Salt Lake City’s SubRosa recently released their album ‘For This We Fought the Battle of Ages‘. This album is a crucial marker in the band’s repertoire; musically, their trademark mix of haunting doom and innovative chamber music. Lyrically, the album was partially inspired by Yevgeny Zamyatin’s influential dystopian novel ‘We‘ and explores difficult and immediate issues relevant in America today.
The song ‘Troubled Cells’ and the accompanying video directly address one such issue and together serve as an artistic expression and vehicle of activism. In November of last year, the Mormon Church made a change to their handbook with heavy consequences for LGBTQ members who choose to marry, and any children they might have. SubRosa vocalist Rebecca Vernon made the decision to write ‘Troubled Cells’ to speak out against these directives. The video for ‘Troubled Cells’ premieres just after the anniversary of the Church’s policy change (5 November 2015) and was itself shot in the forests and deserts of California by a hand-picked crew of film industry professionals from all over the country, all of whom donated 100% of their time, skills, and resources to make this project possible. The film was co-directed by Danica Vallone and Thomas Dekker.
The band commented:
“The SubRosa song ‘Troubled Cells’ was written for all LGBTQ individuals around the world who face oppression and exclusion from religious communities.
It was inspired by a new policy affecting LGBTQ members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), released Nov 5, 2015, declaring that gay members of the church who marry will face excommunication. The policy also forbids children of gay parents to be baptized until they turn 18 and then, only if they formally disavow their parents’ lifestyle. This came on the heels of escalating rhetoric against same-sex marriage and relationships from the church for many years.
Since the passing of this policy, multiple suicides among Mormon LGBTQ have occurred. Youth are particularly vulnerable to negative messages from church culture. Many of those who have taken their own lives since last Nov. 5 were under the age of 20.
SubRosa has friends and family within and without the church deeply affected by this policy change. Many individuals—both straight and gay—are in turmoil, both those who have left the church in protest, and those who stay in the church, dedicated to incite change from within.
In SubRosa, we believe that art can help change the world. Therefore, we feel compelled to speak out about what is happening, and to reach out to those most affected—LGBTQ youth. This desire compelled us to write ‘Troubled Cells’ and partner with filmmakers whose ambition matched our own to create the song’s accompanying video.
The ‘Troubled Cells’ song and video is a reminder that if we feel we have the luxury to avoid examining our deepest prejudices, we do so at our own peril and the peril of our children.”
The band have produced a website to go with the video www.TroubledCells.com and this itself contains links to resources to help those affected by these issues.
If you are a young person in crisis, feeling suicidal, or in need of a safe and judgement-free place to talk, call the Trevor Lifeline now at 1-866-488-7386. Their trained counsellors are here to support you 24/7.
SubRosa are on tour in support of ‘For This We Fought the Battle of Ages’:
November 12 San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
November 13 Glendale, CA @ Complex
November 14 Oakland, CA @ Golden Bull
November 15 Sacramento, CA @ Starlite
November 16 Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
November 17 Vancouver, BC @ Cobalt
November 18 Seattle, WA @ Highline
November 19 Boise, ID @ Neurolux
December 10 Denver, CO @ Black Sky Fest
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