Written by Zach Gehring (from the band MAE)
The culture of music became a defining role for me, as it is for many others. It wasn’t merely the sonic element or the agression, nor was it the shelter it provided socially. The culture of underground music infected my infrastructure, illuminating an idea of community, as well as bringing light to an aspect of truth. That exposure (where ever one may find it) takes hold and becomes a catalyst which drives people to try and become a part of what fascinates them. I eventually did what so many other kids do, I joined a band. Fast forward 10 years and the desire, or "dream", has become a reality. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become that cliche cynic, although it’s important to ask where it comes from? The cynicism developed over the years because I am constantly reminded of the ideals, the community, the soul, and the beauty that is consistent, still providing the strong under current that keeps this passion so exigent with the passing of each generation. It plays out over and over again because of what it becomes in those who fall victim to it; the influence and spirit of community. Each generation grows, and in its wake leaves the products and artifacts of each revolution. Each generation takes part in the creation of the next.
This brings me to the result. The band I’m in, Mae, has decided to give over all profits from digital downloads to humanitarian and charitable organizations that focus on education, art, global poverty, and the environment. The first organization is Habitat for Humanity. Mae is sponsoring a house that is being built for a single mother and her three children. We will continue to partner up with other organizations over the course of this year. We’ve been asked many times why we chose this approach for the year. The answer can be found in our desire to use our music in a way that benefits the community. The community of our fans, our local community, the international community, and the global community. The three of us in MAE have felt the impact of music first hand, over and over again since we can remember. The respect we have for what music can do is placing upon us the responsibility to use whatever influence we have to encourage our fans to engage in their community. One way to encourage our fans to engage in their community is to engage and actively participate in ours. We want to eradicate the barrier that can exist between fans and performers. We need to present a level playing field and get back to what made music so important–being a part of something together and making a change together, no matter how small or large the change may be. By inciting action in one community, and then from that one into another, the focus emerges and the rolls shift. What was started by one person with an idea now becomes it’s own organism which spreads and influences change and new ideas. Our goal is ambitious, but it was born out of the simple recognition of the influence that can be built through the combination of music and community.