The Black Dahlia Murder's Trevor Strnad Is a Cannabis Hero

The vocalist discusses the futility of the war on drugs and how cannabis stopped him from being such a picky eater

BY Joe Smith-EngelhardtPublished Apr 6, 2020

Melodic death metal masters the Black Dahlia Murder are best known for their horror-drenched imagery brought to light through harsh blasts of full-bore aggression, but if you pay attention to the band outside of their music, you'll know they have a huge love for cannabis. With the band's ninth full length, Verminous, arriving April 17 via Metal Blade Records, we caught up with vocalist Trevor Strnad to discuss his love for the plant and how it gets incorporated into his band. See the cannabis questionnaire below and listen to their latest single "Verminous."

What do you smoke and how do you consume it?

I am a regular old flower smoker usually. I smoke a lot of bowls and the occasional joint. I like a good bong rip, too. Sativas are my favourite but I also like indicas and hybrids. Gorilla Glue, Girlscout Cookies, Bubblegum, Blue Dream — I'm really not that picky, as long as it's chronic. I also like the ease and discreteness of the oil pens. [They're] good for sneaking onto planes or into the movies. I have never bothered with a CBD product but I condone their uses for medical purposes. I'm THC all the way!

What do you like to do when you smoke?

I like to listen to music. I feel like it enhances the experience. It's helped open my mind to all kinds of different sounds and genres. I will dabble with it when I am stuck creatively whilst writing for the Black Dahlia Murder. Sometimes it can give me a unique perspective on vocal patterns that I hadn't realized while sober. I also like to eat! Weed definitely expanded my horizons as far as food. I went from being one of those neurotic people that only eats like ten different things to being a lot more adventurous.

What do you think about the recent changes in cannabis culture?

I think it's smart to legalize it. So much money and effort and resources have gone into fighting against it, and for what? It's less dangerous than alcohol by a long shot. I am however honestly surprised and excited that we've come as far as we have. I would never have expected this 15 years ago.

Where in your city is great for cannabis?

I live in New York where it's been decriminalized but not fully legalized. It's everywhere you go here. People are smoking on every corner. It's a pretty relaxed environment in that regard. I personally like to smoke at the park. Mr. Green is my favourite delivery service. Delivery services are quite prominent here. [This interview was conducted before coronavirus lockdowns began — Ed.]

Are there hidden (or not-so-hidden) cannabis references in your songs?

Any cannabis references have been pretty blatant. The song "Great Burning Nullifier" from the Ritual album is about smoking weed and worshipping it as some kind of God. There are also some nods to smoking in "Dave Goes to Hollywood," which is about tour life.

Who are your cannabis heroes?

Willie Nelson, Tommy Chong and Cephalic Carnage.

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