Dopamine speaks with Shoalwater WA reggae and roots artist Darren Guthrie, who has just dropped his debut album and third release ‘Seeds Of Change’. Guthrie is about to kick of an East Coast tour this May! Check out his tunes or see more info on his website here, and Facebook here.
Your debut album is called Seeds of Change – is the album inspired by weed?
While the album does have influence from cannabis and canna-culture, its definitely not solely inspired by my favourite herb. The title “Seeds of Change” is a bit of a play on the idea that each song is an individual seed sown in the listener’s mind and left to grow with later contemplation. The album is a collection of compositions that cover a variety of socio-political topics including unjust incarceration, prohibition, social greed and consumerism, and the moral imperative of medicinal cannabis.
Did smoking help you write the album?
Consuming cannabis definitely relaxes me and heightens my creativity when I compose. However, its greatest strength has been in helping me perform. I suffer from chronic pain and anxiety which can take their toll when I tour or perform a series of shows. By using high CBD medicine (accompanied by equal ratios), I’ve been able to reduce the impact of these conditions and make a living out of my passion – sharing my music.
We have a friend in common. Were you familiar with TROG before he designed your album cover?
I’ve always been a fan of TROG’s work – he’s such a talented artist! My fondness for his art started with a small collection of his stickers given to me by a close friend. Then when I spent some time with my music sponsors, Oz Bongs and Pure Haze, I had the opportunity to check out some of his incredible custom artworks, clothing items and more stickers. I got in touch with him via Instagram, which resulted in a great friendship and TROG coming on board to design the album artwork – something I am beyond stoked about.
Where do you stand with cannabis prohibition in Australia?
Australia’s current prohibition stance is a sad and frustrating one. Why would our government withhold access to an incredibly effective natural medicine, as shown by a mountain of research and positive feedback from medical professionals and users? Many desperately ill people (including children) could benefit from medicinal cannabis and improve their quality of life, yet our government moves so slowly on this issue. We are continually told that more studies need to be done. However, the truth is that studies have already been done globally, and they’ve shown that cannabis is a very safe and effective medicine. My belief is that everyone has a right to a happy life, with good quality and freedom from pain. If a natural medicine can provide that, why are we stalling on making it available for those in our community who so badly need it?
You have an East Coast tour coming up in May, is there anywhere in particular you’re excited to play?
I’m really excited for all of the shows along the East Coast. I’ve been wanting to put together a tour like this for a while, and it’s come together well with the help and support of the local venues and fans. I am really looking forward to playing the Nimbin MardiGrass Protestival again this year. It is always an amazing experience to play to a crowd of 500+ like-minded people who appreciate the message you have to share :).