Torquil Campbell of Stars Is a Canadian Cannabis Hero

"Listening to Prefab Sprout while high is like giving your brain a bath"

BY Alex HudsonPublished Mar 26, 2021

When there's nothing left to burn, you have to set your weed on fire.

Torquil Campbell is the frontman of Stars as well as a longtime cannabis aficionado — and he's combined those interests in LOOP/POOL, a new cannabis brand that places a special emphasis on supporting musicians through its grant programs. He has joined the company as a co-founder alongside Our Lady Peace's Raine Maida, Blue Rodeo's Jim Cuddy, dvsn, Kiesza and more.

We caught up with Campbell to learn more about his cannabis consumption preferences, his memories of trying to score pot in Toronto, and why characters in Stars songs don't smoke weed. He also told us a bit about his plethora of upcoming projects, including a new Stars album.

What do you smoke and how do you consume it?

I smoke indica. I love vape pens 'cause I can smoke them anywhere!

What do you like to do when you smoke?

For me, music and weed go together like coffee and cream. Smoking has been a part of me making music for a long, long time. Listening to Prefab Sprout while high is like giving your brain a bath!

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

It's pretty crazy for someone like me, who remembers the days of trying to cop weed in front of video arcades on Yonge Street, to be able to walk into a fancy store and talk to the person working there about exactly what kind of weed I want. It should have always been that way. The false equivalency of weed and Class A drugs is something that needed to go.

Where in your city is great for cannabis?

In Vancouver there's tons of stores, but I've got some buddies in the Slocan Valley that know where it's at.

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

There's a few references to weed in our songs, but not very many. The characters in our songs are too fucked up for weed — they like the hard stuff. 

Who are your Canadian cannabis heroes?

[Metric guitarist] Jimmy Shaw will always be my cannabis hero

What else are you working on?

Stars are working on a new album, and this year I've been busy. I've been commissioned to write another play for Crow's Theatre in Toronto, I have a podcast called Soft Revolution that I tape weekly, I've done some soundtrack work this year on feature films, and I have written a musical with Ben Gibbard [of Death Cab for Cutie] and Daniel Handler [a.k.a. Lemony Snicket] that we hope to workshop this year! Busy times. Too many fuckin' Zoom calls!

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