Hiroshima, a band that helped define Asian American identity, will take a hiatus starting the day after the 2016 Presidential election. In an email to NPR on Wednesday, co-founder and lead vocalist Yuki Tsuda-Jones said the band had decided to temporarily put a stop to touring and recording because of political and social unrest. Tsuda-Jones told NPR it felt as if the band’s fans were “turning on their light bulbs.”
The news comes as a shock to Tsuda-Jones and her bandmate, vocalist and keyboard player Atsuko Asano, who had been working on a new album. For Tsuda-Jones, her sudden decision to put down her instrument came as a surprise to her bandmates, but she wrote in an email to NPR that she decided to make the decision she made “after much thought and prayer.” It was a drastic decision for a band who, in addition to taking part in the March 11, 1965, march against the Vietnam War, also marched in the Women’s March on Washington and protested the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.
“I’m very saddened by this development,” Tsuda-Jones, who was born in Chicago and raised in Los Angeles, said in an email. “We have always supported our country and we have always stood up for her.”
The band’s decision to put a halt to its career comes as a response to the election of Donald Trump. The band’s song “Trump” was included on a compilation of songs in protest of the election, “Make America Great Again,” released on December 9. The band also said Trump’s rhetoric against women and people of color had changed their opinions of the US and the world.
“Trump is a person who is an embarrassment to our country and to humanity,” Tsuda-Jones wrote in the email to NPR. “My husband, the bassist of the band, and I have never agreed with everything Donald says, but we have always supported our country and stood up for her. This is not the first time people of color have