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Sam Fender on political disillusionment: “We’re divided by culture wars”

The Tyneside troubadour speaks out in the first issue of Rolling Stone UK

By Nick Reilly

Sam Fender's Rolling Stone UK cover shoot (Picture: Rolling Stone UK/Damon Baker)
Sam Fender's Rolling Stone UK cover shoot (Picture: Rolling Stone UK/Damon Baker)

Sam Fender has discussed how the current socio-political climate in the UK has left him disillusioned with party politics.

The Tyneside singer, who will release his second album ‘Seventeen Going Under’ on October 8, joins Bastille and Lashana Lynch in gracing the cover of Rolling Stone UK’s first ever issue.

Fender is known for his left-wing views, but says online debate has been reduced to a “cesspit”, and his only allegiance now is to “people”.

He told Rolling Stone UK: “The left wing have abandoned the class argument. The moment you make the working class aware that the power’s in their hands and that if we actually do mobilise, we’re the most powerful people in the country, then the Etonians will be fucked. They would never get in again.”

However, Fender says the UK is now “divided by these culture wars”.

“The papers purposely put the most divisive headlines in to rile up working-class people and get them pissed off against the wrong people,” he elaborated.

Sam Fender graces the cover of Rolling Stone UK
Sam Fender’s Rolling Stone UK Cover

“The right wing are loving watching white working-class people getting up in arms about BLM because that stops us being unified. It’s divide and conquer. They’ve managed to keep that going for years and that’s why pricks like Boris Johnson are still running the country.”

He adds: “Does that make any sense? Because I don’t know what I’m talking about, I get into the politics stuff and it gets too… I’m not very good at doing the Frank Turner thing, do you know what I mean?”

Elsewhere in our cover interview, Sam Fender spoke on inequalities within the music industry, calling for working-class musicians to be given a fairer shot at success.

“When I meet musicians who are from quite affluent backgrounds, I find it hard not to have some sort of prejudice. I don’t want to, but I can feel a chip on my shoulder,” he said.

“It’s because the kids from where I’m from don’t get the money.”

The new issue of Rolling Stone UK is on sale now. Subscribe to Rolling Stone UK in print and receive free access to the digital edition. Follow us on @RollingStoneUK

The first three Rolling Stone UK covers