Matt Fitzgibbons Talks about Patriotism in Music

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Matt Fitzgibbons has been emerging as a voice of patriotism in his music, creating both solos and albums in addition to live performances – all invigorating the audiences with the spirit of love for the country and its founding principles. Matt talks about his work and worldview in the following interview exclusively with AxcessNews.

Matt Fitzgibbons on Patriotic Music

Matt-Fitzgibbons-2022
Image @ Matt Fitzgibbons

Ernest: It’s great to have you for a chat here. Let’s start with how it began for you. What was it in your childhood or early years that would move you to express patriotism in music?

Matt Fitzgibbons: My family has veterans spanning from the Civil War to Vietnam and my father was a Marine during the Korean War, though he didn’t see combat. When he was little, his eldest brother’s death in Normandy some weeks after the June 6th landings in WWII all but destroyed his family. The pain and sense of respect for the freedoms he died for have carried on throughout the generations of my family. Freedom was always an important message in my house growing up. Having both family and friends of the family around me who were from many different countries, including family who visited from Soviet-controlled Poland, taught me that freedom isn’t the norm around the world. It’s precious and needs to be maintained or it will be lost.

When I was older, I lived overseas for a couple of years and also taught multi-national groups English. That prompted me to study history from its origins until modern times. That’s when I discovered that although the United States are made up of people from all over the world, it’s the simple, but timeless principles in our founding documents that define us – the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, the Federalist papers, the Anti-federalist papers, etc. These documents are who we are.

Ernest: What was the first patriotic song that you wrote and did you also sing it yourself?

Matt Fitzgibbons: I’ve always written, performed and sung my own music and my first patriotic piece was “For the Heroes.”

When I was returning home from a wonderful family Christmas party in 2004, I was left with the warmth that only being with loved ones can give you. Mixed with my happiness was the realization that many of my fellow countrymen and women were overseas, away from their families, defending our freedom. I had a sense that some other American family had just gotten the news that their loved one had been killed in service and I immediately felt compelled to try and capture those feelings of sadness, respect, and gratitude musically.

“For the Heroes” was written faster than any other song I had written up until that point and I truly believed that it was a gift to me to give to others so I didn’t monetize it. I gave it away. That led to many emails and comments with people suggesting I write other patriotic pieces so I started my website PatriotMusic.com in 2005 and released a CD with 11 songs, including “For the Heroes”.

Ernest: What genre and style you feel are best suited to the patriotic music you create?

Matt Fitzgibbons: Of course, what makes a song patriotic is the lyrical content rather than any particular musical genre, but as far as my music goes, it’s generally variations of Rock. I’ve been told that my 50 or so published songs are in many different musical genres including Country, Pop, Classical, and several variations of Rock including Progressive, Alternative, Soft Rock, and Heavy Rock. But honestly, it’s very hard for me to classify my own music.

Ernest: Liberty is a theme that really stands out in your work but what are some other recurring themes in your patriotic music?

Matt Fitzgibbons: I write about things that capture my attention in some way, strike me as subjects I should cover and are appropriate for the song. Lyrics are important to me so I don’t write anything meaningless. Sometimes the whole theme will stem from a stream-of-consciousness lyric when I’m just fiddling around. Along with the ideas expressed in America’s founding documents – such as liberty, tolerance and the importance of individual rights – I’ve also written several songs based on historic events as well as topics including faith, death, crime, and love. Nothing is off-limits to me and I simply tend to write about individual liberty because I see it as so important. Whatever the subject, I always try to keep an optimistic tone, though I do have a few darker pieces as well. By the time the song is winding down, I hope to leave the listener thinking about something they might not have otherwise while hopefully leaving them wanting more.

Ernest: Did you ever write and/or sing a song that made you teary out of the emotion at play?

Matt Fitzgibbons: Those are often the most meaningful pieces and they tend to take me the least time to write. It’s happened to me several times where I felt the final result captured something of the initial emotion or story. “For the Heroes” I’ve mentioned, but another was “Angels in White” which I wrote both for a close friend to honor his wife who was a nurse and passed away and as a ‘Thank You’ to all nurses. Some of my other songs that came as a result of strong emotions were “I Still Believe in Her, “ “Stand, “ and “Give Me Liberty!”

Ernest: You are known to be a non-partisan musician? Is it something difficult to maintain in this day with the big political divide over what rights and values we hold dear in this country?

Matt Fitzgibbons: Yes. Some have referred to me as a non-partisan musician over the years and I have referred to myself that way but things have changed. Back in 2005 I often said in interviews that our Republic is more divided now than we have been since our Civil War. Since then though, things have gotten far worse. The Left has organized to brand what our Republic stands for as radical. They’ve normalized intolerance and closed-mindedness to the point where they’ve made the town square unrecognizable. Through indoctrination, censorship, and virtual monopolies in education, the media, entertainment and Big Tech, they’ve declared war on the ideals that made this nation free. Americans used to be able to discuss things amicably, but today you either agree with their Groupthink, or you’ll be attacked.

