St. Patrick’s Day is all about the green, which for most people means shamrocks, green-colored beer and wearing the right color to avoid getting pinched. For Green Druid, as for many cannabis enthusiasts, it is also a day to celebrate the green that is a part of cannabis culture. This is something Green Druid is all about, and the band members also love making a nod towards Irish heritage and honoring their pagan roots. CULTURE chatted with Green Druid members about keeping it slow and heavy, cannabis and their favorite color.
How did you get started making music?
Essentially, Graham (guitar) and Chris (guitar and vocals) started jamming ideas for songs and eventually wrote what would be our first EP that came out in 2015. Ryan Skates was asked to play bass while Ryan Sims and Graham Zander already had a working relationship from another band. Ryan became our drummer.
How would you describe your sound?
We feel our sound comes from listening to doom/stoner heavyweights like Sleep, Bongripper, Electric Wizard, Sunn and the like. It is a very fuzzy yet defined kind of drone where the bass is just as loud as the guitars. Every instrument in our craft has its place. Nothing is left in the back drop.
Who are some of your biggest influences?
Some of our biggest influences are: Monolord, Sleep, Electric Wizard, Bongripper and also some local Denver bands like: Matriarch, Smolder and Burn and Chieftain. We glean a lot from the people we have played with and take influence from tons of different styles of music.
How do you feel about the doom scene nationally and locally?
Locally, the music scene here in Denver is really taking off. Around every corner there are new, awesome bands playing some form of extreme metal. We have noticed that venues are really starting to take hold of the style of music as well; we are able to play louder more and more places, and venues are really starting to welcome us. Nationally, Doom has never been stronger. Bands like us and bands like Sleep, Boris, etc. are all out touring living the dream!
Does the name come from having an Irish background or interest in their culture?
The name definitely has a cultural aspect, but more in the realm of a pagan sort of belief. Druids were Pagan worshippers, and then we added the green aspect to signify the genre and our homage to marijuana.
What do you feel is the best way to honor/celebrate St. Patrick’s day?
The best way to honor St. Patrick’s Day is to have a big old pint of Guinness and do what we do everyday, play slow metal and smoke reefer.
Cannabis has been a big part of our creative process. We often, as a band, will bring cannabis to the writing space and bounce ideas off of one another while smoking. Overall, though, we feel the legalization of marijuana has been quite beneficial and adds another aspect to our creative outlet.
Have you ever worked cannabis into your music as a theme? If so, when and how?
We feel that we are slowly working cannabis in as a theme. Particularly the effects that marijuana has on the stimulus: it makes music more vibrant and kinesthetic aspects more apparent. In that way we work these stimuli into our music.
How do you feel about cannabis? How has it impacted your music and/or creative process? Cannabis has been a big part of our creative process. We often, as a band, will bring cannabis to the writing space and bounce ideas off of one another while smoking. Overall, though, we feel the legalization of marijuana has been quite beneficial and adds another aspect to our creative outlet.
How do you feel about legalization so far? Could anything be done better or differently?
So far, we feel that legalization has been very beneficial. We do believe that the regulations and stipulations for obtaining marijuana are also spot on. However, the whole smoking and driving aspect does make us very wary. It is hard to calculate how many people are out on the road while stoned, and that is scary.
What is your favorite strain or cannabis product?
Our favorite cannabis product has to be the new Incredibowl smoking systems that our friend Patrick Devlin from Smolder and Burn and Incredibowl hooked us up with.
Do you have any exciting music or show announcements?
We do! Our official release show for Ashen Blood will be March 23 at the Hi-Dive in Denver, CO. The album officially releases March 16.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you so much for your time and opportunity for an interview!
Band Name: Green Druid
Genre: Doom metal
Location: Denver, Colorado
Most Recent/Upcoming Album: Ashen Release