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ˇViva la Revolución!

A rogues' gallery of rock and rollers reflects upon the USA's big day

Independence Day is here again. Turns out we've been free for almost 230 years, which is a pretty kick-ass record when you think about it. So what is it that makes America...you know...America? Well, the best way to solve that mystery is to ask a rock star. Not only do they know how to roll a great joint and score some serious tail, but they can pontificate brilliantly on the merits of American beer, American anthems, American wars and, apparently, why reborn Christians are pretty damn scary, too.

So what makes America great?

"We're the prototype society, the one that everybody loves to criticize, but everyone wants to come to. Plus there's a 7-Eleven and a Starbucks on every corner." -- Alice Cooper

"If you can't say it in public, you can always voice your opinion on a bathroom wall in the East Village like everybody else does." -- Gavin DeGraw

"MySpace.com." -- Kristen Henderson, Antigone Rising

"Interviews like this one." -- Nate Bott, Big City Rock

How are you spending Fourth of July this year?

"Shooting Roman candles at Bill O'Reilly's house." -- Brandon Reilly, Nightmare of You

Best song to celebrate America's ass-kicking greatness?

" 'American Girl,' by Tom Petty. It gets you really revved up. And girls are good, too." -- Patrick Carrie, Limbeck

"Springsteen's 'Born in the USA,' 'cause it's BRUCE." -- Kristen Henderson, Antigone Rising

" 'I Love America,' by me." -- Alice Cooper

" 'Sweet Home Alabama.' It's a rebel song for a rebellious country." -- Nate Bott, Big City Rock

" 'We're Not Gonna Take It.' The message isn't in the lyrics, but in the frizzy hair and bad dye job." -- Gavin DeGraw

Best American beer?

"Pabst. It won a blue ribbon. What other beer can say that?" -- Patrick Carrie, Limbeck

"Miller Light. They paid my rent last month." -- Gavin DeGraw

"Leinenkugel's Honey Weiss is the best American beer out there! Like Budweiser, it goes well with hot dogs OR pasta OR a steak...and it does wonders for a dessert, too!" -- Nick Wheeler, All-American Rejects

"Budweiser...'Cause it tastes delicious to be drunk. That didn't make any sense." -- Matt McGinley, Gym Class Heroes

"Miller Light, because it's the rocker's choice." -- Nate Bott, Big City Rock

Stupidest thing you've ever done with fireworks?

"I lit a firecracker up my butt." -- Nate Bott, Big City Rock

"Throwing a live M-80 into a subway. Everyone thought it was a terrorist attack." -- Matt McGinley, Gym Class Heroes

"Put a shotgun shell in a pipe, and a ball bearing in the other end of the pipe, had two friends holding it, put a nail to it and hammered away. When you're 12 years old, it seems like a good idea." -- Alice Cooper

"Put an M-80 in an empty Coke can as an adolescent without thought of the shrapnel it was going to create." -- Gavin DeGraw

"Shot them at people bigger than me." -- Brian Venable, Lucero

What would your pick be for an Iraq War theme?

" 'Satisfaction' by the Rolling Stones, because we're never gonna get any." -- Nate Bott, Big City Rock

" 'Homeward Bound,' by Simon and Garfunkel, 'cause everyone over there should come back home." -- Patrick Carrie, Limbeck

" 'Danger Zone', by Kenny Loggins. It works for any war." -- Mike Kennerty, All-American Rejects

Who was the last musician you met who supported Bush, and what was your reaction?

"I don't talk to those people." -- Mike Kennerty, All-American Rejects

If it wasn't for the French, we would've never won the Revolutionary War. So why do we hate them so much?

"I think it had something to do with toast." -- Kristen Henderson, Antigone Rising

"Because they are almost as proud of their culture as we are of ours. This gives us 'jingoism envy.' " -- MC Lars

When was the last time you worried about a terrorist blowing you up?

"Five minutes ago. Every time I step on the stinky subway." -- Kristen Henderson, Antigone Rising

"September 12, 2001." -- MC Lars

Why do so many other countries hate America?

"Because they love our stuff. We have swimming pools, showers, air conditioning, ice in our drinks, butter in our popcorn. If I couldn't have that, I'd hate the people who did." -- Alice Cooper

"We have enormous appetites. Most people eat food. We eat countries." -- Brandon Reilly, Nightmare of You

"Because we have air conditioning, ice and flavorful food. I'd be pissed, too." -- Mike Kennerty, All-American Rejects

"We're lazy and wasteful. America might be the only place where you can get a 72-ounce soda and free refills on french fries." -- Patrick Carrie, Limbeck

Greatest protest song ever?

"Eve of Destruction," Barry McGuire -- Alice Cooper

"Murder the Government," NOFX -- Matt McGinley, Gym Class Heroes

"Something's Got to Give," Beastie Boys -- Nate Bott, Big City Rock

"With God on Our Side," Bob Dylan -- Brandon Reilly, Nightmare of You

What scares you more: Reborn Christians or Muslim extremists (and why)?

"Reborn Christians. They're much closer to me." -- Nate Bott, Big City Rock

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