If the cliché held true, you’d think any local reggae band would endorse the arrival of the new pot laws. Not necessarily, says guitarist/singer Cory Mahoney of Dubbest (pronounced dah-BEST).
“The whole tax they added is pretty intense,” says Mahoney. “It’s, like, 30 percent more. Plus, they knocked the legal limit on edibles to no more than 100 milligrams. But I guess it’s a step in the right direction.”
For the record, Mahoney says his band does smoke, but don’t expect them to write any songs about pot as a holy sacrament.
“We don’t sing songs about weed or having a positive vibe. We like to consider ourselves as having American songwriting but with roots reggae music. I’ve seen a lot of bands talk about ‘vibe’ and use terminology to gain popularity, but when you meet them and talk to them that’s not how they really are at all.
“It always bothers me that there are all these white kids who aren’t Rastafarian at all but they want to act like they praise Jah.”
Dubbest’s fifth national tour begins next month. “We pretty much play both coasts and the bottom part. Not the Midwest or North. But there are a few random spots we do well in, like Lincoln, Nebraska.”
He and his bandmates work in delivery, construction, and fast food when they aren’t touring. They all grew up in Massachusetts and moved here two years ago.
Dubbest, "Spend the Day," live @ the Belly Up, 2016
“San Diego is a little pricey,” says Mahoney. “But so is Boston. That’s why we all live together in a house in Lakeside. I would say to any reggae band that wants to move out here but is worried about that, there will always be a city in East County that will take you.”
Mahoney says friends back home mock their new home. “They make jokes that we’ve turned liberal or that all we do is hang out with surfers or stoners. And then you have old-school people like my parents who say we’re the land of fruits and nuts.”
Let them joke all they want, he says. “The marijuana, the reggae, and the girls you actually want...it’s all better out here.”