The death of uber-activist Michael C. Ruppert on April 13, 2014 sent shockwaves through numerous communities including his most intimate circle – friends and bandmates who make up the NEW WHITE TRASH, of which Ruppert was a founding member. Founded in 2009 as a music project launched in Venice, CA with fellow musicians Kristen Vigard, Andy Kravitz and Doug Lewis, the New White Trash recorded and released two albums, DOUBLEWIDE in 2011 and AGE OF AUTHORITY in 2013. At the time of Ruppert’s passing, the band was writing songs and preparing to record a third and final album titled BEYOND THE RUBICON.
The NWT is pushing ahead with plans for Beyond The Rubicon, to include previously unreleased material featuring Ruppert from the Doublewide and Age Of Authority sessions in combination with new songs in the works. In order to fund the project, the band has turned to STARTJOIN, a funding platform launched by MAX KEISER. According to NWT member Doug Lewis, “we chose StartJoin because Mike and Max were friends – Mike had appeared on Max’s show, THE KEISER REPORT on numerous occasions, also because StartJoin accepts crypto-currenices, a form of payment of which Mike was a fan, and in line with Mike’s notable adage, that ‘until you change the way money works, you change nothing’.”
Those friends and fans interested in pushing this project forward can do so here, at the StartJoin project site for Beyond The Rubicon.
Thanks for tuning in.
In mid-2009, Mike Ruppert began recording with the NEW WHITE TRASH (NWT), a music project launched at the VENICE ARTS CLUB (VAC) in Venice, CA. For Ruppert, playing and recording music was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. In 2007, Ruppert returned to the Venice/Culver City area and reestablished himself in the neighborhood of his youth, a place where decades earlier Ruppert had graduated from Venice High School then went on to become a LAPD cop. In early 2008, Ruppert met VAC founder DOUG LEWIS at a Venice dog park, the two became close friends and it wasn’t long before Ruppert had found a home at the VAC and with the NWT, a project originally conceived by Lewis and his long-time musical collaborator, multi-platinium producer ANDY KRAVITZ. Broadway/TV actress and songstress Kristen Vigard would round out the core NWT group.
Early on, Lewis and Ruppert wrote out a NWT manifesto designed to articulate the music of the NWT. And in this video, viewers can watch a relaxed Mike Ruppert wax eloquent about his involvement with the NWT and ABOUT the importance of music in his life.
The debut album from New White Trash was DOUBLEWIDE , a 37 song double CD released January of 2011. Notable songs featuring Mike Ruppert include, AVALANCHE & EARTHQUAKE, RUNNING ON RUMOR, WEIRD KIND OF SENSE, GIRL’S GOT, THIS DAY IS DONE and BACKROAD.
Next from the NWT came AGE OF AUTHORITY, a 18 song CD released July 7, 2013. Notable songs featuring Ruppert include, LONG COLD WINTER, FOREIGN SOLDIERS, SUN OF YOUR LOVE, INNER REACH, DRIFTED, and FREE FROM.
When Ruppert passed away on April 13, 2014, plans were in place for a third and final NWT album. BEYOND THE RUBICON would complete the trilogy. The New White Trash have decided to go ahead with the production, recording and release of Beyond The Rubicon, a music project now dedicated to friend and bandmate Mike Ruppert. A campaign on STARTJOIN (www.StartJoin.com/btr) has been created as a platform for friends and fans of Mike Ruppert to fully fund the project. Additionally, the first song of Beyond The Rubicon titled, WHO I ONCE WAS, featuring Mike Ruppert on vocals, has been mixed and is now available on the NWT Bandcamp site. Who I Once Was is available as a free download, though listeners are encouraged to pay what they can – a little or a lot. All revenue from this song will go towards the production of Beyond The Rubicon.
Another opportunity for friends, fans and listeners to move this project forward is to purchase an electronic download or Sponsor Edition of Doublewide and/or Age Of Authority. Leave a short message indicating that your payment should go towards Beyond The Rubicon. Anyone doing so will in return receive a gratis copy – via electronic download – of Beyond The Rubicon before its official release.
Thanks for tuning in.
BEYOND THE RUBICON
WHO I ONCE WAS
MIKE RUPPERT – ‘RUNNING WITH THE NEW WHITE TRASH’
NEW WHITE TRASH
American Celebration – July 4, 2014
Click image to play video
Interview with Michael C. Ruppert and Mark Baer for SmartChannel.tv. From early 2009, conducted at Venice Arts Club in Venice, CA. Click image to watch video.
After considering the future of the New White Trash relative to the passing of bandmate and friend MICHAEL C. RUPPERT, we are moving forward with plans to record and release a third and final NWT album titled BEYOND THE RUBICON (BTR) to include unreleased material featuring Ruppert from the DOUBLEWIDE and AGE OF AUTHORITY sessions, as well as new songs written while Mike was housing with bandmate DOUG LEWIS at Red Cloud Ranch in southern Colorado. Our focus, as always, will be on releasing material relative to the original NWT manifesto – matters of head and heart, war and peace, love, longing, and social commentary/protest torn from the pages of tomorrow’s news.
