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Paul's Here

Guitarist holds "Selfishness is a good thing"

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Lloyd's philosophical leanings are somewhat ironic considering the unabashed progressivism of the jam world in which his band circulates. Still, with a catalog that boasts not-so-subtly titled songs like "Precious Mind" and "John Galt," his passion for Rand is at least an entertaining break from the standard hippie dogma.

The Rand thread doesn't end with the lyrics. The music too is infectiously cheery, but not in that annoying, noodly, clich├ęd jam-band way. Just check a performance of "Precious Mind" on the band's Facebook page. The song is epic in typical jam fashion, clocking in at more than seven minutes before hitting a crescendo of instrumental chaos. But then, in an abrupt but weirdly enjoyable transition, the track shifts into a Caribbean island groove. It's Randian because of the seemingly eternal cheerfulness it conveys, a happy optimism found in the triumphant conclusions of novels like The Fountainhead, in which protagonist Howard Roark retains his individualism and idealism despite those pesky collectivists.

"Most of our songs are positive, which is something people keep telling me," Lloyd says. "I don't know that I try to write songs that have a positive message necessarily. [but] the works of Ayn Rand inspire me to want to go out and wake people up."

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