Keeping that sentiment in mind, Pougounas approached his band mates in Greek band New Zero God with the idea of a charity song that could give all the gifts he wanted to share with those who needed them most. With New Zero God on his side, Pougounas started gathering friends to record the charity song “Second Chance” in the summer of 2011. As each established musician gave a resounding “yes” to Pougounas’ request, this charity project was born.
New Zero God & Friends is comprised of respected musicians from all over the world. South African singer Raymond John Ross and Pougounas worked together for the first time in 2011 on a different charity song, and Ross was the first person to eagerly sign on for this song. Shaun Histed-Todd from the United Kingdom not only accepted the invitation to do the artwork, but he also brought New Zero God in touch with English guitar player Will Crewdson. Through a common friend who was writing for an English music magazine, Pougounas reached out to another English musician, bass player Chris Tuke, who immediately responded positively. Pougounas then turned to friends – international musicians he knew for years – such as Stereoskop’s Susana Egea and Alex Brujas from Spain, Martin Birke from the United States, Lord Litter from Germany, and Don Campau from the United States. These musicians, along with New Zero God members Dimitris Steves, Michael Christou, Harry Stavrakas, and Mike Pougounas got to work right away.
Although the musicians are located in different corners of the world, they managed to complete “Second Chance” together. Once they summoned the Greek/South African sound engineer Chris Manolitsis to work his magic, they knew they had something great. “Second Chance” was finished and all it needed was a worthwhile charity to benefit.
Music buffs should know that the song was originally released in 2005 by Pougounas’ former band, Nexus (4), under the title “You Always Get a Second Chance.” It was composed by drummer Dimitris Steves with lyrics by Pougounas. Both musicians formed New Zero God in 2006 and kept their Nexus song tucked away in hopes they could use it for a good cause in the future. When New Zero God and their friends solidified their plans to rerelease the song for a charity, they found the perfect organization to help with their song – they found the reason they wanted to do a charity song in the first place.
Pougounas and his fellow musicians chose to donate all proceeds of “Second Chance” to a Massachusetts based organization called HAWC (Healing Abuse, Working for Change). HAWC helps thousands of people who have been physically, mentally, and sexually abused, giving them the resources they need to get back on their feet and put their pasts behind them. In other words, HAWC gives people the second chance they need to start living life again.
New Zero God & Friends are proud of their musical creation and they hope it will fulfill its intended purpose. Each $0.99 download will go directly into an account for HAWC, helping the organization with every single click. Everybody involved in this charity project sincerely hopes this song will bring awareness, hope, inspiration, and a bit of funding to a worthy cause because everybody deserves a second chance.
ABOUT HAWC: Founded in 1978, HAWC (Healing Abuse Working for Change, formerly known as Help for Abused Women and their Children) is the oldest and the most comprehensive domestic violence agency on the Massachusetts' North Shore with direct services provided in 23 cities and towns. HAWC provides services and support to victims of domestic violence in order that they may make informed, independent decisions about their futures. Some of the many services provided include: 24-hour hotline, shelter program, short-term counseling, support groups, parent/child trauma recovery program, youth outreach program, legal advocacy program, and educational/training programs. The purpose of HAWC is to create social change by taking action against personal and societal patterns of violence and oppression.