Featured Rock the Vote Artist
|1. Grow So Wild & Free [Explicit]||White Wives||Happeners||Alternative||3:21|
|2. Indian Summer, Indian Summer||White Wives||Happeners||Alternative||5:16|
As answered by Roger Lawrence Harvey
Tell us about your first concert experience:
The first show I have a clear memory of attending was on Halloween night 1996 at the Center For The Arts in Erie, Pennsylvania. Erie is about 20 miles east of the small farm town I was raised in. I was ten years old at the time and had met some older kids through music that invited me out to the show. It was a costume party. The were lots of bands, fog machines, and loud electric guitars. I remember feeling at home for the first time among all the strange creative kids. Everyone was so much older and seemed so individual and the thought of an abstract community like the one I had discovered that night was very comforting. I felt like I finally found a place where I could be myself.
If you couldn’t be a musician, what would you be doing
There are lots of ways of living. I have found a lot of peace in sharing songs and feel that it is a way of spreading compassion and effecting situations around me. It sometimes can be frustrating being involved in a lifestyle that is considered counterculture. In the sense, that I find myself in situations often times when people are very intrigued by a life built in traveling and singing songs. I believe in this life more than anything but also hate to see lifestyles considered more simple or more ordinary thrown by the wayside because of the attraction of what's unfamiliar. I believe that lifestyles should not be discredited but rather that perspectives should be changed. There are many ways to live and many ways to positively effective the world around you. You do not have to be the President Of The United States or a famous singer to make the world a more gentle place. It's just important to bear the right perspective and believe in the things you surround yourself with.
If you could collaborate with one artist, living or dead,
it be and why?
Neil Young. His consistency with his songs as well his radical social agenda make for a songwriter that is not only well-versed in his craft but also has remained absolutely relevant over the years. Mainly, I want him to teach me how to play the electric guitar through all those inconsistent amplifiers of his. He recorded Mirror Ball with Pearl Jam. White Wives are into collaborating if Crazy Horse ever gets busy. That's all I'm saying.
If you became President, what is the first action you would
Engage the American Public the most disengaged country in the Western World.
What social cause is closest to your heart?
Women's equality is very prevalent in my everyday lifestyle since I was young. I come from a predominately female family and all my sisters had a profound effect on me when I was growing up. Stereotypes of gender roles are very skewed in my mind and I take a lot of pride in that. I live with 3 women that are my best friends. Reflections of machoism and chauvinism are very offensive to me and hard for me to understand. Intolerance and reactionary violence there of destroys the world around us. I do not accept intolerance based on gender, nationality, sexual preference, or class. But I do believe that understanding these issues is just a piece of the puzzle for a kinder world. Kindness and acceptance are two of the most powerful qualities we can possess. That does not make them easy for everyone to accept and learn to understand but does make them most definitely worth fighting for.
What does the right to vote mean to you?
Voting is the most simplistic way in the American political construct to get involved. It is not the means to an end but by all means is a proper introduction to organizing and initiating change. The west has a way of excluding the people (i.e. not the politicians and law-makers) from the political process. This has created an atmosphere of disinterest and distraction. Unfortunately the youth, like myself, get the most sidetracked. They raise us to feel empty and helpless. I believe in the power of youth. It is so important for each and everyone of us to invest ourselves in the processes that positively effect the world around us. Something as simple and powerful as our right to vote should never be taken for granted.
What bands or artists did you listen to when you were in
school? And which bands or artists influenced your style the most?
A childhood friend of mine (Nick Oshlick) gave me a cassette tape when I was 14 years old that our traveler friend Steph had made for him. Steph was older than us and had seen half the world by this point. Nick passed it down the line to me. On it was lots of albums in inconsistent track orderings depending on what songs Stephanie had liked the most. Neutral Milk Hotel - In The Aeroplane Over The Sea The Weakerthans - Left & Leaving The Postal Service - Such Great Heights Pedro The Lion - It's Hard To Find A Friend Desaparecidos - Read Music. Speak Spanish. & Cursive - Domestica At the end of the 90 minutes the tape just cut off mid-song, like something that was never supposed to end. I listened to that mix tape religiously until my Dad's player ate it for keeps.
What activity or group were you involved with in high school
might surprise people today?
I was very lucky to be homeschooled for the majority of my high school education. I spent only 4 months in the 10th grade. And spent the rest of my high school education writing papers from the road on tour with my friends bands and later playing in bands myself. My Mother was very skeptical, but very supportive. I was kind of a wild child.
What's the biggest obstacle that you had to overcome in high
I think the construct of the public school system is very challenging on a lot of levels, especially for creative kids. I was always struggling with how I fit in or if I fit in at all. I was always the smallest kid in class. I always felt like my presence was a little too confrontational for a lot of my classmates. The truth is in high school weather your a skinny indie kid or the star running back your struggle is very similar. It's your reaction to that struggle that is different. I embraced my sensitivity for sure, that didn't make me very popular.
Do you do any volunteer or community work when you're not on
I stay involved in my community as much as possible when I'm not on the road. I’m very lucky to be a part of a very progressive and productive neighborhood in Pittsburgh. The North side. I help with different community events and run an open mic at a local coffee shop that doubles as a community center for local artist. As I mentioned before I believe in positive change and progressive living in many forms. The most important step is staying involved.
What change would you like to see in our society in the next
I'd like to think we are in a better spot with the last presidential campaign. I do believe that Barrack Obama has made steps in the right direction for the most times archaic American political system. A progressive direction. It is not the end of the fight it again is just the beginning but I believe if we, in the coming years, as the public can stay focused on our progressive goals and reward ourselves with our accomplishments along the way positivity is bound to keep coming. My fingers are crossed for a more kind and more gentle society.