The Heylo Cannabis Blog

707 Truthband Playlist Interview with Bob the Wizard

707 Truthband Playlist Interview with Bob the Wizard

Published
December 20, 2019
What happens when the world's of a famous drum machine and a nascent cannabis strain collide? The 707 Truthband Playlist creator Bob the Wizard offers some history and perspective in this entertaining interview.

It's not often a cannabis strain comes along that shares its name with a famous drum machine, the TR-707. Robert, AKA Bob The Wizard, who is the Laboratory Lead here at Heylo and electronic music enthusiast, curated our 707 Truthband playlist which is comprised of only songs that use the TR-707.

Can you describe your inspiration for this playlist?

It's not often a cannabis strain comes along that shares its name with a famous drum machine, so I got really excited when I saw the 707 Truthband show up in the lab. I've been an electronic music enthusiast for a few years now, and a lifelong cannabis consumer. It's always neat when two hobbies you are passionate about intersect.

707 synthesizer and cannabis

What is the meaning behind the 707 reference?

In the context of music, the 707 refers to the TR-707 Rhythm Composer, which is a drum machine released way back in 1984 by the electronic instrument company Roland. The 707 is like the little brother to the much more expensive and sought after TR-808. Demand for 808's was so outstanding Roland decided to release a more affordable drum machine using digitalsamples instead of the analogue circuitry used in the 808. The 707 was instantly adopted by both underground and professional music producers, and became a staple in early house music, acid music and 80's pop music.

In the context of cannabis, the 707 refers to Humboldt County, California. The 707 Truthband namesake refers to the being a crossbreed of particular phenotypes of F5 Truth OG and 707 Headband. The unique heritage of this sativa-dominant hybrid strain makes for a very heady high.

"The 707 was so important to the broader music culture, I wanted to explore the entire breadth of the 707's musical capabilities..."

What was your experience with vaping the 707 Truthband?

I felt very focused and grounded. Very easy to get "into the zone" exploring music and making sounds on my own drum machines and synthesizers! It's uplifting and motivating without being anxiety-inducing like a lot of other sativa dominant strains make me feel sometimes. 

I was fortunate enough to get to extensively preview our 707 Truthband strain before it hit the market and help get inspired for this playlist. I took it home and pretty much just holed up for a weekend, got super high and dove down the 707 music rabbit hole!

What do you hope listeners feel while listening to this playlist and having 707 Truthband?

N O S T A L G I A  -- a longing for a yesterday that never was and a tomorrow that always will be.

I had a lot of fun making this playlist and exploring new music based around hunting down songs that specifically featured the 707 drum machine. Full disclosure, I couldn't 100% verify that the 707 drum machine was used on every single song on this playlist is the 707, there's a couple that I just had to use my best judgment by comparing what I heard in the song against the 707 samples I personally have available.

The 707 was so important to the broader music culture, I wanted to explore the entire breadth of the 707's musical capabilities, I figured I'd start the playlist with a familiar, well known song: an extended club mix of Phil Collins' "Take Me Home". This 8 minute version of the song really lets the 707 drum machine sing. Included in the playlist are many of the other big names known to have used the 707 instrument such as Daft Punk, Aphex Twin and perhaps most infamously Rick Astley. There's also a lot of relatively obscure and lesser known artists in the mix; I just love discovering new music, there's several new artists I'm currently hooked on as a result of making this mix!

I wanted to close the playlist with a particular song I hadn't heard before I started exploring music for this 707 strain: Pachanga Boys' "Time". I put this song last mostly because it's a really long song, I didn't want someone to be listening to it while simultaneously waiting for the next track to start. Something about "Time" really struck a chord with me, it's just so damn ambitious, it deserves to unfold and be enjoyed without any overarching sense of anticipation.

music and cannabis

What is your musical background?

None really. My hobby is noodling around with synthesizers and drum machines I keep in a small closet under the basement stairs in my apartment here in Seattle. I guess I'm literally an underground musician in that sense. There's just enough room for myself, my instruments and a sound system.The subwoofer is only a few inches away from my head, which can be both a blessing and a curse at times. 

I took band class in middle school. I played the drums. I couldn't and still can't really read music, so I opted to just be a percussionist, which was a little easier because you just have to hit the beat on time. I played drums for numerous failed bands me and my buddies in high school tried to get started. Had a drum kit in my bedroom, which probably drove my mom bonkers in retrospect. I was briefly in marching band in high school, but I ended up dropping out of band after 9th grade to focus solely on visual art and other "extracurricular activities". 

How did you first get into studying music?

My friends in college convinced me to go to the Bonnaroo Music and Arts festival in Tennessee. At my 2nd Bonnaroo I got invited to dance on the electronic music art-car stage: Kalliope. That whole experience really got me hooked on electronic dance music. I felt inspired to get back into making music and wanted to understand how EDM artists make these insane soundscapes you hear when you listen to this new type of music that doesn't really rely on traditional instruments.

I started watching YouTube videos and reading on forums such as Reddit about synthesizers and music production. Long story short, I learned that about 99% of electronic music is simply (or not so simply) made on a computer using Digital Audio Workstation or a DAW. I didn't really jive with the experience of trying to make music with a mouse and keyboard, so i decided to try to make electronic music without relying on a DAW.

Instead of using a computer I've invested in assembling a bunch of different synthesizers, drum machines and guitar pedals to create my own sound and workflow. I only use a DAW to record what I'm playing live on my syths. Maybe one day I'll be playing my own music on Kalliope as Bob the Wizard.

Do you have any interesting musical equipment?

Yes! My first electronic music device I ever bought, the Novation Circuit! I took my Circuit to Burning Man this year and it didn't melt or get clogged full of dust! The Circuit is a synth, a drum machine and a digital sampler all in one fun little groove box! It's battery operated so I can take it anywhere I want, and because its a sampler I can make music out of any anything I want - including the vintage 707 and 808 sounds!

I also really like my Rainbow Machine guitar pedal, it sounds exactly like what you'd think something called a Rainbow Machine would sound like!I run my drum machines through it to give my beats a psychedelic flavor. 

What are some of your favorite things to do whilst stoney?

Aside from endlessly twisting synth knobs and twiddling around making drum beats, I like to just take it easy and relax. I like to paint, listen to podcasts, watch documentaries, study magic and play with lights and lasers. Typical Wizard stuff. I am definitely more of an Indica dominant type of cannabis enthusiast.I only smoke sativa when I have a lot of chores around the house to do.

Can you describe your role at Heylo?

As the Laboratory Lead, I deal with scheduling, traceability, oil extraction, and final formulation of our vapor products. I also deal with a lot of practical troubleshooting. The cannabis industry is so young that there's often little to no resources out there for how to solve certain problems we encounter. So we are often writing to book for how to do what we do as we go. It can be a tough job at times, but I work with an amazing team of really smart and talented people who care a lot about what they do. It's my dream job, I honestly never thought I'd be doing this (legally) in America. 

I take a lot of pride in my work. I'm very glad that Heylo as a company has been putting safety first since day one and only using 100% cannabis derived oils in our vaporizers. I like to think we have collectively been able to contribute something meaningful to the world in the form of a quality cannabis oil product. It blows my mind to think about how many people's lives I am influencing on a daily basis through Heylo. I consider what I do as much of an art as much as a science and I hope folks love our product as much as I do!

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