A band named WEEED hardly needs an explanatory introduction about the fact that cannabis is a major influence in the band member’s music and lives. Playing a unique, bluesy mix of doom metal, world music and rock and roll with a psychedelic flavor, WEEED is no stranger to creativity and innovation fueled by cannabis. CULTURE sat down to chat with the band’s drummer, John Goodhue, to talk about cannabis consumption, creating trance through repetition and the power of AC/DC.
How did you start making music?
WEEED started in 2008, when all of us were in high school. Most of us were or had been involved in other projects at the time, but I suppose the timing was just serendipitous. It started, more than anything, from the combination of a communal desire to play “stoner rock,” a genre we were all excited about at the time, and the existence of four weird guys. The original line-up consisted of me, John, on drums, Gabe [Gabrieal Seaver], Mitch [Fosnaugh] on guitars and our good pal Charlie [Powers] on bass. The sound was, for the first few years, pretty classic–Black Sabbath, Zeppelin, Sleep, Electric Wizard, etc. Then we took a break for a couple or so years from 2010 to 2012, playing occasionally, but little was happening in the way of writing new material. We sort of started up again more consistently around the beginning of 2013. Charlie left and we dropped down to a three-piece with Gabe playing bass. This was when the music began to change a fair amount, or at least the influences did. In 2015, we added our close high school friend Evan Franz on another drum kit.
Do you have anything exciting in the works that you want to announce?
We have a new full length, THIS, coming out on Important Records in early 2018. We’re also in the throes of recordings on our next album, likely to be a 2xLP. We are also doing a winter tour around the West Coast and the Southwest this December, and all the dates can be found on our Bandcamp.
How would you describe your sound?
I mentioned above some of the legends. Those bands, among others, are still quite fundamental for us. But day-to-day, I think, we’re all most often listening to other styles of music. To name a few: Gnawa, traditional folk, jazz, minimalist orchestras, cumbia, krautrock, overtone singing, punk, desert blues. At some level, whatever we’re listening to we try to incorporate.
Especially in our most recent songs, I think we’re less interested in the idea of heaviness as a thing conjurable only via loud, chunky, doomy licks. We want to build energy, but have found [that] we can achieve that without an over-reliance on riffs, instead placing focus on creating trance through repetition, looping, syncopations and polyrhythms, all the while leaving space for improvisation and the potential of the present moment.
How do you feel about the doom scene and the way it embraces cannabis? Did doom and metal get you into cannabis, or the other way around?
To be honest, I wouldn’t say the band was, at its beginning, a put-on, but the name definitely was. We needed one for our first show, and just sort of figured, jokingly, what better a name for a “stoner rock” band. As you can see the name stuck (though we added the third “E” in 2013), or maybe we were just too lazy to change it . . . Mostly what I’m trying to say is, at this stage, the name serves better as the designation for a lifelong sonic exploration between best friends than it does an indication of what we actually care about.
We’re all fine with doom, definitely respect it, have played shows with many dooms bands, but I’m not sure any of us feels a deep emotional investment in it. I definitely think we all have a deeper emotional investment in cannabis, but even so I wouldn’t say we’re fanatics. We love a good toke, especially during practice or just before a set, and we all go through phases of using it more or less, but it’s not like we’re going around militantly proselytizing the wonders of the plant (though I’m sure we’d all agree it has many). Like anything, moderation.
To actually answer your question, I first experienced weed, then heavy tunes, then of course a lot more weed. Not sure I can speak for the rest of the members, though.
How do you feel about cannabis legalization so far? What could be done better, or differently?
Well, we’re all from Washington, so we get the effects first-hand. I don’t presume to really have a sound perspective on the economics of it all, but I definitely appreciate being able to go into a store and buy a $5 joint of a strain that suits me, that I know won’t make me anxious or cloudy-headed. I’d wager that, of this band, all of our relationships to cannabis tend more toward a numinous nature, as opposed to a sociopolitical one. However, I recognize what seem to be both boons and banes of legalization, that is, the potential for cannabis to, like tobacco, like alcohol, like most products available within a capitalistic framework, to birth an industry susceptible to monopolization, lobbying, etc. On the flip, if legalization would rid our atrocious prison system of non-violent, disproportionately targeted “offenders,” I’m all for it, everywhere.
How has cannabis affected your life and/or creative process?
It seems that, generally, we use it less for writing and more for live shows, though I suppose, sometimes, those two acts are the same thing (a lot of our songs get at least partially written through the act of playing them live, jamming, listening, improving parts in the moment and recollecting in post). Sometimes a joint does wonders for generating ideas, parts and transitions. Other times we all just end up more freakazoidal than we already are, and not much new is created.
How do you advocate for cannabis?
By sparking up!
Give some examples of how you’ve worked cannabis into your music as a theme.
I think the very fact that we use it when we’re playing suggests it’s a theme. We’re not exactly consciously choosing ways to work it in. Allusions to it definitely show up in some of our artwork, but those decisions often feel more tongue-in-cheek than truly serious. We convene around it as a tool to help us lock in, to help us generate one mind whilst playing, but that one-mindedness, I feel, is far more related to the themes we express than weed really is.
What is your favorite strain or cannabis product?
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Keep it up, Gizz.
