Hakuna Machado

Local surf legend Rob Machado talks John Rzeznik and the environment

Oh yes, the feelies are coming out in full force as the holiday season looms ever closer. Sure, it may not feel like the winter months are approaching since we’re in the middle of a November heat wave, but that’s all the more reason to get out and support a cause that supports our beaches and, hell, the world. The Rob Machado Foundation does that year-round -- maybe you’ve noticed those new covered trash bins at Cardiff State Beach? -- and come Nov. 11, the nonprofit makes it even more fun for you to help out: The foundation’s third annual benefit concert brings an acoustic powerhouse show to the Belly Up, with unplugged performances from the Goo Goo Dolls; L.A.’s Run River North; singer, professional surfer and musician Timmy Curran; and local singer/songwriter Austin Burns.

With local pro surf legend Rob Machado at its helm, the foundation celebrates a decade of good deeds this year. We got the water dog on the phone ahead of the sold-out benefit to talk about the concert lineup, what’s up in the years to come and the simple gestures that inspire him.

Hannah Lott-Schwartz: A few recurring acts have played the benefit concerts. How do you put together the lineup?
Rob Machado: We just start reaching out to our friends -- friends who have friends who know people -- and just start putting feelers out. The last couple years we’ve been really fortunate. Johnny Rzeznik from the Goo Goo Dolls has been on board since Year 1, and this year he’s coming back with the whole band. Usually he just plays solo, so that’ll be awesome. He’s a full-on rock star -- I love it.

HLS: Your foundation has had a good year. Any idea what you're looking at ahead in 2015?
RM: We have another program that I think we’re going to focus a lot of attention on. It’s putting drinking fountains back into schools -- most of the schools nowadays are lacking free water, which I know sounds weird. But nowadays you go to a school, especially high schools, and it’s all bottled water. And that, to me, is kind of absurd. So we’re trying to get the kids to start a water club to sell clean canteens at the school and then put in these refill stations. [Bottled water] didn’t exist when I was a kid. Eventually I’d love to see them eliminate single-use plastic water bottles from their campuses. You shouldn’t be allowed to sell water on campus. We’ve already put one in at San Dieguito High School -- that’s where I went to high school. I’m really excited. It’s a really positive project to set up for the kids, and we’re even talking about putting it in at middle schools and down to elementary schools. Why not?

HLS: What's the most important thing we can do today, right now, to effect positive change and support or preserve the environment?
RM: Gosh, that’s a good question [laughs]. You know, I saw this Instagram that this kid did, and basically he talked about how every time he went to the beach, he picked up three pieces of trash, and that was his whole motive. I thought that was really cool, and it’s so simple. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Everybody thinks, 'Oh, gosh, we’re doomed.' Well, you know, if everybody just makes an effort in the littlest ways, like, 'Hey, I’m going to eliminate single-use plastic bottles from my life -- I’m just not gonna use them anymore.' Little things -- be aware of your recycling. You don’t want to be the environmental police and put that on anyone. But it’s really not that hard. There are a lot of things we can all do that make a big change.

The third annual Rob Machado Foundation Benefit Concert takes place at the Belly Up on Tuesday, Nov. 11, at 8 p.m. The 21+ event is sold out.

Hannah Lott-Schwartz, a San Diego native, moved back to the area after working the magazine-publishing scene in Boston. Now she’s straight trolling SD for all the music she missed while away. Want to help? Hit her up with just about anything at all over on Twitter, where -- though not always work-appropriate -- she means well.

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