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From U2 front-man Bono’s support of AIDS awareness to Coldplay giving a boost to fair trade...

Written by Pooja Pillai | Published: January 20, 2009 2:26:56 am

Solar Punch plays music to raise environmental awareness

From U2 front-man Bono’s support of AIDS awareness to Coldplay giving a boost to fair trade,musicians all over the world have used the power of their art to raise awareness about a variety of causes that affect us all. But American Band,Solar Punch,does it a tad differently — the band uses only solar energy to power its equipment while performing.

Armed with solar power equipment,electric cars,one automobile powered by bio-diesel and a large solar panel,the band is here in India as part of the Climate Solutions Road Tour,which kicked off in Chennai earlier this month. They will perform today at the Bandra Amphitheatre as part of the Mumbai Festival and together with the Indian Youth Climate Network,will raise awareness about alternate energy.

“Ever since we came to India,we haven’t needed to plug into the electricity grid at all,” declares James Dean Conklin,guitarist,proudly. “All of our equipment is solar powered. This India tour is absolutely a part of what we’ve been doing for quite sometime.” They’ve met many environmental groups while here,says Conklin. Solar Punch came into existence when Conklin and his friend and fellow guitarist Alan Bigelow got together to create music using environmentally sound methods. “But we realised we needed more people to create a bigger sound and that’s when we roped in Andrew Mattina (bassist) and Frank Marino (drummer).”

“We’re hoping to collaborate with Indian artistes for our 2009 record; since we’ll be in Goa tomorrow,we have an opportunity to work with Remo.” Solar Punch has also managed to sing a few Bollywood numbers in Hindi. “We’ve done a good job with Yunhi Chala from Swades,” he says. It doesn’t escape one that the song was one where Shah Rukh Khan is driving a caravan powered by solar energy.

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