“Green Is The New Black” is a blueprint for the music industry.

When Jake Taylor – frontman of heavy music group In Hearts Wake – pitched the idea of making a 100% carbon offset album while documenting the process, his bandmates jumped.

Taylor put his experience of directing music videos for his band and other artists to good use, filming the album-making process in the hopes it would inspire other acts to think more deeply about their impact on the environment for future generations.

Taylor believes the music industry talks a big note when it comes to the environment, but it also fails to lead by example – despite the monumental effort he now knows is required. The musician turned filmmaker puts that collective resistance down to fear.

“I think there’s this level of just being afraid of change,” Taylor told Variety Australia, ahead of the eight cinema screenings across four countries, of his new documentary “Green Is The New Black”.

“I can’t speak for everyone. There are artists with a lot of power and a lot of money, but for the other artists out there, it isn’t an easy industry to be in – it’s one of the trickiest and hardest,” he said.

“Green Is The New Black” chronicles the making of In Hearts Wake’s carbon offset and fifth studio album “Kaliyuga”, and their journey to become a certified Carbon Neutral Organisation.

For musicians to do better, they would need to completely overhaul their recording process, change the way they travel while on tour, and swallow higher costs for environmentally friendly merchandise products and packaging, according to Taylor. But, it can be done.

“I can see why artists haven’t been able to tackle this, because no one has been able to really apply it. I think that’s the reason why it’s not done on a grassroots level. I would like to see bigger artists doing it.

“There’s this level of just being afraid of change, what that might mean for them, and it’s got to come from the artist. I don’t believe it’s got to come from the labels, although, I’d like to see labels leading the way, but really, it needs to come from the artist.

“It takes an act of bravery to really go, ‘This is actually what needs to be done,’ because there’s no music on a dead planet,” Taylor believes.

Green Is The New Black documentary

Taylor and his Byron Bay-based bandmates – Eaven Dall, Ben Nairne, Kyle Erich, and Conor Ward – faced further challenges in 2020: bushfires; floods; and a pandemic among them. But, while remaining focused on their mission, as they uncovered more sustainable options, new opportunities began to materialise.

“I’ve started up a company with my best friend, that plants a tree for every ticket sold,” Taylor told Variety Australia. “We vetted all the companies that plant trees in places that need them, and now we’re offering that on a grassroots level, like working with festivals.

“These sorts of things come forward, and we’re working with a bunch of carbon consultants now, to see whether they like to join this model that can serve bands and artists, so they can be aware of their footprint, and then, thus reduce it in the following year.”

“Green Is The New Black”, presented by Heaps Normal, Afends, New World Artists & UNFD, screens in select cinemas this week in Australia, Canada, the U.S, and the U.K. this week. Find dates and tickets here.