High Times for low-enders?
By Jon Liebman
Week of March 4, 2019
Cannabis is everywhere. These days, it seems everyone is talking about some aspect of the legality of pot. Lo and behold, marijuana is even finding its way into the music community. I mean, imagine that.
The subject has come up from time to time in various bass player interviews I’ve done over the years. Bold statements have come from players like Crobot’s Jake Figueroa about where the band finds “inspiration” to write songs, and from the Lovin’ Spoonful’s Steve Boone, recounting the times he used to sail boatloads of marijuana from Colombia back in the ‘70s. I once a had a fun conversation with Doobie Brothers bassist John Cowan about how in the world the band ever came up with that name. Now that recreational cannabis use is becoming totally legit in a growing number of places, more and more people are discovering ways to get involved in different aspects of the pot business. That list includes musicians, and yes, even bass players.
This week, we published an upbeat interview with Shavo Odadjian of the heavy metal band System of a Down. Having relentlessly pursued his “passion projects” for as long as he can remember, Odadjian recently launched a new business, 22Red, offering lifestyle products, clothing, and quality cannabis. With Shavo, it’s not just about jumping on the ganja bandwagon in order to capitalize on the newfound legality of pot. No doubt he’s looking to make money, but it’s also a form of self-expression. In 22Red, he has plans to include other items he’s passionate about, including music and products for skateboarders.
Whatever the reason, cannabis has infiltrated our society in a manner that’s different from the way we may remember it growing up. New attitudes prevail, harsh laws are being relaxed and the availability of the once-forbidden substance is so commonplace, the shock value and need for concealment are long gone.
It will be interesting to see what happens as the marijuana industry continues to mature. Who knows if musicians – and bass players – will offer any new approaches to this change in this societal ethos that the traditional business community never considered?
As for Shavo, he is determined to make sure the “quality of everything is top of the line.” That shouldn’t surprise anyone. Given Shavo’s successful track record of bringing his passions to light, it’s all but certain he will continue to maintain the highest standards in all he does.
How about you? Have a thought on the subject? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think. In the meantime, check out my interview with Shavo here.