By Nadine Cheung, © 2010 JSYK
In April, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig caused the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history. Five months later, a cement plug has sealed BP's gushing well, but people will be feeling the effects from the incident for years to come. Inspired by the event, Sacramento rockers One Eyed Rhyno have recorded their song, 'The Bird,' which addresses the deadly wildlife conditions.
Moved by the Exxon Valdez oil spill, One Eyed Rhyno singer James Hunter (pictured on the left), originally wrote the song bluesy track when he was 10, but the recent events in the Gulf of Mexico pushed him and his band to record and release the song in hopes of raising awareness about and funds for the area's disrupted ecosystem.
"I was actually reflecting on a real bird that was once there and is now no more because of an oil spill," the 16-year-old singer tells JSYK. "About 5 years ago, we were playing the final festival for Sacramento 'Creek Week,' which is an event where people get together to clean up local rivers, lakes and creeks. During the event, I noticed a sculpture which was made from materials found during the river clean-up. One of the material pieces was literally the carcass of a dead bird, which broke my heart. This inspired me to learn more about what animals face in oil spills and then write 'The Bird.' For me, it's not just words and chords, it's an ode to that bird."
Remember Do Something's Weekend Without Oil campaign? Well, One Eyed Rhyno's song was recently featured on DoSomething.org in conjunction with their cause. Since then, the band has teamed up with The Student Conservation Association (SCA) to donate proceeds from every download of 'The Bird' toward the organization, which promotes youth conservation, environmental team leadership and community service education.
"With 'The Bird' and our SCA partnership, I really wanted to get the message across that awareness is everyone's responsibility," James adds. "Even through music you can be aware, as I found through writing this song."
Watch One Eyed Rhyno's video for 'The Bird' below, and if you'd like to help the band's cause, you can download a copy of the song on iTunes. What do you think of James' eco-minded track?