When Sophia Bush and her “One Tree Hill” co-star Austin Nichols returned from their trip to Grand Isle after the Deepwater Horizon exploded and oil began to spill into the Gulf of Mexico, they found themselves disheartened… and then they turned that feeling into action.
]]>Zap2it. “They were really trying to shut people out. There was
sort of this overarching feeling of helplessness, like, how are any of
us supposed to make a difference with this if we can’t get our hands
dirty, if we can’t volunteer, you know?”
That helpless feeling subsided during a visit with Bush and Nichols’ good friend singer/songwriter Amy Kuney.
“My dear friend Amy came over, and she said, you know, I want you guys
to hear this song,” Bush says, referring to Kuney’s track “Gasoline
“She wrote it because she was so upset – she’d started watching this
show called ‘Whale Wars,’ about what they’re doing out on the ocean
with whale poaching. Nobody knows. And then this well exploded and all
these people died on the rig. Why are things going on out in the
ocean that would never be allowed to happen on land?”
Kuney talked to Bush and Nichols about her plan to put the song on
iTunes and donate the proceeds toward helping aid in the restoration of
the Gulf. “Austin and I looked at each other and we thought, well, we’ve
got a lot of friends in bands. What are we doing? Why are we thinking
small? We could put an entire album together and hopefully raise a lot
of money and also make people aware,” Bush says.
It’s a concept familiar to Bush in particular, as the team behind “One
Tree Hill” released the soundtrack compilation album “Friends With
Benefit” in 2006 with proceeds going to cancer research and awareness.
Bush and Nichols mobilized right away, teaming up with Vagrant Records
to approach artists to contribute to a compilation album. “We made a
wish list of about 40 artists we wanted to reach out to. The music
industry is into helping people. It’s not a stick in the mud group. Rock
stars are artists and they get the value of humanity,” she says.
The result is “Gasoline Rainbows,” an album named for Kuney’s song, released exclusively via digital download today (Nov. 30).
“We’re not using plastic or paper to print the album,” says Bush. “It’s a
nod to the way we really need to be aware of the way we use energy. If
there’s anything we need to learn from what happened in the Gulf it’s
that our reliance on dirty energy is risking not only human beings, but
every living being on the planet.”
100% of the proceeds from iTunes go toward Global Green, an organization
that has been close to Bush’s heart since she first got involved with
them during their early Hurricane Katrina rebuilding efforts.
“The money they raise actually goes into cleanup, rather than back into
the company to pay peoples’ salaries. Clearly the Red Cross and Unicef
or United Way are great organizations, but they’re such big groups that
so much of the money they raise goes back to paying peoples’ salaries or
paying the phone bill or keeping the lights on in their offices,” Bush
says. “I have a hard time with that.” She’s more comfortable with Global
Green because they’ve been able to guarantee her that every dollar from
her Gulf fundraising efforts goes directly back into the community.
Bush names Matthew Petersen, President of Global Green, as one of her
environmental heroes. “I really appreciate people who fight for the
environment but aren’t preachy and political about it,” she says. “So
many people don’t want to go green because they think it’s all about
politics, but the environment shouldn’t be associated with the left or
the right. The environment should be what everybody works toward
preserving. We’ve only got one planet.”
The album, with a full track listing below, includes some brand new
tunes from favorite artists. “When you listen to Amy’s song and when you
listen to the song that Dallas Green from City & Colour wrote, and
when you listen to Damien Rice’s previously unreleased track, ‘The
Connoisseur of Great Excuse’ that he gave us, they’re songs about social
change,” Bush says proudly. “About being aware of what’s going on in
the world around you and of other people’s suffering. I just thought
that it was a really sort of profound idea, because who doesn’t love
listening to music? Why not do it for a good cause?”
You can check out the album on iTunes by clicking this link, and a preview track is available at the album’s Myspace page.
1. “Gasoline Rainbows” – Amy Kuney
?3. “40 Day Dream” – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
?4. “There’s No Secret’s This Year” – Silversun Pickups
?5. “At The Birds Foot” – City and Colour
?6. “The Connoisseur of Great Excuse” – Damien Rice
?7. “Bloodbuzz Ohio” – The National
?8. “Tighten Up” – The Black Keys
?9. “Let The Time Roll By” – Onward, Soldiers
?10. “Moth’s Wings” – Passion Pit
?11. “Floating Vibes” – Surfer Blood
?12. “Mama Taught Me Better” – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
?13. “I Can Change” – LCD Soundsystem
?14. “Cousins” – Vampire Weekend