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The secret to a good grow - Viking Weed


15 February 2012

Just before heading out of the country I managed to catch up with John Strange from Hamilton’s very own VIKING WEED and hussle an interview. Here’s what happened.

Who the fuck are you and what the hell do you want?

Who? Me? I'm John Strange....I play the drums and do yells for Viking Weed. What do i want? erm...haven't quite figured that out, yet...what do you want, cunt?

How did Viking Weed come to be?

The actual conception of Viking Weed was a spontaneous jam one afternoon up at Void (excellent all-ages venue in Hamilton) with Lloyd and James, hammering out some riffs that James had lying around, mostly simple punk/stoner sorta stuff, short songs with simple structures and badass riffs...

It was really refreshing playing something that raw, less focused on fancy steez but more about cutting loose and writing gnarly tunes with my mates (the kinda shit we listen to on overnight drunks).

Viking weed was more of a hilarious idea than a band, for like a good three years’ worth of wasted shit-talking with James (guitar/vocals)... We both eventually ended up living in Hamilton at the same point and finally got jamming - initially with Lloyd (guitar/vocals) but he bailed on Hamilton for higher ground, taking a job offer in National Park. We had my long-time top dude Troll (bass/vocals) playing bass for a lengthy stretch, and Zane (bass/guitar), but our schedule got way intense way fast, and the line up mutated a bit from show to show to patch up for the missing band members...

Over the span of a few weeks, we covered Whangarei through Auckland, Hamilton, then Wellington for Never Mind The Punkfest 2011... We've essentially been playing the same few tunes for ages, but re-interpreted based on the dudes in the band at the time (and how fucked we might happen to be when it's time to play).

Have you got any weed? Can I have some?

Weed is so last year, man; we have graduated (or degenerated) to just huffing straight petrol eh. It's pretty sweeeueeeeuuuururrrrgghzzhhhhhhh....

How would you describe your sound, like a lion or more like a bear?

I would say more like a beer. maybe lion red. not really cheap, not even remotely classy, not even tastes nice - but you'll still drink it if it's free.

How drunk were you when you posted that first youtube clip?

Man, i didn't even post that clip - that paparazzi motherfucker Marms ( is a foul and salacious pervert and surveilled us in a very unsavoury fashion.

We'd just come off a baaaaad BAD night in Palmy North with some mates (Meth Drinker CD/LP release w/ Numbskull, Shock Futuro, Crimes, Discorpse and Electric Mayhem) - not to say the show was bad - it was fucking righteous - but the aftermath descended into Lovecraftian psychedelic weirdness, and that rotten sense of unease you get when you realize at 4am that you're trapped in Palmerston North, and shit looks like something out of Silent Hill.

We played our first show ever the following night at Cave Road in Welly where some pals of ours were having some bands play in their living room, where that footage was taken...We weren't exactly in peak shape...still had a grand night, though. Wellington always rules.

How drunk are you right now?

I'm steamed, man. Thank fuck for speech-to-text softwaaerarrrUURRRRRRRRP

Are you planning to tour or record any time soon?

We're gonna be playing all over the place this year. Got some plans to play the south island in June, hopefully do more shows with our bros Beastwars and hopefully another Punkfest, more low-key local shows and MORE FUCKING HOUSE PARTIES, EVERYBODY. If you think partying is cool (which it definitely fucking is), add some bands into the equation and see how fucking cool it is - it's WAY fucking cool. Christ. I sound like a cross between Winnebago Man and Andrew W.K.

When / where are you playing next?

We're playing this weekend (Feb 17th) with some of my favourites from the NZ underground punk scene: Rogernomix, God Bows To Math, Wizz Kids, and some sweet dudes from Australia: Spoonfed (from Sydney, ex members of Pure Evil Trio, Crux etc) and DEAD from Melbourne, dudes outta Fire Witch I think.

Gonna be awesome, six band bill at Ward Lane. After that we have some stuff in the pipeline but nothing ready to squeeze out just yet. Watch your back, Viking Weed will be dropping a cassette and some other cool shit this year.