Eight of Wands
James Crabtree is a multi-dimensional artist and musician living in the Southern California area. He is currently working on an instrumental project under the name Eight of Wands and an alt/rock project called Rick Miles. Music has always been his number one passion for which he blames his mom, “She’s always singing and I know she was singing while I was in the womb. I think I felt the vibrations and the comfort of that; music has always been my safe place.” James’ work is both calming and peaceful while also powerful and explosive. This cool, creative artist was kind enough to fill out our PMO questioner and here are the results:
When did you first notice your artistic abilities?
When I was a little kid, I was singing and humming melodies before I was even talking. So, ever since I started developing a memory I’ve had a passion for music.
When did you get into smoking weed?
I first smoked when I was 15 or 16. It freaked me out a little bit and I didn’t smoke again for a few years. I didn’t really get into it until I was listening to one of my favorite albums (OK Computer from Radiohead) with the headphones on and it completely blew me away unlike anything else before. I swear I could see colors swimming all around me. It was an extremely beautiful experience.
Do you prefer indica or sativa? Do you have a favorite strain?
I definitely prefer sativa. The dispensary I go to has XJ-13 and it’s one of my favorites. It’s also Clean Green Certified. I don’t know exactly what that means, but it does have a nice ring to it.
When did you first realize that smoking weed could help/enhance your creativity? And how does it help with your creative process?
The first thing I noticed was that I could get my mind completely submerged in the music and I wasn’t thinking or trying too hard. I wasn’t distracted and everything felt like it was flowing through me without a buffer.
Has cannabis ever helped you to meet, collaborate or network with other artists?
Yes. I do remember several bowls being passed around in the studio. I’m not sure it was always productive, but it was a lot of fun!
What is your favorite method of getting high? (Smoking, vaporizer, edibles?)
I’ve tried many methods and smoking is still my favorite buzz. It doesn’t sneak up on you like edibles.
Who are some other cannabis advocates that you may respect or that have inspired you?
Ryan Adams, The Flaming Lips, Willie Nelson, Towelie.
Has being a cannabis user ever affected your life negatively?
Yes. I was arrested 15 years ago for possession in Florida. I ended up violating my probation by leaving the state and had to spend three months in jail. I’m very glad that I can purchase weed legally in California.
How has smoking weed allowed your career as an artist/musician to develop or grow?
It’s all about moderation. I think, if you smoke too much, you become lazy and apathetic. Less is best for me. Just a little bit helps take the edge off and helps me to focus and get lost in the noise. It really helps with anxiety and ADD.
Do you feel that bringing public awareness to cannabis inspired art and music can help lift the stigma that cannabis artists and users throughout the world might feel?
I do. I think awareness on any subject can help lift misconceptions and stigmas. There’s a lot of misinformation out there and shedding some light can do nothing but help.
What do you think is the biggest misconception that anti marijuana advocates might have about cannabis users? How do you think that we can eliminate the negative outlook that non-cannabis users might have for cannabis using artists and musicians?
Maybe that it’s a gateway drug. A lot of the misconceptions have been fading pretty quickly over the last few years and it’s great to see states starting to legalize it.
For more information on James please look out for his stop motion animation music video for Eight of Wands and check him out on Facebook.
Please also check out the links below to view some of his other works:
(live performance of The Dream Waltz)