Established in 2009, One Life One Chance strives to engage students and inspire them to acquire and maintain positive mental attitudes.
1. You have always been known to speak your mind on stage and give a positive influence to the punk and hardcore culture. How did the concept to speak to middle school and high school students come about?
A teacher at a school in New York that was a fan of H2O made a music mix CD for her students and one of the songs was our song Sunday and it really connected to a lot of them and she asked me to come and speak to them and talk about the song, myself, etc.
2. You have traveled all over the country with One Life One Chance and there is so much positive feedback on the site from students. What topics continued to come up from place to place?
The lack of role models kids have these days—from music on the radio, reality TV, family members, to their friends. Also peer pressure to try drugs and alcohol.
3. A teacher from Great Mills High School comments in a video that although she has never used drugs or alcohol, her message doesn’t resonate with the students as much as someone who is “out in the real world” or in the entertainment industry like you. What was your approach to relating to students in this way?
I’m just myself, no suit on, no fancy big vocabulary. Hat, t-shirt, jeans and sneakers and I’m not there to judge anyone or scare anyone. I’m just there to tell my story and hopefully break stereotypes of musicians, heavily tattooed people, and inspire kids to make smart, healthy lifestyle choices.
4. The Amesbury Academy of Strategic Learning must have been a different venture than the other schools. The principal noted that many students there have been personally influenced by drug and alcohol addiction, along with homelessness and incarceration. How was that experience?
It was the smallest group of students I have spoken to but it was the most powerful, real, and emotional. These kids were awesome and shared their stories with me and now a couple come out to see H2O play when we come through town and are still sober since my visit.
5. Middle school and high school students are constantly looking for role models and people to aspire to be like. Who were your role models growing up and do you have any still today?
Ian Mackaye and Kevin Seconds were two big ones for me and still are today.
7. With adversity and peer pressure, kids often deal with bullying. What advice would you give to students or parents dealing with this issue?
8. Negative trends have so many ways of influencing kids these days. Social media, television, and advertisements can all impact a kid’s expectations and image of themselves. How do you, as a parent, inspire your son in a positive way amongst all that?
He’s only ten, he doesn’t watch a lot of TV and anything he sees, like a billboard in the streets to a song on the radio, he will ask me right away, “What does that mean?” He is very aware of his surroundings and knows right from wrong and has super PMA, hahah. He loves all music, soccer, drums, skateboarding and still believes in Santa.
9. A Police Officer interviewed in one of your videos says that hardcore taught him that he had to do more and give back to his community by coming up with solutions, not just yelling about the problems. Do you know any good resources for people interested in helping out their communities?
I think that is a question students can ask their teachers, local police, parents, and counselors. I know there is always something to be done in every community to make it better and also to bring people together.
10. What are your plans for the rest of the year?
I have a school I’m speaking at in May in New York. I have H2O shows in Europe in April/May and then some festivals in Canada and Europe in June, July, and August. I like to stay busy!
All live photographs © Angela Datre and Andy Jimenez/How We Are
School photographs © One Life One Chance