Local band is ‘Thought’-ful

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By Griffith Fuller

By Griffith Fuller

Some bands play music so they can gain popularity and get laid.

Others, like Conspiracy of Thought, want to educate people while slowly change the world.

The local Riverside band draws from influences such as System of a Down, Rage Against the Machine, U2, Tool, and even Public Enemy to create music that is alluring and original.

The band released their six-track album “Deus Ex Machina: God from the Machine” this year.

“In ancient Greek plays they had writers who wrote about human interactions and a character would get killed off,” said RCC student and vocalist/guitarist Ben Stewart. “Gods would come in a chariot as the savior to the people. We are saying that George Bush is like the god from the machine.”

“Bloodstained” is the most emotional track on the album and instantly makes listeners feel the intensity of the lyrics and music.

“The song is about a two year old girl in Pakistan who was killed because her parents converted to Christianity,” Stewart said. “They were going to church and a group of militants shot the little girl, killing her in front of her parents on the steps of the church. Religious intolerance is a weakened crime.”

“Drowning” starts off with an acoustic guitar and emerges into a heavier guitar riff. The vocalist sings “This is the story of a spreading disease,” and asks “Why have we become so jaded?”

“Desegregate” features guest hip-hop artist The Runaway Slave. Stewart puts forth strength and power into his voice making listeners feel the seriousness of the topic he sings about.

Bassist/vocalist Michael Parshall rhymes in the first verse of the song leaving Runaway Slave to finish the rest.

Devanand Bassano of Colorblind Society provided the Middle Eastern vocals and guitar for the track “Jihad.” The song is about two brothers that have a conflict; one represents Palestine, the other represents Israel.

“Cult of Personality” is catchy with an edgy rock vibe. The song almost sounds like a hybrid of a Metallica and 311 song. Stewart shouts in James Hetfield-like vocals “Tony Blair, George W. B., the cult of personality.”

The band has various of issues that they want to bring awareness to through their music.

“The war in Iraq is a huge issue,” Stewart said, “Not just the war in Iraq, but the war on terror. We are hardcore peace activists.”

Homelessness in Riverside is another key issue for the band, at least according to Stewart. For years they have worked at Fairmont Park and White Park feeding the homeless and playing the acoustic guitar for them.

“I would rather Conspiracy of Thought be noted for pushing and getting aid for people in Africa and reconciliation to people in Israel and Palestine,” Stewart said, “Rock and roll is our vehicle, it’s the way we’ll get the message out, but it is us that will bring change. We conspire people to think; hence the name Conspiracy of Thought.”

The unsigned band has an upcoming local show Dec. 18 at Pharaoh’s Lost Kingdom for a band competition sponsored by the radio station 103.9 FM.

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