WHILE YOU HAVE A STRONG CASE ARGUING THAT ARTISTS, WHO MIGHT GET AWAY WITH A SHOE SIZE 6 UP TO A SIZE 12 IN DAILY LIFE, LEAVE INCREDIBLE LARGE CARBON FOOTPRINTS MUSICALLY, YET- AND THIS HAS TO PLEA FOR EVERY GENRY OF MUSIC AND THEIR MAKERS- THEY LEAVE THE MOST INSPIRING IMPRESSIONS ON OUR BEING.
Note to the reader: bear in mind that these are virgin pages. A work in process, still somewhat bare. It’ll find its shape and form.
In random order, here are the artists involved in the project. For information click on the link for the official websites.
–GOMEZ-THE BAND: Indie/ alternative rock band from Southport, England. Winner of the Mercury Prize 1998 for their album ‘Bring it On’. Artistically privileged by having three lead singers and four songwriters to accomplish Gomez’ versatile sound. Currently the band, Ian Ball, Ben Ottewell, Tom Gray, Paul Blackburn and Olly Peacock, is working and living on both sides of the Atlantic. Latest album, released June 2011, is called “Whatever’s on your Mind”.
Ben Ottewell’s first solo-album 2011 is out now: ‘Shapes and Shadows’.
A conversation with Tom Gray; talking about what’s on his mind, like the joy of organic radishes. www.gomeztheband.com
–RISE AGAINST: American Hardcore/Punk rock band from Chicago Illinois formed in 1999. Mainstream success with ‘Siren Song of the Counter Culture’. Active supporters of PETA (voted Best Animal Friendly Band by PETA), three of the four band-members ( Tim McIlrath, Joe Principe, Zach Blair and Brandon Barnes) live a straight edge lifestyle. Their latest, sixth studio album, was released March 2011: ‘Endgame’ Recorded in the Blasting Room, Colorado.
Tim McIlrath and Tom Morello (Rage against the Machine) recently joined forces for the justice tour. www.riseagainst.com
–MIRA CALIX: aka Chantal Passamonte, DJ, live performer, photographer, composer. Signed to Warp Records. Won a British Composer award 2009 for ‘My Secret Heart’, which also won the Royal Philharmonic Society Award the same year. Works a lot under commission to create sounds for museums, installations, stage etc. Latest Album 2010 ‘Lost Foundling’. www.miracalix.com
–CLOUD CULT: 1995, experimental/ indie rock band from Minnasota. Developed from founder Graig Minowa’s solo recordings for which he recruited several musicians. Band-members Craig Minowa, Arlen Peiffer, Shannon Frid, Sarah Elhardt and Shawn Neary are joined by Cloud Cult’s stage-painters Connie Minowa and Scott West. Earthology Records formed in 1997 by Craig on his organic farm, a non-profit label was set up as an environmentally friendly label, donating its profits to charity. ‘Light Chasers’ is their latest album released in September 2010 (single: ‘Running With The Wolves’). www.cloudcult.com
–INCUBUS: Alternative rock/ funk/ metal/hiphop band from Calabasas, California. Formed in 1991. Mainstream success with ‘Make Yourself’ 1999. A foundation was named after this album in 2004, which supports a variety of charities. They are well-known especially with their big fan base, for their environmental advocacy, winning an EMA Award 2007. After a short hiatus the band; Mike Einziger, Brandon Boyd, DJ Chris Kilmore, José Pasillas and Ben Kenney released their seventh album July 2011 ’If Not Now, When?’ Brandon Boyd talks about the influence of his childhood on his philosophies, his solo album “The Wild Trapeze” and love for the oceans. And Incubus of course. www.enjoyincubus.com
–YEASAYER: experimental rock/ psychedelic pop band from Brooklyn, New York, 2006, but self-described as “Middle Eastern Psych Snap Gospel”. For their 2010 sophomore release “Odd Blood” they left the “All Hours Cymbals”-wall of sound behind. Core members are: Chris Keating, Anand Wilder and Ira Wolf Tuton. Additional members are: Jason Trammell, Bommel and Ahmed Gallab. Their newest release is an EP 2011 “End Blood”. Devil and the Deed is their latest song.
