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Couple gets "Pumped Up Kicks" removed from radio station while driving to San Diego

Traveling couple get "Pumped Up Kicks" removed from Central CA radio station.
Photo credit:
Alicia Champion - Facebook

Who says change can't happen overnight? Don’t tell that to singer/songwriter Danielle LoPresti and her wife Alicia Champion who made it happen in just a few hours along a stretch of California highway on their way to San Diego.

The former San Diegians were heading south from their home in Oakland California to perform in a benefit concert called Out To End Gun Violence in San Diego on July 12. They were listening to the radio near Fresno when the controversial song “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People came on.

That station, Central California's New Rock 1041, had recently put the song back in their rotation having removed it following recent mass shootings.

According to Foster the People frontman Mark Foster, the song is being told from the perspective of a troubled teen who is contemplating a mass shooting at his school.

The catchy hook contains the ominous lyrics "outrun my gun" telling students they "better run, better run, faster than my bullet.”

“It is exclusively an inner dialogue of a killer,” says Champion of the song, “packaged in a stunningly catchy, pretty melodic composition that - to me- only furthers the cultural normalization of mass shootings.”

This is not the tune Danielle and Alicia wanted to hear on their way to perform at an anti-gun benefit so they called the station fully expecting to get the run-around. Which is initially what they got from DJ Skippy who said there was nothing she could do but forward their call to the program manager Jason Squires.

The ladies left a message not expecting to hear back from the station and continued the drive south. But much to their surprise about two hours later the station returned their call with the best news they could've hoped for. 

Squires said he had seen Danielle and Alicia's social posts and 1041 would no longer play "Pumped Up Kicks." Part of the conversation was caught on video

The women were ecstatic and thanked him profusely, Champion tweeting, "This is how you #CreateChange! Your voice is your most powerful weapon! Use it!"

Both Alicia and Danielle will perform at Out To End Gun Violence at the Music Box on Thursday, July 12.

All proceeds benefit The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.