The holiday season always seems to bring people together. There are countless parties, festivals, gatherings, parades, and free concerts. It is also when selflessness is encouraged, and the flame of goodwill toward all mankind begins to grow especially brighter. Many people give a little extra money to charities they support, and others volunteer their time to share the holiday cheer with those less fortunate. The inspiration for people to give more to each other this time of year is my favourite part of the holiday season.
Recently, the glam-rock band, Lipstick, distributed a press release to announce their charity campaign going on for the month of December. If you recall, we reviewed Lipstick’s debut album back in May. Their music is a ton of fun to listen to, and I am a huge fan of their work. So I was excited when I read about their amazing charity campaign. I got in touch with Greg Troyan, the frontman for the band, and here is what he said about their charity work.
What inspired you and your band to do a charity campaign?
Lipstick has always been a band that has been proud of our charity work. We’ve played benefits for cancer research, child abuse awareness, hospice care: you name it. Two years back, we hosted a giant charity event called “Nashville Saves Christmas” where we gathered a bunch of great local bands and put on a gigantic stage musical. This year, we’ve been hard at work recording our next album, so we didn’t have time to arrange an event that massive. We were looking at a few charity shows in our area, but nothing really clicked.
Then the attacks in Paris happened, and it was the same day we had a concert of our own in Nashville. The drummer for Eagles of Death Metal is a Nashville guy, and so I saw a ton of my friends in my Facebook newsfeed posting worried posts about him, because my friends were friends of his. It made the attacks much more real to me, and it made very upset. So, I talked with the guys, and we decided that we would do a charity campaign that would help victims of tragedies like that one. With the constant mass shootings in America too, we wanted to give money to an organization that would help in both our home country and foreign lands like France, and so the Red Cross became the obvious choice for the charity we wanted to give to.
How does your campaign work?
We have a special edition of our debut album available in our merchandise store, and during the month of December, all of the profits from the sales of that album will go to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The only money we’ll keep from these album sales will be the costs of printing and shipping the album (if you choose to buy a physical copy), and the fees that Paypal charges for use of their service. Everything else will go directly to the Red Cross. We’re a smaller, independent band, so we pay out-of-pocket to print our own CDs and ship them ourselves, but we want to do our part to help and we thought this would be a great way to do it.
If you’re buying a digital copy of the album, obviously there’s no charge for printing or shipping, so more of the money you spend will go directly to the charity. We know a lot of people like physical albums, because you can’t put an mp3 under your Christmas tree as easily as a CD, but as a thank you to the people buying the digital album, we have two additional bonus tracks from our friends in Nuclear Bubble Wrap. One of the songs is their big hit “Sharktopus”, and another song is from their upcoming album.
We encourage everyone to donate to the Red Cross because they’re a great organization that does a lot of good all over the world. If you want to buy a CD to give a gift to somebody for Christmas, or just want to download some cool music for yourself to listen to, you can do that while also helping out a great cause. And, if you think we suck, we encourage you to go the Red Cross website and donate anyway. Whatever way you decide to donate, we just encourage you to donate.
As students, finances are often a touchy subject, so giving lots of money to charities isn’t always realistic. But the band members of Lipstick and their friends show that it doesn’t take much to give back, every little bit helps. There are many ways that everyone can give back to others this holiday season. Give up just a little bit of your free time to help out with a local charity. Go through your closet and find any clothes that you no longer wear and donate them. Even gently used books and many other items can be donated to a number of charities. The options to give back are endless. I you don’t know of any charities in your area, check out Charity Village or Charity Intelligence Canada.
It’s great that a small, independent band like Lipstick and their friends are doing so much to help others this season. For another example of musicians coming together to give back this season, check out this week’s music review.
So let’s kindle those flames of goodwill to all this holiday season, and make the dark and dreary winter days and nights just a little bit brighter.
Samantha Stevens is an aspiring writer who loves combining her love for literature with photography, painting, music, and all creative pursuits.