Chuck Leavell, keyboardist for The Rolling Stones and co-founder of MNN, talks to pop star Jason Mraz about touring, his song I'm Yours, biodiesel, and how Mraz is trying to rid his life of plastic. (Mike Lindsay/MNN and Nick Scott/MNN)
Want more? Watch all of Chuck's interviews.
Related on MNN: Want more eco-celebrity news? Check out our Ecollywood channel.
Chuck: You’ve been out there working. What about the recent time on tour? Have you been out a long time? What have you been doing?
Jason: Whoo. I have been on the road pretty much for the past 18 months with only making small stops at home, you know. And it’s been great, you know, to have music that’s shared all around the world. And then we try to make our concerts about consciousness. We want to make people up, you know, when we ask people to stand up and dance and participate, we really try to emphasize that as a metaphor, like you are not stuck in your seat. You are not stuck in your job. Or you’re not stuck in your former ways of being, that you are free to dance and kind of create something new in this moment. So we really want to be forward thinking and music has given us a great opportunity to do that.
Chuck: Oh, what a great way to get across to the audience and to get them to participate and be involved.
Jason: Yeah, we’re gonna try it here at Farm Aid. I got a couple of things that I do with my crowd to try to get people doing certain dance moves and we’ll see if I can get some of these old timers out here to do it.
Chuck: I want the folks to know that you reached a landmark recently with Billboard Hot 100. You’re song, “I’m Yours,” was on the chart for more than 70 weeks.
Chuck: It’s still on there?
Jason: It’s like 76 now.
Chuck: My heavens. That’s a record breaking fact.
Jason: Yeah. Yeah.
Chuck: Congratulations. I mean, that’s just outstanding.
Jason: Oh, man, it was awesome. Yeah.
Chuck: That is really, really great. And deservedly so. What a cool song.
Jason: Well, thank you. It was just a happy little hippie song, you know, about generosity. It’s about giving yourself or your time to someone else. And I’m just so grateful that that’s the kind of music that people keep requesting and people are wanting to sing along to. And so, to me it shows that people are kind of craving that message and living that message as well.
Chuck: Are you doing anything else on tour to be eco-friendly? You traveling in a bus? Are you using biodiesel?
Jason: Traveling in a bus. We’re using biodiesel where available. You know, a lot of places it’s still not available in the world.
Chuck: That’s true. That’s true.
Jason: And even when you ask the truckers to bring it in to you, some of those trucks aren’t even running on the biodiesel.
Jason: So it’s an interesting sort of controversial sort of, because it’s so much in transition moving towards it. But another thing is, I always carry with me my own personal canteen ‘cause I’m really try to limit, in fact, ban plastics in my life. Like certainly plastic water bottles, you don’t need to use them just one time. Get yourself a can. I wish people thought as much to carry a canteen as they did their cell phone, something they don’t leave home without. You know, so you can fill this up at any water, again, the more you fill it up at a water fountain, again, I think you’re voting for the water conditions in your area as well.
Chuck: Making a personal statement.
Chuck: And trying to spread the word.
Chuck: Hey, man, thank you so much for being with us. Good luck with everything in the future with the music, with the avocados.
Jason: Thank you, sir.
Chuck: And see you around.
Jason: Come visit my trees sometime.
Chuck: I’d love to.
Jason: Yeah, man.
Chuck: That’d be great.
Jason: Thank you.