actorartathleteauthorbizcrimecrosspostcustomerservicedirectoredufoodgaminghealthjournalistmedicalmilmodpostmunimusicnewsworthynonprofitotherphilpolretailscispecialisedspecializedtechtourismtravelunique

Crosspost[Crosspost: r/science] I’m Clive Page, a Professor of Pharmacology at King’s College London. I do research on understanding why people have asthma. AMA!

Apr 4th 2018 by Clive_Page • 37 Questions • 581 Points

Hello! My name is Brandon Hardesty and I'm the singer/songwriter of Maryland based ska/punk/reggae band Bumpin Uglies. We've been touring the United States since 2008 working on building up a fan base one fan at a time. We've done and seen a lot of crazy stuff over the last ten years and I would love to talk with you about it. We're currently on the road somewhere between Houston and Louisville so I'm gonna try to respond to questions as quickly as possible. AMA!

edit gonna be passing around my laptop to the other boys in the band, so if you have any questions for the band or crew ask away!

edit 2 sorry, got wrapped up in the show yesteday. gonna go back through and answer everyone elses questions now.

Proof

Q:

If elected, what will be your first priority for legislation?

A:

UGLIES NATION!!!!!

Brandon - Who was/is your inspiration for your music? I hear a lot of SKA/Punk influence in your earlier material and was wondering what bands/groups you would attribute that too?


Q:

Ah, yes! Was waiting for this question. Our team has been working and have decided to put bi-partisan bills that we KNOW can be done immediately at the top of our list rather than things that we know can be done after some organizing and coalition building work.

My first priority, and I hope District 55 will hold me accountable to this, will always be our working class families. Whenever the opportunity presents itself for me to pass, vote or fund legislation and policies that will directly benefit our families I will do that above any other priority.

Three specific pieces of bi-partisan legislation:

  1. The introduction of an amendment that guarantees the survival of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for a minimum of 20 years with a requirement of it being assessed for extension every 5 years. Alabama currently provides ZERO state-funding for children's healthcare. All of our funding comes from the federal government. That's just not good enough. The health and lives of our children should not be up to who is in the White House.

  2. Introduce home rule. Municipalities in Alabama are required to go to the State Capitol for approval on local-level bills, amendments and funding. The Birmingham City Council, for example, voted to increase minimum wage from the federal minimum $7.25 to $10.10/hr but was stopped by the Alabama House Legislator which retroactively banned local governments from setting minimum wage.

  3. Creation of a state lottery to help fund public schools/expand pre-k, the CHIP program, and pre-trial diversion programs aimed at ending the school-to-prison pipeline.

Dream Priorities:

  1. Campaign finance reform. Alabama has one of the most corrupt political systems in the country. I would work to make us the national model for governing without corporate or special interest dollars.
  2. Creation of a state minimum wage that adjusts with income.
  3. Ending of "special school districts" that leave poor and marginalized students out to dry.
A:

i'm gonna answer this, but its gonna require a lot of writing so i'm gonna come back to it later!


Q:

Do you support Ranked Choice Voting to avoid spoilers and encourage more positive campaigning?

A:

Hi brandon! if you had to pick one of your own songs, which one is your favorite and why?

Greetings from Chile!


Q:

Yes! I would take it further and suggest non-partisan ballots as well as supporting public* funding of the electoral process through a tax for political donations by corporate entities and lobbying groups that then go into a public fund for campaigning (if Wal-Mart gives you $10,000, half of that money then goes to the general pool to support all candidates).

I used to wonder why only lawyers and businessmen became politicians but now I've realized it's because they're the only ones who have the money to! Just basic things like printing, advertising, and marketing are more expensive than most people would realize, I am literally spending all of my personal savings (which, as a teacher, ya'll know isn't much) on this race. A public fund that guarantees all political candidates with at least some support would guarantee that we not only have more positive campaigning but a more demographically reflective legislature.

