Paramore + TWLOHA

Paramore is a rock band that formed in 2004 in Franklin, TN. The band is currently signed to the record label Fueled by Ramen, and consists of lead singer Hayley Williams, bassist Jeremy Davis, and guitarist Taylor York. Paramore has released three studio full-length albums, three EPs, two live albums, fourteen singles, one video album, and thirteen music videos. Their second studio album, Riot!, was what made the band famous and ranked #15 on the Billboard 200 album chart. The band will be touring in the Czech Republic, Poland, Sweden, Finland, Portugal, Spain, Hong Kong, and Indonesia this summer, and will be on the Vans Warped Tour from mid-July to the beginning of August.

Since the beginning, Paramore has been huge supporters of the nonprofit organization To Write Love on Her Arms, particularly Hayley Williams (you can read my post about TWLOHA here). Her picture was even on one of the promo cards for To Write Love on Her Arms (view the photo here), and the promo cards were attached to the shirts that were sold. The band is often seen wearing the organization’s shirts at their shows, and even collaborated with To Write Love on Her Arms on a shirt; the shirt has the lyrics of their song “We are Broken” printed on the inside, and can be purchased here. In 2008, the members of Paramore appeared in To Write Love on Her Arm’s suicide announcement.

If you or someone you know is depressed and/or is thinking about suicide, please call Hopeline at 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433) immediately.

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Anberlin + Faceless International

Anberlin is a rock band that formed in 2002 in Winter Haven, FL. The band consists of lead singer Stephen Christian, guitarists Joseph Milligan and Christian McAlhaney, bassist Deon Rexroat, and drummer Nathan Young. The band signed to the record label Tooth & Nail Records within a year of forming and produced three albums over the span of five years. The third album, Cities, was released in 2007 and became Anberlin’s first album to reach the top 20 of the Billboard 200; that album sold almost 34,000 copies during its debut week. Later on in 2007, Anberlin signed with major label Universal Republic and produced two more records. Their first record on the major label, New Surrender, reached #13 on the Billboard 20, and their new single, “Feel Good Drag”, reached #1 on the Alternative Songs chart after being on the chart for 29 weeks. So far, the band has produced five studio albums, two compilation albums, one EP, and ten singles. In total, they have sold over 700,000 records. Anberlin will be touring in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, France, and the United Kingdom this summer.

Anberlin has worked with many charities, nonprofits, and community-support organizations. In 2010, their tour included Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee; the tour helped raise money for impoverished communities. The band has also worked closely with the nonprofit To Write Love on Her Arms (read my post about it) and has even designed a shirt for the organization. In 2007, Anberlin invited the organization to tour with them on their Cities tour; the founder of To Write Love on Her Arms, Jamie Tworkowski, spoke before Anberlin’s set at every show about the organization and its mission. The band has participated in numerous benefit shows and has always been heavily involved with many nonprofits, particularly lead singer Stephen Christian. He was exposed to humanitarianism at a young age because his father worked with American Medical Relief, a nonprofit that supplied medical equipment to third world countries. Christian often traveled to Mexico with his father and saw the garbage dumps that people lived in and scoured for food. That experience ignited a spark inside of Christian and drove him to work with numerous nonprofits. His travels to Mexico inspired him to eventually start his own nonprofit called Faceless International.

Faceless International was co-founded by Stephen Christian, Seth Cain, and Sarah Freeman while they were on a humanitarian trip to Haiti. The organization aims to “defend the plight of exploited people worldwide who have gone faceless and unknown for far too long”. The purpose of Faceless International is to raise awareness about social issues that are occurring throughout the global community; it particularly focuses on human trafficking and human slavery. Faceless International also encourages others to get involved within their communities, states, and countries, and to use their talents to help those who are less fortunate and in need. The organization has also teamed up with various bands, such as National Product and the Classic Crime, and other nonprofits like To Write Love on Her Arms and the Emancipation Network to raise money for impoverished countries.

“Find a cause that you are passionate about. Start to make a difference. Your life will be changed. Then you will become the change.” —Faceless International

Watch this video by the A21 Campaign to learn more about human trafficking.

To learn more about Faceless International, visit them online or go to their Facebook page.

