Petrol Girls have spent much of this year so far on the road throughout Europe with the likes of War On Women and La Dispute and their latest single ‘No Love For A Nation’ explores the band’s inherent abhorrence of nationalism and borders in general. This powerful anti-nationalist anthem is welcome at a time when the world is deeply divided; it encourages the listener to question the nation state and seek a more inclusive future. The pertinence of this single is undeniable with the UK’s impending Brexit doom looming large.
“This track is our anti-nationalist anthem. As a band, we come from three different nation states - Austria, Lithuania and the UK - and hold no love for any of them.” says a matter-of-fact Ren (Aldridge, vocalist).
“The nation is a bizarre and often cruel way of organising societies on the basis of where people happen to have been born. It is those on the edge of this way of defining ourselves that suffer its harshest consequences - refugees, migrants and asylum seekers. Populist nationalism takes aim at these people, and uses them as a scapegoat for the failings of capitalism and neoliberalism. If history has taught us anything, it’s that we must resist the rise of populist nationalism that is sweeping the planet.
We stand in opposition to Fortress Europe but mourn Brexit as the result of populist nationalist politics and a xenophobic, dishonest and at times overtly racist campaign. We are not proud of Britain - we are embarrassed. Above all we are angered by the rise in racism and xenophobia since the Brexit result. We are deeply troubled and angered by the way in which populist nationalism has emboldened racists and fascists across the world. Fuck the FPÖ, AfD, Pegida, Le Front National, Bolsonaro, Putin, Trump, UKIP and Brexit.
Populist nationalism is the weaponisation of the Nation State - the bizarre and often cruel way that societies are organised on the basis of where people happen to have been born. Obviously the Nation State has material outcomes, manifested in reality as physical borders, passports, governments and armies. But at its core, the Nation State is just an idea - a notion - something that exists in our collective imagination and is consolidated through culture - through monuments and museums, through football and flags.The lyrics to this track grew from an art project I’ve been doing for a while, where people are invited to cut up flags and stitch them into new forms. This is also where the album title 'Cut & Stitch' came from.
This song aims to question, and contribute to destabilising, the idea of nations. Can we collectively imagine ourselves in a different way? The nation rose from the decline of the monarchy - what will rise from the decline of nations? Can’t we find better and more inclusive ways of collectively understanding ourselves?”