I still call myself non-partisan because I see both political parties regularly ignoring or attacking the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, but I’ll point it out no matter who does it. Supporting our nation’s principles especially when our leaders stand against them is patriotism at its finest. It’s those who stand against our founding principles of tolerance who are radical.

Ernest: Please share a little about your passion for philosophy? What worldview you embrace and does it relate to your passion for patriotic music?

Matt Fitzgibbons: I believe there are as many ways of pursuing truth as there are souls. For individuals and for mankind in general, freedom is the best environment for those looking for truth. For example, you don’t believe everything you did 20 years ago and some of your views will be different in 20 years from now.

The ability to evolve intellectually or spiritually requires tolerance and the freedom to make mistakes and to change. This exchange of differing views is essential. That’s why I so passionately support our Founding Principles, not because so many souls have died for them. That’s a dangerous position to hold since millions of souls have also died for bad or even evil ideas.

I support our Founding Principles and the men and women who have fought for them because they are worth fighting and even dying for and because history proves that it is the best system we have.

Our founders were also students of history and experienced first-hand the tyranny that comes from large government. The problem with our liberty is that we’re losing it. As government grows, our individual rights are being eroded.

Ernest: As a history enthusiast, how do you respond to negative sentiments directed against America based on the bad things that happened in its history – things like slavery and Native American land grab etc?

Matt Fitzgibbons: It’s important that Citizens learn about historical injustices that were committed to prevent them from happening again, but that requires people learn the whole truth, not fabricated half-truths propagated to divide and anger people for political purposes and to subvert liberty itself. An educated Citizenry cannot so easily be manipulated or controlled. For example, allow me to list a string of random facts about only one of the two examples you mentioned in your question to demonstrate my point.

Slavery existed in every region of the world since the dawn of civilization and it was only rarely based on race. From Asians, Africans, Europeans and every other group on earth, including Native Americans, stronger groups enslaved weaker groups. Thousands of free black men in the Antebellum South were slave owners and millions were in Africa. Less than 5% of African slaves went to the U.S.

(The majority were sent to Brazil and the Caribbean.) 99% of American slave owners were Democrats, they founded the KKK, instituted the Jim Crow Laws, and blocked the Republican Civil Rights Act of 1957. More Republicans voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 than Democrats. The first 23 Black Congressmen were Republicans. Finally, there are more slaves today than at any point in human history.

Do these facts excuse the evils of slavery in the U.S.? Of course not, but I would ask your readers how many of them they knew. My point is that a more complete picture of the subject surprises most people and nullifies the strategy of historical revisionism to discredit our Founding Principles and erase the incredible contributions our nation has made to the world.

The United States has at its core a belief system aspiring to the highest of ideals.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” – Declaration of Independence

Throughout our history, we have pursued these values with great difficulty and sacrifice and we have done so more than any other nation in existence. Justifying attacks on our principles by pointing to our mistakes ignores the very best of what our species aspires to. I’d like to see Americans study more and use our principles and rights to help solve our problems.

Ernest: Can you tell us a bit about your current or next projects?
I am currently working on two songs with Gene Calverley to be released in the next few months. He played most of the electric guitars on my first album “Patriot” and I’ve been looking forward to having an opportunity to work with him again.

As we work on them, I’ll continue to do interviews as time allows. Some of the subjects I’ll be discussing in addition to our founding principles include the importance of holding corrupt bureaucrats accountable, instituting Congressional term limits and establishing privacy protections for Citizens against Big Tech.

Ernest: Who are some of your favorite radio show hosts that you would recommend as source of good patriotic information as well as inspiration?

Matt Fitzgibbons: I’ve had the fortune of having some radio discussions with some amazing people. Two that come to mind immediately when I think about quality content are Tim Tapp of “Tapp Into the Truth” and Ann Ubelis of “Southern Sense”. And though I’ve never been on his show, Salty Cracker of SaltMustFlow.com is both really funny and educational but he’s definitely only for adults, at least now.

Two of the most influential authors I can recommend with a wide range of videos online are Thomas Sowell and Jordan Peterson. Both use established facts and logic to disassemble many of the myths being propagated today.

Ernest: And finally, where can interested readers keep up with you music and updates?

Matt Fitzgibbons: All of my music, videos, writings, links to social accounts, many of the interviews I’ve done and my contact information are available through my website at https://patriotmusic.com/ and I welcome questions or comments from fans.

Ernest: Thank you Matt for taking the time for this correspondence. We look forward to seeing more of your wonderful patriotic work.

Matt Fitzgibbons: Thank you!

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Ernest Dempsey is a writer, editor, blogger, and journalist based in Orlando, FL. He runs a popular blog Word Matters! and edits the journal and its blog Recovering the Self. Dempsey is a skeptic, vegetarian, and advocate for animal and human rights.