Photo: Courtesy of KIDinaKORNER/Interscope
Shea Diamond, Tom Morello, Dan Reynolds & The Bloody Beetroots Call Listeners To Action In "Stand Up"
"Stand Up" opens with Tom Morello's electrifying guitar immediately followed by a call-to-action from Imagine Dragons vocalist Dan Reynolds. "Stand up/ Cause you are standing for nothing/ Just shut up/ Cause your words mean nothing," he screams.
So begins the super collab from Morello, Reynolds, Shea Diamond, and The Bloody Beetroots. The song urges its listeners to take action as the U.S. strives for heightened awareness and change around systemic racism and police brutality.
After Reynolds finishes verses that speak on the system, police brutality and white privilege, Shea Diamond takes the mic: "Everybody stares like I’m just my gender/ But I’m a living soul with my own agenda " she sings. "When I call the police will they just kill me?/ Will they just kill you?/ When you call the police would they just protect you cause you’re white skinned too?"
The song unites a diverse group of voices together over a rock track that is just as hard-hitting. Morello was inspired by his experience growing up in a small, predominantly white, conservative Illinois town where someone once put a noose in his family's garage. A lot has changed since then, Morello said in a statement, so much the town held a rally and march for Black Lives early last month.
The town's evolution inspired Morello to make a track and a super collab was born.
"It seems that the times, they are a’changin’. I was so inspired that night, I reached out to Dan from Imagine Dragons. The Bloody Beetroots and I had conjured a slamming track and within 24 hours Dan had sent back a completed vocal," Morello said. "We got Shea Diamond, a Black transgender woman with a long history of activism, on the track and the coalition was complete."
Reynolds, who penned the song along with Morello, Diamond, The Bloody Beetroots, Justin Tranter and Eren Cannata, said his thoughts spilled out upon being invited to work on the track.
"I immediately went up into my room and wrote/sang the chorus and verse that day," he said. "This country certainly needs fixing, and I believe it will take people from all sides and colors to fix it."
The collab got The Bloody Beetroots’ Bob Rifo, who produced the track, to let his creative juices out in the world after his third month spent in quarantine. "It is during times of turmoil and upheaval that we musicians have the responsibility to accelerate change with a loud and strong message for a better present and future. Today we can change this planet. This is our time. This is our turn," Rifo said.
Diamond says she feels proud to be a part of a collab she feels shows true allyship.
"When I hear people talking about being allies of the LGBTQ+ community, mainly in the Black and Trans community, it’s almost laughable. We watch them profit from our pain, making these surface level posts of solidarity—especially in music. When I think about Black Lives Matter and Trans Lives Matter, you don’t get to see any representations of collaborations—many would never share a post, let alone do a song together. So when I heard Dan Reynolds wanted me on his song, I nearly flipped," she said. "I wasn’t surprised, though—he’s been so intentional in sharing posts, helping to raise money within our community and more. He really puts the A in ally!!! This is a proud moment in music history, and I feel honored to be a part of such an important song during this climate… we need to know where everyone stands in the music."