Beyond The Rubicon will complete the trilogy begun in 2009 at the Venice Arts Club in Venice, California. Along with Lewis, original NWT band members Kristen Vigard and Andy ‘AK’ Kravitz will be deep in the mix. In order to fund the project, our intention is a word of mouth campaign geared towards raising enough funds to appropriately record, produce, mix and master this final NWT album, dedicated to the life, work and memory of Mike Ruppert. Outside funding will be essential – we cannot begin this project without you lovely people – fans of Ruppert and the NWT. Our fund-raising strategy will be made public once we’ve settled on a course of action, either through a Kickstarter style campaign or by releasing one song on the NWT Bandcamp site and asking for double and triple digit payments for that one song to go towards BTR.
In the meantime, those inclined to immediately begin to move this project forward can purchase an electronic download of Doublewide and/or Age Of Authority. Leave a short message indicating that your payment should go towards BTR. Anyone doing so will in return receive a gratis copy – via electronic download – of Beyond The Rubicon before its official release.
BEYOND THE RUBICON
MCR & Doug Lewis
Andy ‘AK’ Kravitz
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED OCTOBER 5, 2013
“This is dangerous music…in many ways. But Doug Lewis has always been a subtly subversive artist. So AGE OF AUTHORITY, the latest release by musician/producer Lewis and NEW WHITE TRASH, should not come as a surprise to lucky listeners who have enjoyed his previous political/philosophical/surrealistic musical journeys (especially the tour de force “Crudland” and “Tell The Time”). Those just getting into Lewis will discover a pleasingly quirky collection that shows calculated disregard for sonic tropes and clubland clichés. On Age Of Authority, Lewis pairs his truly insightful writing and lyrics with those of bandmates Kristen Vigard and Michael C. Ruppert to explore the moral ramifications of the disenfranchised masses struggling to survive in the new world order. It’s not exactly a message being trumpeted by mainstream media…and for good reason — in the Age Of Authority, we are ALL New White Trash.” – Michael Lynn-E Entertainment/True Hollywood Story.
A discussion with Doug Lewis:
VAC: This is the second album from New White Trash, with much the same ‘cast’. How did it come about?
LEWIS: After completing DOUBLEWIDE, the first NWT album, I moved the studio from Venice (CA) to the north end of the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado. Kristen and Mike Ruppert had moved out of Los Angeles a year before me, Kristen to Taos, NM, and Mike to Sebastopol. In August of 2012, Mike made the move to my place in CO, which was a year after I had established a base. Another NWT contributor, James Mathers, paid a visit with Lea Petmezas in Oct of 2012 and when Lea decided to move out here, James made the move as well. During the spring/summer/fall of 2012, I had worked out some songs on the guitar along with some bass lines and so making an album was a great way to spend the winter of 2012/13.
VAC: The music and vibe of Age Of Authority feels like a continuation of Doublewide, thematically anyway.
LEWIS: The big picture hardly changes – love and war, heart and head, these are the themes of the real world and of our music, so our songs are either wry love letters or views on events torn from the news of the day.
VAC: The tagline for the New White Trash is ‘music of the post-paradigm’; do you consider this a genre?
LEWIS: It’s more of a personal brand, in that, collectively, we encourage the music to move in ‘meaningful directions’, one of which, for us, is social commentary/criticism, another is the draw of our experiences in the form of – usually and ultimately – cautionary tales. The ‘post-paradigm’ reference came out of Mike and I drawing up a raison d’être to offer insight into the NWT in name and in musical direction.
VAC: Your bandmate Mike Ruppert is fond of quoting you – “You can’t write a protest song on a full stomach.” How does that relate to your work throughout the years?
LEWIS: The music of the New White Trash is the outcome of a shared and outspoken sensibility between Kristen, Mike, myself and others. We are all on the same side of the cultural fence, so to speak. And we share an appreciation for the process and the sacrifice it takes to make an art project and create a body of work like an album. Also, we’ve all been doing this a while and in our various different way – Mike with his activism, Kristen has been writing, recording and performing music her entire life, and me, Age of Authority is my 22nd album as a musician/producer. I’ve only ever made music with a cultural lean and a political pov. And I’ve only ever made music with those mining the same ground. Anything else, at this late stage of the game, feels pointless.
VAC: Over the course of making all this music, all these songs spread out over twenty-two albums, how has the process on songwriting changed for you, personally speaking.
LEWIS: For me, the most profound change to the process happened in 1995 when I amputated the ring finger on my left hand. My guitar playing, post the loss of that finger, continues to evolve in ways of physical dexterity and personal style. Chopping off a finger then expecting to resume playing the guitar is not something I would recommend as a career choice, but for me, over time, I have no regrets. Otherwise, playing guitar, writing melodies and lyrics, crafting a song is a task like any other; you commit to the effort and embrace the experience of tuning in, musically and creatively speaking. It’s about inhabiting a world and also enjoying the creative process as a form of meditation/work. Over the years I have become particularly fond of treating the recording process as a community event, open door/open room style.
VAC: Being a guitar player with an amputated finger places you in an exclusive club…
LEWIS: Like I said, not something I would recommend.
VAC: What next for you and the New White Trash?
LEWIS: Looking forward to creating the third of the NWT trilogy, and hope to begin recording by mid-November (2013), although I’ve just received word that my 91 year old mother, who lives in San Francisco, needs some care, so I’m headed there now. We’ll see.