Beloved by cannabis enthusiasts and those who simply love good music, Beats Antique has been making a major impact on the national and international music scene with its world music and electronic fusion, its fresh approach to music and the unique elements it brings to every show. We caught up with Tommy Cappel from Beats Antique to talk about music and cannabis, just in time for 2018!
How did you start making music?
Music came early for me. My childhood was steeped in music through church, school and both of my parents were music teachers and performers. I was encouraged to experiment with music throughout my developing years. I’ve always kept music as a centerpiece to all I do.
Do you have anything exciting in the works that you want to announce?
Sidecar Tommy (my solo project) is releasing singles throughout the winter, with the highlight being a remix I did [of] Drip by CloZee that came out on December 12.
How would you describe your sound?
My sound is a conglomeration of inspiration from people who made music long ago, but with the production techniques of the modern world. I use all forms of sound sources, from acoustic instruments played by humans to strange digital sounds that fill sound systems. I weave all that into a digestible musical soundscape to share with others.
How do you feel about the electronic scene and the way it embraces cannabis?
I feel like the underground has always embraced the power of cannabis; in fact I experienced many a harvest season up in Mendocino and Humboldt counties trimming weed to be able to afford to be a struggling musician. I see a lot of people who are influenced by the music of the underground using cannabis as an income stream as well as a healthy way to experience a moment in a heightened state.
How do you feel about cannabis legalization so far?
Cannabis legalization has come a long long way. I remember how my mind was blown when I moved to the Bay Area in 1998. Now 20 years later, the rest of the country is finally catching up and seeing the benefits that go way beyond getting stoned.
What could be done better, or differently?
I think there needs to be a non-stoner type of message so that everyone can see the actual benefits that cannabis could bring to the health of our bodies and minds, without the massively dangerous side effects of pharmaceuticals. We also need to let people know there are non-psychoactive ways of benefiting from the plant.
How has cannabis affected your life and/or creative process?
I suffer from seizures due to brain trauma when I was 14. I struggled for many years dealing with life on meds. It felt like I was walking around with a 400lb blanket over my body and mind. I adapted; I did what I was told to do. In my case I was also told that there was nothing I could do besides take medication. When I moved to the Bay and was introduced to the cannabis movement here, I started to receive info on the benefits of THC, CBD, THCa, etc. After going on a lengthy CBD regimen, I was able to wean myself off of medication completely., resulting in the “400lb blanket” being removed. I use cannabis for creativity purposes as well as recreationally. It helps my mind focus on the task at hand.
How do you advocate for cannabis?
Often during my travels, I happen into conversations with people who have questions about how cannabis affects different health issues. Many times I find that I’m the first person to tell someone about how CBDs and THCa can benefit you without getting you high. I’ve had many conversations with military vets who suffer from the same issues I do. We have shared many of the same ideas on what works and doesn’t bring your energy down like pharmaceuticals do.
People need to have access to the information through one on one conversations.
Give some examples of how you’ve worked cannabis into your music as a theme.
Beats Antique wrote a song called “Burn Dub” on our latest album, Shadowbox. It is a song that we use to bring up cannabis legalization and to just share our love for the plant. We released a song called “Silver Haze” (on SoundCloud) that was inspired by the infamous Super Silver Haze strain. The song embodies that feeling you get after smoking Silver Haze…
What is your favorite strain or cannabis product?
I enjoy sativa for energetic, daytime use. It keeps me going while still allowing me to focus on the task at hand. I use Indica before bed or when I want to relax and listen to music or zone out on art. Oftentimes before soundcheck, I will smoke indica to ground me out on tour.
[For CBD] I take through both tinctures and vape pens. As far as flowers go, the AC/DC strain gives me the experience of smoking a joint without getting me high.
Band Name: Beats Antique
Genre: World music, electronic
Location: Oakland, California
Most Recent Album: Shadowbox, 2016