Starting with last year's Bonnaroo Music Festival, I've had the opportunity to conduct research with many of today's top musicians by disguising it in the form of interviews. While some of these conversations were focused on specific cause-related endeavors the musicians were involved with, we also asked many artists the same questions, such as "Do you feel that music can be used as a vehicle for social change? Who has inspired you to want to be active? What is the biggest struggle as an artist in today's music industry? Is there an underlying shift taking place in culture?" and so on. The purpose really being either 1) getting them to speak about issues of importance or 2) getting them to think about them.
The collapse of the major label system and the death of the album allows for the forging of new paths, and puts the power back into the hands of the artists. Music has always been a reflection of the greater collective consciousness, and although it's early, I'm excited to see more musicians stepping up and leading the way on things like change, creativity and social innovation.
The first question we've decided to share responses from pertains to the word peace.
Peace has been a common word used amongst changemakers, hippies, anti-war activists, spiritual leaders and political figures. Peace has a symbol, it's a simple hand gesture and has also managed to replace the traditional "goodbye" for many. For such a frequently said word, how many people are actually conscious of what it is they're referring to? If peace is the goal, do we have a common understanding of what it is we're trying to achieve?
At many of these interviews, I've asked those in the music community what the word peace means to them. Below are a few of my favorite responses:
Brandon Boyd of Incubus:
Jon Foreman of Switchfoot:
Tegan and Sara:
Ed Harris of Lake Trout:
Mike Einziger of Incubus: