Music by VICE

We Asked the Youth to Choose Between Weed or Emo

Canada is finally legalizing weed so we, of course, had to raise an all important life or death scenario: Jawbreaker or Mary Jane?

by Devin Pacholik
Apr 19 2017, 9:31pm

Photo By The Author

All Photos Courtesy of the Respondents

Weed and emo are the cornerstones of our society. One has the power to alter minds, relieve symptoms of illness, boost the economy, and is universally beloved by the coolest people, and the other is weed. As you might be aware, it will be April, and on April 20 we celebrate 4/20, marijuana day. April is also known as the rain month—as they say, "april showers bring May flowers." I believe those are lyrics by Taking Back Sunday , but I could be wrong. Anyway, rain is a bit like tears (from the sky). Tears are what happen when you cry. And emo is the music of crying. Therefore, April is not only weed month, it is also emo month. I don't know what I'm talking about really, I'm pretty high right now. High on great emo tunes! Ha!

The point is, weed and emo are fantastic. And here in Canada, we're about to legalize marijuana for the whole country. We're also home to bands like Alexisonfire and Silverstein. That's why I decided to ask the ultimate question to Canadians across this fine country: Would you rather emo music existed or weed? Only one choice is possible here. Just imagine for a moment, no more Brand New, American Football, or even Fall Out Boy. Or a world without giant dab smoking videos or joints that get heroically launched into outer space by VICE.

One day the information detailed in this article will probably save your life. Before you read the rich journalistic piece this hypothetical question birthed, take a moment to consider it yourself. Which would you rather existed? Weed or emo? Five Canadians poured their hearts out after considering this pressing issue. Read their stories below.

*Responses were edited for clarity, but we kept them as true to their original form as possible because we're pretty chill right now and it seemed like the right thing to do.

Emocore Ezra, 17, Edmonton

What do you love about emo? Who are your favorite emo bands?
I feel like emo is truly a way of life, and i like that emo music sounds the way i feel. my 2 all time fav emo bands r the promise ring and i hate sex. i also think that Mothers, of athens georgia, should b considered emo, as well as sleater-kinney. they call me Emocore Ezra.


Amazing. Thank you, Emocore Ezra. I also have to ask: Are you aware that the federal government of Canada is planning on legalizing and regulating the sale of recreational marijuana? How do you feel about that?
I am aware of that and i think it's pretty steezy, but like, will weed still b fun if it's legal?


Great, again thank you for your insight, Emocore Ezra. I have to ask now, if you could only choose one, what would you rather have exist in this grim world: weed or emo? Why? Yes, you can only choose one.
Emo, always emo. weed can only give me so much but emo always has my back no matter what. emo lets me express my feelings, keep my mind sharp, and gives me a gud Mosh Cardio Session every once in awhile. emo is sort of the antidote 2 weed.

Rob, 30, Regina

Firstly, Do you enjoy emo music? Name some bands the people should know about and tell me why they are great.
I think my music interests fall into the emo category for the most part. Probably more the beginnings and mid 90's more than anything lately. My favorite would be Jawbreaker. Their lyrics connected with me in some way that I couldn't explain. It wasn't just dopey break up songs, it was more just about being out of place everywhere which is something I connected with. Also, I like that every album has a different sound to it, aside from the obligatory first album every band puts out, One is moody and slow, one is almost a pop punk album, one is super slick sounding 90's alternative album.

As for more recent stuff Cursive is always good and always surprising me with what they do. Tim Kasher is an amazing singer and songwriter. His lyrics are always sung through characters but not in corny or embarrassing way. Drive like Jehu are another favourite from the 90's. Basically the opposite of Cursive: Super noisy, lots of yelling, nice dynamic changes, experimental songs structures, somehow cerebral and soulful at the same time. Great I'm-unemployed-and-driving-around-what-the-fuck-happened-to-me music.

Braid is a great band as well. Pure mid 90's midwestern emo punk. Introspective lyrics with great, forward driving music played at a sneaky high level. They reunited a few years ago and put out a few records that stand up to their original output which is refreshing.

This is really great, Rob. You have a lot to say about emo music and its important history. That said, would you rather have marijuana exist or emo music? You can only pick one.
Haha. Gotta go with the music.

Suzy, 29, Regina

What emo music is great and why?
Early thousands emo music, like Something Corporate and Dashboard and Thursday and Bright Eyes and Brand New and Jimmy Eat World. It's probably largely just nostalgia, because high school heartbreak + whatever music you're currently listening to at the time = an emotional reaction with crazy staying power. But also, it's just so good.

I totally agree. Thursday rules. Also, I'm wondering, if you had to choose between having marijuana exist or emo, which would you pick?
Emo! Is that lame?

Eden, 25, Montreal

What is the best emo music the people should know about and why? Assuming you like emo... You like emo music, right?
Emo is short for emotions and I have a lot of emotions, so yes.

What about bands that many people would identify under the umbrella of the emo genre?
I wouldn't say that I actively seek it out anymore usually, but I still regularly listen to bands like Thursday and Jimmy Eat World when I want to feel young and confused again

I guess jimmy eat world is emo pop but yea... it's something that's very tied to my youth.

I totally agree. Thursday is the best when you're in the mood. My next question is do you know about marijuana?
I've heard of it.

What would you rather have exist: Marijuana or emo music?
Marijuana 100000000%. Emo music, as much as I would like to think it could, does not exist in a handy medicinal strain which helps many people with a variety of problems!

Phil, 33, Kelowna

Firstly, Phil, tell me about good emo.
I grew up liking punk, so most of my emo enjoyment comes from a lot of bands that the real emo lovers hate. I LOVE bad music. But not like I love the shitty post emo knock offs that came after the Vans warped tour made it cool to be sad.

Sidenote: been drinking.

I love Jawbreaker. And Braid. Braid is awful. I once put "A Dozen Roses" on a mixtape for a girl in high school. I'm pretty sure she couldn't get past how awful all the songs were to understand that apparently not only did I kinda have a crush on her, teenage me tried saying that through emotionally unstable mid-20, drunk punk rockers writing angst ridden love songs on a fucking tape. It was amazingly cliche. Looking back it was more insane than anything.

Sidenote: I'm so high.

Thanks, Phil. Last and most important question: would you rather live in a world with emo or a world with weed?
I can live without emo, probably.

Devin Pacholik is into death like a train. