Recycled Rock N Roll

Recycled Rock N Roll

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dr. Strange Records - Music

I have a nightmare that in the future we will all only be able to buy music either online or at the mall. Deafened by stereo speakers blaring obnoxious pop, blinded by multiple screens replicating soulless videos, you will search hopelessly for real music from a collection dwindling with the passage of time like the English language in Orwell’s 1984. Why? Because enterprises like Dr. Strange Records won’t exist.

The building that is the physical representation of Dr. Strange Records was the first post office in Rancho Cucamonga 100 years ago. Located in the city’s old town, it’s a music store, punk museum, social center, clothing and accessory shop, and the very epitome of that corporate outlets like Virgin are not: a locale of wood, dust, grit, soul and history.

When you walk into the place you enter a store of wooden floors and plaster walls replete with posters and paraphernalia from punk bands both old and new. Rummaging through several used sections will reward you with solid gold: You can find crazy, obscure albums like Wakey Wakey by The Toy Dolls, Television’s Marquee Moon,  and Coulda…Shoulda…Woulda by Black Market Baby.

William “Bill” Plaster is Dr. Strange, the man who runs the business that put the city of Rancho Cucamonga on the punk rock map. His office is a cold room where he runs his company, answering emails and shipping music all across the world.

I had to step over cartons of merchandise while Bill took a seat next to a computer that was probably manufactured in the mid-90’s to find a place to perform the interview. Between the posters, the cd’s, the shirts and other punk paraphenalia, it was difficult to tell which was merchandise and which was his.

“The online store keeps me busy,” he says. “It took three to four tries to get the website up. I used to do mail order with a typewriter. I’d retype it every month. Right now I’m sending a big package to a Russian embassy in Belgium. I send stuff to Tahiti, Croatia, Greece…any developed country, all over the world.”

The man who would be Dr. Strange got into new wave in the 80’s, as it bled into punk. “By my sophomore high school year I was listening to The Cars, Blondies, Devo, Oingo Boingo, then other bands like Black Flag, Stiff Little Fingers and The Circle Jerks.”

In 1988, Plaster was working his last “real” job as a waiter, going to Mt. San Antonio College and putting together a record label. “I didn’t do it for the money…I just wanted to pay rent, but I realized I had to put out a punk record before I died. I worked seven days a week, 12-16 hour days. I still wear a million hats. I’m the order guy, the label guy, the retail guy...”

1993 saw the rise of a dozen Inland Empire punk bands under the label of Dr. Strange Records. Groups such as Letseatlots, Guttermouth, Face to Face, Voodoo Glow Skulls, Golfball Liberation Front, and Mindless Thoughts were pushing the scene in a city that had never had one, playing at local venues like Spanky’s, Munchies and The Showcase Theatre. “Between 1991 and 1996, anything would sell. I fathered a lot of bands, mostly from around Rancho Cucamonga.”

Now, ten years later, Plaster has a history behind him and a future of doing what he loves ahead of him. His recent releases stand like menhirs in a punk rock Stonehenge: Coulda…Shoulda…Woulda by Black Market Baby, Killer on Craig’s List by The Texas Thieves, and The Golden Age of Piracy by The Skulls, to mention a few.

I tell Plaster about my nightmare, and how I feel the small chains are being ground under by the big ones. But even those big chains are being destroyed by the Internet in the form of Internet piracy. Virgin Megastores are going down in flames, so the smaller operations, owned by normal people who understand the art like Mr. Plaster, aren’t going to be able to take it for long.

“You’re 100% right. It’s cd burning that’s killing me.” The man known as Dr. Strange admits that it does hurt him. “Before it got big, I’d sell 10,000 copies of an album. Now, I can only sell 1,000.”

His record store is one of the many hardcore punk landmarks you can find throughout southern California. The business is more than just a place to find all things obscure (or place an order for what you want if Dr. Strange doesn’t have it), it’s also an inspiration to the future punk musicians living in the suburbs around the store that still believe in the old skool.

Because of that, Plaster is still proud to have the job he has.“I have been allowed to do what I truly love to do. I’m one of the few people who get up to go to work thinking, ‘I get to go to work!’”

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ume - Music

When we encounter a new band, there's always the hope that it will somehow reignite the spark we have for all the groups we've ever heard. As great as music is, the love wears out. This fundamental truth is the reason why, as much as I love Ten by Pearl Jam, I don't go blaring the cd ten times in a row because I've heard it ten thousand times before. As our tastes evolve, so does music, and we must have a different flavor to our fix, even if it must be from a different source.

I am a rock and roll journalist by trade. I do not feel bad about this, although the hours are as chaotic as the pay. I don't get the big bucks but I do get to listen to the big albums before the rest of the world does. I was a good kid this year and ended up with a copy of Phantoms, by Ume, a group from Austin, Texas, who is so damn proficient that Rolling Stone has already declared them to be " of the best unsigned bands in America."

You really should own a copy of Phantoms, and it can be found right it here. That's not a cheap plug. It's just that aside from being a solid LP that will make your music collection snazzier due to it's unique, brightly colored cover (a pink skull wallpaper design, as if Liberace conquered Disneyland's Haunted Mansion and redecorated the place) it's also the kind of honest, hard-working American rock and roll you wish was produced more often in the country today.

I am a harsh critic of albums because if I'm not, then bad taste will conquer the music industry and mankind will know an eternity of darkness. I am also a brutal judge of music because I grew up on the good stuff, darn it, like Appetite for Destruction by Guns N' Roses, so you can't fool me.

When Phantoms gave me harsh drums and slamming guitars against a dark fuzz of sound, similar to opening feedback in the song "Attack of the Ghost Riders" by The Raveonettes, I knew it was going to be a chill ride. I like that kind of production because it electrifies the music with a banshee voltage my speakers really enjoy wailing, but with a distinct nature you will find nowhere else because it is only from Ume.

The album's opening song, Rubicon, is fun worth crossing to hear twice again. It's a fast, heavy entrance that serves to introduce a talent that must be recognized if you like new and original rock. The vocals, courtesy of front-woman Lauren Larson, possess a simple beauty backed up by goth echoes and an underlying dark that reminded me of Berlin or even Sonic Youth. 

Burst, the second track, drops down a gear to let you catch up. Now you can really let your ears drink in Larson's sweet sounds, but the track also lets you hear drums that know what they're doing and guitars that hook like Ali and slash like Wolverine, depending on what the melody requires. Veterans of the Austin, Texas music scene, you can tell Ume has performed in the darkest of places, and has the skills to prove it.

Ok, I'm gushing, but I'm in love with the music so I'm going to enjoy the rush. Ume is indie rock, and that live energy so integral to the genre is there, but if you are down for Generation X music like Love and Rockets or the more punk-infused concoctions served up by Souxie and the Banshees you won't be disappointed, either.

This is a single from Phantoms, courtesy of YouTube, where all hyperlinks seem to go. Bob Segar once wrote that rock and roll never forgets, and you will certainly remember this one. I liked "Destroyer" because it embodied a lot of what I like about Ume, so if you are into kickass modern indie rock here's something new for you.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Foley - Music

Connor Shambrook, Luke Schoepf and Alex Guder had all been friends since the fourth grade before they became the Inland Empire rock band known as Foley. They first played for a church event, followed by a high school graduation show. The guys decided they enjoyed jamming together and started rehearsing on a regular basis.

For two years they spent long hours practicing and writing music, perfecting their act until they were ready for live shows. How do they describe their sound? “We dabble in a lot of different styles. We don’t restrict ourselves to one thing.” Shambrook says. “I guess you could say we’re alternative, but we also play pop and classic rock songs.”

Foley may be your typical rock lineup (plus a keyboard) but its music has a genuinely beautiful quality that’s reinforced by Shambrook’s almost angelic vocals. Rather than crash or grind, the guys harmonize and rhapsodize, with a style similar to Keane or even The Moody Blues. 

“We’ve even been playing country westerns songs lately, just to try something new out.” Schoepf says. Well, Led Zeppelin got a little country with its music, too. 

The band cites other groups that have influenced its style and development. “We really love John Mayer and The Beatles,” Schoepf says. “What makes artists who they are is that they listen to other bands, take pieces of what they like, and then they add their own flavor to make something new.”

“Mutemath is one band we are big fans of,” Shambrook adds. When asked what piece they’ve taken from a band like Mutemath, he says, “We saw them play live several times, and we try to have the same energy as they do, where it just seems like they are having fun . . . If we’re just up there playing and having a good time, we feel that our fans are as well.” 

Foley’s latest EP, tentatively called Tonight, will be produced by Spender Riley and features a friend of theirs, Paul Boyle, on drums. “We actually lost our drummer right when we started recording, but that’s OK,” Connor says. “We are naming the EP Tonight because that’s the name of a song of ours that we love to play.”

When I ask how the band makes use of the Internet to market its music, Schoepf explains how they are on top of it. “We’re releasing our single next Wednesday night on Facebook and MySpace. It’s a pop rock song called ‘The Key.’”

I ask Schoepf how a group might still stay connected to the people who want their music. “One way is just to answer questions on Facebook that fans ask. We want to set up a forum on our website where we can just talk to people and get to know them.” Shabrook adds, “Most famous bands don’t really talk to their fans, unless it’s at a concert.”

Shambrook warns that Foley is still evolving. “We don’t want to feel constrained to do just what our fans want. I think we will always be trying to move forward, so don’t get too into our newest stuff because it’s always going to be changing.”

Friday, March 16, 2012

Steve Trevino - Comedy

As a stand-up comic I can tell you that going up there in front of the mic under the lights with nothing but your wits to save you is fucking difficult.

A while ago I performed at The Comedy Store. That place is gorgeous, but a lot of comics have told me that it's a tough gig. I had performed there before, so it was my second time (just in the Belly Room because I'm a little bitty comedian) and I kind of knew what to expect.

I went up there, did my act, and got a pretty mellow 50/50 ratio. That is, people laughed at half of my jokes. Not screaming laughs, mind you, but real laughs that were not polite, but genuine.

After I walked off the stage I felt pretty lame. Compared to The Ice House, it seemed like my act was weak. But you don't get up a big damn stair case in one giant step.

I sat down to watch another comic go up. I can't remember his name, but he had performed at The Ice House before and he was funny. I could tell the way he talked and moved that he had been performing for a while, and his jokes were good.

Nothing happened. He fell flat on his face. He didn't lose his cool, but not a single damn joke worked for the poor guy. The crowd wasn't hostile; they just weren't affected. It was extremely depressing to watch.

The comic was a total pro. He finished his set as relaxed as possible and got off the stage. The thing was, he was a much more experienced comedian, but it just wasn't his night, that night.

So after that I didn't feel so bad.

Steve Trevino is a stand-up comic from Texas who infuses his blue-collar humor with a Mexican-American cultural perspective. His comedy veers away from the predictable ethnic references, instead focusing on observational humor about life as a member of the working class, infused with an energy only a guy from Texas could generate.

Trevino recently performed in San Bernardino for the Laugh Out Loud Comedy Festival Art Show. His hour-long comedy was filmed for a Showtime special, along with routines by Rita Rudner, Jay Mohr, Tommy Chong, Willie Barcena and Monique Marvez.

As a Mexican-American, Trevino says he sometimes has to deal with an entertainment industry that expects his work to just be a series of jokes based on racial stereotypes.

“I write material about life. Whether you are black, white or Asian, you can relate.”

“I’m very proud to be Mexican-American, but I set out to make my material as broad as possible,” he adds. “George Lopez does a lot of racial humor, but we are different types of comedians.”

Trevino’s persistence has paid off, and he’s currently working on a pilot for a sitcom that will be bankrolled by legendary producers David Himelfarb and Vic Kaplan.

“We are working on a show about my life with my family, the woman I live with and the love/hate relationship a couple can have.”

He points out that since it’s about him, the show is going to have a cultural element. “I want to show a Mexican-American couple in a good light.”

Trevino talks about how the network got so carried away with the racial vibe of The George Lopez Show in that they even asked that comic to have a tortilla machine on the show. It doesn’t get more one-dimensional than that.

“I think George Lopez’s sitcom was great, but the networks really pigeonholed him.”

Trevino also admits that for all its glitter and glamour, L.A. can bring an audience that might be too cynical to laugh.

“When you play in Hollywood, it’s like there’s a big attitude problem. When you perform in the Inland Empire, it’s for people who work like I do,” he says. “I’m a story teller, I talk about my life. You have to be sincere. People can tell if you are lying.”

As a stand-up comic, he’s met a lot of pot comedians. Does that get old?

“I think, ‘Oh boy, here he goes with the pot material.’ It’s kind of like race humor. It was funny 10 years ago. Now it’s like, ‘Really, dude, those jokes again?’”

Trevino points out that pot humor can be just as one-dimensional as racial humor. “They never make fun of weed in a good way. Why not tell a joke about how cannabis helps a person’s life?”

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Tomas Barfod - Music

DJ, musician and producer Tomas Barfod began his career decades ago using an Atari computer, a vinyl record player and an Akai monosampler. “I started playing music working with very old technology . What you have on your iPhone now is much more complicated than what we had. Now I’ve narrowed it down to just my Apple computer and a program called Logic,” Barfod says.

Just a few years later Barfod had moved from his bedroom to filling up venues in cities across the world, from Tokyo to London. “I started by making music for fun. Half a year later I was touring with my band Filur, and within two years we were in Japan playing with Ken Hirai, who is really big over there.” 

Since then he’s played across Europe and America, composing remixes for artists like Franz Ferdinand, Gorillaz and Shakira. Barfod also finds himself in high demand creating dance club hits for labels like Turbo, Kompakt and Gomma. “It’s a big part of my life listening to music, and my whole career has taken me everywhere. I always enjoyed doing experimental, underground music. 

Experience has taught him that it’s the talent, not the tools. “I’ve seen musicians make bad muisic, and then a kid on a laptop in the suburbs makes something better.” Shiny programs and snazzy computers won’t cover up garbage. “In the world of music it’s the guy behind the technology.”

You can travel the planet, but if your career is music ending up in Los Angeles can be inevitable. “Now I’m back in L.A. making more commercial music.” Having worked the independent circuit, Barfod enjoys seeing street music perculate up to the mainstreatm.”When you hear a big hit, like a radio song, well, at least 65% of it is from the underground and the types of bands that really experiment with music."

In addition to working as a DJ and producing, he is also a drummer for the band WhoMadeWho. “I started playing drums when I was ten. I was in a lot of bands and at some point in my late teens I was earning money playing gigs, but I realized that I didn’t want to be a drummer, I wanted to be a DJ, so I got into electronic music.” 

But after a few years behind the turntables, the talented Dane wanted back on the drums. “When 80’s, retro bands with old-skool electronic sounds got big again, I missed live music, including live guitars and playing live drums.” 

He doesn't consider himself to be a sort of rock star, though. “I’ve tried both things. It’s nice to know both sides when I play the music. On the other hand, when you have the inside knowledge of being a DJ, you have a better understanding of what the crowd wants when you perform."

Like most successful artists, Barfod enjoys being close to the crowd, although he likes to keep the relationship mysterious. “I feel like I can take the audience anywhere when I perform,whether it is to sweet places or to evil places. I’m always going to prefer being a DJ and playing in a club instead of in front of thousands of people on the drums.”

“It’s always like you are starting a party when you are a DJ. You can just start a party anywhere, in the streets, anyplace. I can play thousands of songs as a DJ, but when you play live you are much more limited,” Barfod says.

He’s been working on a presently untitled solo album to be released this spring. “I’ve been making a lot of music under different monikers, but now I want to do an album in my own name.” After so much collaboration, Barfod is enjoying the freedom. “It’s really nice to have a project for myself. When you work with a band it’s a blessing because you get to work with other people, but sometimes your ideas have to go through compromises.”

Barfod is careful to point out that he has always enjoyed working with other musicians or as a member of a band, but for now he wants to see what he can create without external artistic influence.

“Now I can sit down and really make a song sound like I want. It’s really nice to have a project for myself.” Like most producers he usually has more than his fair share of work, so for now having just one is like a vacation. “I’ve realized that I need to cut down on a lot of my other projects and concentrate on just one.”

He promises that his new album is going to be worth listening to many times over, combining electro, pop and blues sounds, but with some tracks featuring unpredictable instruments like chimes and wind instruments to keep the listener guessing.  “I love to create songs that are completely different than what you expect.”

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Yumiko: Curse of the Merch Girl - Art

Nick Carter is Murs, a California artist and emcee with few limitations. His name is an acronym for "Making the Universe Recognize and Submit," or, "Making Underground Raw Shit," depending on his mood and intent.  1997's F'Real, his first solo album, defined Murs as an independent musician who knew how to weave music and words together to deliver a message only the street can tell.

"Ease Back," track number seven on the album, is the young artist proclaiming to a stale record industry that hip-hop was moving on without them, and Murs was leading the charge. His rapid shot-delivery and dim mak-accurate lyrics, backed up by warping beats and aggressive, droning rhythms, made F'Real both a collector's item and just the first move from a man who has since gone on to dominate the game with each LP he's made since then.

2008's Murs for President proved that he wasn't just a one-topic musician. Here is where the artist directed his incisive logic at politics in America, bashing hypocrisy and blasting the corrupt criminal behavior of the leaders of the U.S. with an album that was both music and message.

"The Science," track number four on the album, is not only good listening, it's an information bomb guaranteed to detonate preconceived notions the uninformed might have of of good and evil in the government, with lyrics like:

"Now let me give my hypothesis, an educated guess
On why my people on the whole seem to be such a mess
Genocide, the deliberate extermination of a race, culture, or an entire nation
Centuries ago they brought us here on a boat
Enslaved us, beat us til our spirit was broke
Then they gave us freedom and a little bit of hope
Then they killed our leaders and they gave us dope (crack)
From the C.I.A. by way of Nicaragua, shipped to Rick Ross, he’s the black godfather
Now Oscar Blandon was his known supplier, he snitched on Rick so he could retire
Ratted on Ricky so he got out quickly, now this is where the situation gets a little sticky
Not a citizen of the U.S.A. he got released and got hired by the D.E.A.
The he got his green card by the I.N.S.
But that should’ve never happened due to previous arrests
See our government seems to think that there’s a difference
Between powdered cocaine and crack, for instance
You get five years for five grams of crack
But in the powdered form you have a hundred times that
Now who has the rock, and who has the powder?
Who’s the oppressed and who has the power?"

Still rocking the underground hip-hop scene, Murs has the money and the momentum to pursue his muse in a million different forms. With his latest project, Yumiko: Curse of the Merch Girl, the artist weaves music and illustration with a project that is both a graphic novel and LP. The album has ten songs, with each song corresponding to a chapter in the comic.

Murs has attached his name to a project that is more than just the story of a pack of super-powered muscle men eradicating faceless criminal mutants and/or mutates with arcade efficiency. Instead, Yumiko: Curse of the Merch Girl is the story of Yumi Morales, who's a merchandising girl for her boyfriend's band, Murder Acts.

While on tour with the band she finds herself stranded in a small town, confronted by images that are merely facades for darker powers. As their images disintegrate, Yumi realizes that she's locked in a reality ruled by gnostic archons which represent either her temptation or salvation.Can she escape?

As an artist who has faced his own temptations (he's long been courted by a mainstream record industry fully intent on handing him the riches of the world for what is probably a measure of his soul), Murs certainly has the background and philosophy to create a soundtrack for a modern day fable of a young woman's journey through Limbo. But the magic of Yumiko: Curse of the Merch Girl is that it is a welcome addition to an industry badly in need of feminine mythology. 

How many times do we have to see Superman, Batman, Power Man or Spider-Man start a story beating up another, more powerful man, only to end up back where he started? Throughout history, human poetry and myth has given us many legends of females that confronted evil and became stronger for it, whether it's the resurrection of Osiris by Isis, or when Jael kills Sisera, the evil commander of the Canaanite forces, with a tent peg through the skull in Judges 4:21 of the Old Testament Bible.

Illustrated by Josh Gracia and and written by Josh Blaylock, Yumiko: Curse of the Merch Girl is a journey worth reading with music worth hearing. It's also another side of Murs, just when you think you might have guessed his next maneuver. In an industry that you can usually predict to choose the safe route when it comes to album sales, it's great to see an independent artist call upon like-minded talent to create a work that shines, far from the mundane shores of the mainstream.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Korn - Music

Jonathan Davis, the lead singer for Korn, created more than just a rock band with occasional rap lyrics that ended up being labeled nu metal. With Korn, their debut album (released in 1994), Davis unleashed a completely new animal on a music scene that really needed it.

During the 90’s other musicians would photocopy the game plan to develop their own band, but no one could match Korn in their ferocity, ingenuity or energy. They really made their mark with Life is Peachy in 1996, and Follow the Leader ended up number one on the Billboard 200 in August of 1998.

Innovative drumbeats, funky bass lines and powerful guitar hooks plus excoriating rap lyrics (and even bagpipes) combined to form an addictive combination, and more than a decade later the band still rocks stadiums. With The Path of Totality, released in December of 2011, Korn promises to bump their game up even higher.

Ray Luzier, a legendary drummer in his own right, joined Korn in April of 2009. “They’ve paved the way. That’s why I’m such a fan. From the day I heard that opening riff from “Blind” on the radio I knew they were going to mess the whole scene up.”

Through the decades, Korn has always tweaked and fine-tuned their sound, so that every LP is a new incarnation. What is on The Path of Totality that hasn’t been on previous albums?

“Jonathan has been bringing dubstep artists to us for a year and a half now. He would just blow us away with what was coming out of his speakers. It was this bombastic sound you couldn’t ever reproduce with a guitar.”
Once Korn worked the tool into their technique, completely new musical vistas opened up to them. “We were just amazed. I remember thinking, how are we going to write words to this?” Luzier says.