Band Name: WEEED
Genre: Doom, Rock
Location: Bainbridge Island, Washington
Most Recent/Upcoming Album: Meta, March 10, 2017
See WEEED Live:
Dec. 11 at The Hi Hat in Los Angeles, California
Dec. 16 at Hi-Dive in Denver, Colorado
Dec. 19 at Neurolux in Boise, Idaho
Dec. 20 at Bunk Bar in Portland, Oregon
Dec. 22 at The Crocodile in Seattle, Washington
Feel the Influence of Jenny Wakeandbake
Jenny Wakeandbake is exactly what the world needs. YouTuber, photographer and Instagram influencer, Wakeandbake provides helpful and informative cannabis reviews, tutorials and more on her YouTube channel. Her photos and videos are professionally executed and are entertaining, and she has a style that’s polished but approachable. CULTURE chatted with Jenny about her hustle, her life and her influence.
How did Jenny Wakeandbake come to be?
I was living in Colorado at the time, and it was the first time in my life that I felt open and free about being a cannabis patient. When I moved back to Massachusetts, the answer was really simple. I became a medical cannabis patient, and I was really one of a kind here. So I wanted to educate and show everybody what I do as a photographer and videographer.
How did you build your following?
I found as many other people like me on social media based platforms as I could, and started engaging with them. Also just engaging with different groups and tribes on Instagram, Happy Tokes and the Happy Tokes tribe has done so much for me, and the cannabis community. So I really just followed in those footsteps of being myself, and sharing myself with the internet. The people followed, the more open and honest I was, the more people could relate.
Has being a cannabis influencer affected your everyday life, if so how?
I wake up every day blessed. I have a house, a roof over my head, food in my refrigerator, my dog has food in his bowl, and I get to spend my days creating cannabis content. I’m no longer in the dark place I was before I found this wonderful opportunity to have a career in cannabis.
What do you hope to accomplish with your work as a cannabis influencer?
Just really help to break the stigma. To show everyday people that may not use cannabis, or may have negative feelings towards cannabis, that just because I smoke weed everyday doesn’t mean that I’m not a professional and not worth hiring. Or that anybody who is like me, and uses cannabis cannot be professional and just as capable as someone else in the conference room. To show that cannabis is not a scary thing, and that it can be so helpful to so many people. It took me years to convince my mom that CBD helps with inflammation and pain, and she now uses CBD cream on her knees and happily walks to work.
Jenny Wakeandbake is constantly posting fresh, original content to her accounts, so give her a follow, or subscribe.
Does Super Troopers 2 Live Up to the Hype?
Comedy sequels are a hard trick to pull off. Many don’t know where to draw the line between new material and recycling the hits that made their predecessor a success. So, when compared to other comedy sequels, Super Troopers 2 is a victory. However, when compared to the comic mastery of the original, it leaves a lot to be desired.
The film reunites our favorite former Vermont highway patrol officers: Thorny (Jay Chandrasekhar), Mac (Steve Lemme), Farva (Kevin Heffernan), Rabbit (Erik Stolhanske) and Foster (Paul Soter), 15 years after the events of the original film. The group has been fired from the Spursbury Police Department after a mysterious disaster involving Fred Savage. They’re given a new lease on life when it’s discovered that a Canadian border town is actually part of the United States, and they have been chosen to patrol the new area. Unsurprisingly, the locals are not keen on becoming Americans, and whacky mayhem ensues. Throw in some disgruntled Mounties and a cache of smuggled goods and you have all the makings of a great comedy.
Of course, like all of Broken Lizard’s films, the main through line is rarely of any consequence. For the most part, it is used to get us from one absurd encounter to the next. The film revels in making Canada the punchline of many of their jokes without seeming mean-spirited about it. It’s more akin to picking on a younger sibling.
For their part, the Broken Lizard quintet do more of the same from the original, yet this time around it seems a little more forced. A standout of the film is Rob Lowe, who plays the mayor/strip club owner of the town. He seems to be having a blast with his outlandish character who is equal parts goofball and antagonist. Mad TV alum, Will Sasso, also shines as one of the Mounties constantly butting heads with the team.
Where the film seems to lack is in its execution. Sure, the pull-over gags are there, but with the exception of a great French-Canadian exchange, the others seem far less inspired than those of the original. And that is where the problem lies. Anyone who sees the film will inevitably compare this to Super Troopers, and if you are seeing the sequel, it’s safe to assume you were a fan of it. Such a comparison is not fair to this film. We’ve had 16 years of “meow,” “shenanigans” and “liter of cola” to enrapture the film as one of the all-time comedy greats. We often forget that the original film was only a moderate success originally. It didn’t find mythical status until it was released on home video. Needless to say, it is impossible to evaluate the sequel on its own merits, without comparing it to the original. Also, things that worked sixteen years ago don’t necessarily work today. And even if they do work, they seem less special because we have seen them before.
In the pantheon of comedy sequels Super Troopers 2 fairs better than major stinkers like Zoolander 2 and Caddyshack 2, and lands more in the Wayne’s World 2 or Hangover 2 territory. It pales in comparison to the original, but has enough laughs to make it worth checking out.
Read CULTURE‘s exclusive interview with four of the five members of Broken Lizard here.
Test Your Skills with CULTURE’s 420 Cannabis Word Search
Test your knowledge of your cannabis-related vocabulary with CULTURE‘s exclusive 420 Cannabis Word Search. Find the words below horizontally, vertically or diagonally. Or print this out and circle the words with a pen. Go!
Butane hash Oil/BHO
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