Move Over Beto And Pete, Andrew Yang Aims To Be “The First Ex-Goth President”

The 2020 presidential candidates would like us to believe they’re just like us. And music, as they see it, is the great equalizer. Beto O’Rourke was once in a band with Cedric Bixler-Zavala of At The Drive-In and the Mars Volta. During a recent presidential campaign stop, he said that “it would be an honor to have the Mars Volta play anything along the campaign or in this presidency.” Pete Buttigieg’s campaign recently shared a video of him playing Spoon’s 2002 track “The Way We Get By” on piano. (He also likes Phish.) Now, Andrew Yang says he’s hoping to become “the first ex-goth president.”

“I distinctly remember coming into school in eighth grade and a friend, Dan Miller, was full goth, wearing all black,” Yang told Jezebel in an interview. “Dan had a real impact on my musical taste and we ended up going to many of these concerts together. So I daresay, if I win in 2020, I would be the first ex-goth president.”

Yang goes on to discuss what he thought was “the canon of alternative music,” citing, “The Cure, The Smiths, and Depeche Mode. And when they arrived with Joshua Tree, U2 somehow was there. REM. I liked Siouxsie and the Banshees, I liked The Sugarcubes.”

“I really like New Order and Joy Division, of course. They’re in the canon. And Erasure too,” he adds. “So that to me was the original arc. And then in the ‘90s it became more Nirvana, Alice in Chains, and Soundgarden.” Yang says his first concert was Depeche Mode in 1990 and he went to the first three Lollapaloozas.

“I was tempted to crowd surf at one of my last events because there were thousands of people there and the excitement was very high. What I did was sort of pretended I was going to crowd surf but then I didn’t.”

Recognizing that he and Beto are both pushing the cool candidate shtick, Yang suggests they battle it out in a skateboarding competition. “I will say one thing I’d be interested in doing: Some kind of skate-off with Beto because I also skated,” he says. “If Beto is open to it, I’m open to it.”

He may not have government or campaign experience, but he sure does love the Smiths! Who needs to push progressive policy when you’ve got the power of music? (We do! So badly!)