Recently returning from a private showcase in Los Angeles prior to the release of their third full-length effort Chemical Vacation (The Music Cartel), stoner/riff rockers Sea Of Green let bassist Eric Kuthe spill some of the beans on what’s going down with this Toronto-based power trio.
I suppose one of the biggest changes with Chemical Vacation is that you’ve introduced new drummer Matt Dowd into the fold. How has that altered the Sea Of Green sound?
Eric Kuthe: It’s had a big impact to be honest. Our old drummer was like Ginger Baker with big rolls and shit like that, where the new guy is from the school of Helmet, Quicksand and Tool. Matt likes the technical side of things. He adds this new element to things because he’s into lyrics and riffs, something the old drummer would never touch. Matt’s not as wild either, so we have the chance to breathe. I’d have to say he’s a grounded person, so he makes the band’s vibe more enjoyable. I’m the bitchy one now!
Drugs have always been an obvious part of Sea Of Green, but have they ever become a major issue?
No, there’s no issue… we’re worse than ever! (laughs) The album is called Chemical Vacation, you figure it out! (Drugs are) a sensitive thing really, but we are who we are. I don’t smoke up right now. I take a few tokes, but I just don’t feel like it at the moment. I’ll still blast up the hash before an interview though. I think drugs are a personal thing: whatever it takes you to relax, go for it. I mean, there are some legal drugs that I just won’t touch. If I took a cup of coffee, it would fuck me up more than coke. People get down on you for a joint, but they smoke two packs of cigarettes and drink 10 cups of coffee, who’s wrong?
Your recent trip to Los Angeles was to play for some major labels. Does this mean you’re looking to escape The Music Cartel?
I think it’s time to move on. TMC is really just one guy who’s made a lot of bad decisions regarding us. He was doing fine for so long, but I think he tried to grow too fast and it’s coming back on him. It shouldn’t have been two years between releases for us, but that’s what wound up happening. We were in Spin and High Times and things were moving, so it would have been the right time to really push, but nothing happened. Put it this way: wish I knew then what I know now…
I heard you were staying at the Hyatt, the infamous Riot House. You must have some amusing stories.
That place is always a blast. We ended up partying with Motorhead, that was crazy. I think the funniest thing though, was when I ran into Nick Carter from the Backstreet Boys. That was hilarious! We’re standing in the elevator with cases upon cases of beer. This unassuming blond guy comes into the elevator and his bodyguard buddy starts talking to me with the “How’s your vacation” and all of that when I realized who the guy was. I’m like, “Holy shit you’re the guy from *NSYNC!” It was the only band I could come up with, but man; it was like the needle dragging across the record. The elevator was silent for what felt like ages and then the guy’s like, “No, I’m in the OTHER band.” Well, I had a 50/50 chance on that one… I picked the wrong 50.”