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Singled Out: Jon Reynolds' Generation, Love

08/05/2016
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Jon Reynolds

Jon Reynolds released his brand new EP "Generation, Love" today (Aug 5) and to celebrate we asked him to tell us the story behind the title track to the effort. Here is the story:

Without trying create any pomp or circumstance, I would just like to say that "Generation, Love" is about current prejudice. Once upon a year and a half ago, my wife worked for unnamed company in a suburb city of Nashville. At the time, I was attempting to develop a blues-rock sound for my first solo project. That project game to a grinding halt when my wife had to report sexual harassment from one of her co-workers, who happened to be the top sales rep in her company. My wife's job was to maintain the accounts he had gained, so her job was heavily reliant on his opinion of her. Over a two-month period, my wife went from feeling sexually harassed, to being forced to confront the man by her boss - without HR - to being told she just misunderstood the man, to being demoted, to being put on probation - still having to work with the man who harassed her.

All the while, I spent many hours sitting in the car outside of her office waiting for the bad news that inevitably would come at 5:00 PM sharp. After months of stress and frustration, my wife was more or less forced to quit. It was relieving, but still incredibly unfair. She was forced out because her boss (who was a female) didn't want to risk losing her star salesman over sexual harassment and was willing to ignore it in order to protect profits. Although the immediate problem was solved, I felt like something had to be done to seek justice, and a lawsuit could have taken up to two years.

However, something I could do was to write about it. I ditched the blues-rock idea. I chose a more soothing, innocent sound. Why? Most evil in the world doesn't announce itself. Most prejudice doesn't come in bright, white sheets or with burning crosses. It looks normal - many times innocent. That thought reminded my of the early '60s pop melodies from bands like The Zombies. Those songs had such an ethereal, sweet sound to them, you would have never guessed most the time they were about sex. I wanted that misdirection in my music. It reflected reality.

But my topic, my lyrics, my actual content - I wanted that to be hard-hitting truth. "Generation, Love" talks about how our generation, and the generation before us, regularly chooses hate and prejudice as their "go to" reaction in conflicts and interactions. I chose to broaden the topic from just sexism to racism as well since the two are undeniably related and because I had seen such racist tendencies throughout my time in the South. We still see walls. We still see prejudice. We still see hate.

My message is clear: it is time for this generation to step up socially, because the last generation has failed. We risk allowing the same prejudice tendencies to rule our point of view if we do not take an active, aggressive stance to stomp out prejudice first in our own lives, and second throughout our culture. My wife and I cannot change what happened. But, I can try to use that experience to stop it from happening again. We live in a world of prejudice, sexism, and racism - fact. Either we actively fight it, or we subconsciously allow it to spread. This song fights it.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the EP right here!

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