Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’ upcoming album, Hypnotic Eye, reveals a political side of the famous song legend. In a recent interview with Billboard, Petty was very candid about the inspiration and his overall feelings about the Catholic church and other things political.
“Playing Dumb,” a track on the new album, is centered on the sex abuse scandals with the Catholic Church. Petty says he has nothing against Catholics, but has issues with people who continue to support the church hierarchy despite the various confirmed cases of abuse and wrong doing.
“I’m fine with whatever religion you want to have,” he maintains, but states, “If I was in a club, and I found out that there had been generations of people abusing children, and then that club was covering that up, I would quit the club. And I wouldn’t give them any more money.”
Petty also tells Billboard that in the new album, he critiques the greed displayed by politicians who support the extremely wealthy to the detriment of the lower classes. “Very few people know how to handle power and once they just become completely immoral, they’re dangerous people,” said Petty. “That attitude is what, to me, wipes out the middle class.”
In addition to songs about political issues, Hypnotic Eye also has a song inspired by the second of two fires that destroyed Petty’s home. The song “All You Can Carry” is about how he carried a Hofner bass that he owned to safety as the house burned.
“I grabbed that and went, ‘Hell, is this going to happen to me twice in my life where everything I own is just wiped out?’” he tells Billboard. “And then I thought, ‘Well, I’m OK with that.’ Because things come back, but people don’t.”