Coldplay + MTF

Coldplay is an English alternative rock band that formed in 1998 after lead singer Chris Martin and lead guitarist Jonny Buckland met at University College London. Guy Berryman then joined as the bassist, and drummer Will Champion followed shortly after. The band has released four full-length studio albums and are currently working on their fifth one. They discography of Coldplay also includes five extended plays, twenty three singles, two live albums, and one compilation album. Coldplay has won several music awards, including six Brit Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs), and seven Grammy Awards. They are considered to be one of the world’s best-selling music artists and have sold over fifty million records throughout the world. The band is also active in various social and political causes, and have participated in numerous charity projects.

The band is well-known for donating 15% of its money to charity. Throughout the years, they have participated in events like Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief and Teenage Cancer Trust. Coldplay also participates in the Meat Free Monday campaign, an attempt to help slow climate change, support animal rights, and lead healthier lives by having at least one meat-free day a week; lead singer Martin is also a vegan. In 2009, Coldplay auctioned off numerous significant band collectibles, including their first guitars, and gave all proceeds to Kids Company, a charity that helps disadvantaged young children and adolescents in London. The band is particularly outspoken on the issue of fair trade, especially lead singer Martin, and actively supports Amnesty International and Oxam’s Make Trade Fair (MTF) campaign.

Oxfam is an international confederation that consists of fourteen organizations that work in ninety-eight countries worldwide to find solutions to poverty and injustice. It works directly with people in those communities and tries to influence those that hold power to ensure that the poor people can improve their own lives and have a say in the decisions that affect them. The Make Trade Fair campaign is one of Oxfam’s well-known campaigns, and its purpose is to promote trade justice and fair trade among governments, institutions, and multinational corporations. The campaign focuses on eliminating the following trade practices: dumping, tariffs, unbalanced labor rights for women, and patent issues. Lead singer Chris Martin is an avid supporter of the Make Trade Fair Campaign. He has traveled to Ghana and Haiti to meet farmers and see the effects of unfair trade practices and even has the initials “M.T.F.” printed on his piano. He also draws an equal sign on his left hand before every concert and major event to symbolize his support for fair trade.

From helping cancer patients, to supporting animal rights, to advocating for fair trade, to donating to underprivileged kids, it’s not hard to see that Coldplay has made a significant impact on the world today in many different areas. We may not all have the money that Coldplay has, but we can still do something and we can still make an impact. To get involved in the Make Trade Fair campaign, click here to see what you can do to make the world a better place.

Natural High TV

As one of Natural High’s tools to advocate drug-free and alcohol-free lifestyles, the organization uses Natural High TV, an online film series that features drug-free professional athletes, musicians, and celebrities. The first short film was released in April 2010, featuring professional surfer Dillon Perillo from Malibu, CA. To learn more about Natural High, visit their website or read my blog post about my personal experience with Natural High and why I made the decision to stay drug- and alcohol-free.

The lead singer of one of my favorite bands, Cassadee Pope of Hey Monday, was featured on Natural High TV in August 2010. Check out her interview below! I have seen Hey Monday in concert numerous times and even had the opportunity to work with Cassadee on one of the band’s music videos and be a part of it. I have always admired Cassadee’s ability to sing, write expressive lyrics, and perform on stage. She and the rest of the band are really quite talented musicians, especially for being so young. I gained even more respect for Cassadee after I learned that she supported a drug- and alcohol-free lifestyle and agreed to share her morals and beliefs to all her fans on Natural High TV. She is setting a great example for thousands of young people throughout the world and is truly an exceptional role model. In a world like today’s, it’s crucial to have celebrities who know what’s important and show others that drugs and alcohol are destructive and not the way to success. If Hey Monday is ever in your area, go to their show! They are amazing in concert and very sweet people. You won’t regret it.

Hey Monday is a pop rock band that formed in 2007 from West Palm Beach, FL. The band consists of lead singer Cassadee Pope, guitarist Mike Gentiel, bassist Patrick McKenzie, and drummer Alex Lipshaw. Hey Monday was discovered after Pete Wentz of the band Fall Out Boy heard one of their demos at the Crush Management office and offered to sign them to his label, Decaydance. However, Columbia Records was also interested, so Hey Monday signed a joint deal with both labels. They released their first full-length studio album, Hold on Tight, in 2008 and shortly began touring with bands like We the Kings, The Academy Is…, The Cab, and This Providence. In 2009, Hey Monday toured with Fall Out Boy on their major U.S. tour and international tour, and then with All Time Low on the Glamour Kills Tour later that year. They have also released two EPs (Beneath it All in 2010 and Candles in 2011). This summer, they will be touring in Indonesia, Brazil, Chile, and Argentina, and will be writing their second full-length studio album. To check out Hey Monday’s music, visit their Purevolume page.

