Put Down Your Weapons

By Davin Michael Stedman

KING PORTER

Davin Michael Stedman is a musician, writer, and television producer that was on assignment in Europe during the Paris attacks. He is publishing a series of stories about his experience his band The Staxx Brothers and Crossing Guide Magazine. His column is called 100 Miles of Music. 

As many of my friends know, I just spent the last month over in Europe playing with the Brighton, UK band, King Porter Stomp. The trip became quite surreal as I participated in the benefit shows that KPS helped organize for a community of Refugees just across the English Channel, only to see the world shaken by simultaneous terrorist attacks in Paris.

The week of the attack (hard to believe it was just last week), I had traveled to Paris for a radio interview with the online radio station Kaos Caribou. Host Archibald Wellington III gave me a barnstorming tour of the city the following day and sent me back on an Easy Jet in time for a 9pm rehearsal in England. On Friday the 13th, as King Porter Stomp stepped on stage in Sheffield we caught wind of mayhem in Paris. When we stepped off the gruesome details became pouring in.

Fact is much colder than fiction. The very refugee camps that King Porter Stomp was raising money to support with shelter for the coming winter became international news as clashes with French police were reported. After the attacks, the camps in Calais were in flames. Traveling across England and coming to understand the story of each band member was an experience I’ll never take for granted. Seeing the hope, frustration, sadness, and endurance of each of these men as the forces of history moved beneath their feet was an inspiration I’ve taken back to America.

This song, ‘Put Down Your Weapons’ was already our soundtrack for the tour, but what’s happening in Paris, Nigeria, Kenya, on American streets and public schools makes this song as relevant as anything you’re probably going to hear today. I’m looking forward to the day I’m able to bring this entire band across the Atlantic. But I’m looking forward much more to the day when this song stops being so painfully relevant.

This song and video was released today.