Friday, July 24, 2009
The Making of a Pot Star: The Jet Baker Interview Part I
If you do more than smoke marijuana then you have heard of Jet Baker. The singer, songwriter, and all-around NORML guy from Texas has been ubiquitous in counter-culture circles. Performing at a NORML event in Austin, Texas this weekend Jet took time out from his busy schedule to talk with Estoy Pacheco.
This is part I of that interview - the making of a pot star.
EP: You are doing a gig for NORML in Austin, Texas this weekend. How did that come about?
Jet: I saw my name on the flyer for the party. A friend of mine showed it to me. Soon after I was asked by TXNORML to perform at the event. They said they knew I’d do it if I was in town.
They were right.
EP: Are you a card carrying member of NORML?
Jet: I’m a member of Texas NORML.
EP: Your affiliation with NORML dates back to when?
Jet: 2002 and 2003 I performed at some Chicago pro cannabis events co-sponsored by NORML.
EP: When did the focus of your music veer towards all things marijuana?
Jet: I entered an won a High Times Contest in the summer of 2000. The contest was to send in a video explaining why you should be one of six winners sent to Amsterdam, locked on a houseboat with 19 cannabis strains for three days. It was High Times first "alternative reality" show – The Cannabis Castaways. It’s on YouTube, check it out.
That’s how it all started for me. The next year I was asked back to emcee the event. I’ve been back every year since working on the crew and hosting the Wake and Bake Show.
EP: What was the first song you wrote about?
Jet: Before I met High Times my music was the same, just without the weed. I wrote about positive ideas like peace, love, cooperation, etc. My music still contains these ideas in the context of the cannabis lyrics.
EP: What was the theme of the first pot song that you wrote?
Jet: I wrote Stonerville (It’s on my Coffee Shop CD). After two months of recuperating after winning the High Times contest I wanted to capture the feelings and sights of my trip. The Coffee Shop CD is my interpretation of the Amsterdam coffee shop scene through the highest eyes of my life.
EP: You are quite prolific, Jet.
Jet: Yeah. I write a lot more songs than I ever record.
EP: Do you really right a new song a day?
Jet: I write beats or lyrics most days. Sometimes the songs flow quickly and sometimes I leave and come back later.
EP: Does herb get your creative juices flowing or is it a stone cold process for you?
Jet: Yes. Cannabis enhances creativity for me.
EP: How many discs do you have out?
Jet: I have nine discs out now – 114 tracks on iTunes and all download sites world wide.
EP: When is the next disc due?
Jet: I’ve written a country CD. I want to record it with a band so...however long that takes. In the meantime I am working on another hip hop/electronic disc for early 2010. I also have a dance remix disc, with "disco versions" of songs from many of my CDs. It will be out for the holidays 2009!
Jet: I’m not ready to put that out yet.
EP: Signed to any label?
Jet: No. I don’t think you need one in this digital age.
So concludes Part I of The Making of a Pot Star: The Jet Baker Interview. In Part II Jet gets personal, talks about musical influences and the decision to be made between weed or hash.