Something to Be

First he called Pat Robertson the devil. Then he used Huffington Post to call for an end to same-sex marriage bans. Rob Thomas is an ally -- one who didn't sleep with Tom Cruise, but loves that you think he might have.

BY Ross von Metzke

June 11 2009 11:00 PM ET

ROB THOMAS CONCERT X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COM

You snagged Alicia Silverstone for the "Her Diamonds" video -- it's very different from the stuff she used to do for Aerosmith.Well, and I'm sure that's what she wanted to do. Dave Meyers, who directed the video, and who is just one of the best video directors... he's friends with her. We got out the look books of all the people that people had in mind when we were casting, and it was all of these models, these kind of Maxim girls. Because this song is a metaphor for this girl who has been crying so long, she's literally frozen by her fear and her pain, and because it's an acting job that's all in the face, we needed to have someone who we felt, her face and her eyes could tell the story. Alicia just has one of the most interesting faces, and her eyes are kind of dark, but haunting at the same time. Her idea was the wig, it wasn't mine, but I love the way she came across -- I think she looked amazing.

Well, and congrats, the video looks great.Thank you -- I'm really proud of it.

Another thing you should be proud of, and this is not so much a question as a comment -- your Huffington Post article on marriage equality is truly superb and is getting so much attention.Thank you -- I'm so glad that it has had the resonance that it's had. The Huffington Post is amazing in the sense that they let you write about whatever you want to write about. I could have written about pancakes. But I have a lot of gay friends, and I have a lot of friends who are in long-term relationships. A lot of people, when we talk about these social issues and civil rights issues… because the economy is in such a bad place and we're worried about nuclear war, some people say, maybe this isn't the time to worry about these issues. But if we're not worried about the inner sanctum of our quality of life, then the other stuff doesn't make sense. It doesn't make sense to save the earth if you're not saving it for some sort of a purpose. So the idea of how people are allowed to live the days of their lives is more important than ever.

Do you remember when you first became passionate about this topic… I know this isn't the first time you've talked about it. Is there a moment you can pinpoint?I think even in high school -- I was the kid in high school who a lot of the kids stopped hanging out with because they thought I was gay because I had gay friends. But I was never put off by it. If you need to put me down and you think that being gay is a put-down, then you're probably an asshole. I always had that thing where I thought, Really? You think I'm gay? OK, cool. Now, more than ever, with Prop. 8, it's a much more timely issue. And I wrote it a couple of days before the last verdict.

You have a lot of conflicting messages as well -- you have a vice president with a lesbian daughter who, the whole time he was in the White House didn't support gay marriage, but now, all of a sudden, he supports gay marriage. And you have a president who, obviously, I support… but I'm really disappointed in his lack of a stance on the issue as well. The best thing that he's done is try and push it off on the states, which I don't think is a great idea, but it's the only recourse that there is right now, the idea that maybe you can systematically get the states to do it and then it will fall into place. But that's not going to help people in some really red states. It's not going to help people in Tennessee.

One of the things people are accusing Obama of right now is that he's seeming very out of the times on this issue. What's your take on that?I think so. He's a politician. He won the lottery of being the main politician in the world. You can't expect a straight answer. I don't think that now, in this time, this is any more of a relevant issue than it was 10 years ago. I think this was a relevant issue 20 years ago too. I think now, luckily, it's just becoming an issue that more people are passionate about. And the more you see it, the more people realize this isn't an isolated issue, this is all over the world. This is my neighbor, this is my friend, this is my teacher.

Tags: Music

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