Conor Oberst Teams Up With the So So Glos to Lament Our Forever War


Eight years ago, Conor Oberst’s Desaparecidos played the sweatiest, rowdiest show ever at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium with the local punk bank the So So Glos. It was a simpler time in some respects; Obama was president, the DIY scene in New York was thriving, and no one batted an eye at attending a show so packed to the gills that folks were watching through the window on the rickety fire escape balcony. Nearly 10 years — two presidents, one pandemic, and the death of Shea Stadium — later, Oberst and the band of brothers have reunited to tell us war is never over (if you want it) in America with their new song “Everywhere Is War.”

“I’ve been friends with the Glos for years. I had the pleasure of touring with them and Desaparecidos,” Oberst tells Rolling Stone. “There’s not that many real punk rock bands left and it was great to team up with them for this track.” A relatively mellow song — there’s even Auto-Tune — the chill vibes belie the lyrics, which touch on Neo Nazis, Trump, and wrap up with the phrase: “Hate is back in style.”

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According to the Glos, “Everywhere Is War” is a tribute to Bob Marley’s 1976 version of “War.” That song famously quoted Haile Selassie’s speech at the United Nations in 1963, in which he spoke about peace in a time of great change. “Just as his words rang true then — in the polarized political climate of today they are just as relevant. The song reflects on a world at war — whether it’s Nazis marching in Charlottesville or a conflict overseas — the lyrics serve as a cautionary tale that war is everywhere and anywhere at any time,” the band tells Rolling Stone. “Universally, human beings seem to have the instinct to destroy themselves and each other. We try to work against that instinct and move forward intentionally with love and solidarity.”

The song follows the So So Glos’ recent collaboration with Peter Richard “Spider” Stacy of the Pogues, “This Could Be Christmas,” which heralded the punk band’s return; their last album, Blowout, came out in 2013. The band plans to release more tracks with Cults, Juan Wauters, Big Youth, Slothrust, Matt & Kim, and more.

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