Massive Attack have confirmed their intentions to complete their European tour by train in order to be more climate friendly.
The band, who have been passionate supporters of the activist group Extinction Rebellion, are attempting to change the methods of touring bands in order to contribute to the fight against climate change.
The Bristol band, currently in France for one of their shows, have also decided to donate four years of tour data to the University of Manchester in order to aid a study on how the music industry impacts the climate.
Now, as the group make their way around Europe as part of their latest tour, Robert Del Naja, aka 3D, told the BBC: “[As musicians] we have enjoyed a high-carbon lifestyle. But as a society we’ve all existed in a fossil-fuel economy for a long time and had very little choice in that.”
He added: “The challenge now is to not only make personal sacrifices, but to insist on the systemic change that’s needed. Business as usual is over.”
The band have long been environmentally conscious, planting trees, taking trains where possible, and banning the use of single-use plastics. But Del Naja says, “offsetting creates an illusion that high-carbon activities enjoyed by wealthier individuals can continue, by transferring the burden of action and sacrifice to others—generally those in the poorer nations in the southern hemisphere.”
While Del Naja says that he still wishes to perform at major events, he suggested that big change is needed. He said, “Given the current polarised social atmosphere, uplifting and unifying cultural events are arguably more important now than ever, and no one would want to see them postponed or even cancelled, the challenge, therefore, is to avoid more pledges, promises and greenwashing headlines and instead embrace seismic change.”