With their new album due to hit stores Tuesday, the weed-loving hip-hop trio
Cypress Hill plan to get right into the swing of things with six scheduled concert dates
that will surely set the tone for an upcoming U.S. tour.
The outing will kick off Oct. 29 in Philadelphia and hit Boston, New York, Washington,
D.C., and Detroit before wrapping up in the Midwest with a gig in Chicago.
The tour marks the first time the Los Angeles-based trio will focus primarily on material
drawn from its latest LP, IV. The band recently followed the hip-hop-heavy
Smokin' Grooves tour with several dates in Japan and Europe, with second MC Sen
Dog back on the mic after a three-year hiatus from the group. But Sen (born Senen
Reyes), 32, lead MC B-Real (born Louis Freese), 28, and DJ Muggs (born Lawrence
Muggerud), 30, said they saved most of the new material for after the album's release.
B-Real said he was surprised at how well the new songs that they did play went over
with fans hearing them for the first time. He anticipated that the reaction will be even
greater once IV hits store shelves.
"We didn't play that many new songs, but they all went over well," he said Tuesday as he
sat on a balcony outside his manager's Los Angeles office.
Wearing tan cord-pants and a cream-colored, button-down shirt, B-Real squinted out
from under a Soul Assassins baseball cap as he spoke about IV and the band's
"We were actually surprised, because usually when you play new songs without the
crowd having heard them, they might like it, but you don't normally get that crazy
reaction," he said. "But people were bugging out, like they knew the songs already."
IV, which revisits the classic Cypress themes of street violence and smoking
marijuana, features several songs that Muggs structured with live performance in mind.
The standout tracks "Checkmate Fool," with its infectious bassline, and "Lightning
Strikes," sporting a heavy guitar-riff, are designed to translate well to the stage.
"I just wanted the rock element 'cause, you know, I love that rock 'n' roll energy,
especially when we get onstage," Muggs said. "I knew we had to do some songs for the
live show, so I specifically did at least five for that."
The album's first single, "Dr. Greenthumb" (RealAudio excerpt), debuted on the Billboard Hot 100
singles chart before the song even went to radio.
For Cypress, the weed-centric number represents a return to the fun-loving attitude of
their early releases.
"We needed to get back to that comedy," Muggs said. "Because a lot of what made us
shine on our first record was that we did have that f---ing hard-ass sh--, but there was a
touch of humor and quirkiness, you know what I mean? I tried to make sure that we had
that humor on this record."
Cypress Hill Tour Dates:
Oct. 29; Philadelphia, Pa., Electric Factory
Oct. 30; Boston, Mass., Avalon
Oct. 31; New York, N.Y., Roseland
Nov. 2; Washington, D.C., 9:30 Club
Nov. 3; Detroit, Mich., Clutch Cargo
Nov. 4; Chicago, Ill., House of Blues