Name: Dave Johnson, although I have fallen victim to the inevitable "punk" moniker of "Dave Jailhouse".
What is your job?
Right now I am fortunate enough to be able to do the label stuff full time, although I don't know how I manage to do it honestly. Luckily, monetary wealth has never been on my priority list. I'm single, with no kids, so right now, the freedom to be able to do certain things, and prioritize my life goals towards more important things is great. By trade, I am a chef and the flexibility of that gives a lot of leeway, as there is never a shortage of opportunities if the need arises. Often times the need does arise, and I go back to balancing two jobs again. But if I am able to live a meager, simple life doing what I enjoy doing, and having the ability to help others at the same time, it's a no brainer!??
What social causes are most important to you?
Wow, there are so many social injustices going on in the world right now, that it's hard to place a level of importance on different causes. I have always been active in animal rights.
I do stay fairly involved locally in drug free youth. I am not straight edge, but strongly support a drug free lifestyle. Being a former drug abuser myself, I have seen so very many wasted lives, and deaths, and families torn apart over addiction.
I have recently become heavily interested, and involved in the conflicts in India, and the poverty and oppression faced by so many people. Lately I’ve been intently studying Indian and Buddhist culture (thanks to Kimmy from the F-bombers) and what I have seen is both appalling and heartbreaking.
We have a tendency here in the U.S to put band aids on things. Our welfare system over here, I believe is racist, oppressive and does nothing to help people. What needs to be done over in India, and in other oppressed, and poverty stricken areas is to teach people how to be more self sufficient. Teaching job skills, language skills, etiquette etc.
Heidi, and Built On Respect seems to mirror my own beliefs in an uncanny way, and uses a common sense approach in my opinion to helping the Tibetan people.
??What charities do you support – and how?
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, which I support by donating funds directly to support further research, and to help people obtain life saving treatment. We have done a compilation release, and a punk rock celebrity auction as well to support them.
I support Operation Blessing, which helps provide food and shelter to people both domestically and abroad to people devastated by natural disasters, and poverty-stricken people. It is at its base a Christian organization, but for what they do, without an ulterior agenda they are great.
My label, and several of the bands on it are actively supporting Built On Respect, and are working on a killer compilation release scheduled for Springtime, that will give 100% of proceeds directly to the organization, no strings attached. Next week, Teenage Rehab’s (www.teenage-rehab.com) third album, Let’s be Enemies, is being released and part of those proceeds will go to the cause. I also try to spread the word about them as much as I possibly can.
Heidi is an extremely intelligent individual. I am still trying to understand their culture and traditions, and am learning more and more about the injustices, and some of the more overlooked problems over there, and Heidi has been instrumental in helping me understand things a bit more fully.
Why do you have a passion for this one in particular, is there a personal tie?
The fact that Built On Respect utilizes the positive aspects of punk rock culture and ideal, and our long tradition of D.I.Y to help people in a country that is often overlooked is awesome! Punk rock has always gravitated towards the youth, and Built On Respect makes charity a "cool" thing to do. The organization is also the most transparent, honest, morally, and ethically sound charity that I have come across. It makes you feel very secure, knowing that what you are doing is going directly toward education, shelter, or whatever it is that they are doing at the moment. They keep you updated on how your support is being effective. Plus... how many charities do you see covered in tattoos and punk as fuck???