HOLLYWOOD, California With a band called Los Marijuanos you might expect a mellow time, but when members of Cypress Hill, Jane's Addiction, Deftones, Methods of Mayhem and Downset get together and jam, the vibe is anything but laid-back.
The group keeps it burning by jamming through a mix of originals drawn from the featured artists' various projects and by munching on covers ranging from Bad Brains to Public Enemy. Although Brownies in New York might seem the most appropriate setting for the group, they've found a home at Tinseltown's Club Vynyl, where they performed only their third gig Monday night.
Los Marijuanos includes Cypress Hill's B-Real, Sen Dog and Bobo; Everlast; Jane's Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins; Deftones guitarist Stephen Carpenter; Methods of Mayhem bassist Marty O'Brien; Downset guitarist Rogelio Lozano; and MCs XL and Mellow Man Ace.
"It's a bunch of cats that like to play together that fortunately all had June and July off," XL said.
Los Marijuanos' gigs are part of a biweekly event called Club Flavor, spearheaded by Bobo to showcase upcoming acts and provide a forum for established artists to get together and rock out.
"It's been a little brainchild of mine for a couple years to have a place that people can come see live music hip-hop, rock, alternative and different things and see people from different groups play together," Bobo said. "The first person I called was Stephen Perkins. We go back a little bit, and I asked him if he wanted to jam with me, and it tripped it all from there. A lot of people didn't think it was possible to have all of us on one stage and rehearse and get something together."
The door is open for friends of the Marijuanos to stop by and join in, as Fear Factory bass player Christian Olde Wolbers did Monday night.
One of the, um, high ... lights of the hour-plus, smoke-filled show was a drum duel between Perkins and Bobo, ending with Perkins drumming on O'Brien's bass.
"Sometimes when I double up with other drummers it doesn't work as well, but Bobo and I like to do that because we really get along musically," Perkins said.
Although Los Marijuanos are intense when they're lighting up a stage, there are other areas where they tend to slack off, such as rehearsals.
"They came to my house a few weeks ago," Perkins said, "and we rehearsed a few tunes. We were supposed to have a rehearsal two nights ago, but no one showed up."
XL, whose group Supreme Kourt opened the first Club Flavor show last month, said performing in Los Marijuanos allows the members to re-create their own material and favorite songs in a whole new format.
"It's an opportunity for us to stretch out our material in a way that's different for us," he said. "You might hear a new Cypress Hill song that sounds nothing like it will on their next album, or an Everlast song, or an old-school joint you haven't heard in a long time."
Club Flavor, whose usual night will be Tuesdays, will continue when Cypress Hill hit the road in support of their next album, Bobo said.
"Hopefully it will just be on autopilot and people will just come out 'cause it's the place to be. We won't always be here, but this is our little home."