Vocal Trash - Environmental Band uses Recycled Objects to make Music
By Rita Cook
It’s a local group, these seven Fort Worth-based performers called Vocal Trash. An unusual “troupe of environmental performers” as they call themselves traveling from Cedar Hill to Colorado spinning their message of eco-friendly living.
Vocal Trash particularly proves their point by using recycled objects during the performances like car parts, trash cans, lids, water bottles, barrels, pots, buckets and brooms. “We play trash cans, lids, water bottles, barrels, buckets, brooms, and various household items,” says Vocal Trash creator, co-owner, Steve Linder. “We also incorporate a couple of upcycled musical instruments, such as guitar and bass. The guitar is made from a Jerry Can, a gas can that would normally set on the back of a Jeep and the bass is made from an iron wheel and milk urn.”
The Vocal Trash message is also featured in their song lyrics in addition to the one-of-a-kind instruments constructed from recycled materials saying loud and clear “it’s cool to be green.” In fact, “Think Before You Throw It Away” is the latest catch phrase that the group has coined also attempting to implement this message into their own daily lives.“The group believes in recycling so strongly that we’ve released a collaborative songwriting effort of the same title,” Linder says. “In the audience you will see the phrase on t-shirts, water bottles, and other Vocal Trash merchandise. Making a difference for our planet is a goal the group strives to achieve through their music.”
This year 2011 marked the 10th anniversary of Vocal Trash who still combine a combination of pop, rock, swing and classic oldies to the tune of the combination of traditional instruments and a recycled percussion section and indeed it does seem to make for an exciting performance with the emphasis these days being on teaching children (and adults) to use their imagination in a meaningful and lasting way when it comes to recycling.
Linder says that over the years the group has actually morphed into what it is today “When Vocal Trash was in its infancy, we were more interested in strictly entertaining. We developed an industrial and urban style concept and rode a wave based on the shows unique nature. It wasn't until years later that we started using the show as a vehicle for recycling awareness.” In fact, it wasn't until fans approached the group about the awareness factor, and educational possibilities, that they realized the potential of what they had. “Ultimately, this made us aware and more conscience of the environment and recycling endeavors. So, again, Vocal Trash raised awareness even for its own members. Now, we’re "Musical Environmentalists," and what we are, is bigger than who we are.” See Education Video
As for how the group members choose the trash instruments Linder explains “Simply looking for interesting objects that might pique an audience member’s imagination or wonder. It’s not a science, but a combination of creativity and educational value.” During any given performance, Vocal Trash utilizes an extensive amount of industrial musical props for anecdotal and thought provoking awareness concerning recycling, upcycling and eco-friendly living and the group does many school performances throughout the year in an effort to, “give back” and help awareness in regards to the countries green future; the youth. “Vocal Trash takes advantage of numerous opportunities throughout the show to point out the various recycled instruments,” Linder explains. “Once the attention is drawn to the object, the member or host will elaborate on the importance of eco-friendly living and remind the listeners to the role of the group 'music with a conscience.'”
Described as ‘Glee’ with a kick and urban Broadway, Linder concludes “We incorporate items that would normally end up in a landfill into every performance, showing how objects that, at first glance appear to be trash, could be made into something useful. We really feel that we’ve created a powerful tool to reach young minds and make recycling cool.”
For more information visit www.vocaltrash.net.
Rita Cook is an award winning journalist who writes or has written for the Dallas Morning News, Focus Daily News, Waxahachie Daily Light, Dreamscapes Travel Magazine, Porthole, Core Media, Fort Worth Star Telegram and many other publications in Los Angeles, Dallas and Chicago. With five books published, her latest release is “A Brief History of Fort Worth” published by History Press. You can contact her at email@example.com