On a side-note... please consider helping us even the fight against our opponent by donating at www.crowdpac.com/c/quangdofordistrict55

A:

whoa! would love to make it to south america one day. right now my favorite song is called optimism in F#. its the last song on the record we're about to release. i struggle with depression and tend to see the worst parts of situations and i wrote that song as a reminder to myself that i don't want to think or live like that. i don't listen to my own music or anything, but there's something therapeutic about being able to look back at a thought that you wrote out and thinking 'ok, i thought like that. i can think like that. lets think like THAT, and not like THIS.' not sure if that makes sense, but essentially it helps pull me out of funks when i'm feeling depressed.


Q:

Which constitution are you referring to? Because our state constitution is an absolute fucking disaster.

A:

Is that the song y’all sang last in Pensacola when there were a few minutes left in the set?


Q:

Yes. I will work my butt off to fight for the rights of working and middle class families in America. I couldn't care less about what corporate or private lobbying groups want.

Can you be more specific about the Constitution?

A:

ya


Q:

When it comes to funding education, would you be in support of equalizing funding across school systems or targeting underfunded schools and increasing funding for them specifically?

A:

What has been your favorite tour stop so far? if you can't pick one, how about top 3?


Q:

What a really, really fantastic question.

I'm going to be honest with you - I don't think either of those options are enough to fix the issues with education in Alabama.

Birmingham City Schools receives just as much funding (when you look at spending per student) as the schools in the suburbs, but the dollar doesn't go nearly as far when the only meal some of our students get are when they are at school, it doesn't go nearly as far when students are having to work 30-40 hour a week jobs after school to help pay the rent, it doesn't go nearly as far when the young man or woman can't study at night because they're too busy being worried about the gunshots outside their house, and it definitely doesn't go as far when teachers are having to spend 60% of instruction time addressing behavioral problems rather than focused on helping students reach their learning goals.

If we want to be honest about fixing education, we have to be honest about addressing poverty. We cannot have an equitable education system until all parents and families have the same economic opportunities outside the classroom as we expect students to have educational opportunities inside the classroom.

So how do we fix this without just throwing more money at the problem?

  1. Create a state minimum wage that adjusts annually with cost of living.
  2. Guarantee that anyone who works 35 hours a week (even if it's 18 hours a week at one job and 17 hours at another) will have health insurance.
  3. Implement a state fund (Alabama is one of 3 states that does not have this) for public transportation to make access to high quality, good paying jobs in our city and state not so dependent on whether or not you have a car.
  4. Decriminalizing marijuana and retro-actively clear the records for anyone previously charged with minor possession offenses.

ALL of those things and so much ore are required to truly fix our education system and create an environment where parents have the financial resources to support their students in the classroom.

We shouldn't make the classroom any "easier" by lowering standards but we should make it easier for our parents to be engaged in the classroom by reforming what's happening outside of it to empower them to be available inside of it.

To answer your question specifically:

I think we need to raise the standards and make it much more difficult for cities trying to create their own "special districts" that essentially cut out black, poor and marginalized students and remove tax revenue from poor and working class families.

A county school recently tried to separate from the county system and create their own "city" school system but the DOJ came down and denied their request (even though our state and county said yes) because they would have disenfranchised black families and it was quite simply, racist. It was a school that was 60% black and the new district would have made it less than 10% black. All tax revenue in the new school district would have gone to the new "upper class" school which means the taxes (sales and real estate) would be taken from the old school and placed with the new one. The fact that this would have come into fruition without the DOJ stepping in is ABSOLUTELY disgusting.

A:

oh man, thats a hard onw. for this leg i'd have to say Tulsa followed closely by St Pete. HUGE crowds, and crazy energy at both shows. Tulsa was a bit more wild, which i like


Q:

A good, complex answer. Thank you.

A:

Hey Brandon, what is the greatest city in the US and why is it Annapolis?


Q:

You're welcome. Don't worry, I didn't judge you for asking.

