Green Music by CAKE: Taking Sustainability From the Studio to their Fans

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By Kara Manos > Senior > Journalism and New Media > Towson University

Guitar rifts, killer lyrics and chart topping hits are at the top of any band’s “to do” list. But some bands are doing more than painting the town red—they’re going green.

The band CAKE, known for hits like “Short Skirt/Long Jacket” (2000) and “The Distance” (1996), is helping lead the green revolution in the music industry by turning attention to environmentally friendly practices and “going the distance” for the environment by encouraging their fans to do the same.

CAKE’s trumpeter and sustainability enthusiast, Vince DiFiore, explained the importance of their efforts. “Musicians are certainly under a lot of scrutiny being in the public eye so our actions are not entirely private,” DiFiore said. “That’s not to say that I think musicians should be doing it more than anyone else.”

The band takes green efforts to a new level, starting with their recording process. They made their sixth album using 100 percent solar energy from a solar array on the roof of their studio. Based in Sacramento, Calif, CAKE also vocalizes its concern that the city is becoming congested with new restaurants and shopping, and thus pollution associated with an influx of traffic. “It’s becoming more like Manhattan,” DiFiore said. The band, he said, wants to encourage fans to help decrease congestion by making simple changes to their lifestyles, including minimizing car use by taking public transportation or riding a bike to school and work.
Despite being better known for their ‘90s hits, the American indie band has managed to stay relevant in the new millennium by promoting environmental causes verses their latest ringtones or their new album that releases this year. DiFiore said the band wants to encourage the three R’s: reduce, reuse and recycle.

On their website, CAKE has built a community of fans to not only share the latest band news and upcoming shows, but to also spread awareness about climate change and sustainability efforts in order to create an eco-friendly fan base. CAKE encourages fans to carpool to their shows and uses trees as giveaways at their events. Fans who win trees at the shows can send a picture of their planted tree for CAKE to post on their tree page.

The news updates on the CAKE website consist mainly of climate change facts such as a link to “50 Reasons Why Global Warming Isn’t Natural” and how other groups and people are taking action. So while they do have killer lyrics and a unique sound, CAKE has also taken its passion for a cause to a new level. Perhaps CAKE will lead the way for more musicians to take the greener path. “We need to remember that every human being is a consumer and we have to do something to make the situation better for ourselves, our own conscious,” DiFiore said.

College Magazine Staff

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