Massive Attack have announced they will tour Europe by train to reduce their impact on the planet.
The Bristol-based trip hop band are conscious of their environmental impact; in 2019, they played a set at an Extinction Rebellion protest in London. They have also supported research into the music industry’s carbon footprint by donating four years of tour data to the University of Manchester.
Singer Robert Del Naja — aka 3D — told the BBC that the music industry and society as a whole have to change.
“[As musicians], we have enjoyed a high-carbon lifestyle,” he told Radio 4’s Today program. “But as a society, we’ve all existed in a fossil-fuel economy for a long time and had very little choice in that.”
It has long been rumored that Del Naja is also Banksy, an anonymous political street artist, thought to be based in Bristol.
Del Naja started out his career as a graffiti artist and has designed artwork for Massive Attack’s album sleeves that looks distinctly Banksy-like. He also appeared in the artist’s 2010 documentary “Exit Through the Gift Shop.”
Del Naja has addressed the rumors in the past, saying he is simply friends with Banksy. But DJ Goldie once referred to Banksy as “Robert” in a podcast, sparking suspicion among fans.
Another link between Del Naja and Banksy is their concern for the environment. The elusive artist has made statements on the climate crisis through their graffiti. In 2018, they left a mural on a wall in Port Talbot, Wales highlighting pollution problems caused by the town’s Tata Steel plant.
‘Business As Usual Is Over’
In April 2019, it was rumored Banksy was behind an Extinction Rebellion mural in London. The work features a child sitting on the ground holding the group’s logo on a sign next to a plant sprouting from the earth. The slogan reads, “from this moment despair ends and tactics begin.”
Del Naja — who is currently in France with Massive Attack — has also claimed it’s time for a new approach to environmental issues.
“The challenge now is to not only make personal sacrifices,” he said, “but to insist on the systemic change that’s needed. Business as usual is over.”