Band plays music for surprising reason

Starboarders play for clean water, not cash

ATLANTA — Most up-and-coming bands hope one day to hit it big, to play large arenas, make million of dollars and to have people across the globe singing its songs.

The Starboarders hope for all those things, but the band's top goal isn't one of those. It's to provide the world with clean drinking water.

"This is the crazy thing for me," singer Matt Simpkins told Nelson's News on "The price of an extra value meal at a fast food restaurant could save somebody's life. And for us, that was really important because we started thinking, we could spend our money differently and change the world. And just in little ways. We could do things to make the world better."

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Nelson's News on caught up with the Starboarders at a recent concert at Vinyl inside Centerstage. The band is made up of Simpkins, drummer Bill Porter and Greg Larose on bass.

To help change the world, the band decided to donate all the money raised in sales of its 2011 album "Chroma" to Rotary International. Rotary Internternational takes that money and purchases Lifestraws with it.

Lifestraws are a personal filtration device that people can wear on a lanyard around their necks. The Lifestraws help prevent common diarrhoeal diseases by filtering unclean water as people drink through it. It's estimated that 43 percent of the world doesn't have access to household safe piped water.

Every album that the Starboarders sell buys 1 1/2 Lifestraws.

"We're not looking to make a ton of money," Porter said. "We're just looking to make some good music and enjoy doing what it is that we do."

The band's intentions are different than most and so is its musical message. Simpkins called the band's music hope rock. It's a blend of arena rock, 90s music and today's tunes, but with a positive message.

Check out Starboarders on the Web at

Here's a video for the band's song "Shelter Me."