Please feel free to follow us on facebook or reach out to us at [email protected] if you have any more questions, comments or concerns. It's going to take everyone in District 55, Alabama and America for us to truly reform our government from one focused on the concerns of corporations and interest groups to one that fights for our working and middle class families.

We need and appreciate any help or guidance you could provide.

A:

all jokes aside, i love Annapolis and am super proud to call it home. we've got a dope music scene, a great art district, and slammin food. i will live continute to live in annapolis as long as i can afford to do so!


Q:

To increase turnout by easing participation, would you support vote by mail1 ?

A:

thanks for the reply dude! Annapolis is awesome. I’ve been a fan ever since I got your CD Ninjah Reggae Assasins as a handout at The Whiskey.. rip


Q:

YES. YES. YES. YES. YES. YES.

A:

ugh everytime i drive by that taco bell it kills me inside a bit


Q:

Have you reached out to Rep Grace Meng's ASPIRE PAC or other Asian American candidate organizations?

A:

But do you go there or go all the way to Edgewater?


Q:

I have not! I have reached out to some AAPI organizations but not specifically ASPIRE PAC. I would LOVE to hear more about the organization. Do you happen to have a good contact? Feel free to PM me or reach out to us directly at [email protected]

A:

i'm ashamed to admit that i go there


Q:

What kind of wrap-around services are necessary to prevent summer learning loss and otherwise ensure low-income students are able to reach their full educational potential?

A:

What are your favorite parts and least favorite parts of being on tour?


Q:

Wrap-around services:

I think wrap-around services should be done in conjunction with addressing poverty in Alabama. The more time, resources and opportunities that parents have to be engaged with their child's learning the better. Continued parental engagement, not any service or summer learning program, in the educational process is the key for educational success.

We must make it easier for our parents to teach, spend time and learn with their kids. Wrap-around services are a band-aid to a bigger problem that we have with multi-generational poverty in our state.

You could have no summer programs, but if all parents in Alabama were able to have the time and money to spend with their kids instead of having to work 2 sometimes 3 jobs just to pay the water bill, I guarantee you that education outcomes from our state would be significantly improved.

If parents weren't having to work 60-80 hours a week to just put food on the table they could actually spend the money they would have summer learning or tutoring on trips to the museum, public lectures, or a multitude of other ways that can grow the parent bond with the child.

From a pragmatic perspective:

Alabama has the best pre-k program in the country.

The problem? Only a small percentage of families in our state actually have access to it due to lack of state commitment to fully fund our pre-k program to reach 100% of families who need them.

A:

being away from my wife and dog sucks. tour in general is very lonely. you're constantly around people but you still feel alone most of the time. it's bizarre. i love meeting people who've been touched by our songs and i love actually performing, but thats a very small part of how your time is spent. most of it is spent driving and eating shitty food.


Q:

Are you for or against defending rights?

A:

When’d you get into reggae?


Q:

For BUT I think it's important for us to understand that our rights have never been "absolute." They have been continually adjusted throughout our great history through legislation and our court system.

I'm a big believer in our political and policymaking system.

A:

honestly i got into reggae after i got into ska/punk. i don't really consider sublime reggae, they're a melting pot of a lot of sounds, one of which is reggae. i'm not sure exactly when i got into it but it was sometime in my early twenties. i was immediately really drawn to dub like scientist and king tubby. i loved the psychedelic aspects of it. been really into chronixx lately too. his latest album is insane.


Q:

Are you for or against my second amendment rights?

A:

If you were a WWE or WCW (let’s be honest WCW was the best) wrestler what would your intro song be?


Q:

I'm not sure why you are getting downvoted, I think you are asking a very solid question that is important to MANY Americans and Alabamians.

I am a gun owner myself and understand, beyond the guns themselves, the cultural and historical connection that America has with the second amendment.

With that being said, no amendment is absolute in it's definition. All of our rights have evolved over time including but not limited to freedom of speech, assembly and protest. I tend to lean with what Justice Scalia said on this topic during the Heller case. We certainly have the right to bear arms but that doesn't mean that there can't be limits or regulations on it.

