By Nicolás José Rodríguez and Javier Hasse.
Machine Head’s Logan Mader recently joined 22Red, the cannabis brand founded by System of a Down’s Shavo Odadjian. 22Red is a premium lifestyle brand focused on cannabis, fashion, music and wellness.
Benzinga sat down with both to discuss all things weed.
The story of how Shavo met Logan goes back to the mid-1990s when thrash metal and groove metal gave birth to different subgenres like nu-metal and metalcore, which would redefine the rock music scene at the end of the century.
In 1997, when System of a Down didn’t have a record deal and hadn’t even played outside of California, the band was invited to open for Machine Head in Nevada. Machine Head was already a consolidated band with two successful albums under its belt and a world tour.
“The crowd didn’t like us. Most metal fans didn’t know what to think of us,” Shavo remembers in an exclusive interview with Benzinga. “We started playing and we got pumpkins – it was around Halloween, cans and beer bottles were thrown at us.”
Despite the lack of support, the band powered through and finished its set. “We bonded with the guys from Machine Head over the whole experience, especially Logan,” Shavo added.
Logan also vividly remembers this experience: “It was before System got signed and there was a big buzz in the industry around them. We got our hands on their 3-song demo cassette and were blown away by how unique and creative it was. Machine Head asked them to join us at a gig in Vegas at The Huntridge Theater. The crowd didn’t really get them. They were booing and throwing stuff at System while they played.”
It took Machine Head’s singer to step on stage and tell the crowd to “chill the f out” for System to be able to finish their show.
“The funny thing is, just a few short months later, SOAD’s first album came out and went to #1,” Logan continued.
They were constantly on the radio in Vegas and the rest of the world. It was apparent that a small handful of haters turned into millions of fans worldwide.
The Perfect Fit
Defined as a “boutique-quality cannabis brand that involves the aspects of music clothing culture,” 22Red is a brand of products personally curated by Shavo. All the products are hand-selected by Shavo himself to ensure potency, quality and peak effects.
Logan’s selection reflects Shavo’s commitment to the brand's values: intimacy, potency, quality, character, dedication and authenticity.
“Logan and I have been friends since the Huntridge show, he’s an advocate for cannabis, and is stationed in Las Vegas, so when a position opened up for a brand ambassador, he was the perfect fit," Shavo explained. “His personality and vibe fit the 22Red ethos.”
Logan agreed: “I’ve also had the pleasure of touring with System on Ozzfest ’98 and some other USA gigs while I was in Soulfly. Shavo has always been a great friend over all the years I’ve known him.”
The opportunity to work for 22Red came at the right time and place for Logan.
“22Red is a very cool brand with legit genetics and product quality that stands on its own. I like that it’s a celebrity brand, but doesn’t rely on celebrity name recognition to sell it. It sells because people love it and most don’t even know that Shavo is the creator behind it,” Logan explained. “It really is a lifestyle brand that aims to honor and celebrate the creative mindset in all of us.”
A Personal Relationship With Cannabis: ‘A Good Sativa Can Open Channels’
Logan, a long-time stoner, explained his personal relationship with cannabis and how it changed over time to include “tolerance breaks,” which he would only interrupt to smoke with Jimi Hendrix - his favorite stoner of all time. “My father introduced me to his music when I was very young and his sound and vibe spoke to me. He’s one of the reasons I play guitar,” Logan said.
“Cannabis has always been there for me through good and bad times. I’ve spent most of my life as a weed smoker,” he said. “Right now, however, I guess I could say I’m on an extended tolerance break. I’ve been 100% sober except for caffeine for 11 months. The decision to do this came from intuitive thoughts and it feels right for where I’m at in life and work.”
Logan views cannabis as far healthier than alcohol; he believes alcohol can indeed be harmful.
“Cannabis heals, alcohol destroys. For me, alcohol usually played a role in making bad decisions, but cannabis never did that. I believe alcohol lowers the natural human vibratory rate and cannabis can actually raise it. I’ve witnessed alcohol ruin internal organs and marriages. On the flip side, I know of many success stories where cannabis played a big role in beating cancer." Logan said.
“I wrote some iconic guitar riffs on the first Machine Head album and was most definitely high when I did. A good Sativa can open channels up and help one gain access to 'The Song,'” he added.
- How can we, as an industry, address some of the issues derived from years of a racially-motivated War on Drugs?
"Education. The more people understand the history of discrimination against cannabis, the more people want to fix the problems and make the right changes. I would like to see raised awareness in general that leads to removing cannabis-related issues from the War on Drugs," Logan said.
"Big things are on the horizon. In California, we just hit the shelves of STIIIZY, but Nevada is my primary focus. I'm helping to increase the footprint here on the way to making 22Red #1 in the state."