  

To see more interviews from drug-free celebrities, visit Natural High TV.

What’s your natural high?

Rise Against + PETA

Rise Against is a punk rock band that formed in 1999 from Chicago, IL. The band consists of lead singer and rhythm guitarist Tim McIlrath, lead guitarist and backing vocalist Zach Blair, bass guitarist and backing vocalist Joe Principe, and drummer Brandon Barnes. They have released 6 studio albums, 2 EPs, and 2 DVDs. In 2008, the band was awarded the “Best Punk Artist” by the Rock on Request Awards, the American annual music awards run by the music webzine Rock on Request, and was awarded the “Best Animal-Friendly Band” award in 2009 by PETA. The members of Rise Against are known for their political lyrics and activism, and being vegetarians and active supporters of PETA/animal rights. In 2007, they endorsed a new line of vegan Vans Shoes in an effort to contribute to animal rights. Except for Barnes, the rest of the members also follow the straightedge lifestyle, which consists of abstaining from alcohol and recreational drug use.

McIlrath actively participates in PETA protests and even hands out the organization’s flyers and books at the shows. He and the rest of the band have given many interviews about animal cruelty and animal rights, and have appeared in PETA’s videos to express their beliefs on vegetarianism, the meat and fast food industry, fur and fashion use of animal skins, animal testing, and dissection. In one of the interviews about being a vegetarian, McIlrath puts it quite simply: “If we can make vegetarianism, veganism, work on the road, you can make it work at home. All four members of Rise Against, none of us eat meat.” To advocate animal rights and vegetarianism, their music video for their song “Ready to Fall” shows footage of animal cruelty and the destruction of our planet; that video can be viewed under the Videos tab. Their fifth album, Appeal to Reason, even included a PETA sticker, encouraging people to take a stance against animal cruelty and fight for animal rights. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) was founded in 1980 by Ingrid Newkirk and Alex Pacheco. It is an animal rights nonprofit organization located in Norfolk, VA, and is believed to be the largest animal rights group. The motto of PETA is: “animals are not ours to eat, experiment, or use for entertainment”, and the organization focuses on four main issues: opposition to factory farming, fur farming, animal testing, and animals in entertainment. PETA is famous for its aggressive campaigns and consumer boycotts; it is also well-known for its large celebrity support network, including celebrities like Pamela Anderson and Drew Barrymore. The organization has targeted large corporations such as Wendy’s, KFC, and Burger King, and their consumer boycotts have focused on Avon, General Motors, and more. PETA has also conducted numerous undercover investigations by sending their staff into a facility as an employee where they wear hidden cameras and take pictures and videos of the abuse. The organization has conducted investigations in research labs, factory farms, circuses, and slaughterhouses, and then released the footage they captured as videos and short films. They have also used this footage as evidence that these facilities are violating the Animal Welfare Act and have been able to assist in the charging of companies for violations or even shutting them down.

I had the privilege of seeing Rise Against with Bad Religion and Four Year Strong live in concert last month and I can honestly say that it was one of the best shows I have ever been to. Of course, PETA had a booth there to advocate for animal rights and support one of their greatest supporters. If the band is ever on tour in your area, I highly recommend going to the show. You will not be disappointed, I guarantee it. Rise Against has been one of my favorite bands ever since I was a young teenager, and I have always respected their ability to write meaningful songs and the courage they have to stand up for their beliefs. The fact that they are avid supporters of animal rights has made me an even prouder supporter of the band and their music because I myself am vegetarian and have been for 4 1/2 years. I am also the owner of four happy and healthy pets: a dog, two cats, and a bird. Wait, technically five pets now because my sister just adopted a cat from the shelter recently…..I have yet to meet him!

   

Growing up with animals has taught me that they are to be treated kindly and fairly, and being a volunteer at the local animal shelter all throughout my high school years made me realize that unfortunately, not all animals are given the love and care that they deserve. It made me realize that something needs to be done to end the suffering of animals and that I could do something about it. And that’s why I decided to go vegetarian. It’s healthy, there are tasty foods to try out, and best of all, it doesn’t involve killing innocent and defenseless animals. I encourage all those who aren’t vegetarian to just try it, even for a day. Think of all the animals you would save by choosing not to eat them. And who knows, maybe you’ll decide to go vegetarian.

Still a meat lover? Well, maybe this article about bacteria found in almost half of U.S. meat will make you change your mind.

For more information about PETA, visit their website or go to peta2.com to get involved.