Off-Key

Singer David Gray is not pleased that his music has been used to abuse detainees in American custody. From the BBC:

Gray’s warning on ‘torture’ music
Singer David Gray has warned that US interrogators playing loud music as a form of “torture” – including his own song Babylon – was no laughing matter.

“Only the novelty aspect of this story gets it noticed… Guantanamo greatest hits,” he said.

“What we’re talking about here is people in a darkened room, physically inhibited by handcuffs, bags over their heads and music blaring at them.”

His track Babylon is reportedly a favourite of US interrogators in Iraq.

Repeatedly playing loud music to suspected terrorist detainees is also a standard interrogation technique in Guantanamo and other US bases.

“That is torture,” the singer-songwriter told BBC Radio 4’s The World Tonight.

“That is nothing but torture.

“It doesn’t matter what the music is – it could be Tchaikovsky’s finest or it could be Barney the Dinosaur.

“It really doesn’t matter, it’s going to drive you completely nuts.”

He said such torture formed part of a US “retaliation to a few terrorist acts”.

“No-one wants to even think about it or discuss the fact that we’ve gone above and beyond all legal process and we’re torturing people,” he added.

Babylon – from his White Ladder album – was Gray’s breakthrough single, reaching number five in the UK in 2000.

White Ladder reached number one in the UK and number 35 in the US.

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Published on July 7, 2008

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