Michael Kovrig, one of the Canadians arbitrarily detained in China known as the Two Michaels, was living in Budapest, Hungary in the ’90s and he was the singer of Bankrupt. After his departure, we remained friends who met annually when Michael visited Budapest. He even joined the band on stage to sing an old favorite in April 2017, the last time we met.
He’s been incarcerated for over 950 days now, and we wrote this song to raise awareness of his situation. We believe that the more people stand up for him, the bigger the pressure will be on politicians to get him out. Eventually, it all adds up. We can make a difference. On the request of Michael’s family, we’ll donate all profits from the song to Hostage International.
The first line-up of Bankrupt (Rocco – bass, William – guitar, Michael K – vocals, Black Peter – drums) got together in March 1996. Fast forward 25 years, Michael’s in a Chinese prison while the rest of us are in lockdown Budapest thanks to the 3rd wave of covid. Not the birthday we’d wished for, but let’s make the most of it. We’re trying to collect all sorts of memorabilia from our past now, so if you have any old photos, posters, recordings, let us know!
For starters, here’s a recording of Listen with Michael on vocals from 1999. It came out on We’re Not Generation X, the first compilation of GC Records, with cover art by Winston Smith of Dead Kennedys fame.
2020 has been the worst year ever for most people, and we’re no exception. But while on a personal level we had to deal with nasty health issues, job loss and isolation, as a band we did pretty well despite the circumstances.
We released an album after 3 years. Trolls In Suits is our best album so far, it includes 5 songs out of our all-time Spotify Top 10. Speaking of Spotify, we’ve had more than twice as many streams this year than in 2019, and we also did remarkably better on YouTube.
We’ve brought out 5 videos this year, including a really cool official music video for Nightbreed, and our first-ever community collaboration effort for Hello 21, which turned out fantastic.
We’ve also managed to record a punk cover song for a Yacht Rock compilation to be released on Cleopatra Records in the USA next year.
We only played one gig this year (in Budapest), but at least that was a good one. Let’s hope life gets back to normal soon, and we can play live again.
We wanted to end this terrible year on a positive note, so we wrote an optimistic, singalong punk rock song and asked our supporters to collaborate on our new music video by sending us clips of themselves raising their drinks to a better year. We’ve received 40 videos from 10 countries and we really like how this project turned out. We hope you’ll like it too! The song’s already available on Bandcamp, and will arrive to Spotify and other stores over the weekend.