On Saturday, March 3rd Korn will be performing at the annual Cypress Hill SmokeOut in San Bernardino. Also featuring the talents of Wiz Halifax and Daedelus, this year’s Smoke Out will certainly be the high point to anyone’s weekend. How is the band looking forward to it?

“I’m surprised we’re playing there,” Luzier says. Then he laughs. “No one in the band smokes out, anymore. I’m really interested in seeing the new Sublime, with their new lead singer Rome. I’m also looking forward to seeing Cypress Hill.” For Luzier, it’s a reunion. “I used to be really into them in school, and early in my career I even worked with them a lot.”

A lot of time has passed since Korn’s 93’ debut album and this year’s LP, The Path of Totality. When I ask if Luzier has any advice for any other musician that thinks they can stay as relevant as Korn has for two decades, he’s quick with a response.

“Go to law school.” He laughs. “It’s still a crap shoot. There are still people out there rolling the dice on a sound they have faith and confidence in.” The veteran drummer points out that, “You never know what’s going to appeal to the masses. It might not matter that a musician has talent. I have friends working at Starbucks who are virtuosos. They could beat anyone on American Idol.”

Maybe is that you’ve got to want to be a musician for something more than the money. “We’re 40 now, but we still truly love it,” Luzier says. “It’s too deep in all of us to stop. The fans still love it.” My final advice is, don’t fake an ounce of it. If you fake it deep inside, you are only playing yourself.”

Friday, March 2, 2012

T. Mills - Music

Travis Mills, aka T. Mills made a name for himself operating out Riverside, California, with just a laptop and an Internet connection to start with. He looks punk, with tribal piercings and an eclectic array of skin art, but the music T. Mills produces packs the power it has from kalaidoscopic array of influences his sound reflects.

T. Mills is pop, hip-hop, electronic, and R&B without being like anyone else on the radio, which is why he’s also been nominated this year for a MTV Woody Award for Best New Comer, and is currently touring nationwide with a contract from Columbia Records.

The 22-year old musician took time off to speak with CULTURE Magazine about making music and smoking cannabis.

Power 106 FM is a Los Angeles hip-hop industry standard, and your single, “Vans On,” has been getting serious radio airplay from them. Having grown up listening to the station how does that feel?

T. Mills: I never thought it was going to be on the radio. I was just thinking of recording a free album for the Internet. I knew how I felt when I would play it for people, and how they liked it. I knew it was good, but hearing it on the radio was such a great feeling.

I know it’s a pop song, but you are really going to surprise listeners with this track. It doesn’t feel flimsy, like most commercial music.

T. Mills: There’s a demographic that listens to pop that are going to be surprised by it. It’s raw, it’s real, and it’s offensive. The hook really drives it along.

You put a lot of work into your latest album, Leaving Home. From what I understand, you composed 140 songs, and then narrowed it all down to what ended up on the LP. How did you pull that off?

T. Mills: A lot of weed. I would literally get to the studio at 10 am, every single day, and then leave 2 am, 5 am, for 6-8 months. I always wrote one song or put together 2-3 ideas. I had 140 songs on my playlist. It was just based on driving around, hanging out with friends, and how I wanted my album to sound.

There’s obviously many revisions, but I feel like everything is so natural, that it flows together. I don’t want to make the same record twice, make the same album twice. I want every piece to be unique. I hate stuff that is too rehearsed, too scripted. I want to make music in the movement. I didn’t have luck; there was just something on my side.

What do you think of cannabis? 

T. Mills: My fans bring me so much weed. I’m a huge supporter of cannabis. I’ve been a legal patient for five years now. As soon as I was old enough I went to a doctor, and I have my legal documentation. When I smoke cannabis, it enhances my vision. It doesn’t enhance my creativity…I’m creative without marijuana, but it really helps me make connections.

Do you want to talk about your medical problems?

T. Mills: I have ADHD and lower back problems from when I was younger. I’ll smoke, and then I’ll go to work and really be able to focus. When I watch television, I can put together things and realize what’s fake and what’s scripted. When I’m high, I don’t take things for granted as much, either.

I think weed should just be legalized. It makes no sense that we let people drink alcohol, but we don’t let them have something as good as weed. There should be rules, there should be regulations, and it’s always going to come down to money. If you legalize it, you’ll take away the taboo. A lot of kids smoke weed because they aren’t supposed to.