An Interview With Imperial Stars, Part 2: '''Traffic Jam 101″ Was Made for the Stunt'

In Part 1 of the interview with Imperial Stars, the band talked about getting offered a reality TV show, money for a benefit concert and more. Here, they talked about the repercussions of the stunt they pulled.

I heard the driver of the semi ran away with the keys of the truck.

Arabella: We don't know who the driver was or anything like that. We were in the back of the truck.
So basically you just hired the truck to do the stunt for you?
Yackey: We wouldn't say that. We can't speak on anything of that nature–you have to see all of it unfold in court.

Wright: A private party owns the truck and he's passionate about the cause as well.


You had two other bandmates who didn't want to participate in the stunt. We heard they didn't want to participate in the stunt and quit the band in September. Is that true?
Wright: Kenny Cash is our drummer, and Alec Bauer is a great guitar player and we asked them to be part of the band in September. Imperial Stars put together the whole album and asked musicians to play with us. The other people auditioned for the band, and they've been on our bio pages but those pages hadn't been updated.
Did you ask them to be part of the stunt?
Wright: Not really; at one point they wanted to be part of the band but they didn't want to be involved [in the stunt] and we understood that and we respect them. They're not really outreach kind of guys, they didn't really understand the homeless charity, they hadn't done much… they're good guys though.
What other backlash have you experienced since Tuesday?
Wright: There are 7,000 people there who've been saying negative things, but we've gotten thousands of calls and personal e-mails saying we're great. A lot of people really have a lot of negative things to say. 
What's next for you guys, then?
Yackey: Right now we're doing TV shows to get the awareness up. Today we're doing Inside Edition. We've been really busy with all the press. We'll continue to schedule [charity events] down the road.
Was there anything else you could've done that would've gotten you the same results?
Wright: Let me ask you that question: Do you think there was any other way that we should've gotten the same result? 
I'm not in your band.
Wright: I'm just trying to be realistic with youWe're trying to do a good cause, and at the end of the day, we made such a splash. And with [the media] this is exactly the kind of response we knew we would get. We knew the OC Weekly was going to be calling us. We knew Jimmy Kimmel and Ellen Degeneres and TMZ was going to cover us. And in that sense we knew we were going to raise awareness. We were expecting your calls. It's not a secret to us how the world works; we just hope we get the message across the right way.
Now we have $30,000 dollars raised in the first 72 hours–wow, we're getting things together. Every one of our interviews is not about the Imperial Stars and all of our great songs. Everyone's hating on our song; we're not worried about the song–that song was made for the stunt. We're not worried about the song. We're worried about the 1.5 million children. We haven't even released any of our new songs. We're going to do that shortly. But we haven't released our whole album sitting here ready to go–it's not about that. 
So are you going to move forward more with the music or with the charity?
Wright: Honestly, without the charity, we're not as powerful. They go hand-in-hand. We are working diligently to put great music out and raise awareness for homeless children. If we wanted to make this all about us, we would've put our whole album out there. We're not interested in trying to sell records right now, we're trying to raise awareness.
There's always three sides of the truth, you know? You'll see all of it come out–all our stuff out there, working with homeless kids and music as well.
How long did you plan the stunt for?
Arabella: Actually the car just broke down and we decided to play. (Laughs). No, just kidding.

Wright: We can't really talk about it because of our court date. Everything we've been talking about, we're just putting ourselves at more risk. But we don't care, we're doing it for the right cause. We're in the right camp, we're going to help out these children out there. 
They can put us in jail and it doesn't matter–well, it does matter–but there's a purpose to what we're doing and it can not stop us from being passionate about what we want to do.
Did you consult with a lawyer to find out what the repercussions of the stunt would be?
Arabella: We can't really comment about it–it's still sensitive to the case.

Yackey: We got the idea from a gal who came to us, and said if you want to raise awareness for your gig, you should get on top of a semi and cruise down the freeway. 
We kind of looked at each other, looked away, and then five seconds later looked back at each other and our eyes lit up and said, “you know what? That sounds like it could really help the cause of the 1.5 million homeless children of America.”

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