We're talking about the Hawaiian, 311/Sublime-style reggae-rock trio Pepper, who was previously (and thankfully) unknown to SFS before today. According to a Seattle Post-Intelligencer blog, not only is Pepper's current tour being sponsored by Camel, but the band has opened their hearts and lungs to the product in front of their fans. On the stage at a recent show at local venue Neumos, they thanked the cigarette maker and even went as far as to advocate the smokes, which were being offered at tents in the back of the Camel-bedecked concert hall.
From the SPI Blog:
Does this mean that Pepper sold out?If you've got a heavy tolerance of irony and enjoy marijuana smoke heaved in your face like exhaust from a Harrier jet -- oh, and some headphones -- check out the raunchy jam "Point and Shoot" from the band's 2006 album, "No Shame." Just kidding. Seriously, don't listen to this song even if you fit that description. Just remember what kind of audience Camel is working to cultivate after the indie backlash.
By accepting the sponsorship of a major corporation, a major cigarette corporation at that, they give up some artistic license (e.g., the big camels everywhere). It also marries their music to a corporation, which can only spell death for artists who don't maintain an individual style and lose their fan base because they "sold out" or became too mainstream.
Don't even get me started on corporate America thieves.
It was surprising to me that Pepper, of all bands, accepted Camel's sponsorship. I think they were doing it to save money for traveling -- financing your own tour is very expensive -- but I also wonder if it was a big f*** you to everyone who would judge it. They didn't seem to care they had to pitch cigarettes to their fans -- they were just happy to be there.
[Via Daily Swarm/SPI Blog]