On Tuesday, Twin Cities rockers BNLX announced the impending release of a new "music" product. A day later, they were playing it forward.
The Play It Forward initiative was launched by Eagles of Death Metal drummer Josh Homme after a November 13 terror attack left 89 people dead at an EODM show in Paris. In response, Homme put out an open letter to his fellow musicians and urged them to cover his music for a cause:
"We are calling upon our friends to donate their time, talent and good will in a show of solidarity," he wrote. Aiming to help the victims of the Paris attack as well as other terror victims worldwide, Homme called on fellow musicians of all genres to cover his band's song, "I Love You All the Time," and pledged to donate all publishing income to the Sweet Stuff Foundation.
The Sweet Stuff Foundation is a charity that assists the families of musicians struggling with illness and disability. Through December 31, the foundation will dedicate all donations to aid the survivors of the Paris attack.
Homme's call was answered by the Dean Ween Group, Pearl Jam, Alain Johannes, My Morning Jacket, the Savages, and others. Among them were BNLX.
"The members of BNLX were deeply moved by this attack," BNLX's Ed Ackerson says, "which struck into the heart of the international music culture in which we have worked and played our entire lives."
Fans and supporters can buy the cover on the BNLX bandcamp, and Ackerson said the band will add their performance royalties to the publishing royalties, ensuring that 100 percent of the rightsholders' profits are donated to the cause.
"Part of the idea of Play It Forward is for other musicians to donate publishing royalties from covers of their own songs," Ackerson says. "In this spirit, BNLX will donate all publishing royalties from any cover version of any of our songs released under the banner of Play It Forward."
On why BNLX felt so strongly attached to this issue, Ackerson noted that the terror attacks took place at what was like a second home to the band. "We've gone to many rock shows there, and we’ve spent a lot of time in that exact cluster of streets around the Bataclan."
"When that attack happened," he said, "we really felt it in a visceral way, knowing that it could have been any of us in that audience or on that stage. When we heard that EODM wanted to do this sort of project, we immediately wanted to join in to show solidarity with the victims of the attacks."
The Play It Forward initiative won't end with "I Love You All the Time." Eagles of Death Metal are planning an announcement for Friday, in which they'll reveal more of the details surrounding their larger, long-term goals for the campaign.