The Future of What: Artists Give Back with Pearl Jam, PWR BTTM, Tune-Yards and Zac Brown Band

Vortex Music Magazine

A weekly music industry podcast for newcomers and insiders alike, The Future of What tackles important topics in the business with host Portia Sabin, president of Kill Rock Stars, and guests. This week we talk to musicians about the causes they support. Whether it’s creating a foundation or demanding change on a grassroots level, artists at any stage of their career can make a difference.

“Are we being that brave? The answer is no,” Ben Hopkins of New York queer punk duo PWR BTTM tells The Future of What. This year, Hopkins and collaborator Liv Bruce added a restroom policy to their tour rider asking that gender neutral bathrooms be made available for concert-goers. “Demanding something as simple as a safe place for a gender nonconforming person to pee at one of our shows—sure, it’s activism—but it’s truly a basic gesture of decency,” Hopkins says. The policy is a first step for PWR BTTM, who plan on continuing their effort to make venues safer and more accessible.

In this episode, we’ll also talk to bands who have made philanthropy a priority. From water issues to child development, we hear about a range of causes from Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready, Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards and Coy Bowles of Zac Brown Band. Find out what compels them to use their success for change and how any artist can do the same.

Hear the full episode below and listen to The Future of What on XRAY.fm every Friday at 1pm at 107.1 FM and 91.1 FM—or subscribe on iTunes.

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