The last day of the 2008 Republican National Convention proved to be the start of the rise of Junkyard Empire, not only as a band, but as a group of activists. With the backdrop of the Minnesota State Capital and the volatility of the time, the band’s performance hit musical and political notes attendees (and the police charged with stopping it) did not soon forget. Not forgetting is a theme that runs through the band’s being – infusing the best of rock, hip hop and jazz with deeply intelligent and passionate lyrics about history, politics and society. Junkyard Empire is a musical mouthpiece for these times, and wants to be on the forefront of what they feel is an imminent revolutionary period, globally.
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Fronted by Brihanu, a profound rapper with effortless flow, the band has a unique musical tapestry that is created by Chris Robin Cox (keyboards/trombone), Bryan Berry (guitars), Steve Hogan (bass) and Graham O’Brian (drums). In the past two years, Junkyard Empire shared the stage with the legendary Boots Riley and the Coup, Rhymesayers artist Eyedea, Australian urban roots crew Blue King Brown, Rhymesayers artist Toki Wright, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges and radical independent journalist Dahr Jamail.
After some brief Midwest tours, and several years playing in clubs and bars around the Twin Cities, the band has decided to get much more serious about how, where, and when they do shows. They have much bigger ambitions than begging the American public to accept them into the mainstream by touring in a van all over the country and playing beer halls. You will instead see them on bills with other radical acts of all sorts, at colleges and universities, protests, rallies, fund raisers, and house parties. The movement to build a new global revolution against capitalism and the imperialism and oppression that it depends upon is just as important to the band as is the music. For musical purists, that's a challenge. But, for the true radicals, it's a soundtrack to a life of rebellion against the inhumane economic and social conditions the America perpetrates around the world.