Weedists: Meet Chief Greenbud
“Weedists are the people who are out there fighting the good fight and these are their stories.”
I had the pleasure of meeting Chief Greenbud via myspace when it was “happening” there. He agreed to come to Portland for our Global Cannabis March in May 2008, and our friendship began. He developed a big following here in Portland with return visits that included the 2010 national NORML Conference, where he was a headliner. Check out his music and enjoy! I am grateful that he took some time to do this interview – one weedist to another.
From the Chief Greenbud website:
“Chief Greenbud has taken his own personal experiences, along with shared stories from friends and fans, and set them to song.
With his sense of humor and gift for writing, Chief Greenbud has created something extremely unique and entertaining.
His style has been described as “Cheech and Chong” meets “Jimmy Buffett”, and once you hear the catchy melodies and insightful lyrics, you will understand why he is a crowd favorite wherever he performs.”
You could write songs for any genre, and certainly with less controversial subject matter. How did you come to a place where you decided to write songs about marijuana? What motivates you to continue?
I have been writing songs since I was about fifteen years old. I actually wrote a couple of the pot songs on Vol 1. prior to the Chief Greenbud project. A few years ago, after being arrested for marijuana and writing a few songs about my experience, I played them for a friend. He loved them and encouraged me to write more and record them. I did and thanks to social networking and people sharing my music with their friends, I have gotten the opportunity to perform all across the country and meet some of the friendliest people.
The motivation to continue comes from the fact that people are still getting put in jail for pot and treated like second class citizens. Also, the encouragement I get from people who get what I am singing about keeps me going. I get quite a few emails from people saying how my music touches them in one way or another. That means a lot to me.
You have traveled all over and live in a southern state. What are some highlights of the varying degrees of freedom you have enjoyed?
My first taste of freedom was in Portland, Oregon. I was there for the Global Marijuana March and got to visit the Cannabis Cafe. Talk about a surreal experience! I don’t want to go into details, but I will say that I felt like I was in Amsterdam. It is amazing to see the differences in lifestyles from cities and states that have either reduced penalties to fines or have medicinal marijuana and those that don’t.
What is it like to live and perform in a place that still has harsh marijuana laws?
I have played in a lot of states where pot is illegal. Once, in Texas, I got to the gig only to find out it was caddy corner to the police headquarters. I guess that explains why the club owner didn’t put my name on the sign out front. Now, when you talk about the state I live in, all I have to say about marijuana is, ” What’s that? I don’t believe I have ever heard that word before.” Ha-ha.
Where do you see cannabis law reform headed on a national level, not only in the upcoming election, but within the next five years?
I think more states will legalize marijuana for medicinal use, but it’s going to take decriminalization or outright legalization for personal use to make things right.
It would be nice to think that in five years marijuana prohibition will be over and we can utilize cannabis and hemp however we choose. I am concerned however that once it becomes legal and taxable nationwide, then corporations will get involved. I am not sure how good that will be for the cannabis consumer.
Your third CD was released in June. What is on the horizon for Chief Greenbud? And, I always want to know, when are you coming back to Portland?
Right now, I am promoting the new CD and writing new songs for the next one. We have sent the new CD to a lot of community and college radio stations across the US. So please call your local stations and request “Chief Greenbud”.
Most of the growth for CGB in the last four years has been organic. I am not as proactive as I should be in trying to gain more exposure for my music, but that is changing now. I have just recently started working with a manager from Green Village Entertainment. It should be interesting to see what the future holds.
Yes, Portland is on my list to come and visit next year. Hopefully that will happen!
Please share your favorite personal pot experience.
Oh, that’s a tough one. There have been so many cool things I have gotten to see and do because of Chief Greenbud. I guess the first time I got to sample eight different types of marijuana at one time – thank you, RUSS – has to top the list. In my life and in the states I have lived, you usually have one or two kinds to choose from at any given time. So, getting to sample a buffet of all types was just mind boggling.
I have been in a few dispensaries since then. It still blows me away every time I see a multitude of different varieties. I think that people with access like that sometimes forget what it’s like in other parts of the country.
If you had ten seconds to tell all your friends, family and fans just one thing, what would it be?
Ten seconds huh? Thank you. Thank you very much. I’ll be here all week. Two shows nightly. Make sure to tip your waitstaff!
Seriously, I would like to thank them for allowing me in their ears and for all their encouragement and support. I really do appreciate the way they are willing to help with promotion and sharing the music with like minded friends. I think that was about nine and a half seconds.