By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
S2: “Because they could?”
On a different day, S1 is observed not stoned, listening to some of this music on headphones. The nearby presence of a Child (C) and a Woman (W) renders the experience scientifically inconclusive, but the data have anecdotal value.
C (waves hands so S1 will remove headphones): “What are you doing?”
S1: “Listening.” (He realizes that he’s been beating on a clipboard with both hands and a pen, and that this can be heard all over the house.) “And drumming.”
C: “Stop it.”
Shortly after, W enters and waves hands so S1 will remove headphones.
W: “Do you realize that you‘ve been yawning?”
S1: “So what?”
W: “When you yawn, you make a sound.”
S1: “Most people make a sound when they yawn.”
W: “Well, when you yawn your throat makes this choking, croaking sound. It’s disgusting. You‘ve been doing it a lot, and with those headphones on, you can’t even hear it. But I hear it.”
S1: “And you think I‘m doing it on purpose?”
One of the findings of our overall experiment is that stoner rock can sometimes make you yawn, whether or not you are stoned, and this axiom has analogues, one of which is that being stoned doesn’t necessarily help you enjoy stoner rock. While Electric Wizard sounds better when you‘re stoned, for instance, Sloth sounds better when you’re straight. To S1, Dead Meadow sounds excellent whether he‘s drunk, stoned or straight, so this may be a group whose music many people will buy at some point. Or maybe just he will.
S1 also relates an experience from his youth that may be informative. When he was a teenager, he heard acid rock such as Quicksilver Messenger Service, Jefferson Airplane and Ultimate Spinach, all of which were then brand-new. A couple of years later, he heard new, heavier, non-hippie pot-smoking music such as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. He liked and understood each of them immediately, even though he would not drop his first acid or smoke his first pot for a long time thereafter.
We may conclude, with near scientific certainty, that calling music stoner rock does not mean that either the musicians or the listeners need to be stoned in order for maximum communication to take place. So, yes, musicians are correct in preferring not to be stuck with that tag. But for however long the trend lasts, they’re going to be called stoner rockers anyway.
So they might as well get used to it.