Recently we interviewed Ben Romans (The Click Five), Cassie Petrey and Jade Driver from The One Love. They’ve been keeping busy blogging at The One Love website, where a community of bloggers have come together in support of their chosen charities. All profits collected from traffic to each blog page, from banner ads, are donated to the bloggers’ charity of choice. Ben, Cassie and Jade have also been traveling and putting on events for The One Love, including a recent songwriters show in London.
The One Love interview with BandWeblogs.com
By: Jenny May and Dave Tommo
BandWeblogs.com: What is The One Love?
Ben Romans: The One Love is a place to blog about your passion with music and the things that surround it, while supporting the charity of the blogger’s choice.
Who is behind The One Love?
Ben: It all started with Cassie Petrey, Jade Driver, and myself…and Cassie and Jade are the web whizzes…but really it’s the awesome bloggers who share their thoughts with us.
How did Ben, Cassie and Jade meet?
Ben: Waaaaaay back when, my band was starting to tour. Cassie and Jade were both helping promote and get things rocking.
Cassie: I was working for the Warner Music Group at the time, and The Click Five signed to Atlantic (which is part of WMG) while I was with the company. Jade and I then came across The Click Five and decided they were our new favorite band, and wanted to help promote the band in every way possible.
What gave you the inspiration to embark on The One Love mission?
Ben: I think that artists sometimes aren’t allowed to talk about why they really do music, so we figured why not start a community, even better, a charitable community.
Jade: Let’s just say I missed one show to see another, not my choice, and it was the best decision anyone else has ever made for me. I think my inspiration for The One Love began the day I first saw Ben’s band, The Click Five, in concert and realized that this music was some of the best pop music I had ever heard and I made it my mission to tell the world it existed and to make sure it got the respect it deserved. Cassie was in that boat too.
Years later Cassie, Ben and I were discussing this topic and thus the idea began. We went through over a year of throwing back and forth ideas, designs and names for the site. We put a lot of work and heart into making this site the best it could be and are still in the growing process, making changes constantly. We hope that the site can help people channel their energy to help others through the inspiration of people that they can relate with and look up to.
How did the current bloggers on The One Love website get involved and how can other people join in?
Ben: Friends, friends through friends…so forth and so on.
Cassie: Right now, the best way to join in is by visiting the site and reading what all the bloggers have to say. Just by doing that, people are raising money for the various organizations that the site supports. However, we will eventually open up the site to anyone who wants to blog for charity.
How are the bloggers helping The One Love mission?
Cassie: Just by sharing their thoughts and promoting the site to their already existing fan base, they are raising awareness and funds for an organization that they support. We wanted to create a place where people could give back without donating money out of their pocket, and that’s exactly what we’re doing!
Ben: The great thing about a community is…if a fan checks out an artist, they may discover another artist on the site who they enjoy, and it spreads like wildfire. The bloggers have the opportunity to promote what they do, and their charity if they wish. Bloggers will also have the opportunity to participate in events down the road if things keep rocking.
Other than being a blogger, how else can people get involved in The One Love?
Ben: Support the artists, and their charities. Come check out events…we have some coming up…and just keep checking out the site for info!
The One Love was recently in England. How did you spread the word about the mission while you were there?
Ben: We did a special songwriter’s show with myself and James Bourne for The One Love. Stop The Traffik is also based in London, and we met to discuss how we could help each other out.
Cassie: I think this trip was more about laying down the groundwork for The One Love in the UK, rather than trying to get the word out to everyone possible. We really wanted to expose the site to key tastemakers…if that makes any sense. Our Stop The Traffik meeting was really inspiring, and made us realize how much we could do to help. We also have some new potential bloggers, which is always good!
Do you have any good stories that you would like to share about your experiences in London?
Ben: We had an absolute blast, especially with the songwriter show…many friends in the same room…good times. When you’re in a whirlwind, it’s hard to narrow it down to just one story.
Jade: I will say that this was not my favorite trip to England. Every travel delay/problem that could have happened, did happen. But, it was well worth the journey and we came back with some memories we won’t often forget. I believe my favorite moment was when leaving a McFly concert in Bournemouth; I looked at Cassie and told her we needed to leave when the last song began since we were parked on the 12th floor of a parking deck and we had a few hours drive ahead of us. Our sleep schedule was whack and any time I could save was time for me to sleep.
So, right before the last song the lights are up on the audience and Cassie begins to leave. I grabbed her arm and told her not to because she would be called out. She shrugged me off and continued up the stairs with our friend Cathy. I began to sneak out too when I heard, “Hey you, what are you doing!?” I jumped back in my seat and looked up at Cassie. She glared at me with the “why aren’t you following me” look and I pointed to the stage and said, “They are yelling at you!” Her face quickly turned red under her white hat and Tom yells at her “Why are you leaving? Everybody can see you! Danny follows with, “Hey you! Hey, girl in the white hat. It’s okay if you have diarrhea and have to leave. We understand.” Classic.
Cassie: Yes, I enjoyed Bournemouth as well. We also had a 4am encounter with Old Greg, which was quite exciting.
So, Cassie – we read in your blog that you had some transport issues while in England. What’s your opinion of the British transport system?
Cassie: I absolutely LOVE the British transport system. Getting on a train and being able to go pretty much anywhere in the country is just absolutely amazing. I wish that option existed in the US. There’s some trains that even had wireless internet…and that is AWESOME. The tube is really great too…I like it a lot better than the subway system in New York. We tried out driving while we were there this time, which wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be. A little tricky since it was on the opposite side of the road, but we managed. My only complaints are the small roads and lack of street signs. Other than that, we were good to go.
Do you plan on taking The One Love mission to other countries?
Cassie: Yes, of course. Singapore, Malaysia, and many other Asian countries are some of The One Love’s top trafficking countries, and we would love to get out there eventually.
Where has been the most welcoming place that you’ve visited so far?
Jade: Definitely Nottingham, where The One Love was born.
Cassie: Yes. I will forever be a fan of Nottingham. We met some absolutely amazing people there.
How did the songwriting showcase come about and who was involved with the one in London? What happens during a showcase?
Jade: In Nashville you find a lot of songwriters. Cassie and I currently live and run our business out of Nashville, TN. Ben lived here once also after college. We are all pretty familiar with the Nashville music scene and let me tell you, it’s not all country music. There are many, many songwriters in Nashville who constantly play small venues to showcase, or try out, their new material. These songwriters are not necessarily music artists, they mainly write songs for other artists. Songwriting is what they do. In some cases, they can be both. Many times you come across a trio of rough looking not so great singers who take turns playing a “round,” where each person plays one song at a time and it goes around as many times as the venue will allow it. They are there to play their songs, not perform them.
Many times people dismiss pop music as having no depth or meaning and think that all songs are generated by a marketing department and based on a not so real occurrence. In some cases this can be true. However, the talented songwriters who happen to be labeled as pop stars often miss out on the respect they should be given for their music. Being friends with people like Ben, his band mates, Tyler Hilton etc., we realize that their songs are true, meaningful and more complex than you may think. We wanted to show that these “pop stars” have more to offer than just a pretty face and wanted to showcase songs that they had written in a setting where they wouldn’t be judged by the way they were marketed as artists. We mimicked the Nashville model since it helped us with our ultimate goal of showcasing talent and not image.
The show was amazing. Being a huge fan of Brit pop myself, I was floored when James Bourne showed up to play along with Ben. I had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Bourne play a similar type of show in New York a few weeks prior and this surprise was more than enough to make me tear up a bit. James played some songs from his former band, Busted, and a song from his current band Son of Dork. He also played some McFly songs, a band that he writes with often. Ben played a few TC5 songs and a few of his own including a beautiful song called “Whiskey Street.” The highlight of the show came during The Click Five’s song “Jenny,” when James sang along and the audience joined in too. Often during rounds the musicians harmonize and play along with each other spontaneously.
You can watch video clips of the show here: The One Love on YouTube.
Do you plan on doing more? If so, where?
Jade: Yes! Our 2nd show will be held in New York City on January 21, 2008 at The Bitter End. Ben, Luke White, Eric Espiritu, Nate Campany and a few SPECIAL guests including some of these guys’ friends – if you get my drift – and others will be making special appearances. Other bloggers, of the non-performing breed, will be in attendance as well. Tickets will be $7 and all proceeds will be donated to charities supported by The One Love bloggers.
With Ben being a member of The Click Five, has the band been involved with The One Love? Do they have any plans to be involved in the future?
Jade: Several of the guys have expressed interest in being involved in different ways. Kyle recently wrote a guest blog under Ben’s blog and Joey is working with us to create an exclusive TOL tee-shirt through his new clothing line LTL, which gives a portion of its proceeds to the LTL Life Fund supported charities – http://www.ltlbackspace.com. There’s also talk of theoneburrito.org but that’s still kind of top secret.
How did The Click Five enjoy supporting Mcfly on tour and were there any memorable moments?
Jade: Ben didn’t get this far in the interview before I took over, but I was there during most of the tour and I’d like to say that my favorite moment was when Ben was wearing a braid in the back of his very stylish mullet and the camera man zoomed in, flashing that thing on the two HUGE screens above the stage! Okay, but even better than that, was that I got to spend two of the best weeks of my life seeing two extraordinarily amazing bands back to back each evening. This was what I called a little piece of heaven. I’ve never felt chill bumps like I did during those shows! I wonder if I’ll ever get that moment back?
Cassie: Braiding Ben’s hair, and then the fans ripping the braids out was definitely one of my favorite things about the tour. I also enjoyed the part of the show where giant beach balls were thrown into the audience every night. The Click Five really enjoyed supporting McFly, and we did as well.
What is the most exciting thing to do in Nashville?
Jade: The most exciting thing to do in Nashville is to hang out with Cassie and Jade of course. No, not really. We are pretty boring when we are at home. It is exciting however that there is live music to see every night! If you want to see a band you love or just some really good musicians or songwriters, there is always something going on. If you prefer to be on the other side of the mic, may I suggest Ms. Kelli’s karaoke in Printer’s Alley. They have about every song on Earth and it’s never too crowded so you can get in at least 4-5 good performances during an evening. As far as shows go, my personal fave venue is RCKTWN, but I’m sure Cassie has a different opinion. I prefer going down the road a bit to Franklin, TN for shopping in small boutiques…and if it’s food that you crave, may I suggest my fave restaurant Jackson’s. After eating the best paninis in town, please take time to indulge in the cookie egg rolls at least once in your life. Fellow blogger Nate Campany can attest to their amazingness!
Do you have more plans for The One Love website? If so, can you tell us what they are?
Jade: During the next six months the site will be changing a lot as we are working on a slow build and in it for the long haul. We will be adding the ability for people to comment on blogs, more bloggers and in the future we hope to make the site accessible for anybody to sign up to blog and support charities of their choice.
What is your message to the people of the world?
Jade: Love life. Love music. Love each other.
For more information and to read The One Love Blogs, go to:
Ben Romans’ Blog
Cassie Petrey’s Blog
Jade Driver’s Blog
The One Love Official Website