A good talk with Chris Keating from a relatively young band about music, climate change and the efforts and costs of touring ‘green’. www.yeasayer.net
–NELLY FURTADO: Portuguese/Canadian Singer Songwriter. Genre: Pop, folk, R&B, Latin pop. Won in 2001 the Juno Award for her single “I’m like a Bird” from her debut album “Whoa, Nelly!”, followed by a Grammy in 2002. Started her own label ‘Nelstar’ on which she released her single from her 2009 album “Mi Plan”; “Manos al Aire”. For “Mi Plan” she received a Latin Grammy.”The best of Nelly Furtado” was released in 2010. Nelly emphasizes on the importance of small positive changes to create a ripple effect for future generations. www.nellyfurtado.com
–DAMIEN RICE: Singer songwriter from County Kildare, Ireland. Returned to Ireland after a his personal travels for a solo career in music. Debut album 2002 “O” received the Shortlist Music Price, followed by his 2006 sophomore album “9”. In 2008 he contributed his work for the documentary Songs for Tibet, in 2011 he collaborated and featured on the debut album of Melanie Laurent.
Damien Rice talks about his philosophies and being accountable to oneself. www.damienrice.com
–COLDCUT: An English dance music duo, consisting of Matt Black and Jonathan More. Electronic dance music made with cut up samples of hip-hop, break, jazz, spoken word and other types of music and video and multimedia. In 2010 they celebrated their Ninja Tunes records 20th anniversary with a double cd with new songs. They are involved with Energy Union, a campaign tour including Coldcut’s AV film with solutions to global problems as the economic recession and climate change. www.coldcut.net
–THE DITTY BOPS: Duo Abby deWald and Amanda Barrett now self-produce. They have a variety of styles from folk, bluegrass, blues, western swing, ragtime to musical theater. Well known for their tight vocal harmonies and flirtatious, fun loving style. In 2006 they went on a cross-country tour cycling for over 4500 miles to promote “Moon over the Freeway“ and bring pollution and energy conservation to the attention. They feature on Bob Dylan’s Christmas Album as well as on Natalie Merchant’s 2010 album “Leave Your Sleep” “Love Letters” is the Ditty Bops latest album. www.thedittybops.com
–SERJ TANKIAN: Armenian-American singer-songwriter, composer, poet, visual artist and political/environmental activist and lead vocalist of System of a Down. Together with Tom Morello he founded Axis of Justice, a non-profit political activist organization. His ambition is to create holographic touring in order to reduce co2 emissions. His latest solo album “Imperfect harmonies” dates from late 2010. We met up with him on the festival grounds of Lowlands. www.serjtankian.com
–MARTHA WAINWRIGHT: Canadian folk-rock singer songwriter, daughter of American folk singer/actor Loudon Wainwright and Canadian folk singer Kate McGarrigle and sister to Rufus Wainwright. Her mesmerizing tunes and incredible voice are in good balance with her introspective lyrics. “I know you’re married, but I’ve got feelings too” from 2008 was her latest self-written album, while she released in 2009 her interpretation of Edith Piaff songs on “Sans Fusils, Ni Souliers, a Paris. In 2008 she embarked on the Cape Farewell Disko Bay expedition which left her a deep impression. One of her ambitions is to tour low carbon and in real time by train. Currently she’s working on a new album. www.marthawainwright.com
–ZITA SWOON: A Belgian Indie rock group, typical of the music scene of Antwerp. Multi-talented founder of the group, Stef Kamil Carlens, musician, designer, cartoonist and visual artist has led them through different stages and musical styles incorporating dance, performance and African music. In 2009 they released their anthology; “To Play, to Dream, to Drift. Their latest project “Wait for me” is inspired by a musical visit to Burkina Faso. Stef Kamil Carlens invited us in his home in Antwerp to talk music and climate change. www.zitaswoon.com
–GUSTER: American alternative rock band from Boston, Massachusetts formed in 1991. Adam Gardner, Brian Rosenworcel and Ryan Miller met while attending Tufts University. Fourth member Luke Reynolds joined the band in 2010 replacing Joe Pisapia. They are well known for their live performances and humor. Their latest album is called “Easy Wonderful”. In 2004 guitarist/vocalist Adam Gardner and his wife co-founded Reverb, a non-profit organization assisting touring artists by making their activities environmentally sound. With eco-villages they also raise environmental awareness and support. Reverb is also affiliated with the Green Music Group, a coalition of industry leaders, musicians and music fans to bring about environmental change within the music industry. www.guster.com
–THE GIVING TREE BAND: American indie folk-rock group founded in 2004 by the brothers Todd and Eric Fink. They play bluegrass, Indie folk Americana and have strong associations with classic rock icons such as The Band, Neil Young and Bob Dylan. The name of the band was taken from Shy Silverstein’s children’s book “The Giving Tree”. GTB are very eco-conscious with carbon neutral music productions and also have an eco-friendly lifestyle wearing eco clothing and follow a vegan diet. They were referred as the greenest band in the land. The Joke, the Threat & the Obvious is their latest album. www.thegivingtreeband.com