I think there are many common things that Americans on all sides of the political spectrum agree on (universal background checks and mental health screening for examples) and regardless of how I personally feel about an issue, I think it's important for elected officials to advocate for the concerns and needs of their constituents.

A:

all-star by the mouth


Q:

You've beat around the bush quite a lot. What are your thoughts on firearms? Tell it straight.

A:

Yo! What's the craziest thing you've ever had happen to you while on stage? Much Love from South Dakota!

Ugliesnation!

Q:

I am a firm believer in our constitution and the rights it grants to us.

I believe that the current conversation of "all or nothing" when it comes to addressing gun violence are misguided and a false dichotomy.

I support bi-partisan solutions to address gun violence.

91% of Americans agree on UBCs 84% on requiring Mental Health Checks 72% on raising the age to buy to 21 69% on more SROs in schools 60% on bannjnf assault weapons.

I wholly support the second amendment but also support these bi-partisan solutions to address gun violence in our country. I do not believe that defending the second amendment necessarily means that we don't have serious conversations about evolvinf it to fit our current need.

Since we are on the topic of gun violence, I don't believe there is one simple solution to fix all the problems we have with gun deaths in America. Gun violence in our Union is multilayered and complex and I think our solutions need to reflect that. What happened in Parkland is much different than what happened to Trayvon Martin and that is much different than what's happening in West Birmingham.

A:

man its hard to pinpoint, but one time we played a festival next to a corn field and somehow or another wolfie ended up with an ear of corn. he proceded to play a gnarly slapbass solo using the ear of corn and the crowd lost their shit. it was incredible


Q:

"Assault weapons" are not a thing. That's a dangerous thing to push. Lost my vote.

A:

What was the inspiration behind the lyric "Hit them in their eyes with my creamy surprise"? 🤣🤣


Q:

I'm sorry to hear that. Regardless of whether or not you vote for me, know that I am committed to fighting for you and your community.

Assault weapons are certainly a thing... The Federal Assault Weapons ban that sunset in 2004 is real and the fact that there is no current federal ban on assault weapons is real.

I think you're assuming that I am trying to conflate semi-automatic rifles like an AR-15 with something like a machine gun. I know that an AR-15 is not an assault rifle with stock equipment, but when given the right modifications (bump stocks + extended magazine) i think the argument could be made that it is more or less one. I own an AR-15 myself, have shot a military-grade M4A1 and have also shot my AR-15 with a bump stock. The bump stock clearly turns the AR-15 into an assault rifle by all definitions.

The data on whether or not the assault weapon ban from 1994-2004 actually worked is unclear. Assault Weapons have been not been used in any recent mass shootings (except in Las Vegas when the shooter used a bump stock) so it wouldn't stop a large majority of gun deaths (most are suicides and domestic disputes).

Let's be clear: An assault weapons ban won't stop a kid getting shot down the street by gangbangers, an assault weapons ban won't stop a young man from getting shot by the police, but what it will do is make shooters like the one in Las Vegas hurt a whole lot less people.

Again, I don't think there is one single solution that will solve all of our problems. Mental health checks won't stop a kid from joining a gang but it will help stop what happened in Newtwon, UBCs won't stop someone from committing suicide but it will stop what happened at Pulse Night Club.

If 60% of my constituents want something to help make their lives safer, and I don't feel like the data is clear one way or the other, I'm going to always side with my constituents. My job is to represent my constituents not the other way around.

Tldr: sorry I lost your vote. I don't believe an assault weapons will solve all of our gun problems and that it should be done in conjunction with other methods and should be adjusted specifically to each community.b

A:

that line will haunt me until my dying day


Q:

If you support only banning something like an AR with a bump stock, then that's fien with me. Bump stocks are already incredibly dangerous to hold and it is a loophole on full auto weapons.

A:

Biggie or 2pac?


Q:

I certainly support an assault weapons ban that also includes a provision for bump stocks but I do not think that is the solution to gun violence. I think there needs to be a holistic and multi-layered conversation to really address it appropriately. We've been trying small Band-Aids for too long.

