Back in 2010, New Zero God embarked on a new journey. After making it onto the UK radio charts and into UK publications, the band was fortunate to become friends with many people in this far off land. During this time, they also learned about Sophie Lancaster and Robert Maltby.
Now, there may be some of you who don't know the story of Sophie and Rob. They were young, they were in love, they were carefree...
...and they were goths.
One summer evening, the couple were walking home through Stubbeylee Park in Bacup, Rossendale in Lancashire, where they were soon met by a large group of teenagers. Suddenly, an attack began against Robert, who was kicked unconscious. Sophie, who had been protectively cradling Robert in her arms, became their next victim. The police report stated that 10-15 teenagers bore witness or participated in the assault, and that "...their faces were so swollen we could not ascertain which one was female and which one was male." A 15-year-old witness told police, "They were running over and just kicking her in the head and jumping up and down on her head." Both Sophie and Robert were left to die while the attackers bragged to other friends about their evening's activities. Taken to different hospitals, Robert eventually came out of his coma... but Sophie was not so lucky. She died 13 days later on August 24, 2007, at the tender age of 20.
All this brutality because of a creative style of dress, individuality, and artistic expression. Because of a chosen lifestyle. Because of a walk with her boyfriend. Because of society being as it is... with no respect for their fellow human brothers and sisters.
This horrific story has stuck with us since the day we learned of it. We've shared links and information, we've kept banners up on various websites from that very first day. In 2010, New Zero God participated in a UK charity event for the benefit of S.O.P.H.I.E. (Stamp Out Prejudice, Hatred, and Intolerance Everywhere)
But now the time has come to bring our own contribution to the memory of this remarkable woman whose story has touched countless hearts. Where better to bring our third annual pilgrimage of charity than to our most beloved charity of all?
In this day of recognized awareness being thrust into the limelight on anti-bullying and social acceptance for the wide variety of individualism each of us possess, there are many lessons to be learned from this senseless tragedy. The S.O.P.H.I.E. Foundation has worked tirelessly to bring acceptance of the human soul's diversity into schools, into the streets, and into the music world whereby it will be passed along to others.
Prejudice, hatred, and intolerance should have no place in society. Your contribution can help spread the word that it's OK to be unique, to be creative, to be YOU. Individuality needs to be celebrated, and this is but one step in that direction. It's up to YOU to carry the message forward and help stamp out all the injustices our children face on a daily basis. It's up to YOU to care enough to help change the world.
"The Night Calls Your Name" - New Zero God (feat. Maxi Nil) [©2013]
New Zero God Lineup:
Mike Pougounas [Vocals]
Dimitris "Sidheog" Steves [Drums]
Harris Stavrakas [Bass]
Plus the contribution by these additional artists:
Maxi Nil - Backing Vocals
Engineered, Recorded, and Mixed at:
"The Rat" [Piraeus] by Panos "Rat" Christoforou
Backing Vocals Recorded at:
"Top Floor" [Athens] by Panos Tsekouras
Dimitris "Sidheog" Steves
Lyrics by: Mike Pougounas
Music by: Mike Pougounas
Produced by: Mike Pougounas
Recorded for the exclusive benefit of S.O.P.H.I.E. [The Sophie Lancaster Foundation, UK ©2013]