The Long Winters have not released any new music in the past years, but the silence has been broken as they contributed a song to the 30 Days 30 Songs campaign. In this song, written specifically for this project, John Roderick speaks from the perspective of Trump voters in the folk song tradition.
30 Days, 30 Songs is an independent website which releases a song each day from October 10 until Election Day. It features work from artists across the country who are united in their desire to speak out against the ignorant, divisive, and hateful campaign of Donald Trump. In fact, so many artists are participating that the project has now become 30 Days, 40 Songs.
On the 30 Days, 30 Songs website, John Roderick says: "While there are a lot of songs that express elements of what makes Donald Trump so appealing to his followers, like Desperado by the Eagles, Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd, Honky Tonk Badonkadonk by Trace Adkins and White Rider by Skrewdriver, there’s never been a song that put everything together under one roof. 'Make America Great Again' is a folk song, because it’s from the Volk, the people. If I can help condense all the feelings and issues that inspire Trump voters into a song, and then play that song for the world, well then I will have done my part."
Last year, Brett Terpstra of Systematic interviewed John Roderick about how he became a professional musician. The conversation evolved into a compelling, serialized narrative that couldn't be contained in not just one, nor two, nor even three episodes.
The resulting four-part epic was presented uninterrupted, with the exception of brief transitions from one chapter to the next. Think of The Origin of John Roderick as an improvisational book on tape, with each chapter recorded a few weeks apart.
Chapter 1: Time to Get Serious, Chapter 2: Amsterdam to Istanbul, Chapter 3: Sergeant-at-Arms, Chapter 4: Youth and Potential
John Roderick was a guest on Song Exploder, where he talked about his song The Commander Thinks Aloud from the Ultimatum ep, in honor of the last flight of the Columbia. Song Exploder is a podcast hosted by Hrishikesh Hirway, where musicians take apart their songs, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made. The interview was recorded with a live audience.