Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals have a new album out in April and tickets for their gig at London’s Brixton Academy later in the year have just gone on sale.
When Harper reunited last year with the Innocent Criminals – guitarist Michael Ward, bassist Juan Nelson, keyboardist Jason Yates, percussionist Leon Mobley and drummer Oliver Charles – it wasn’t just to play the classics. 2016 sees the release of Call It What It Is, the band’s first album in eight years.
The ‘Call It What It Is’ world tour kicks of in New Zealand later this month, before hitting Australia and then the northern hemisphere long-haul.
The guys play London’s Brixton Academy on 26 October and it’s selling fast.
In the title track of the album, Harper and Co. rail against police violence, specifically relating to the controversial and high profile deaths of African American citizens like Trevon Martin, Ezel Ford and Michael Brown who have been, as Harper says in the song, “murdered” by police.
Watch the lyric video of the song:
About the issues confronted in Call It What It Is and this clip, Ben Harper recently told Esquire: “This is a problem of such profound moment, and yet it’s ancient, too. So it’s clear that we simply can’t talk about it enough. We cannot be silent. Humbly, I wanted those words—”Call It What It Is”—to be the writing on the wall. And so, for the video, we did just that. The artist is Andy Dolan. Can you imagine? He writes better with a spray can than I do with a pen. That wall is in Flatbush, Brooklyn, indoors. Andy can’t get arrested for public vandalism, or it’s trouble for him. So we just found him a nice wall to rent and render something beautiful. It’s an installation! I would imagine they painted over it, unless they have really good taste.”