The Heart of Music

You see them up on stage, putting on a show singing and playing their hearts out. There is merchandise to had, from hats to shirts, even signed CDs. It is what appears to be your everyday concert. Fans are entertained and everyone is enjoying themselves. Only…this show is different. This show is dedicated to something special. There is a cause that needs attention, and the band has taken it upon themselves to help spread awareness and raise money for this one in particular. This show is powerful and full of talented artists taking time away from album-writing and touring to help organizations raise money in the name of philanthropy.

There are a number of charities that are led-by and supported by artists from the rock and metal genres. Some of those organizations are:

Make Yourself Foundation – organization was founded in 2003 by Incubus and has raised over 1.6 million dollars; major contributions to this foundation go to the Carbon Neutral Foundation to support the reduction of the carbon footprint by planting trees and researching alternative fuels.

Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund – Co-founded by Ronnie James Dio’s widow, Wendy, this organization is geared toward education, awareness, early detection and treatment of all cancers.

Sweet Relief – This organization is supported by the “Death to All” tour, that has boasted big names such as Black Sabbath, Godsmack, Motorhead, Slipknot, and Dave Grohl. The tour is a tribute to Death’s Chuck Shuldiner and the funds raised are used to help struggling musicians pay their medical expenses.

The Better Life Foundation – Founded by the members of 3 Doors Down to assist children in need of food, shelter and medical treatment as well as help adults to get back on their feet.

Music for Relief – Linkin Park founded this charity in 2005 in an effort to provide help to areas affected by natural disasters. Since its inception, the organization has helped raise over $5 million to assist people affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami (environmental restoration efforts), the 2010 Haiti Earthquake as well as other areas marred by nature’s destruction.

Rise Above Fest – Seether does this particular festival with other bands to help raise awareness and hopefully spearhead prevention measures for suicide/personal harm.

Not all bands have their own foundations, but they do support local charities that may be important to them, as well as offer their talents to help organizations work toward their goals of making our world a better place. At times, it is not obvious that there is a message being sent, but then it hits like a ton of bricks.

Find the song “Relentless” by Walls of Jericho and you will hear “I am Relentless” in different voices during the introduction. According to the band’s frontwoman, Candace, one of those voices is of a child who was battling cancer. Her mission is to help raise money for children who are suffering with the disease, and that is what the song is about. The power behind the lyrics, especially knowing their meaning creates a greater sense of awareness of what others are doing to help those in need. It is amazing what music can do to inspire inner strength, to make one Relentless.

There are other bands who participate in local charity events to help raise awareness for illnesses, community improvement, or prevention programs.

Most recently, members Zoltan Bathory and Chris Kael of Five Finger Death Punch signed on to participate with other artists for the Down-Syndrome Bowl-A-Thon Tour of Champions on February 21 to benefit the Down Syndrome Foundation of Florida.

“We are in the fortunate situation of being able to do what we love to do and fulfill our dreams, but we didn’t get here alone,” Bathory said in a statement. “We haven’t forgotten where we came from, and it is our duty to give back by leveraging our success and ultimately providing meaningful support and assistance to those in need.” (via

When we listen to the music, or just enjoy a show put on by our favorite artists, we should remember that they aren’t just in this for money and fame; a lot of them believe that giving back to their community by doing what they love is an honor. It comes not from their publicists, nor their labels; these acts of kindness and love come from their hearts. Our support is something they depend upon in order to continue to give back. A heart that beats for others has the greatest rhythm.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the music, the merch, and the tours that we turn a blind eye to what artists are doing outside the spotlight. We should all pay closer attention, there is always something to be learned. As a Metalhead and music lover, I am honored to know that these men, as well as many other artists actively participate in philanthropy. Giving back to their community is something they take pride in, and we should be proud as well.

Metal On Loud!

Tabatha Spears

Tabatha is a Metal On Loud author who writes the 'Metal Minute' columns and takes the occasional band interview.
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