Korn was first on the scene, issuing a press release yesterday explaining that the California rockers “have banned their tour bus drivers from using BP oil when they fill up at the pump as a mark of protest about the Gulf of Mexico oil slick” and that they’re “sickened by the spill from the exploded BP rig which has now been declared the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.”

“The daily images are hard to watch,” frontman Jonathan Davis said. “We need to do our part to let BP know there are consequences for causing something like this. We want to send a message to corporations like BP so that they will take more preventative measures in the future.

“The more costly their punishment, the more money they will spend to make sure disasters like this don’t happen again. It’s plain and simple capitalism.”

The group – which hails from the heart of Cali oil country, Bakersfield – “strongly” encouraged other touring artists to do the same and pointed out the irony of the fact that the video for Korn’s latest single, “Leave Me Alone,” features “a landscape dotted with rigs.”

Apparently environmental disasters caused by huge and wealthy corporations – like politics – make strange bedfellows, because the first band to respond to Korn’s call to action is Backstreet Boys.

(Before I go any further, how many of you ever thought you’d see those two names in the same story – let alone the same sentence? Twice.)

The Boys spoke out this morning via their publicist, promising to make the 35-city-plus North American tour in support of their new album, This Is Us, “a BP-free tour.”

“I’m devastated by what I’ve seen firsthand and on the news,” the group’s Nick Carter said. “I’ve always been a marine activist and seeing pictures of oil-covered animals breaks my heart.”

(There are a couple of great joke setups in that sentence, but since I’m thoroughly disgusted by this incident and how it’s being handled by everyone involved, I’ll let them go – this time.)

“We just played Biloxi last week and I have to tell you, people are really worried down there,” bandmate Brian Littrell added. “This boycott is about making a statement, letting people know how we feel and to stand for something.”

Like Korn, the Backstreet Boys are urging other touring acts to join the growing consumer protest against BP. (I just did it again, didn’t I? Sorry. But you have to admit it’s a pretty amusing combination, despite the gravity of the situation.)