Thanks for The Memories… and this particular stonerrific band’s brand new album, Pickles & Pies, which is out today via Gnar Tapes/Axis Mundi Records. Through thirteen new tracks, the group holds a clinic on how to write sensible and refreshing lo-fi bedroom pop, dreamy folk and psychedelic synth. It’s a listening experience perfect for headphones and those moments where you just feel like a little escapism.
Pickles & Pies is a special release for The Memories since it marks ten years since their formation in Portland. They’re not quite like your everyday rock band though; instead, they’re more of a collective with a loose lineup of nebulous members and collaborators. The group is primarily led by the LA-based artist Rikky “Free Weed” Gage and his longtime friends Izak Arida, Chris “Unkle Funkle” Uehlein, and Jimmy “Jerry Rogers” Leslie, as well as longtime collaborator Colleen Green. For the first time in the band’s history, each member contributed to the songwriting while shacked up at Axis Mundi Records’ Rockaway Beach Hut studio in Rockaway, Queens. Pickles & Pies is the most ambitious and polished record The Memories have ever released with a lot of musical progress taking place since the 2018 release of Stargazer’s Highway.
As the newest entry in our continuing High Huddle interview series, we spoke with Rikky Gage about how marijuana fits in with his lifestyle and what his preferences are when it comes to terrific toking.
Weed, hash, sess, hydro, oil… what is your chronic tonic of choice?
Rikky Gage: “I like to smoke them all but I’m mainly into weed and only really indicas and really only OGs. I’m a lot more loose with the oils and hash; I don’t mind them being sativas or hybrids but I prefer the sleepier stuff. I like to get high.”
How do you prefer to ingest your devil’s lettuce: pipe, papes, bong, home-made contraption?
“I smoke joints but right now I’m actually dabbing a lot because I got a fat care package from a fan. All high-end terpy shit. Some shatters and some sugar. Is that what you call it? I’m using a bong with a Peli-Nail.”
Do you have a preferred time of day to smoke and, if so, when and why?
“Yes, I prefer the times of day that I’m awake! I smoke in the morning and up until I sleep.”
To what end do you consume chronic? Mellowing out, getting creative, eating a truck-load of munchies, hitting the gym, spending time with your mom? (All of the above?)
“As mentioned above, all. Before meetings (when we had those) and after. During too, if it’s appropriate.”
How do you get your ganja; Dispensary, bud-buddy, government (yes, some countries sell it direct), self-grown? Maybe you have a range of options? Share!
“I live in Los Angeles where it’s legal but I go to the grey-market spots. I’ll buy from growers if someone has connects but I get a screamin’ deal out in East LA.”
Do you deal with edibles and, if so, give us some deets on what you’re into.
“I take a lot of RSO. I love edibles. I’ll take some for long flights and theme parks.”
Describe to us your best weed-induced “trip” or story.
“I’ve been smoking since I was 17 and I’m 31 now so I don’t trip from smoking weed. And all my early ones just pale in comparison to DMT. But edibles are trippy and I took some on a flight to Paris once. I had some chocolate and it was like 5 am and everyone on the plane had fallen asleep. I took the chocolates and just stared into the swirly darkness. That was trippier than it sounds but it was cool.”
Similarly, can you share your worst weed-related experience to date?
“Anything bad associated with weed is all law enforcement bullshit. Getting strip-searched in Sweden. Getting pulled aside by police in New Zealand on the way to Australia. All while not carrying because I’m smart about borders and customs; meaning I always travel clean. But they can just tell by looking at me that I’m a stoner.”
How do marijuana and your form of music jive for you?
“I listen to all kinds of music and make a lot too. Weed is like coffee to me where it’s just part of my day to day. It’s best with music. Nothing is better than smoking weed in a parked car and just cranking tunes. It can be Nas, or Power Trip, or the soundtrack for Katamary Damacy on PS1. I’m gonna listen to it all. Britney Spears is really good stoned, especially if you’re already a fan.”
How high is too high, or is there a “too high?”
“Too high is relegated to hard drugs i.e. the ones that can kill you. That’s too high. Dead is too high.”
Do you think pot is a gateway drug?
“The gateway is drugs being illegal. If drugs were decriminalized like they should be it wouldn’t even be the same conversation. I loathe the idea of gateway drugs. Anything can be a gateway drug.”
Sativa or Indica or both mixed together in a blender?
“INDICA. I have an indica leaf tattoo on my thigh. I told the tattoo artist I would cheese grate it off if he did a sativa leaf.”
If you smoke dope doobs, do you roll with a filter, and why/why not? What about mixing with tobacco – a sin or sinfully good?
“I do both. Depends on how I’m feeling. I never mix with tobacco but many of my friends do; and not just the European ones.”
What is the most devastating grow related issue that you’ve encountered, and what strain were you growing at the time?
“I only grew once in 2013 and all the plants changed gender or something. So we just had someone turn what they could into oil.”
Do you prefer Hydroponics over Soil growing and why?
“We planted it along the path in the backyard in the ground.”
Do you have your commercial growers license, and what was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome along the way?
“This was in Oregon in 2013 so it was just medical but I had a grower’s license from my friend as a loophole to also buy bud at the clubs.”
How many plants do you have in your grow space, and since going commercial you likely have more growing than you can manage yourself? Do you now employ staff? How many?
“We had three raspberry kush plants just chilling in the backyard.”
Do you ever find yourself worrying that because you’re not tending the babies themselves, they may not grow to their full potential?(i.e. Handing over quality control to someone other than yourself)
“I just took a lot of pics in front of it.”
Do you use any specific plant training techniques (such as topping etc.), or do you simply let the plant grow?
“We just let those babies do their own thing and we fucked it up.” (laughs)