Live Earth: How Green Was My (Celebrity) Valley?
Science and global politics are complicated; doing your part to help our suffering-but-still-spinning planet, it turns out, is less so. So while pundits and bloggers are still roiling over the efficacy of last weekend’s Live Earth global concert bonanza, we will leave the greater debate to them, and focus instead on interviews we grabbed in between sets from artists at New Jersey’s Giants Stadium show last Saturday — among them, Fall Out Boy, Alicia Keys (pictured), and co-host Carson Daly. In the process, we found out what being “green” means to them, and got some really good, easy tips for our readers and ourselves. (For a full concert review in print, see this Friday’s issue).
Fall Out Boy: Rockers, troublemakers
Entertainment Weekly: What’s your number one tip for greeniness?
Joe Trohman, guitarist: Short showers.
EW: Or shower with someone else, right?
FOB, in unison: Yeaaahh.
Pete Wentz, bassist: Wooh!
Patrick Stump, singer: I’d say thinking about it. Because the thing is, once you get inspired about something on your own, that’s when you’re actually gonna do something about. If we sit here and tell you what’s the most important element, you’re not going to care. Think about it yourself, read about it, you’ll probably find something you believe in. And, you know, get those light bulbs.
JT: I actually saw a thing on Woodstock, and there were a bunch of guys who seemed like they were really into the environment, and they had beards. So I grew a beard. I thought that would help.
PW: Showering’s a thing of the past.
Andy Hurley, drummer: I walked by Rosario Dawson. I’ll do anything for her. Whatever she tells me to do!
EW: You guys doing anything for conservation on your tour bus?
PW: Well right now we just got off the Honda Civic Tour, for the Hybrid, and that’s what we kind of put all of our ideas behind.
PS: We have been in looking into bio-diesel fuel for our bus. It is kind of a hard thing to mobilize, but it will get figured out.
PW: I want to do the tour on bikes!
EW: Like the Ditty Bops?
PW: Yeah! Not really for environmental reasons, I just want those kind of calves. Then I could wear shorts!
PS: Also, we don’t have any paper products on our bus…
PW: I don’t use plates at all! No utensils! You got hands, right?
PS: Uh, hi, Mom. That’s classy.
KT Tunstall, Scottish singer-songwriter/TV soundtracker extraordinaire
EW: What is your green angle?
KTT:I actually got into it before my first album came out, so I’m part ofan organization called Global Cool, and they basically help artists,people who’ve got a bit of a platform, to green their lives. So they’renot just going around telling people what to do, they’re actually doingit themselves. When my first album came out, about a penny and half ofeach CD goes towards tree-planting. I’ve got about 6,000 trees plantednow in Scotland! And I run my tour buses on bio-diesel, and I’ve juststarted a new initiave where you pay about 50 cents to a dollar overthe normal ticket price, but I carbon-neutralize your journey to thegig. You have to keep learning, because the more records you sell, themore [waste] you’re producing. But it’s really exciting because rightnow, my flat in London is getting renovated, and I’m getting it”greened” — solar panels, sheep’s-wool insulation, reclaimed woodwork,non-toxic paint.
EW: Bob Geldof says everyone already knows about global warming, so Live Earth isn’t necessary…
KTT:Well yes, everybody knows about it, but nobody knows what to do. Sothat’s why it’s important. I’m lucky I have some really smart friendswho know a lot. Like, your phone charger uses energy, whether it’scharging or not, as long as it’s plugged in. It’s just little things,you know? I’m also actually part of this thing Edward Norton, theactor, set up, called Solar Neighbors. Because when you get solarpanels, the government gives you a grant towards it, and if you’refinancially well-off, instead of keeping the grant, you give it to alow-income household so they can get solar power themselves. So somehouse in L.A. is going to get solar power because of me [laughs].That’s so cool!
Taking Back Sunday, Long Island rock outfit/MTV staples
Singer/guitarist Fred Mascherino:I bought a car about four or five months ago that runs on usedvegetable oil. It’s an old ’82 Volkswagen Rabbit, diesel. I get greasefrom Chinese restaurants and I filter it and put it into my car. Itsmells like food, it makes me hungry!
EW: What about the trans fats?
