Electronic music has taken many forms in the past decade, as the genre has seen a resurgence all across the spectrum, from underground dubstep and drum-and-bass to electro-pop and rock. One of the ways in which this form of music is being resurrected is through live bands playing music that sounds like electronic production. Jaw Gems is one of those up-and-coming groups, and it’s been making waves in the underground electronic scene.
“I think [cannabis] should be legal, absolutely. I think it’s ridiculous for people to get in trouble for something that shouldn’t even be against the law . . . It’s something we use to relax when we’re hanging out, writing music. It’s a big part of our lives.”
Not only is Jaw Gems making a name for itself as a touring and releasing band, it also has its hands in the cannabis industry. In addition to being advocates and smokers, one band member is an insider to the industry. Recently, CULTURE caught up with drummer and trimmer DJ Moore of Jaw Gems to chew the fat about the comradery of music, cannabis and creating something new.
How did you get started making music?
We actually started because a friend of ours was bartending at this restaurant and had a jazz background and an interest in music, so he got us a night there and we all started to play there as a monthly gig. Every month we got a little more weird, added more keyboards, and we did that for like six years, and here we are today (laughs).
How would you describe your sound?
Our sound comes from producers; that is mostly who it is influenced by. It comes from chopped up old soul and funk, with a new twist, with a swing on it. I’d also classify it as ambient hip-hop, pretty much.
Who are some of your biggest influences?
J Dilla, Lettuce, Knxwledge, Hi-tek: A lot of producers; that’s what we like to listen to.
Do you have any upcoming shows, releases or projects in the works?
We have a new EP that came out on August 26, 2016, on 1320 Records. It’s called Heatweaver. We will be going on tour with Lettuce during the next couple of months.
How do you feel about the local and national music scenes you are a part of?
I think it’s great, but what we are trying to do is something different. It’s usually producers; it’s not usually a live band setting. We are trying to do both the live band scene and lots of stuff with would-be producers, so we are a little different than a lot of bands. It’s not your typical situation.
How do you feel about cannabis legalization so far? Could anything be done better or differently?
I think it should be legal, absolutely. I think it’s ridiculous for people to get in trouble for something that shouldn’t even be against the law.
Have you ever worked cannabis into your music as a theme? If so, how?
No, we just smoke a lot. We don’t include it really as far as imagery or lyrics. We just use it a lot when creating music.
How has cannabis affected your lives and creative processes?
I wouldn’t say it’s really affected our lives; it’s kind of just something that we do when we’re writing, when we’re playing. It’s something we use to relax when we’re hanging out, writing music. It’s a big part of our lives.
What do you do in the cannabis industry and how does that tie in with your work as a musician?
I work in a grow shop as a trimmer. It’s called Unit3, and we provide full spectrum caregiving. As far as jobs go, it’s pretty relaxed and low-key; we pretty much just trim when we’re around. That makes it easier to go and play, and then come back, and it makes it easier to work in that environment and do that job.
What do you consider your greatest musical accomplishment so far?
I think we are just kind of all of each other’s favorite musicians; we just all really look up to each other, so any time we work with each other it’s better than the last. We are making new and exciting music all the time, and we can’t wait to share it with everybody.