Blending Styles & Strains with Beats Antique

Beats Antique Cannabis Now Magazine

Experimental musical group discusses investigating CBD and how marijuana factors into their creative process.


For over a decade, the Bay Area trio Beats Antique has been carving out a niche for themselves by blending a dazzling mix of far-flung styles — often from eras long past — with inventive grooves that, on stage, are accompanied by Zoe Jakes’ riveting dance performances.

Their tenth album, ‘Shadowbox,’ released in October 2016, further celebrates their adventurous spirit through a series of ambitious collaborations recorded across the globe: from Moscow to Tel Aviv, London to New Orleans.

Fresh off a massive U.S. tour, the group’s Jakes and Tommy Cappel explain the significant, and sometimes unexpected, role that cannabis has played in both their band and their personal lives.

Cannabis Now: What is your relationship with cannabis?

Jakes: David [Satori, the group’s third member] was in a bad car accident this winter. An intoxicated driver ran a red light and smacked right into his car. It was a kid mixing alcohol and Vicodin, ironically enough; he was almost passed out.

David had to take some heavy, addictive medication like Vicodin, and he had a really hard time getting off of it. The only thing that helped him was CBD. That was my “come to Jesus” moment. Cannabis just doesn’t work for my body, personally, but when I saw that happen to David, I was sold. I have a friend whose nephew died after getting in an accident, and being on all these incredibly heavy pills. He became a heroin addict. Having those personal moments really put it in perspective for me.

Tommy, I understand that you use cannabis to treat epilepsy. Have you been doing so for a long time?

Cappel: I do use cannabis to treat my seizures and quite a few other things as well. I play drums on tour every night for almost two hours. It takes a toll on my muscles.

Around the time [of David’s accident] I had a couple seizures. It had been a long time since I had one; it came out of the blue, [and I thought] I need to get back up on CBDs. Since then I’ve been fine. You have to have a personal experience with it, until then you kind of don’t believe [how powerful cannabis can be].

When I moved out to California, which happened to coincide with when I started to smoke really good weed (laughs), my seizures started to change. I started intentionally taking CBD pills that have no THC in them. At the same time, I started doing tinctures. I wasn’t taking these every day; a couple of times a week. There were some patches that I tried, too. What it came down to, however, was the vape pens. That was the best way for me to do CBDs, I did that on this whole tour. It was magnificent.

Jakes: There’s [a perspective out there] that marijuana can cure everything, but I tend to sit somewhere in the middle. It was really amazing to see just how much CBDs can affect a person.

Does cannabis factor into your creative process?

Cappel: It absolutely does. You hear things differently; you feel things differently. It’s a lot of freedom. It opens me up. When I’m around music, it connects me to whatever is going on inside of that song.

Your tour wrapped just as Prop 64 passed in California. Are you excited about the prospect of legalization?

Jakes: I hope that with cannabis becoming more socially and legally acceptable, there will be more money put into testing it and studying its health and medicinal aspects.

Cappel: It’s important to not listen to what me or anyone else says about it but to go on that journey themselves. I’ve been able to be completely off my meds for two and a half years now. That’s a huge milestone in my personal life, but it’s not the same for everyone. That’s what’s so great about legalization in California: we will finally be able to speak about it, understand it and use it safely. I’m glad that not just me but a lot of other people will be able to experience that as well.

Originally published in Issue 25 of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE

TELL US, what music are you listening to these days?

Max Savage Levenson is an audio producer and writer living in Berkeley, California. His work has appeared on NPR Music, All Songs Considered, the Hash podcast, KQED's The California Report and others. Max also hosts a totally non-recorded live-audience talk show called the Max Savage Show, because he is a narcissist who just wants people to like him.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *