Aja Volkman-Reynolds and Dan Epand of the band TWO, formerly of Nico Vega, blasted President Donald Trump on Tuesday for using their 2013 song “Beast” in a recent social media post that claimed popular opinion was in his favor and incited people to rise up and fight for him to remain in power. As of Tuesday morning the post has been viewed more than 7 million times on Twitter and 3 million times on Instagram.
“We have love and empathy for people of all backgrounds, races, and beliefs, and we feel sick how ALL Americans’ fears and vulnerabilities have been exploited over the last four years and more,” the duo wrote in a news release. “We will not participate in a form of propaganda that pits Americans against one another. The meaning of this song is to love thy neighbor. To stand up for the underdog and to rise together around the commonality of LOVE. Without division!”
“It sends out a message to people that music isn’t respected or valued as craft,” said Volkman-Reynolds, who’s married to Imagine Dragons’ Dan Reynolds. “It hurt me that someone took our music without asking, and twisted the message to fit a political agenda. We don’t want our song to be used to manipulate anyone or to tell half of a story that might cause divisiveness. We are a small independent band with a mighty message and though this puts a target on our back, we cannot sit quietly in silence.”
Formed in Los Angeles in 2005, Nico Vega released two albums and several EPs and singles before disbanding in 2018. In 2020, Volkman-Reynolds and Epand reunited as TWO and released their debut record, Pull the Knife Out. In January, they will release a new video for single “Cage Fighter.”