2 and 3.
Rise Against responded to these claims with a lengthy open letter….
"To dignify this ridiculous scare tactic, Rise Against supports the troops and always have. In the past year, Rise Against worked closely with the USO to allow troops and their families to attend our shows with Rancid for free. As our economy spiraled over the summer, we played near about 14 different military bases, making this all possible. We also continue to work closely with the Iraq Veterans Against The War who attended and tabled many Rise Against shows in the last year. We hear from troops overseas on a daily basis through email and cherish that contact. We learned so much in the time we spent with all of these individuals and look forward to doing it again.
That said, we grew up in a time where the decisions and stances that bands took in their career are the things that defined them, and what made them special and respected by fans and media alike. Nobody would have asked Rage Against The Machine to headline this stage. To not respect the decisions and stances of bands across this vast musical landscape puts real music and real musicians in jeopardy. To have radio stations become bullies and threaten the artists they play to conform with their agenda or else face the consequences is something that flys in the face of not only the scene, but of this country. Many of the bands that BUZZ 103 plays on the airwaves carved their name through the stands that they took musically and politically. We need to be wary of those who would bully artists into an agenda set by those who control the airwaves.
If we were to bow to this pressure, we would not be Rise Against. Shame on you BUZZ103 for even asking us to. Last time we checked, supporting the troops involves more than just accepting their money that you need to put on shows. We are sorry to the Rise Against fans who took BUZZ103s word as truth and had to spend the better part of the day believing that we are the monsters the DJs made us out as."