A Heavier Shade of Green: Even the Hardest Rock Now Cares About the Third Rock from the Sun

Remember the 1989 Moscow Music and Peace Festival? In those olden days, that so-called anti-drug benefit concert was about as political as hard rock/heavy metal acts got (and that only happened back then as part of Bon Jovi producer Doc McGhee’s community service when he was working off a drug rap).

Cut to 2007, and Metallica’s Kirk Hammett is saying, “This might be the most important moment of our entire career,” after playing the London Live Earth show, and topping that off with, “I love the Earth, I love the environment, and I love nature.” Considering one of the most legendary monsters of rock spoke those words, they could not be much less metal. But it’s emblematic that another, less-likely segment of celebrity is going green.

At the same time that Korn is taking their Family Values Tour on the road using their own brand of bio-fuel, coined “Korntastic” (uh…stick to naming songs, dudes), comes Linkin Park’s  Projekt Revolution tour, which, like all the tours these days, is taking a green slant on rocking, with fellow concerned hard rockers HIM, My Chemical Romance, Taking Back Sunday, and others. The tour is a collaboration with Music for Relief, Linkin Park’s own organization to combat climate change and natural disasters; Reverb, a nonprofit formed by environmentalist Lauren Sullivan and Guster guitarist Adam Gardner; and American Forests, which aims to improve the environment via reforestation. One of the Earth-friendliest members of the tour is Taking Back Sunday’s guitarist/backup vocalist Fred Mascherino, who is already an old hand on the eco scene,  with his energy-efficient house and his 1982 Volkswagen Rabbit, which runs on vegetable oil from his local Chinese eatery. "We're internalizing [being green] with things we do with the band. We do carbon offsets, sell only organic merchandise, and have recycling stations at all our shows. We try to let this stuff speak for itself. We're trying not to be preachy."

Fred shouldn’t worry so much. It’s OK to be a treehugger now, just ask Kirk “I love nature” Hammett.

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