Photo: Tanner Grant

Cypress Hill's 'Elephants on Acid': "The Beatles' 'Sgt. Pepper' Was Very Much an Influence"

September 28, 2018

By Scott T. Sterling

“Who you trying to get crazy with, ése? Don't you know I'm loco?”

That’s right—Cypress Hill have heard your cries, and B-Real and Sen Dog are bringing their legendary “Haunted Hill” show back to Los Angeles, after missing a few years. It’s an absence that the fans made sure they knew was there, and by any means necessary.

“People would hit me on Twitter, people would hit me on Instagram… ‘Hey man. L.A., dude. What’s up?,’” B-Real explained in a mocking accent to KROQ’s Kevin and Bean. “We’re not good enough for you, you gotta be on the East Coast?’”

Just to make sure that Los Angeles feels the love, Cypress Hill is posting up for a pair of local shows: Oct. 25 at the beautiful El Rey Theatre along the Miracle Mile, and Oct. 26 at the intimate and iconic Roxy on the Sunset Strip.

The West Coast rap legends aren't just leaving it at those pair of special shows. Cypress Hill will also be launching the West Coast High 2019 Tour with the Hollywood Undead. That jaunt will actually launch in Anaheim on February 19 at the House of Blues, with another show in L.A. proper on March 23 at the Wiltern.

Related: Cypress Hill Announces 'Haunted Hill' Los Angeles Dates

Cypress Hill’s new album, Elephants on Acid—it’s the band’s first in eight years—debuted today, Sept. 28. The extended gap between albums is the result of the band having a little too much fun on the road in support of their last full-length, 2010’s Rise Up.

“We kind of like over-toured that record a bit, I think,” Sen Dog said, glancing at his partner in rhyme. “We normally go for two, two and a half… we were like, four and a half five years,” he added in terms of the band’s tour schedule following the Rise Up release.

“It’s fun. It’s the funnest job in the world,” Sen Dog laughed when asked how he avoids burnout over the course of such a long touring jag. “If you don’t dig this, you’re halfway gone already.”

“We’ve been blessed to have a catalog that people still get down with so many years later, we kind of let it go longer than we should have,” B-Real added. “But we started working on this album about three years ago.”

We asked about the trippiness of the Elephants on Acid album, B-Real said a lot of it comes from the group’s longtime producer, DJ Muggs.

“In terms of production (DJ Muggs) wanted people to feel like they were on a psychedelic trip, even though they might not be on psychedelics listening to it,” B-Real said. “The thing about Muggs, Sen and I, we were always fans of different genres of music. One of the classic rock bands that we used to listen to—The Beatles—they had a lot of progressive ideas in their time. The Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was very much an influence in what Muggs envisioned for this Elephants on Acid thing.”

Talking about the new album inspired B-Real to recall one of Cypress Hill’s most unexpectedly beloved albums.

“The one album that a lot that a lot of people come up to us and tell us they love—and this was an album that Sony didn’t think it would sell a lot of records, because there was a lot of turmoil going on, with management, with the band, and even with Sony, so they didn’t think it was going to do well, but Temples of Boom,” the rapper elaborated.

“With that particular album, we went really dark, and the tempo was very moody and vibe, and we have a lot of people that come up to us and say that is their favorite album overall. That they love Black Sunday and they love the self-titled, but Temples of Boom is their favorite because there are so many dark songs that people can relate to. People are dark. So when it came time to do this one, I think Muggs was looking at those particular fans.”

Photo: Tanner Grant

B-Real also talked about the forthcoming Cypress Hill documentary movie, promising deep archival footage from some pretty major sources that will be seeing the light of day for the first time.

“We used to document a lot with Hi8 cameras. Bobo used to take one, our former tour manager and photographer used to carry Hi8 cameras,” he added in reference to legendary L.A. photographer and director, Estevan Oriol. “He’s still very much a part of our family.”

The band will be launching an IndieGoGo campaign to help finance the documentary, which is set to kick off on October 15.

“We don’t want to follow trends, ever. We’re always trying to be different,” B-Real insisted. “We figured let’s just do a documentary instead of a biopic. Let somebody do that later.”

Photo: Tanner Grant