FM:The car is getting fatter, actually [laughs]. But yeah, there’s plentyof stuff we do at home that anyone can do, it’s pretty easy…
Singer Adam Lazzara: Hang-dry your clothes, change out the light bulbs for halogen.
FM:Today is the start for a lot of people of finding out things theydidn’t know. And even though I’ve been passionate about it for a longtime, I’ve learned new things here today, and as a band, we’re learningand trying to do everything we can. We did the carbon offsets for ourlast tour and recycled in the venues and backstage and on the bus, andwe encourage our fans to carpool to shows. We have links on our site tostopglobalwarming.org and just try to do our part.
Alicia Keys, R&B superstar/part-time actress
EW: What drew you to this?
AK:Just the fact that it’s something really serious, and every day it justgets worse and worse, and it’s going to affect us whether we live inNew York or Singapore or Africa or wherever. I think it’s importantthat we show solidarity and just that we show government officials andour neighbors that it’s important to us. I mean, myself, I don’t evenunderstand how it’s gotten to this point. If in 1970-something, whenMarvin Gaye wrote “Mercy Me,” it’s like… what’s the problem? I don’tget it. The world could blow up, and people who are in the position tomake a change… it’s ridiculous. The more I learn, the more Iunderstand what will make a difference. I love hybrid cars. I don’tknow why every car isn’t a hybrid! Simple things like changing thelight bulbs, in my tour bus, when I go out on the road, that’s what Iwant to utilize. Once you’re conscious of it, you can implement thesethings.
Carson Daly, Late-late-night TV host/Live Earth co-host
EW: How’d you end up here?
CD:Well I was invited by the organizer. Artists were invited for theirmusical abilities, and I was invited for my mediocre hosting abilities[laughs]. How do you turn that down? And, I was just talking to ZachBraff — not name dropping, but he’s a friend — and we both admittedthat we knew very little about global warming, and it was An Inconvenient Truth that made us both go, wow, we should both start paying attention.
EW: Have you learned a lot from today?
CD:I’ve learned the little things. Like I’m a gadget freak, I have aBlackberry and I leave my chargers in. Even if you’re not charging it,that’s phantom power. I drink a ton of coffee at work, so I’m going tobring in a mug now. Stuff like that. It’s funny because my sister has ahybrid, but it’s really hard to get one. I was like, I want one! Andshe told me there’s like a six-year waiting list. But today is aboutnot just making an impact on consumers, but larger corporations too,right? So they can maybe fix that.
AFI, dark-rock chart toppers/animal-rights champs
EW:So, you’re all vegan or vegetarian, and from California too, so we’reguessing you’re pretty green. Do you guys use bio-diesel on your tourbus or anything?
Jade Puget, guitarist: You know what,we just have a normal bus, because we’d have to charge a lot more fortickets for our fans, but if the bus industry itself would change, thatwould be so nice. A lot of bands don’t have that choice, only becausethey can’t afford it.
Davey Havok, singer: It’s unfortunatethat we’re in a situation where that’s a luxury, and I think a lot ofpeople are in the same position… [looks at JumboTron screen] Um,they’re showing cows’ butts. That’s unnecessary.
JP: It’s probably something for CO2 emissions or something.
EW: Cows are a leading cause of that. So much methane!
DH:Well, an inherent part of our existence is being vegan and vegetarian,so the fact we don’t consume any animal products or flesh, that’ssomething you live virtually every second of every day of your life.
EW: What about in your personal life?
JP:One good thing about being in a band is you don’t use your airconditioning and lights at home! But we’re always careful of waterconsumption, lights, wherever we go. I heard a good one today too — putan insulated blanket around your water heater, and you’ll save athousand pounds of CO2 a year.
EW: Do you think this day will make a real difference?
DH:I do. I think we’re in such a celebrity-based society that when you getartists and celebrities and actors and models together on such a globalscale, people are bound to pay attention. A lot of these people aretastemakers, trendsetters, and a lot of people go to them for not onlytheir style but their politics.
JP: It’s unfortunate that somany young people today won’t listen to Al Gore or another politician,but they’ll listen to some band…
DH: Not ideal, yeah, but that’s the way it is.