Geoffroy Is a Canadian Cannabis Hero
Published Oct 23, 2020
Montreal electro-soul songwriter Geoffroy builds ornate sonic worlds, blending mellow beats and synthesized sweetness with forthright lyrics. His 2017 debut album, Coastline, earned a long-list nomination for the Polaris Music Prize, while last year's 1952 dove into intensely personal themes by paying tribute to the multi-instrumentalist's late mother.
Geoffroy tells Exclaim! that he's a daily smoker — which sometimes aids his creative process but tends to make him easily distractible. He also shares some of his favourite Montreal spots to satisfy the munchies, and reveals why Quebec's post-legalization cannabis policies still leave a lot to be desired.
What do you smoke and how do you consume it?
I'll usually smoke light sativas during the day and switch to indica after dinner, if the plan is to take it easy. Mostly all rolled in unbleached paper and filter — most importantly, always without tobacco. I've been smoking weed for just over 10 years now but never got into tobacco or cigarettes. That shit will kill you slowly while making your apartment, your clothes, and everything else you own stink.
An example of a light sativa I'm enjoying right now is the Tangerine Dream, which is sold at SQDC. It's only about 11% THC, and smells and tastes wonderful. Not too strong compared to other bud sold nowadays, which hover around a 18-20% THC level, which is high, even for a daily smoker like me. That Tangerine Dream will surely give you a little buzz but you'll still be able to keep a straight face in case you're handling serious business.
I'm also smoking some locally-grown Ringo's Gift, which is a high-CBD/low-THC bud, ideal for a morning stretch or for smoking onstage, when you don't want to be completely phased out. It's important to understand that different strains will have dramatically different effects on your brain: some leaving you feeling light, cheerful and floaty, while others (strong indicas) will leave you couch-locked and lost in your own thoughts — not that that's a bad thing, it just depends on the context.
What do you like to do when you smoke?
The one obvious sweet thing to do when high, besides many things, is making music. It puts me in a bubble where I'm more focused and extra creative, but at the same time, easily distracted. It's the one challenge when creating high, to remain focused on the task at hand. Too many interesting options come to mind and interfere with the genius spurs.
What do you think about the recent changes in cannabis culture?
I think we're headed in the right direction but we're not entirely there yet. We can feel it in the reluctance of some provinces, cities or neighbourhoods even, to control or limit the use and growth for personal consumption. We should all be able to grow our weed legally, as we grow our own basil. In Quebec, the government has the monopoly on selling legal marijuana. Evidently, they don't want to lose customers by allowing them to grow their own plants so they have made it illegal to do so (overruling Trudeau's law allowing for four plants a person). However if you have a doctor's prescription for marijuana, you then fall back on Canadian law and can grow up to four plants. From what I understand at least... They make it so confusing, especially for stoners.
Where in your city is great for cannabis?
Anywhere is great for smoking, whether it's to better connect with your surroundings or to better disconnect (if you're downtown). The cool thing about being high in Montreal is the amazing variety of decently priced restaurants and munchies spots around the city. Have a few tokes then order a griot fritay at Casse-croûte Sissi & Paul, or a banh mi at Marché Hung Phat, or a Kerblui smoothie at Shäika Café in NDG, or veggie thali at Chand Palace in Parc Ex.
Are there hidden (or not-so-hidden) cannabis references in your music?
For sure there are many in my lyrics and I definitely don't need to hide anything in that regard. I write about my life, my thoughts, in a very honest and transparent manner. Since weed plays a part in my life, it naturally comes out when writing.
Here's a reference is in "Woke up Late": "Woke up late feeling lazy, sun in my face / Got to smoking too early, like any other day." And another in the chorus of "Coastline": "Ive been stalling on the coastline, staying out of sight / Been stoned and overthinking, misreading all your signs."
Who are your Canadian cannabis heroes?
Anybody who gives growing weed a shot is a hero.
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