Thank you for engaging in the conversation!

A:

Pac


Q:

What are the greatest challenges to having IDEA and ADA compliant schools and how can Alabama overcome those challenges?

A:

Where is your favorite place to perform and why (or why not) is it The Saint in Asbury Park?

I don’t really have any other questions but wanted to say thank you, your music has gotten me through some hard times.


Q:

I am in full support of strict enforcement of IDEA and ADA rules and regulations. This is what equal opportunity is all about.

I think the main challenge that we face in regards to being IDEA and ADA compliant is funding.

Major sections of IDEA and ADA, while important, are unfunded mandates.

You're expecting teachers, administrators and school communities with already tight budgets to do more (we should always be pushing and challenging our education system to be and do better) but not give them the funds, staffing or facilities they need to meet those goals appropriately?

And THEN you're going to give them a bad score on a state-wide "school report card" that impacts how much funding they get in the future, which then results in the loss of further teachers and resources... which then makes it even harder for them to meet those standards next year? How does that make sense?

Alabama has got to stop waiting for the federal government to bail us out and take ownership over the problems that we have.

The Democrats in Congress have tried for a long time to fully fund IDEA but we can't wait for the federal government to save us anymore. It's time for us to take ownership over the problems we have and work on no-nonsense, bi-partisan solutions that will help our working and middle class families.

An easy solution would be to create a state lottery that will help fund IDEA and ADA compliance for our public schools as well as our post-secondary education institutions.

A:

thank you, that means a lot. that's all you can hope for as a songwriter. I really do love Asbury Park, the energy is always insane. Would have to be Asbury Park or Ohio in general. i love it when the crowd is raging.


Q:

What does Quang Do?

A:

What do you guys do in the van when touring for fun or to just pass the time?


Q:

I am currently a teacher but previously served as Advocacy and Policy Director for a local non-profit and was a social justice educator and student affairs professional at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) before that.

A:

listen to talk radio and stare at our phones


Q:

How much should I weigh a candidate's race or ethnicity when deciding how to vote in an election?

A:

I used to love this band called Sweet Wet Earthly Desires ever heard of them?


Q:

As much as you'd like. All Americans weigh things differently and if having a visually diverse and ideologically progressive government is important to you than I would be grateful for your support.

If it's not, I hope I can get your support for my passion and committment to fighting for poor and working class families of District 55 and Alabama.


Q:

With rising popularity, is it hard to fight off the massive amounts of pussy being thrown in your direction? Especially with a band name like Bumpin Uglies - I mean you guys fuck amirite?

A:

3 of us are married or in serious relationships so TJ is the unquestioned president of slam town. It’s right next to Space Mountain, if you’re curious.


Q:

Hey Brandon! I'm gutted I will miss the show in my home town tonight :(. Hope you guys have a good time! Would love to see the band at Mercury Ballroom here in the ville sometime.

My question is how do you start the songwriting process? Do you lay down music then words or vice versa, does the band come together as a group, drums first etc?

A:

i usually write everything myself on an acoustic guitar and then we get together and turn it into a band song


Q:

Hey Brandon- Currently listening to White Boy Reggae, by far my favorite song of yours. What is your favorite song that you have written?

Also, I feel bad because I don't know the names of everyone in the band, what are they? And how long has your bassist (He goes by Wolfie I think I read somewhere) been growing out his hair and beard?!? That shit is majestic AF!

Love you guys so much!!

A:

Hell yea! Right now my favorite song is Optimism in F#. Wolfies been dreading his hair for like 4 years now. They require their own green room at this point.


Q:

Who's more stoked about the album, the band, or Uglies Nation?

A:

i think Uglies Nation, the hype has been real!


Q:

Hey Brandon, big fan and fellow song writer here. I'm just curious about your writing process. I know you out a lot of thought in your song writing and it shows.

