the tragically hip

Tragically Hip backtrack after slamming Conservative fundraiser for using their music

The Tragically Hip are backtracking on previous statements made by guitarist Paul Langlois after he criticized the use of the band's music at an event for the Conservative party of Canada. 

On Saturday, a follower on Twitter asked the band if they were aware that their songs, including "Fifty-Mission Cap" were being played at a fundraiser for Conservative party leader Pierre Poilievre in Hamilton. 

Langlois responded to the tweet, writing, "we certainly did not know this - highly offensive if true (we'll wait to make sure and potentially confirm this) and if so, this will be stopped." 

The guitarist then followed up on his previous comment, writing, "we have always been highly offended by anybody who doesn't ask for our permission to use our music for a brand, a political party, or a public figure of any sort. It's just common courtesy to ask, and it applies to anyone and everyone." 

The clarification didn't stop the social media backlash from rolling in, with many fans calling the band too "woke." 

"Highly offensive? What makes it "highly offensive" that your music is being played by a party that represents a huge slice of Canadians?" one person asked. 

"Artist[s] who make this kind of statement alienate a huge segment of their audience. Best to leave it alone...but probably won't," another person wrote. 

While many criticized Langlois for speaking out, others were quick to defend the artist for protecting his music. 

"Thank you Paul. If any political figures want to use music they should really ask the writers/performers," one person tweeted. 

On Monday, the band went on to backtrack on some of the comments made by Langlois, writing that after finding out the venue was licensed, they considered the matter to be "resolved." 

"It is (and has always been) our expectation that brands, political parties, or public figures wishing to use our music for a campaign first seek our approval," the statement reads. 

"It has now been confirmed that Saturday's event took place in a venue licensed by SOCAN, which means the venue pays a fee to ensure artists and musicians are compensated appropriately when music is played on site," the post continued. 

"As such, specific permissions were not required in this case. We did not have the full details in our earlier posts — and now consider this matter resolved."

Lead photo by

David Bastedo

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