–RACOON: Alternative rock band -members Bart van de Weide, Dennis Huige, Stefan de Kroon and Paul Bukkens- from the Netherlands was founded in 1997 and developed itself over the years to a more singer/songwriter-like musical style. Best known for their hit single “Love you more”. In March 2011 they released their fifth studio album “Liverpool Rain”, recorded in the Abbey Road studios with the London Chamber Orchestra. They promote wind energy and CO2 compensated gasoline. Bart talks about recycling, trading goods and jokes melancholically about the durability of old fashioned thick dark-blue jeans. www.racoon.nl
–INDIGO GIRLS: American folk-rock duo Amy Ray and Emily Saliers are making music together since 1985 and are also known for their political and environmental activism. Currently self producing through IG records aiming to release “Beauty Queen Sister” in October 2011. This will be their 14th studio album. In 1993 they co-founded with Winona Laduke the Honor the Earth foundation which creates support and education for native environmental issues as well as addressing the need to break with political and geographical isolation of native communities. www.indigogirls.com
–THE MOTHER HIPS: A rock band from the San Francisco Bay area founded in 1990 and consisting of Greg Loiacono, Paul Hoaglin, John Hofer and Tim Bluhm, singer-songwriter and producer. Since a few years they organize the Hipnic, a psych-rock and folk concert series in Big Sur Valley. Their latest album “Pacific Dust”dates from 2009 and their next album is set to be released in 2012. www.motherhips.com
–SARAH HARMER: Canadian singer songwriter and activist, who had her mainstream breakthrough with her second studio album in 2000 “You were here” with hits as “Basement apartment” and “Don’t get your back up”. In 2010 she released her fifth studio album “Oh Little Fire”, which was nominated for three Juno awards. In 2005 she co-founded PERL (Protecting Escarpment Rural Land) to protect the Niagara Escarpment from gravel development. www.sarahharmer.com
–LIAM FROST: Alternative folk artist from Manchester, England. After singing in punk rock bands for a few years, he went solo in 2003 with his backing band “The Slowdown Family” with the album “Show Me How The Spectres Dance. In 2009 he released his second studio album, “We Ain’t Got No Money Honey, But We Got Rain”,through his own Emperor Records, collaborating with singer songwriter Ed Harcourt and featuring Martha Wainwright in the duet “Your hand in Mine. www.liamfrost.co.uk
–BRANDI CARLILE: American singer songwriter in the pop rock, alternative country and folk rock genre most notable for her single “The Story”. She features on the Indigo Girls’ “Holly Happy Days” and her latest album is “Live at Benaroya Hall”with the Seattle Symphony (2011). In 2008 she created “The Looking Out” foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization giving financial support to various causes like Honor the Earth. www.brandicarlile.com
–HOT BUTTERED RUM: A progressive bluegrass band from the San Francisco Bay Area. HBR (Aaron Redner, Brian Horne, Eric Yates, Nat Keefe and Lucas Carlton) brings together the traditions of folk and bluegrass with the modern influences of rock’n roll, reggae and acoustic singer-songwriters. Their latest album “Limbs Akimbo” released in 2009, produced by Tim Bluhm, was their first album with drums leaving their all-strings days behind. They tour environmentally friendly eating local produce and they drive their own tourbus fuelled by recycled vegetable oil. www.hotbutteredrum.net
–JOHNETTE NAPOLITANO: (Los Angeles) American singer songwriter, bassist and visual artist, also known as the vocalist for the alternative rockband Concrete Blonde. She lives in Joshua Tree, California composing music and creating art from clay and discarded/reclaimed materials. Together with Dave Catching (Eagles of Death) she did a PSA protesting against the proposed Joshua Tree garbage dump site. A self-reliant artist and Flamenco passionate who recycles and reuses everything possible. We had a good talk and were able “to make her day” even before it actually began. www.johnettenapolitano.com
–LALALOVER: Tom Kestens (1974) is a Belgian musician, composer, poet and activist/politician. From 1998 till 2002 played keyboard for Das Pop after which he started Lalalover with the albums “Heliotropic”(2005) and “The Runner”(2008). He also wrote music for film and theater. Candidate for the Green Party in 2007 and again for the same for the European elections in 2009. He was involved in “The Big Ask” in Belgium addressing the government to act on climate change by legislation. www.myspace.com/lalaloverartist
–MAROON 5: American pop/rock band from Los Angeles, California, debuted in 1997 with “Songs about Jane” In 2005 they won a Grammy Award for Best New Artist. “Hands all Over” is their third studio album, released in September 2010. Maroon 5; Adam Levine, James Valentine, Jesse Carmichael, Michael Madden and Matt Flynn, partnered with Global Cool to help combat climate change. They also co-founded the Green Music Group. www.maroon5.com