When UK rockers The Ting Tings announced that their third album would be called Super Critical, tokers the world over exchanged knowing looks, instantly recognizing the name of the popular strain. The duo of Katie White and Jules De Martino weren’t exactly shy in talking about the influence of this Indica on the recording of the album, which took place last year in Ibiza. And when Katie suffered an unfortunate hand injury that resulted in some cancelled tour dates this summer, Grasscity spoke to the pair about her recovery, the creative process, and how marijuana helps them come together.
Grasscity Magazine: Sorry to hear about the hand. How is it doing these days?
Katie White: Well, I’m certainly not swinging from the trees. I tore a tendon in my left hand, which meant pulling shows. Bummer! However, we’ve been putting time into building a new studio in southern Spain for a new record we’re starting in September, so it could be worse. And I get to spend some time with my doggies.
Grasscity Magazine: Some studies have shown that medical marijuana can be effective in the treatment of such injuries as it has pain-relief and inflammatory properties. Have you been using cannabis at all in your treatment? As a topical or otherwise?
Katie White: Not in particular. I’ve been doing physiotherapy and had the hand strapped up by docs orders. Puffing is a relaxant, but I’m not in extreme pain, just usage that is restricted and a real set back when you perform on stage each night with guitar and percussion. In the past, marijuana has chilled out the stresses of touring constantly and helped on the long bus rides when you’re so hyped and can’t think straight.
Grasscity Magazine: You named your recent album, Super Critical, which you discovered in Ibiza. Can you tell us what is special about that strain?
Jules De Martino: If smoked respectfully, it is a great leveler. Again, the problem in our game is we get too excited and wired about everything, screaming and shouting about a mix or a part. Weed sometimes helps to bond the energy in the studio without getting too far ahead of ones self. There’s a time a place for it, it’s no holiday in the studio, it’s work and focus but very intense so to help prevent all that fight and angst trying to achieve your goals. Puffing brings the team together and the work flow naturally exposes itself.
The decision to call the album Super Critical was because we had found such a safe haven together with our co-producer and the studio space on the island and the essence of smoking at certain points during the work load and seeing it was what we were smoking, the bag on the table undeniably influencing and effecting our moods. We wrote a song called “Super Critical,” then thought “What else can we call the album?” Here we are, putting the world to right smoking this strain. It’s gluing the record and us together at this moment. Makes total sense to be honest about it.
Grasscity Magazine: Any other strains you feel like shouting out?
Jules De Martino: Green Poison, another title on the record, and another strain we enjoyed on the island.Grasscity
Magazine: Cannabis has long been known as a catalyst for creativity. Can you explain how it works for you in this regard?
Katie White: For us, we had been through a hard fight on album two. The success of album one put us into overload. It’s cool being successful, but your ego eats you up and the labels cash you in. So finding a place to create album three meant breaking free.We started our own label and moved to Ibiza. We’ve always seen weed as something we want to enjoy when possible. Being on the island without anyone breathing down our necks meant we could be true musicians again and dig a little deeper into what was possible. As musicians, its a real challenge to do something you really love and get lost in to what you think might work for the label, managers and radio. This time we won the battle and got back in our skin again, and weed let us lose the grip a tad.
Grasscity Magazine: The UK seems to have a burgeoning cannabis scene, yet it is still completely illegal, as far as I know. What is your sense of the current situation, and how does it compare to other place you’re found in you travels?
Jules De Martino: It’s still so taboo, especially when one talks about using it or writes about it. It always sounds like you’re 14 and bragging about being stoned. I hate that feeling, especially when trying to score. When we travel, it’s mostly hidden because of its illegality and that makes you feel like a naughty kid looking for a buzz. However, it does seem to be more acceptable these days if perhaps more fashionable, too.
Grasscity Magazine: What is your preferred method of consumption? Does it vary depending on the situation?
Both: Rolling and vaporizing.
Grasscity Magazine: Have you experienced any downside to marijuana use? How do you mitigate those?
Katie White: Yeah, too much dehydration, and though relaxing, it will demotivate over a period of time. The art is to use it as a creative aid and enjoy it in small doses. It’s like everything in life, moderation and respect. Plus it costs a lot. Hyped costs in cities.