TovH Exclusive – ‘The Producer Series’: Pt.4 – Stoner
Want to record that perfect take? Write the riff to crush all genitalia? Get that perfect drum tone? Need album direction ideas? Well today we have something extra special for all you aspiring musicians, the Producer Series. This exclusive to TovH will put you in touch with one of the leading names in metal production today, helping you get the edge over the endless stream of new bands/artists all seeking those sweet yet ever-dwindling record deal dollars. Last time we met, B.S was kind enough to give us the insider knowledge needed to help out those trying to create noisy art. Here in the fourth installment we’re going to blaze it up and hit Stoner rock/metal.
So far we’ve sent your riffing into outer-space with Tech-Death, got you in touch with nature with all things Atmospheric and helped you create the harshest of Noise. Once again, due to contractual obligations and other such legal restrictions imposed by those pesky record labels and other suit-wearing corporate scum, we’re not allowed to officially name the producer we’ve been in contact with. So for the purposes of this series, they’ll be referred to by their initials, B.S. I’m sure some of you more knowledgeable in the music industry have already worked out who it is, but for those who haven’t, let’s just say they’re a pretty big deal, having worked across a couple of decades, covered a plethora of sub-genres and collected ideas from all aspects of the music industry. What matters here for us though is that we’ve got exclusive access to their insights and tips on how to get noticed and achieve success through music. This time B.S has pulled out his dankest kush, fired up the vape and is going to deal out some ripping tips for you to create a buzz in the music scene.
1. Have “Bong” In Your Name
It’s that fucking simple. As you can tell from Cybernetic Organism’s piece on the hottest trending bands, all the trendy names with “Acid” and “Witch” are taken. Stick with what has worked, and will work for the rest of time. There’s no need to get complicated to try and impress anyone with clever names like Cannabis Corpse, Hashteroid or Weed. There’s a reason Bongripper, Bongzilla and Bonglomerate are at the top of the genre, and if you can’t work it out, maybe try some Sativa for a change! You could even just call your band Bong. Oh, that’s taken? Who gives a fuck, do it anyway. Blending in with your competition might go against your intuition and seem counter-productive to your goal of getting noticed amongst the vast swathes of other stoner bands, but it is actually exactly what you want to do. Take advantage of your fans potential short-term memory loss. Look, act and sound like every other stoner band that has ever existed.
2. Only Hit Dotted Frets
Open, three, five, seven. That’s it. What more do you need? There are 6 strings; using those frets alone that’s 24 notes! If you can’t make a stoner riff with that, give up. Unless you’re going to play solos, there’s no point being all fancy and learning some impossibly technical pentatonic blues scale that you’re going to forget the next day anyway. When you really have to play a lead, you can simply reiterate the riff pattern on a higher string. If you really want to get fancy, you can use frets nine or twelve. But remember, this comes at the risk of confusing your audience.
4. Maintain A Constant Tempo
This tip is based on a similar concept to the last one. You don’t want to harsh anyone’s buzz by confusing them with tempo changes and the like. Pick a tempo between say 40 – 60 bpm and stick to it, not just for one riff or one song but the whole album. A nice constant tempo means you and your audience can bob their head along without fear of working up a sweat or missing a beat. Expending any extra amount of energy is just counter-productive to your cause. Another benefit of maintaining a constant tempo is that if someone happens to zone-out during the performance, they’ll have no trouble jumping back into time when they remember what it is they’re supposed to be doing. Even if they reach nirvana in a reverie or just plain old nod-off in between bars, there’s likely to be enough time for them to wake back up before the snare hit while still squeezing in an enjoyable sleep.
2. Be More Stoned Than Your Audience
This goes for performing and recording alike. Now while it is logical to assume you would want your audience to be more stoned than you in order for their appreciation and awe levels to be higher than normal, which has worked for bands since the 1970’s, what I’m proposing is a radical new approach. Contrary to the traditional method, I’m suggesting you rip the pages out of the history books and roll them up into one big fat joint and get as blazed as you possibly can for both the recording of the album and the live concerts. None of this rub your eyes and make them look red shit, get fucking baked! You can’t expect to really feel the power of your own riffs and lay down the perfect take without a toke or ten. Same goes for gigs; the crowd will sense it if you’re not completely out of your tree. Turning up to the studio or taking the stage with a blunt lit in your mouth is the bare minimum. Go above and beyond. Convert the fog machine into a dank billowing lung hazard, cover your strings in hash oil, you could even use an oversized water pipe for a mic stand. Do whatever it takes to make sure everyone around you knows that you are irretrievably stoned.
0. Dismiss Other Genres
Dismissing the other genres should be quite easy. Just forget they exist. When people ask for your influences, just say weed. If they really press you, maybe mention Sabbath. They were the first stoner band anyway, weren’t they? Who cares! The part of your brain you previously used to store the names and sounds of other genres could be better used for far more pressing concerns, like: If weed was put here by God, why is it illegal? How many hairs exactly are there in your beard? What’s that guy’s name again? Why do some farts smell like cabbage when you all you’ve eaten is a microwaved enchilada? If T-Rex fought Godzilla, who would win? No, really, he is walking over here now, looking straight at me, what is his name again? “Hey.. dude”.