>When San Francisco-based musician and activist Jello Biafra’s Instagram flashed photos of the singer wearing a “Trump Hates Me” T-shirt with a link to his song, “Nazi Trumps Fuck Off” on the day that the Capitol fell under siege, it was hardly the first time Biafra showed off his brand of caustic politics.
The very name of his former group, Dead Kennedys, created outrage when the band rose through the punk ranks 40 years ago, but the singer wasn’t just out for shock value. From then on up through a Green presidential candidacy in 2000 and beyond, Biafra has forever put his money where his smart mouth is —especially where the necessity of putting down neo-Nazism in America is concerned. With his famous former band, in 1981 on his Alternative Tentacles label, he released the anti-fascist anthem, “Nazi Punks Fuck Off,” followed by an anti-Reagan rant, “California Uber Alles.” In recent times, Biafra has updated his classics as additional adversaries rose to power.
Showing further distaste for icons of the right such as Rudy Guiliani (“he’s a cross between Count Chocula and Klaus Kinshi’s Nosferatu with that melting hair dye”), Mitt Romney and GOP activist Evan McMullin, Biafra spent the weekend dissing his former bandmates for showing their (now-removed) Twitter support of Romney and McMullin. “Thank you @SenatorRomney and @EvanMcMullin. Mitt cares about the USA,” the official DK account tweeted, to the heated chagrin of their ex-frontman.
Over the course of several hours during a quickly shifting weekend, Biafra and Variety spoke on several occasions about everything from politics to his own new album, “Tea Party Revenge Porn,” the return of his YouTube program “What Would Jello Do?,” and new recordings with Al Jourgensen, including a new Ministry album (“Morale Hygiene”) and a renewal of their Lard project.
VARIETY: Before getting to your recent Instagram posts, the Twitter feed of your former band, Dead Kennedys — which you criticized for its support of Mitt Romney and Evan McMullin — threw its social media manager under the bus for that debacle.
"As if today couldn't get any weirder, look who posted this!!
How dumb and clueless can you get??
Was it scab singer Skip, who recently denied DK's are a political band, just, "a social satire band"??
Ea$t Bay Ray??
It sure as hell wasn't me…"
– Jello https://t.co/57lWb8sDQV
— AlternativeTentacles (@AltTentacles) January 7, 2021
Though you’re no longer in Dead Kennedys, you were its frontman and lyricist until the mid-’80s, and take its place in history very seriously.
McMullin fired back at your DK diss with his own tweets: “The young Seattle punk in me would have been pleased. If Jello has an issue with the Dead Kennedys, Mitt Romney and I fighting fascists and Nazi punks, that’s his problem… The truth is Mitt Romney is more punk than Jello ever was.”
The truth is that Mitt Romney is more punk than Jello ever was. 🤭
— Evan McMullin 🇺🇸 (@EvanMcMullin) January 9, 2021