Shedding Light in the Darkness

Neil Young and The Monsanto Years


Known for his activism legendary rocker Neil Young has set his sights on the creeping corporatocracy of America, collaborating with Willie Nelson’s sons, Lukas and Micah Nelson and their band Promise of the Real to record a new album, “The Monsanto Years,” which will be released on June 16.

I chatted today with Micah Nelson about this exciting new project. Here’s Micah: “We’re very excited,” he enthuses. “It’s a concept album focusing on how corporations have essentially hijacked the American government. “It’s highlighting Monsanto and their monopoly on food, and it calls bullshit on a lot of corporations like Wal-Mart and Starbucks, big businesses that have corrupted democracy in this country. It’s become a corporatocracy. Neil is stating hard facts on this record. I hope the record will spark public conversations about what’s going on, at least get folks talking about it.”

“Finally someone is out there using their influence to fearlessly shed light on all of it, and is not going to back down. The record is essentially the story of American farmers getting buried by Monsanto and how the American Dream and the earth itself has gotten hacked by the corporate virus.”

The Nelson brothers have previously performed with Neil Young at Farm Aid. “Neil has been our hero forever,” Micah continues. “We work really well together and it feels like a band, not like we’re hired session guys. Neil treats us like his band, and that feels really good.” “It’s been real fun in the studio. And as dark and heavy as the sentiment of a lot of the album is, you wouldn’t expect the goofball nature of the whole process of making the record. We weren’t just brooding around about the end of the word. It was actually fun.”

Promise of the Real will also head out on the road with Young beginning in July on a Rebel Content Tour, with the possibility of some Hawaiian islands gigs. ” “The tour will start in Milwaukee,” says Micah. “There’s nothing on the west coast or the Hawaiian islands yet, but at some point it would be great to do a little island run. I’ve suggested it. I think people would really appreciate the content of these songs.”

Young, who has a house on the Big Island, is very aware of what’s been happening with the GMO fight on Maui. “He knows all about it,” Micah adds.


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