When it comes to good music for cannabis enthusiasts, reggae and rock go hand in hand. Bands like Sublime and 311 have provided the soundtrack for a lot of good smoke sessions, and it’s no surprise that something so catchy, and often somewhat political, can carry and support the message of the beloved plant. CULTURE spoke to Bobby Chronic, guitarist of the up-and-coming reggae rock sensation Tropidelic, about the group’s career, cannabis legalization and its plans for the future.
How did you start making music?
When I was little, my older brother was always playing the guitar, and anything he was doing I thought was just the coolest, so it definitely started there and grew over time.
Do you have anything exciting in the works that you want to announce?
Our new album, Heavy is the Head, is out November 10 on Law Records. We are really excited to share it with the world.
How would you describe your sound?
Our roots are in reggae-rock like 311 and Sublime, but it’s funky and covers a little bit of everything. I think our horn section really adds a nice touch. Something danceable with lyrics that have some substance, and a live show you have to see for yourself.
How do you feel about reggae and the ties it has to activism? How do you think your band touches on the rich history of reggae, but also includes new innovations?
I think reggae music is one of the first types of music to raise a fist and raise awareness for real change, which is an incredible influence on us. The sound we put out is much more modern, with many other sonic influences, but I think it retains that spirit of speaking up and speaking out.
How do you feel about cannabis legalization so far? What could be done better, or differently?
I definitely think it’s moving in the right direction. In our state, Ohio, they’re working on setting up the medical industry right now, and they have organizations like the Cleveland Cannabis College working to educate and direct people into future jobs, which is great. We still have a long way to go, though.
How has cannabis affected your life and/or creative process?
Cannabis is something, for me, that helps me from being too antsy and scatterbrained. It’s great when I want to sit down and really focus on playing my guitar, whether I’m building up my chops, or just trying to get into that right mindset to write a new riff.
How do you advocate for cannabis?
Voting. I think voting, especially at the local and state level, is incredibly important. Also, being well read on the truths and falsehoods of cannabis. There’s a lot of misinformation out there that was being spread for years, and helping educate your fellow man can go a long way.
Have you ever worked cannabis into your music as a theme? If so, how?
Primarily in my stage name. They don’t call me Bobby Chronic for nothing. I think it’s much more important to lead by example and to handle your high, as opposed to letting your high handle you.
What is your favorite strain or cannabis product?
A nice fat blunt of Durban Poison, I really like a pure sativa.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Check out Tropidelic’s Heavy is the Head, out November 10. Check out the video for the song “Dollar Saved,” which is on the new record here.
And look for us on the road in a city near you! We are always on tour. We just finished up some dates with 311, and will be doing some dates with Badfish this winter as well. The full list is here.
Band Name: Tropidelic
Genre: Reggae, funk, jam
Location: Kent, Ohio
Most Recent/Upcoming Album: Heavy is the Head releasing on Nov. 10