Michael Buckner | Frazer Harrison, Getty Images Now this is a collaboration that…
- Posted on May 13th 2008 12:00PM by Denise Sullivan
"It's never hard to get people to care but it's hard to get them to show up year after year after year," Franti -- who's forthcoming, rasta-fied album, 'All Rebel Rockers,' is dedicated to inspiring people to stay committed to the cause, whatever theirs might be -- tells Spinner. "There's the environmental crisis and wars that seemingly have no end, no budget and no limits and people are feeling unheard."
Franti's personal protest is the human cost of war, as profiled in his film, as well as in the recent 'Body of War,' for which he lent 'Light Up Ya Lighter' to the soundtrack. Meanwhile, Franti's atypically anti-partisan when it comes to the upcoming election. "This year everyone's asking me who I endorse and I say I don't endorse candidates, I endorse ideas," he says. But it's probably a safe bet the anti-war candidate will get his vote come November.
Until then, he's slammed, filming episodes of his info-packed video-shorts, 'FrantiV,' touring, organizing his now worldwide Power to the Peaceful festival, and performing at events like Earth Day L.A. and Common Ground Relief in New Orleans's Ninth Ward. Recently he turned up at L.A.'s Skirball Center (with his friend Zach de la Rocha, Lucinda Williams and others) to pay tribute to the grandpappy of protest, Bob Dylan, part of the museum's program accompanying the exhibit, 'Bob Dylan's American Journey, 1956-1966.'
Franti played 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' (which he likened to rap) and 'Rainy Day Women No. 12 & 35,' one of Dylan's more, erm, misunderstood political songs. "The chorus sounds like a stoner song -- 'everybody must get stoned' --but he's talking about the society stoning you as an individual," he says. "'I want to be among the misfits who are freethinkers' is my interpretation of what that means. That's a powerful political statement."
Just don't confuse Franti for one of those folk-singin' singer-songwriters who learned his trade studying the words and influences of Dylan. For him, Bob means Marley. "I really hadn't listened to Dylan much till last week --when they asked me to do this thing!"