I first heard about [conservation society] Sea Shepherd when I was on a plane.
I watched a film called Sharkwater. It was about the illegal shark-finning industry, and I was so enraged by what I was seeing and that no one was doing anything to stop it. It enrages me so much that humans feel they have the right to do these things, and it was that inner rage that made me do something about it. I couldn’t just sit there and do nothing any more; it was like, “I have to let everyone I possibly can know about this.” Through that I realised that, being in a band, I can tell people about it, and I tell other bands all the time that they also have a platform to tell people what’s going on in the world.
And it doesn’t matter if you’re not in a band – you have a platform. Everyone reading this magazine has a platform, be it Facebook or Twitter, and even if you only have one follower, sharing something that you care about on social media might reach that one person. They can then take that issue and tell their friends, and it starts off a chain reaction. People can make a difference through that ground level. I grew up going to hardcore shows and being around people that were very passionate about their beliefs, and once you see someone care so much, it affects you, and hopefully people coming to our shows will get that. We don’t look like rock stars onstage; we’re just five dudes who grew up playing music in our parents’ bedrooms, and we’re not onstage to get an ego boost – we’re onstage talking about important shit.
In the UK, if an unarmed man gets shot, there’s four days of protests and London goes fucking ballistic. And even now, with five years of a government that no one really wants, people are starting to get angry, and it’s exciting. We don’t stand for that bullshit. I was fucking livid about the election result – and people see that the government want to introduce more budgets cuts for the disabled, bring back the badger cull, bring in cuts for people on benefits, like, “Fuck you, England!” – but I’m excited about what’s going to happen, because I don’t think that people are going to take another five years of it. I mean, look who they’ve put into the cabinet – someone who wants to bring back hanging, someone who hates gay people… it’s almost a joke, isn’t it? Those people don’t know shit about justice! I’m convinced that a massive part of why Labour didn’t get in is because The Sun posted that picture of Ed Miliband eating a bacon sandwich. The way someone eats a sandwich is important in a general election. It’s madness. The public are already hating that, and I like that.
Even in the last two years, even silly things like McDonald’s seeing a 10% drop for the first time in 30 years, is a sign of hope. Maybe people are eating more ‘responsibly sourced’ meat, or going vegetarian, but it shows that people are showing some glimmer of care. People are realising that we have to make some dramatic changes in a lot of stuff. I’m good friends with a lot of the guys at Sea Shepherd, and they work very closely with David Attenborough. He’s always talking about climate change and how it’s inevitably gonna happen, and that shit is gonna hit the fan within the next 50 years, and I think it was David that put it like this: if you were walking down the street and you saw an old lady getting mugged, you would go over and you would do something about it, right? If you walked into a room and there were 10 or 20 old women getting mugged, you would still go and try to stop it. So to me, it could be easier to turn a blind eye to all these problems, but you should feed off that anger and that inequality. Life is so short, so why would you not push yourself to do something instead of just going home, turning the telly on, going to sleep, waking up the next day, going to work and doing it again? There are so many great causes to get involved in, so just get out there and get angry.
For more info go to seashepherd.org. Lost Forever // Lost Together is out now via Epitaph