Weedeater is a band meant to be played loud. Not the kind of loud where someone asks you to turn down the volume, but the kind of loud that destroys your stock car speakers while you speed a buck 20 down a midnight highway.
The name evokes an image of three guys who heroically injest their collective body weight in weed. While this is not far from the truth, the stoner sludge band actually gets its name from bassist/vocalist, “Dixie” Dave Collins’ old hound dog.
“It comes from years ago when we were trying to figure out a band name and my dog ate all my weed from the tray on my table. She died later on. Not from the weed, no, she just slept for a whole day,” Collins says with a thick Southern accent from his tour trailer in Dayton, Ohio.
Weedeater originated in Cape Fear, North Carolina 19 years ago and quickly became an essential name within the genre due to its begriming guitar and bass riffs, powerful vocals and lead-footed drums.
The band went on to release five albums with its most successful being 2011’s Jason … The Dragon. Soon after Weedeater entered the studio to record Jason … The Dragon, Collins had a minor accident while cleaning his favourite shotgun.
“I passed out on New Year’s and left it sitting in the corner with one shell in it,” Collins explains. “So nine days later, the barrel was right on my foot and I brushed the trigger and blew a hole right through my foot and the floor. So everything past the knuckle on my little toe is gone.”
The shotgun incident doesn’t bother Collins anymore. Now he wears it with pride.
“One day I think I might have that one shoe where the shell went through bronzed like they do baby shoes,” he laughs.
Weedeater’s latest album, Goliathan, came out in 2015, but the band has plans to release some new material.
“We’re not trying the reinvent the wheel,” Collins says. “It’s still going to be cave metal, but with some newer sounds and acoustic stuff. We hope people will like it and if not, fuck it, ‘cause we do.”
It’s Collins’ voice that separates Weedeater from every other band in the genre. Picture the rasp of AC/DC’s Bon Scott, but submerged in a heavier and angrier growl.
That harsh vocal style can cause a strain on Collins’ voice, but not to worry. The veteran has developed a foolproof remedy of bourbon and Robitussin cough syrup.
“I tape a bottle of cough medicine to my amp and put a little cocktail straw in it. Our guitar player calls me the hummingbird,” Collins laughs.
Of course, he does this to soothe his throat, but also gets a pretty consistent buzz from the codeine mixed with Evan Williams bourbon.
The members of Weedeater also seek musical inspiration from their good friend mary jane, and have always been lucky enough to receive all types of it from fans while on tour—so much so that they stopped bringing or buying their own all together.
“We do like our marijuana,” Collins says. “People give us weed and edibles all the time. Last night a gentleman gave us some edibles and they were delicious.”
During our conversation, I tell Collins about Canada’s plans for legalization of marijuana by 2018.
“Seems like Canada’s got her head in the right place,” he says. “We’re just passing medicinal in Carolina, but it’s the stupidest prohibition that’s ever been. I mean clearly liquor is way worse for you and so are cigarettes so I really don’t understand why you can buy as much bourbon as you want to, but you can’t smoke a joint.”
Mon., Apr. 24 (8 pm)
Weedeater w/ Primitive Man
Starlite Room, $23