By Kennedy Pawluk
EDMONTON – What do you get when three of Edmonton’s best young jazz musicians get together, get as stoned as possible, and improvise an entire album? You get Marijuana Sauna’s debut.
“The whole thing was recorded in three separate, several hours long sessions,” explains drummer Cam O’neill. “The point was to go in, get as high as possible and then just jam and make stuff up, but we wanted it to be kind of groovy stuff. So, as a result we recorded a lot of shit, and then had to go through it all and be like ‘some of this is really bad.’”
Self-recorded by O’neill and bassist Sacha Liebrand, once the recording was done, Liebrand took a majority of the tracks and began remixing them, forming long improvised jams that were often over 10 minutes long into concise tight jazz, hip-hop and groove-based bangers. “Feeling free to cut stuff up and cut stuff out, it gave me a lot of resources to work with from a creative standpoint in production,” says Liebrand.
While this was the case for much of the album, keyboardist Ross Nicoll is quick to add that they made sure to leave tracks with little editing like the standout, “Certified Banger,” to maintain the improvised, stoned spirit of the album.
“Yeah, that was the other thing, ‘adds O’neill. “We wanted to try as many methods as possible of smoking weed per session.” With this in mind, the band was experimenting whether different methods would influence different results in the type of music made but, unfortunately, are quick to admit that instead they just ended up getting super high each time with no substantially varied results.
So, what started as a hot box session in the Marijuana Sauna, a close friends gazebo turned smoke shack, has blossomed into an album where three of Edmonton’s most talented musicians could let loose and allow the jams to flow free like the smoke from their bongs.
Marijuana Sauna’s debut album will be released Oct. 17 with a legalization celebration house show featuring hip–hop sampler Bobbito Pickles.Bobbito Pickles, Certified Banger, Marijuana Sauna