The Soft White Sixties Partner with RADD to Speak Out Against Drunk Driving
Plan for St Patrick's Day with RADD and The Soft White Sixties
The Soft White Sixties
St Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, and with it comes long lectures from distant relatives about staying safe on “amateur night,” the night when absolutely everyone goes out drinking and many make the hazardous decision to drive. Don’t put your life and the lives of others at risk by driving drunk. Instead, take a page out of the playbook of RADD—a group dedicated to promoting responsible drinking—and plan ahead for your night of debauchery.
The Soft White Sixties, a rock band currently in the midst of touring the west coast, are strong proponents of RADD and their message to plan ahead so you don’t drink and drive. In a culture where alcohol is everywhere, The Soft White Sixties believe that the old-school approach of completely abstaining from drinking is outdated and unrealistic. Remembers lead singer Octavio Genera, “I grew up on the DARE program. [They came] into my 5th grade classroom, preaching the ever-popular slogan ‘just say no.’ So growing up that was it—you just said no. You didn’t try, you didn’t plan… just say no. Now that method may work for some, but when I got into college the word “no” didn’t lend itself to being 21 years old and not planning a thing, [like] how I was going to get home from a bar. Fast forward [to] one DUI later, and I have learned that it’s not just about “no,” but rather planning ahead and making smart choices.”
That’s what makes RADD so strong and relevant for people today. RADD is a nonprofit organization that partners with celebrities to promote road safety, including the use of seat belts, designated drivers, and never getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. It doesn’t preach “just say no” or shame people who want to go out and party. Instead, RADD advocates using your head and making good choices. “Just step back and think before your night starts,” Genera says, explaining what RADD means to him. “If you want to drink with your friends, that’s fine, but be honest with yourself and admit that driving home at the end of the night is not the best choice.”
It seems pretty intuitive, but so many people still get DUIs every year. With all of the easy alternatives to drinking and driving like Uber, cabs, and public transportation, why does San Diego have such a large drunk driving problem? Genera believes it’s because most people simply don’t plan ahead. “[People] are not realistic with themselves,” Genera explains. “I’ve told myself I am only going to have one beer and then be able to drive home later than night. But one drink can quickly turn into three, especially if some friends show up. It’s then that the bad decisions happen.”
RADD itself is certainly a proponent of planning ahead. The program is dedicated to changing the way people think about going out and drinking by targeting millennials and teaching the younger generations how to make smart choices. One way they’re doing this is through the RADD Rewards program, which rewards local bars, restaurants, and venues for promoting responsible drinking and road safety. Bars and restaurants who participate in the RADD Rewards program offer free non-alcoholic drinks to the designated driver and include information about RADD and responsible drinking on the premise. There’s even a handy list of San Diego businesses who have already partnered with RADD, available for your St Patrick’s Day needs.
The Soft White Sixties certainly want everyone to go out and enjoy themselves this St Patrick’s Day—they themselves will be present at RADD’s booth at the 36th Annual St Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival on March 12th—but Genera also stresses the importance of planning ahead for the holiday and local event. “Either be ready to walk home and be happy with that, or set up a a ride home. A two hour walk home is so much more fun to think about the next day than a DUI.”
The Soft White Sixties will also be performing that night—March 12th—at The Soda Bar downtown. The band released their debut album Get Right in 2014; currently, they are working on their next album, and they are excited for the fans to hear it. “We have a bunch of new songs we have just recorded and a bunch we are writing now. We like the entire process. Writing, recording, touring. They all tend to roll together.”
And oh, does it take a lot for The Soft White Sixties to write their classic songs. According to Octavio Genera, the band works on their music together as a cohesive unit, working hard and revising harder. “The basic ideas will often come from us jamming in a room together and a riff or groove catching all our attention,” Genera explains. “We can all feel when that happens, and that is the moment you work for. Once a groove is there, I will usually step out of the rehearsal room and start putting lyrics and [a] melody to it… We definitely like to work as a band, we write songs together that we wouldn't write alone. In an age of computers and one-man-bands, we are very traditional in that way.”
And just by hearing The Soft White Sixties’s music, it’s easy to tell that the band works well together. The band is just as serious about creating good music as they are about promoting RADD and their message to plan ahead.
So you’d better plan ahead too, and come out to see The Soft White Sixties this weekend! Stop by RADD’s booth to both meet the band and learn about making a plan at the St Patrick’s Day Festival at Balboa Park on March 12th. Then, head to The Soda Bar later that night at 11pm to see The Soft White Sixties rock the house. Tickets are available at The Soda Bar.