Stoner Magic

Weed achievers Electric Wizard get one heavier


ELECTRIC WIZARD with ENSLAVED, Macabre, Diabolic and scar Culture at the Reverb (651 Queen West), Tuesday (December 18). $22. 416-504-0744.

Rating: NNNNN


the members of dorset’s heavier-than-thou Electric Wizard don’t take kindly to their pulverizing down-tuned blast being referred to as stoner rock. Not that the gore-flick-obsessed crew are against the occasional brain bake — quite the contrary. They just feel that all the thudding abstainers now being lumped together under the stoner rock banner have ruined it for the dope-positive few.

“We were calling our stuff stoner rock when no one else was using the term,” says guitarist Jus Osborn from a stop in Virginia, “but now it’s something the press uses for any band that plays second-rate Kyuss riffs. If you’re a stoner rock band, then you should have stoners in the group. Believe me, I know when someone is playing stoned.

“Being called stoner rock gives people the wrong idea about what we do. Every night on tour with these black metal bands, kids come up to us saying, “I thought you were gonna be some kind of hippie band, but you’re way heavier than all the other bands on the bill.’

“It took a while for people to hear us, but our audience has been growing steadily. We don’t just get the metal fans — we get the smoker crowd who like Bob Marley and Hawkwind, and the KoRn kids, too, because we are heavy — well heavy.”

That’s no idle boast. Electric Wizard knock out a massive rumble for three weedy dunderheads.

Those impressed with the earth-moving grind of their Dopethrone (TMC) disc should be prepared for an even more devastating blowback with their just completed follow-up, Let Us Prey (“It’s a play on words, y’know, two meanings”), due in February.

So what’s the Electric Wizard secret to getting their megawatt bombardment on tape? It’s all in the stacks.

“Some bands use small amps and overload ’em in the studio,” explains Osborn. “We use really, really big amps and overload those. It’s also important to play slow enough to let the sound build.

“I remember seeing Candlemass when I was 13. Their fast stuff was cool, but when they played very slowly you could feel the whole club shake. When we do shows now, I want to make the whole place crumble.”

timp@nowtoronto.com

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