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Meet San Jose’s Beerijuana, a Band That Knows How to Party

In Culture, Music

Beerijuana. Yes, you read that correctly, and if the name alone sent tingles down your spine that was the correct response. While some sources date the origins of the San Jose band to, “Before the dawn of time (Optimus Prime Voice),” a quick read through the Sumerian texts will reveal that boast as a possible fallacy. More accurately, the band started in 2007. Its four members are: Dr Crazyfingers, Paul the Prophet, Zack Hicks, and Frank Resina. Their music is a breed all its own. Sure, Death Metal, Crustpunk and Thrash come to mind; but, like most original bands, it’s tough to pin down the sound of Beerijuana.

It’s definitely not something you’d have playing in your car while on a blind date. By the same token, it’s probably something you’d enjoy blaring from your car speakers on your way home, or with good friends. That kind of intensity can be a dangerous thing to reveal to ones you don’t trust. The theme of “trust” seems to be a big focus for the band, and while countless artists croon about love and love lost, Beerijuana gets to the crux of human existence: trust, deceit, revenge and friendship.

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Paul’s vocal delivery is sometimes hard to understand, bordering on cryptic.

“Language is loaded with meaning, and can sometimes be limiting,” says guitarist Dr. Crazyfingers. “The definitions of the lexicon are built by consensus and it hampers how much space you have to express with them. But a perceived wordless sound lets the listener’s mind assign the proper values to it. On our latest recording (EP out this spring), he is a bit more audible, by design. We also try to include a lyric sheet for those who wish to decipher the written meanings as well. The lyrics provide Paul the rhythmic and amplitude keys he performs to.”

So, while Paul is belting out inhuman vocals, Dr. Crazyfingers utilizes his neck-thru Kramer (drop-tuned to Bb of course) as a polyphonic back up. The guitar work is so fast Bach would flip his wig. If that wasn’t enough, Zach’s drums create a salvo of percussive tones reminiscent of WWI trench warfare, and Frank’s 300Watt GK rig can probably set off seismic sensors.

When asked about the more “caring” side of Beerijuana, Frank provided deep insight into what drives him as an artist. While seemingly intense and lewd, his answer can be interpolated via the use of editorial parentheses. In all fairness, the answer he provided was by email, but we can only assume the true meaning was:

“Soft, caring side? No! My interests are pussy (rescuing feral felines), weed (the eradication of intrusive species, which suffocate native plants), alcohol (denatured, for the specific use as an antiseptic in lower Saharan conflict zones), and motorcycles (electric and/or bio-diesel), not necessarily in that order.”

That exercise in editing is, most likely, something Beerijuana does not appreciate. That’s the beauty of this band. They’re all thoughtful human beings who pride themselves on crafting music, which is as honest as they can bring it, no editorial excuses necessary. Whether you like that honesty or not, it is meticulously crafted, and it is meant to incite powerful emotions.

Beerijuana plays the Blank Club, March 16th.

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