In the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, many radio stations have pulled Foster the People’s 2011 hit single “Pumped Up Kicks,” in which frontman Mark Foster sings about a school shooting.
Foster, told CNN he was inspired by teenage mental illness when he wrote the song, with lyrics like, “You'd better run, better run, outrun my gun ... you'd better run, better run, faster than my bullet.”
Read Foster’s full statement after the jump:
I wrote 'Pumped Up Kicks' when I began to read about the growing trend in teenage mental illness. I wanted to understand the psychology behind it because it was foreign to me. It was terrifying how mental illness among youth had skyrocketed in the last decade. I was scared to see where the pattern was headed if we didn't start changing the way we were bringing up the next generation.
I wrote that song three years ago. A lot has changed since then, and a lot has stayed the same.
For the past few years I've been an advocate for stricter gun control regulations and have been passionate about reforming our laws so this country would be safer. So my little brothers could go to school and I wouldn't have to worry about them. So people wouldn't have access to weapons that were capable of large-scale destruction ie: AR-15's with 30 round magazines.
This song was written as a way to create ongoing dialogue for an issue that was being talked about, but when it came to government intervention, was largely being ignored.
Now, this topic is finally at the forefront of major discussion and will hopefully lead to some big changes in policy that will prevent these acts of violence from happening in the future. That being said, I respect people’s decision to press pause. And if that becomes a catalyst for a bigger conversation that could lead to positive change moving forward, then I absolutely support it.
My heart goes out to Newtown and anyone that's ever been affected directly or indirectly by gun violence. The only way we're going to be able to change this, is to raise a loud, booming, unified voice and not let politics get in the way of humanity. We're all neighbors and this is in our back yard. It's only going to stay there if we let it. Peace and love.
In a 2011 interview, Cubbie Fink, who plays bass in the band, told CNN that “the whole youth violence thing hit pretty close to me” because his cousin was present during the Columbine shooting in 1999.
“I actually flew out to be with her the day after it happened … and saw how affected she was by it,” Fink said. “She is as close as a sister so obviously it affected me deeply. So to be able to have a song to talk about this stuff has been good for us.”