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After her best friend lost her brother in a car accident related to drunk driving back in September of 2007, Orange County native, Allison "Tereska" Navarro realized that it was time for someone to step up and do something to prevent tragedies like this in the future, and educate young people about the dangers of drunk driving.
It was then that the music lover decided to create Music VS Drunk Driving ---- hoping that her passion for song would inspire others to refrain from drinking and driving.
"Music VS Drunk Driving was founded on the basis of promoting an awareness of the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol," Allison said. "We want kids to understand that while underage drinking may sound cool, and may make you look cool, it really isn't. We want to show kids and adults that it can hurt people all around you, whether you know them or not. We aren't here to point our fingers, blindly telling you that drinking is bad, and no one should do it. Instead, we are here to serve as a source to provide you with information on how to prevent drunk driving and underage drinking."
But those affiliated with Music VS Drunk Driving wanted to ensure that they wouldn't scare potential listeners away by preaching their cause. Instead, they enlisted the help of something that people both young and old are attracted to � music.
"We want kids to get hooked on music, not alcohol," Navarro said. "Music is the key, the message, the story to young kids and adults today. It plays a role in all of our lives. Without music, our world would be dull and boring ---- much like a movie without a soundtrack. Music brings pleasure and vitality; while drunk driving can only promise punishment and pain."
While currently an independent organization, Navarro is working towards making Music VS Drunk Driving a nonprofit company. The constant word-of-mouth surrounding the organization, along with the support of various bands can only help her plight.
"Hellogoodbye, A Cursive Memory, New Found Glory, Metro Station, and Mike Herrera of MxPx are among some names that we work with," Navarro said. "They are all great bands, and are very happy to support us. There are many other bands who support Music VS Drunk Driving, as well. What's cool about this is that they are located all over the (United States) and even in (Great Britain). We don't just work with bands from California, because we don't work that way. We want to spread our love to everyone no matter where they are from."
Of course, Music VS Drunk Driving isn't only searching for big-name bands to draw in listeners. They are only too happy to work with local bands from around the country who have no qualms about helping the cause. Case in point, Temecula-based Hemingway, Corona-based Casket Salesmen and Long Beach-based Inverse. The latter two having been signed on to perform during a Music VS Drunk Driving West Coast tour, which has since been canceled. But even with the cancellation, Navarro is determined to begin hosting tours as soon as possible.
"We are hoping to start hosting our own shows very soon," Navarro said. "We are working on some as we speak ---- you can look for these shows to start late April/early May. This year we are hoping to do as many shows as we possibly can. Ideally, we would like to tour around the world nonstop, all year long, spreading our words against drunk driving. It would just be amazing, and we hope we can someday. We would also like to be a part of Warped Tour, and be able to join up with other music fests."
Big-time tours aren't the only thing on Navarro's mind. Through Music VS Drunk Driving she is set on reaching listeners of all ages ---- even going so far as teaming up with high schools to conduct shows during prom, a time when drinking and driving is at an all-time high.
"One goal that we have, and are currently working on, is to take over high school proms, and make this a memorable night," Navarro said. "I can't release details on this, because we are still working everything out, but it's going to be fun."
Most likely as fun as playing the guitar, which is something that Navarro does in her free time. The talent buyer/manager for Fullerton's The Alley has also owned two clothing companies in the past, and managed bands such as the UK's LOST? But much of this takes a back-seat when she created Music VS Drunk Driving. In her opinion, however, it was well worth it.
"The feedback has been amazing," Navarro said. "I cannot believe how well we are doing, and how fast things have taken off. I never expected for things to just blow up this fast. I am so excited to see what is going to happen this year. Words can't explain how grateful I am, and how happy I am to be a part of Music VS Drunk Driving."
The bands certainly have no complaints towards the organization either. In fact, by making music such a large part of the company, Navarro is giving musicians the chance to be painted in a new light ---- one that doesn't involve the oftentimes inaccurate, so-called "rock 'n' roll lifestyle."
"There are always a lot of negative issues when it comes to music and alcohol, so we wanted to give music the positive role," said Navarro. "A lot of people just assume that bands drink and party because of the whole rock 'n' roll stereotype. We want to show the world that music is such a powerful force, which can conquer and overcome a negative situation. Music has a very powerful message, and we want to use it for good."
And that is exactly what those working with Music VS Drunk Driving do, each and every day.
"Whether you're at the level of Break Your Silence or at the level of New Found Glory, you can help to make a difference," Navarro said. "We welcome any and every band who wants to be a part of, or support, Music VS Drunk Driving. Without music, we wouldn't exist."
Want to learn more about Music VS Drunk Driving? Cruise on over to myspace.com/musicvsdrunkdriving.