What I'm wondering is if you sit down and force yourself to write or do you wait for it organically? Do you start with a catchy concept or hook first?

A:

the ideas have to happen organically. you can't force a hook. once i have a good hook i can usually sit down and make myself write something. the best songs are the ones that just pour out of me though


Q:

What’s up Brandon, fellow musician here. I’ve always been curious as to what your writing process is for songs? Do the lyrics come first or the music?

A:

it varies from song to song. my phone is filled with lyrics in the 'notes' section and riff ideas in the 'voice memos' section. eventually they meld together to form a song


Q:

Have the police ever stopped a show?

A:

every house party, ever


Q:

Hey Brandon! Big fan from the ATL :) will you guys be coming to Georgia any time soon?

A:

we'll be in ATL this summer!


Q:

Hey man! Any chance you can perform at the restaurant I work at in Davidsonville when you come back home?? My boss would be so pumped. He even has a dessert he’s waiting to do named after you guys!

A:

ha! what restaurant? i do a lot of acoustic stuff when i'm not on tour so i'd be down to do something like that there


Q:

First song you ever wrote?

A:

a really shitty love song that i played in my high school talent show. i don't remember it, i just remmeber that it was bad


Q:

You’ve come a long way from playing at Looneys! What is your idea of a successful musician and would you consider yourself one?

A:

Success is such a tricky thing to measure. I think there is artistic success and economic success. For me, artistic success is getting across whatever I’m trying to say in a way that makes people feel something. It varies from song to song. Some songs are success, some songs are failures. Economic success for me is being able to support myself off my art. It’s a work in progress, but’s it currently working so it’s currently successful.


Q:

2pac or lil xan?

A:

is lil xan a real thing?


Q:

If you were a potato how would you be cooked and why?

A:

scattered, smothered, and peppered


Q:

Tits or ass?!?!

A:

booty!


Q:

What's your favorite place to play in Lincoln, NE and why is it Bodegas Alley?

A:

Haha that place got wild!


Q:

Brandon! Did you catch the rick and morty episode that was streaming on the Adult Swim website yesterday?

A:

haha the other guys did. i saw about 30 seconds and decided i'd had enough


Q:

Not a song writer, but a writer writer. Do you ever get nervous about sharing such personal stuff, and if so how do you over come it? Also you guys rock please come to Minnesota more! Also if you go on reddit a lot, r/vandwellers is right for you! Would love to see the kind of set up you have!

A:

i dont really get nervous anymore unless i'm putting someone elses business out there. i'm an open book, but i'd had to fuck up a relationship with a friend because i wrote about something that they don't want being out there


Q:

Any advice on how to be a ska band in 2018? Asking for a friend who is not me and definitely does not play in a ska band in 2018.

A:

try to make it work with as few members as possible. you gotta tour to get noticed, and the more mouths you have to feed on tour the harder its gonna be. we have horns all over our studio shit but we cant afford to tour with them so we don't. it's all about minimalism


Q:

How hygienic are you living in a van? How often do you shower?

A:

so living in a van is kind of a metaphore. we're on tour about 6 months of the year and we spend most of that time driving so it feels like we're living in the van at times. we crash at friends houses most of the times and we get hotels when we can't find somewhere to stay for free. try to shower daily.


Q:

I'm a little late to this as I live in Guam now, but I saw you at Vinoy Park, St. Pete, Florida last year (?) Or the year before that at Reggae Rise Up.

The set changed my life and been a fan ever since we made eye contact and took a shot, yours was a flask, mine was a sunscreen bottle.

Anyways, did y'all enjoy your time at the festival and would you go back? ...or were you too drunk to remember most of it, like me!

Cheers from Guam!

Also everyone loves you out here if you ever wanted a vacation/overseas show

A:

oh HELL YES, that was a great festival! florida is a hot bed for our scene and RRU does a great job with their production. would love to do that festival again in 2019!

would love to make it to guam one day too! fingers crossed....


Q:

Is Rick and Morty season 4 ever coming out???

A:

IT BETTTER