A Seattle-area rock band’s new CD takes aim at a very heady topic: the trafficking of children for sexual exploitation. The songs on Rain Light Fade’s ‘Slaves and Sinners’ also tackle what singer and keyboardist Dane Vance Creek calls “the objectification of women and the culture that breeds it., but so often refuses to acknowledge that it’s even happening.” Creek continues, “When writing, I was trying to approach this stuff from the various viewpoints – the victim, the victimizers, society as a whole. I never set out with a goal to write an album themed around sex-trafficking, but the more I tried to put myself in the shoes of the victim, the more my heart hurt, and the songs just kept coming out.”
For those who think this topic is a bit odd for a rock band to address, consider this: according to the organization Stolen Youth, who works to rescue trafficked children and help them recover, more than 500 kids are currently victims of sex traffickers in the Seattle area. Even more disturbing, the average age of a trafficked kid is 13. Creek says being a father brings the children’s plight into disturbing focus. “Knowing that there are children out there who are my daughter’s age and are being forced into this hell… it makes you want to do whatever you can to stop it.”
Creek calls sex trafficking a men’s issue, and explains it this way, “… the vast majority of these atrocities are perpetrated by men. The kids that are out there right now, prostituting on Seattle streets are not the criminals; they’re the victims. And if men are the victimizers by and large, then it’s about time that we, being men, start standing up against this evil and defending the victims. It’s addressing the issue at the root.”
Rain Light Fade’s dark, melodic sound and Creek’s clear but haunting vocals provide an apt backdrop for the somber stories woven into each of the seven songs. He and bandmates: guitarists Ian Tomlinson and Ira Merrill, bassist Mike Stevi and drummer Steve Gale have created a soundtrack that slips under your skin and remains there, long after the final track, “Dreams”, has faded out.
Creek says the band’s influences run from Depeche Mode and Nine Inch Nails, to Led Zeppelin and Alice in Chains, and those nuances show up subtly in the music, creating a sound that’s uniquely their own. “There’s some metal in there, and some electronic influence, but I think what you’ll find at the root of it all are good songs that groove. We definitely lean toward the dramatic, and our videos are just as important as our music.
Mental Itch Records released ‘Slaves and Sinners’ this week, and Creek expressed gratitude to label founder Louie Galarza, who has gone above and beyond in his support for local music and bands, mentoring young performers and providing practice space at Louie G’s, his pizzeria/concert venue in Fife, and booking a steady stream of bands. Louie G’s is also an all-ages venue, making it a safe and fun place for budding young rock fans to check out their favorite groups. Creek also thanked Amy Taylor, Mental Itch’s Head of Operations, and everyone who have been pivotal in the process of bringing ‘Slaves and Sinners’ to life.
Rain Light Fade’s release party for ‘Slaves and Sinners’ is this Friday, June 5 at Louie G’s. Also performing that night are A Lien Nation, Villains of Yesterday, and Colossal Boss. The music begins at 8:00 pm, and Creek says the band will donate $3 from every CD sold that night to Stolen Youth. “We’re trying to put our money where our mouth is.”
If you can’t make it to the show, Creek has this request: “Educate yourself about this stuff (sex trafficking in the Seattle area). Spread the word. Word of mouth is a powerful thing!”