Thursday, July 23, 2009
The Story behind Moonshine and Herbs Hit "Legalize Weed" Video
Moonshine and Herbs created an Internet buzz last month with their paean to marijuana - Legalize Weed.
If you haven't heard it yet, you will be singing the chorus halfway through your first listen.
Despite the down-home bluegrass feel to Legalize Weed the trio from Canton, Georgia rock a little harder on their other tracks. But it is Legalize Weed that has people talking about the boys that comprise Moonshine and Herbs - Andbrick 'Steve' Williams, Eric C and Alonzo Greer.
Zo spoke to us recently to tell us how the song came about. Take it away Zo!
Writing Legalize Weed
"Well the three of us were hanging out one night feeling pretty good with a few beers and some herbs and talking politics and world events. Then Steve, who wrote and sings the song, says that we need to write the revolutionary 'free the weed' song.
"We all agreed and to my surprise the next day Steve said that he got it and played it for me. I came up with the bass line and we worked it out for about a week or so before we were able to get with our drummer E and record it. It was only about two takes and that's it!"
The Shafer Commission
The video for the song borrows heavily from news reels over the last 40 years, taking us on a chronological trip through the ages from the Shafer Commission to Barack Obama. The Shafer Commission - named after chairman Raymond P. Shafer - is otherwise known as the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse which had recommended that marijuana be temporarily placed in the most restrictive category of drugs - Schedule I. (Ed.-It was hard to get a "j" in the early 70's so people were into using "h" when spelling marijuana.)
Shafer, as Chairman, presented his report, Marijuana, A Signal of Misunderstanding, to Congress in 1972. One of the key recommendations in the report called for decriminalization of simple possession. President Nixon passed on Shafer's recommendations. In fact Nixon passed on almost all the recs. But the report did stir up hope among libertarians at the time and made the nightly newscasts. Snippets of these reports form the basis for the Legalize Weed video.
Making the Video
"Everything on the video is just stuff I got off of YouTube to get an idea of what I wanted the video to be about," says Zo. "Its really just a sampler video and not yet close to being completed, kinda like the track."
While the video may be a sampler it is serving as a calling card for Moonshine and Herbs as the band is looking to strike a record deal. Together as a unit for less than a year the braintrust of Moonshine and Herbs - Steve and Zo - have been honing their writing skills together for two and a half years. The duo continue to write new music while narrowing down selections for a future CD release.
Herbs and the Creative Process
"Well, we love to burn the herbs and get into a good groove," says Zo with regards to weed affecting the band's creative process. "Without a doubt, depending on the herbs, a creative mediation can lead to something inspirational. We love the herbs but whether they are available or not our creativity never goes away."
That free flowing creativity may explain one of the band's more peculiar projects.
"We are currently working on a couple of projects including a jingle that we have written for a Finnish company called ScanBev. Hopefully it will be used to promote one of their new beverages."
Are you singing the chorus yet?