June 18th, 2007
Dave Matthews was interviewed in the recent issue of Rolling Stone #1029 about the environment. The interview was part of a full article of a Live Earth preview.
Live Earth is the name for a series of concerts of pop and rock music featuring various artists planned to take place on Saturday July 7, 2007 to promote action to confront the global warming crisis. The concerts have the intent of bringing together 150 of the world's most popular music acts and drawing a worldwide audience of 2 billion people, making it one of the largest global events in history. The umbrella organization for the event is a new global movement under the name Save Our Selves (SOS). The US portion of the concerts will take place at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ.
View a Scan of the Rolling Stone Article
What got you fired up about the environment?
I thought about the staggering amount of CO2 that I create. My inspiration was the true and deserved guilt that I felt about the fact that it's like, "Oh, it's a great live show." Pollution. "Oh, look at that sweet bus." Pollution. "Oh, he's flying in and airplane." Pollution. When you see the climate changing, there's a responsibility to acknowledge it and save ourselves by saving the planet however we can.
You do stuff like carbon offsets to minimize the damage from touring, but do you ever think, I should stop touring altogether?
It may come to that. I get sort of panicked, and I think, This is one of the most guilty forms of entertainment. But I hope we can find alternatives.
What are some of the things you do in your daily life?
I live in Seattle, and if you don't recycle there, people come and hunt you down. You pay for garbage pickup there, so its more expensive to throw things out than it is to recycle. If you make it easier to recycle than not to recycle, it works out. Just don't leave lights burning all day, don't flush unless its a turd. Ride a bike. Dont drive as much. I can walk to the store, I can walk to the doughnut shop, I can walk to get a cup of coffee. So that's good luck.
Are there any great songs about the environment?
Sure Stings One World (Not Three). This Land is Your Land is a great environmental song, whether or not that's what Guthrie was talking about. What's Going On or Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) both great.
What would you say to President Bush about the environment?
Id say, Think of our children, our future generations. Its not about the polar bear or the spotted owl, although those are dreadful examples of what's happening. Its about saving ourselves.