Propagandhi is a Canadian band that first emerged in the 90s as part of the punk music explosion. Self-described as a secular progressive thrash band, they signed to the seminal Californian punk label, Fat Wreck Chords. Their debut album for the label was released in 1994 and quickly caused controversy with their vocal rejection of the sexist and homophobic culture of the West Coast punk rock scene.
While their music contained the fast riffs and catchy melodies of 90s punk music, their lyrics often dealt with progressive and political causes, and they were not afraid to promote these causes to their audience. One such cause was the issue of animal exploitation as the three members of the band were all vegans. While trends have come and gone in rock music, since the 90s, Propagandhi have continued to release new music and tour the world. Their sound has evolved away from the skate punk sound that first brought them fame, but what hasn’t changed is their commitment to social and political issues and animal rights. The band frequently invite groups such as Sea Shepherd to set up tables at their gigs to distribute information about the organisation and let punters know how they can contribute. The band is also not afraid to contribute to good causes, having donated some of the proceeds from the sale of their music to organisations such as PETA2, Sea Shepherd Society, and Partners in Health.
The band’s lyrics often mention specific causes or events in history that some listeners may not be aware of. When asked about which of the band’s songs has most influenced listeners to go vegan, singer Chris Hannah said: “… to be honest, I think the most effective thing we’ve had on our records – as far as something that really jarred listeners into thinking seriously about how humans treat animals — was something we didn’t create; it was the audio of a farm-worker kicking and beating a downed, defenceless pig that we put before the song, The Purina Hall Of Fame. Many people have mentioned that that really affected them. More so than any of our songs, that’s for sure.”
On the subject of consuming animal products, bass player, Todd Kowalski, left no doubt about his feelings on the matter in an interview with Black Velvet magazine, “I’d rather fish pieces of shit out of the toilet than eat meat. It repulses, revolts and disgusts me. Cheese is like clotted pus, milk is like teat mucus. I’m serious. I would vomit if I had to eat or drink that crap. There is no need in most people’s lives to do that. People are selfish and lazy, that’s my conclusion.”
You can stream Propagandhi’s music on Spotify and Youtube.