Man the Ship

Man the Ship members, Maxx Hartt (left), Cam Bartel (middle), and James Seebs (right)

The daunting reality of climate change may be a reason why federal candidates and many other Canadians are avoiding environmental discussions. With the upcoming election, Canada is on the cusp of change and the topic of climate change can no longer be ignored. Man the Ship, a local Waterloo band, is providing a different outlet in which climate change discussions can take place. Their song “Hawt Pawt” is uplifting, yet it doesn’t attenuate the growing importance of necessitated climate change action.

“We are living in an exciting but crucial time,” says Maxx Hartt, lyricist for Hawt Pawt. “We're (finally) more-or-less aware of our impact on the globe and the environment and also of the fact that it is getting close to being (or is already) too late to make the necessary changes. We're the most educated and connected generation to have ever existed; yet we're slow to the pitch so to speak.”

Cam Bartel, James Seebs and Maxx Hartt have been performing together in their band, Man the Ship, for three years.

“Maintaining the earth is a responsibility of living in it,” said Bartel on the bands deep-rooted environmental beliefs.  With a shared background and interest in the environment, they hope to start a lively conversation about climate change and highlight that it’s not about us, but our children's children's children. The inspiration behind the song comes from Hartt’s experience and background in academia and climate change. As a master’s student, Hartt was a climate change researcher and his involvement with C-Change, a multi-million dollar international research initiative, shed light to the seriousness of climate change.

“Cause the world needs change/ Be the change/ We the chained/ We need to change/You got to start/ To change today/ Because tomoro-ro-ro-row/ Will be too late”

The line “we the chained” provides a powerful message conveying our inability to completely remove ourselves from environmentally unsound practices such as driving and flying.

“We're chained to our lifestyles, our ambitions, our parents' and friends’ expectations. It's not necessarily bad, but it's important to know,” explains Hartt “We all have chains. We all have this struggle. And if someone doesn't, they're either a saint, a monk or a blind fool. To me, that is what this song is about. It's about our collective acknowledgement of the challenges ahead and our inability to make the sacrifices we know we need to make.”

With Hartt currently in Boston, Man the Ship awaits the release of their EP on iTunes and Spotify. He also has a few side projects, Napolean & His Handclap Orchestra and Glory is Fleeting But Obscurity is Forever, with collaboration from his family and friends.

In the meantime, they plan to make their voice count by voting in the upcoming federal elections as Hartt says, the upcoming election is more important than anything else right now and is expecting to see change. “We’ve slowly gotten away from our Canadian culture, in my opinion, and I’m really looking forward to get it back.”

Let’s continue making climate change and the environment part of the conversation.

Watch Man the Ship’s music video for ‘Hawt Pawt’ on Youtube and find their EP ‘Noggin in a Nooser’ online. If you’re in the Waterloo region, catch them at Maxwell’s on November 1st

Eunize Lao is the Editorial Intern and a third-year Environment and Business student at the University of Waterloo. 

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