Based in Buffalo, New York, groove quartet Aqueous has been taking the music scene by storm, touring heavily within the festival circuit and moving up from an opening band to a headliner. Known for combining improvisational sounds with technical prowess, the group is happy to be doing what they love, and also major supporters of legal cannabis. We chatted with drummer Rob Houk about the band’s musical plans and support of their favorite plant.
How did you get started making music?
I started making music at a fairly early age. Even as a toddler, I remember being obsessed with music. I got my first drum set when I was about six years old; my parents are extremely patient people. I had a lot of energy, and drums were a great outlet for me to focus that energy on the music bug. I would bust out my Walkman and learn songs or just play along to a groove I would hear in my head.
Who are some of your biggest influences?
One thing about music is that there is always something to be influenced by. I’m always trying to find something new to listen to. There is inspiration to be found in all kinds of music and exploring different avenues can really change your perspective and approach as a musician and even as a listener.
Do you have anything exciting you want to announce, like shows or recording?
Festival season is here! We are playing some huge fests this summer, like Summer Camp Festival, Peach Music Festival, Cobblestone Live!, Disc Jam Music Festival, both weekends at Electric Forest Festival and a bunch of other great ones. We also recently finished recording our epic new album, which is comprised of nearly all new, unplayed material. We are also looking to release something later this year, so keep an eye out for it.
“The medical benefits, creative benefits and mental health benefits [of cannabis] are boundless.”
What are your plans for the future?
This fall, coinciding with the album release, we have a ton of headlining tour dates planned. We are working on some new production with our sound and lights as well as stage setup. It’s important to us as a band to be constantly improving not only our music in general but our live show as well.
How would you describe your sound?
Groove rock with improvisational tendencies and pop sensibilities.
How has cannabis impacted your life and/or your creative process?
I have always had a creative mind, sometimes too creative. Often times I’ll have so many ideas in my head I have no idea where to start. I have found that cannabis has helped me reign in some of that creativity, whether musically or just thinking outside the box with problem-solving.
How do you feel about legalization so far? What could be done better or differently?
Marijuana legalization has been a fight for so long and it’s great to see that states and citizens are educating themselves and learning that this plant isn’t dangerous and can be an incredible tool if you understand it and don’t abuse it. The medical benefits, creative benefits and mental health benefits are boundless. That being said, there are still states dragging their feet on the issue and ignoring the medical and financial benefits of this plant. If you look at the success story in Colorado, that’s the only proof you need. With cannabis tax going back into their infrastructure and education system, the state’s economy is thriving.
Have you worked cannabis into your music as a theme? If so, how?
I wouldn’t necessarily call it a theme, but every once in a while we will throw in some teases from various tunes off of Dr. Dre’s The Chronic.
What is your favorite strain or cannabis product?
Cali Kush, hands down, but it really depends on my mood and what I have going on in a given day. I usually prefer creative and energetic sativas. Indica-sativa hybrids are also great.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Aqueous is a very cannabis-friendly band musically and otherwise, so we encourage your readers to come rage a show with us soon, and in the meantime, check out our recent live album Live in Kalamazoo on Spotify, iTunes and wherever else you might get your music.
Band Name: Aqueous
Genre: Groove rock, jam
Location: Buffalo, New York
Most Recent: Element Pt. II