Muse‘s tour director Glen Rowe is launching a brand new charity that aims to help new bands at the grassroots level of the industry.
Glen Rowe has announced that he’ll be stepping down as the band’s tour director to focus on the new initiative, which has been called the Neko Trust. He’s been working with Muse since their 2000 tour.
As part of the charity’s work, Rowe aims to open five small venues across the country in London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds and Edinburgh, with hopes to reignite the opportunities for up-and-coming bands.
“There’s a lot of goodwill behind this as long as we keep it up,” Rowe told Music Week. “Momentum is everything. This is a project for life I’m looking at, I’ve got to dedicate a long period of my career to make it happen – and I’m a stubborn bastard!”
Rowe also blamed the max closure of grassroots venues for creating a “bottleneck” for the sector, making it difficult for new bands to find suitable venues to play.
The Music Venue Trust estimates that 35% of grassroots venues closed down between 2007 and 2015.
Earlier this year, The 1975 helped to fund a new community centre for London’s LGBTQ+ community.
Speaking to The Observer about the project, frontman Matty Healy said: “You might wonder why it is needed, and even ask yourself what exactly is everyone still scared of, but sadly, I think stigma still exists even in London and we still have some way to go.”
Healy admitted he was “wary” of talking about the band’s involvement as he didn’t want to “appear to be virtue-signalling,” but added that he was surprised the project hadn’t yet reached target. He added: “Me and the others in the band all felt it was obviously a good thing to put our money towards.”
The singer went on to explain that a proportion of The 1975’s fanbase comes from the LGBTQ+ community, adding, “Loving Someone, has become a bit of an anthem for some people in that community.”