Paul Doffing: I do not tour by bicycle to make an example of myself

Categories: CD Release
Paul_Doffing_by_Jen_Tillman2.jpg
Photo by Kevin C. Walker
Making his own way in music, Paul Doffing writes and moves at his own pace -- and that pace is set by his bicycle. In the summer of 2012, Paul toured the country by biking to gigs and came back a changed man. Set to release his latest album, Doffing shares his music stories from the road and his struggles and triumphs in being an independent musician. The self-titled album has Paul revisiting his past, but with the wide-eyed belief of hope and change in the future.

Before his album-release show at the Aster Cafe, Doffing spoke with Gimme Noise about his move to Ames, Iowa, and his reasons for touring the way he does, including how he tries to make the world a better place.

See also: How Paul Doffing toured his music around the U.S. -- on his bike


Gimme Noise: Since we last spoke, you have moved to Ames, Iowa. What is the music scene like there?

Paul Doffing: The music scene in Ames is really wonderful. I didn't necessarily expect it before I moved here, but it is immediately evident when you are here. There are some great venues and the scene is very open and welcoming. I'm loving it!

Gimme Noise: How did touring go with the three-piece you were planning?

Paul Doffing: That project is still in its early stages. We are three busy people and we have been collaborating online, but our priorities have been on other things. My big priority has been my new self-titled album.

Gimme Noise: In doing your part for making the world "greener," how do you feel people accept your principles on this subject? 

Paul Doffing: If I was going to write a book, it would be mainly about my answer to this question. I'll do my best to be brief. 

I do not tour by bicycle to make an example of myself. I tour by bicycle because I get around on my bicycle every day. I bike because it is much more sustainable than driving a car, it's cheap, and I find it really enjoyable.

Making an effort toward a more sustainable way of life has been a universally resonant concept with the people I have met and performed for. People realize that many common practices are not sustainable and want to know how to change. I find that most people I talk to realize, at least partially, that our situation is quite dire if things do not change.

Our system currently has no substitute for fossil fuels, and fossil fuel resources are rapidly depleting. The logical conclusion is that following this course will lead to the starvation of millions of people. Importantly, this line of reasoning doesn't even involve global climate change, which will almost certainly increase the severity of the crisis.


Gimme Noise: What do you say to people who say that's it's futile -- that "You're only one person. What difference can that make?"

Paul Doffing: What difference does one person make? A movement is made up of people. I am one person participating in the life of the whole world. When we see that our present course is unsustainable and decide to change our own lives, we change the whole world.


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