- 26 Oct 16
The 140 character-forming interview
@hotpress: In recent years, you’ve started a non-profit organisation called Do It For The Love.
@MichaelFranti: Yes, it’s kind of like the Make A Wish foundation. We bring people with life-threatening illnesses, children and adults with special needs, and wounded veterans to go and see whatever concert they want in North America. We’ve sent people to see Garth Brooks, Jay Z, Beyonce, Metallica, Taylor Swift, the opera – everything!
@hotpress: Is there anything left to say about the current political situation in America?
@MichaelFranti: I am so afraid, honestly. I really believe that it’s a small percentage of people who are filled with the hate and the bigotry that Donald Trump has. As we saw with Brexit, people vote with their impulses. If you stoke the flames enough, it’s a very tenuous situation.
@hotpress: You played at an Obama rally back in 2012.
@MichaelFranti: Yes and I met him afterwards with Boyd Tinsley from the Dave Matthews Band, who’s known him a long time. He walks up to Obama and goes, “That was a fucking great speech!” And Barack pauses for a moment and goes, “You know what? As a matter of fact, that really WAS a great fucking speech!”
@hotpress: This issue of Hot Press is a mental health special. You set up a yoga retreat in Bali a few years ago.
@MichaelFranti: I opened a place called Soulshine Bali, which is a yoga retreat in a boutique hotel in Bali. Yoga has been a cornerstone in my life, because I’ve been making music and touring since 1987, and it takes a toll on your body and mind. Yoga really helps me take care of those care of things, but more importantly, to stay focused, playful and constantly on the path of education.
@hotpress: You have a long association with U2 going back to the Zoo TV tour. Are you still a fan?
@MichaelFranti: Yes – I saw them last year in San Jose and it was great. I remember a journalist coming up to me on the Zoo TV tour and saying, “Michael, you’re in this politically radical band – don’t you think U2 have sold out?” I said, “Listen, they’re sending 50,000 people home each night with smiles on their faces. Show me a politician who can do that and I’ll vote for the motherfucker!”