SunSquabi’s Kevin Donohue: Conductor of The Squabtrain

Interview with Kevin Donohue from SunSquabi

If you live in Denver or Boulder and haven’t heard of SunSquabi, then you should probably work on broadening both your social and musical circles. This funky trio is made up of bassist Josh Fairman, drummer Chris Anderson and electronica wizard/guitar frontman Kevin Donohue. 2017 alone included a Red Rocks performance with Papadosio, a fall tour with Sound Tribe Sector 9 and a sold-out headlining show at the Fillmore Auditorium. The group is known for their appreciation and affiliation with cannabis, so we asked Colorado native Donohue some questions about his relationship with cannabis.

Would you say that cannabis has an effect on your creative process?

Smoking weed and making music have gone together since music was created in our society. For me, smoking isn’t the source of inspiration, but rather opens up a window to things you might not have seen, heard or thought of otherwise. It breaks down the walls of possibility and tells that voice in your head saying, “No, you can’t do that,” to fuck off, and encourages the voice saying, “Shit, it’s art. Do whatever feels good.”

You’ve been touring like crazy and visiting all kinds of major cities. Do you think cannabis has anything to do with what makes the local music scene in Colorado so special?

I think the best aspect of smoking marijuana is the fact that everyone who does it likes to share. I think the marijuana industry has helped in the last few years, in sort of giving artists a common ground. Not everybody smokes, though.

Interview with Kevin Donohue from SunSquabi
Where do you get your herb from these days? Any particular strains or dispensaries you’re fond of?

Currently my favorites are the Space Queen, Cheese and Flo from the Denver Kush Club. My all-time favorite is the AK Cherry Lime. It’s a strain I’ve only found here in Colorado . . . It’s incredible how many kinds there are now. The more the better.

Tell me a little bit about how you learned to write and compose.

Writing songs really came at an early age, even before I learned to read music. I had a little 49-key keyboard that I would just bang on all day . . . I had a very great teacher in high school that really pushed me in discovering my talents—even though the bass player and I from [the school] jazz band would totally show up at his class at 7:30 in the morning having just wake n’ baked!

Interview with Kevin Donohue from SunSquabi
What’s the best part of living in a state where weed is legal?

Nobody is going to jail anymore, or afraid of confrontation with the police over something as simple and harmless as smoking a doobie or sharing some weed with your friends. It’s created a much safer environment here and taken an entire aspect of illegal drug imports out of our communities, contrary to what people who have opposed legalization for years have tried to tell us. Everyone is pretty friendly here, as you can imagine.

Do you think there’s a correlation or relationship between music and marijuana?

I’m pretty sure that even all the way back to ancient Egyptian and African times, humanity has always been rollin’ up fat papyrus blunts and having jam sessions. Music is an incredible tool to connect people and share a feeling without saying anything, and marijuana can sort of have that same role in our society, if we let it.

Interview with Kevin Donohue from SunSquabi


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Melissa Joy

Melissa was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, where she couldn’t stay out of trouble for smoking weed--especially during college. Immediately after graduating with a business degree from Elmhurst College in 2012, Melissa made her way to the safe smoking haven of Colorado, where her love for live music and music blogging eventually led her to a part-time writing position with DOPE Magazine. Melissa enjoys medicating with indica-dominant hybrids, and will never say no to a big solventless glob. When she isn’t busy writing, Melissa loves spending her time in the mountains with friends, practicing her violin, and exploring the never-ending amounts of dank breweries and restaurants in Denver.
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