In life and in music, it’s important to not take yourself too seriously, but also to strive to work as hard as possible to achieve your goals. It’s obvious by the band name “Edjacated Phools” that the group definitely doesn’t itself too seriously. But even though its music is all in good fun, it has also been pouring its blood, sweat and tears into touring, writing new music and performing constantly, even when it means sometimes sacrificing relationships or work life. CULTURE caught up with the band to talk to them about its sound, what’s in store for the future and why cannabis makes life extra special.
How did you get started making music?
Logan Sappington, guitarist: We all started making music individually, and then we organized a jam at a barn in Monkton, Maryland about three years ago. We jammed out for five hours and immediately started writing music. From there, we practiced in our drummer Devin’s attic twice a week every on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Kyle (vocals) couldn’t even stand in this attic due to his height, and there was no heat or AC, but we made it happen.
Who are some of your biggest influences?
Devin Barone, drummer: Sublime, The Notorious B.I.G., 311, Bob Marley, Incubus, Coheed and Cambria, Rage Against The Machine, Nas, Rebelution, Fortunate Youth, Tribal Seeds and Buju Banton are just some of our influences. And this list could go on for hours!
How would you describe your style? Who are some of your biggest influences?
Tyler Garrison, bassist: Our style is a mix of reggae, hip-hop and rock. We have two primary vocalists that each have their own vocal style; Kyle raps and Nick is more of a traditional singer.
Kyle Sappington, vocalist: We are more influenced by things we like than our location. In our local scene, there are so many talented artists. But the world is so eclectic in regards to music that we listen to anything and everything. Music has no boundaries. With that said, Baltimore in particular has a cool, somewhat under-the-radar hip-hop scene.
What do you all write about? What are your themes?
Nick Hatzis, vocalist: We try to write about relatable themes that run hand-in-hand with what is going on in our lives at the moment, or what has impacted us the most in the past. We often focus on awareness, positivity, celebrating good times and making the most out of what we’re given, while at the same time not taking things for granted. There’s definitely a message of immediacy and living in the present in a lot of our lyrics. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed to any of us or our loved ones.
How has cannabis affected your lives and/or your creative processes?
Logan: Cannabis has affected our lives dramatically. Both spiritually and physically, we have a strong connection with cannabis, and we feel it is essential in celebrating life. This plant gives us access to creative dimensions and to spiritual freedoms. The presence of cannabis transcends through our music in most of our songs.
Cannabis has affected our lives dramatically. Both spiritually and physically, we have a strong connection with cannabis, and we feel it is essential in celebrating life. This plant gives us access to creative dimensions and to spiritual freedoms. The presence of cannabis transcends through our music in most of our songs.
How do you feel about legalization so far? Can anything be done better, or differently?
Logan: It’s bullshit that the federal government refuses to legalize a plant that grows naturally. In some states, weed is legal, but hash isn’t; some states allow the sale of marijuana; some don’t. It’s never going to work until the public is able to consume it freely, real legalization.
Have you ever worked cannabis into your music as a theme? If so, how?
Kyle: Cannabis is often referenced and celebrated in our music. Weed brings people together. Perhaps the most overt example of cannabis working its way into our music is in our song “Lost My Stash,” which quite literally features a lyrical narrative of some of our experiences with weed.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Logan: We each bring a different dimension to our band with our unique contributions and talents. Our bassist Tyler was classically trained, while our drummer Devin and keyboardist Ben were largely self-taught. We each come from different musical backgrounds, but we all share a common bond with what draws us to the music we love, even if our influences are diverse. We feel blessed to be able create and share music with everyone.
Band Name: Edjacated Phools
Genre: Rock, reggae, hip-hop, ska, and punk fusion
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Most Recent: Check The Vibes