From the January 2004 Idaho Observer:

Made in America

by Don Harkins

This article is going to get a little personal because I cannot think of any other way to describe how important the four guys who comprise the Christian patriot heavy metal band Pokerface really are.

Looking back, I can see how most of my life I have known deep down inside that something was wrong -- but that didn't cause me to outwardly appear different than other kids: I went to school, got good grades, usually did as I was told and was well on the road toward being a typical unquestioning American.

By the time I entered junior high school, I had found the world of rock and roll and began doing all the “experimental” things that really upset parents and outside authority figures. I met Janice, Jimi, The Doors, The Who, Buffalo Springfield, Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Frank Zappa. The list goes on, but I think I made the point. Those musician/poets and their deeply meaningful, politically and socially insightful lyrics set my course of thinking in a direction that has led to me where I am today.

Music is powerful. In the U.S. we can define decades by the music that was popular at the time. Swing, Jazz, Big Band, Rock and Roll, Acid Rock, Punk, Heavy Metal, Grunge. We naturally associate the first four music genres with virtuous America -- the roaring 20s, the Depression Era, the WWII era and then the Fabulous 50s. The last four are less definitive by decade and have been weaving back and forth through time since the 60s. These loud, amplified, protest-driven forms of music have been credited for corrupting youth. People in government and government apologists prefer to lay blame anywhere but at the feet of those who create a world that boils the innocence of youth. They describe today's musical movements as being influential in the decline of our society that began in earnest when America's young people saw through the motives of government during the Vietnam war.

Art reflects culture. Left to its own devices, it is never the other way around.

Music was much happier in the 20s through the 50s. Even though our nation went through some hard times in that period, there was still hope for a future and a belief that we were still a shining example for the world and a true defender of freedom.

The music has become progressively dark, angry, resentful and perverse since the 60s. It reflects the feelings of the youth who identify with it -- frustrated, hopeless, no respect or trust for authority and assured of a future that promises deepening cycles of despair.

In a society where thousands of modern musicians make a living writing and playing the tunes that reflect how miserable our modern society has made our youth, to my knowledge there is only one heavy metal band promoting faith, freedom, responsibility and hope. Pokerface lyrics reflect a deep understanding of the social and political realities of our day. Set to the heavy metal sound in its fifth decade of appealing to the younger generation, Pokerface's message accurately identifies the sources of the common man's collective peril and wraps it in a heavy metal patriot package.

The Idaho Observer packages its message in newspaper form to reach an audience between the ages of 25 and 85; an audience that already understands how the land of the free is fast becoming the world's largest penal colony; Pokerface packages its message in heavy metal music to reach the under-25 crowd.

Pokerface is the modern version of the powerful protest rockers of the 60s. The band uses the heavy metal musical medium to open the minds of today's largely lost youth and start them down the path of becoming historically astute critical thinkers.

That is why the four members of Pokerface are so important to our future. The adults in the 80s viewed me and my generation as a bunch of stoned rock and rollers with no future, just like the adults of the 60s viewed them as a bunch of stoned rock and rollers with no future. We, as adults ought to learn from the errors of the previous generations and seek not to dismiss the youth of today as useless but find ways to teach them the truth about our world. I believe the desire for hope is preferable to hopelessness and that, given the opportunity, kids will respond to truths that will set them free of the bleak future they are being conditioned to accept for themselves.

Like The IO, Pokerface has no corporate sponsors. The band members are inspired to produce and perform out of a desire to make our world a better place. The IO staff is similarly inspired. Where The IO dedicates its journalistic talents and passions to the cause of freedom, Pokerface dedicates its musical talents and passions to the cause of freedom.

The only way The IO staff can impact the freedom movement in our country is for the handful of Americans who believe as we do to help spread our message; the only way the members of Pokerface can impact the freedom movement is for the handful of Americans who believe as we do to help spread their message.

So, if you like heavy metal music, get Pokerface's latest CD “Made in America.” If you are close to some youthful metal heads and you want to plant hope and social responsibility into their minds, expose them to Pokerface. Made in America is the band's third socially and politically-supercharged CD and is preceded by Sex, Lies and Politiks and Next. All three CDs contain a lyrical content that infers a solid understanding of America's present peril and the forces bringing her down. Made in America shows that Pokerface is maturing in its lyrical insight and its prowess as a band. The CD also contains a live concert video and other well-produced, extremely fun and creative interactive material that can be viewed on a computer. The CD package contains some very interesting artwork, the lyrics to the CD's 12 songs, an alphabetical list of freedom-oriented websites and The Local Solution to Global Tyranny -- a forward-thinking, faith and freedom-filled vision from Pokerface.

Pokerface can be contacted by writing:

P.F. Productions
PO Box 9200
Allentown, PA 18105-9200

You can contact the band office by calling (610) 434-8775. Pokerface also posts a couple of excellent and informative websites. Visit them at for the music; for the politiks and for BeLeFEST -- an up and coming Pokerface event.

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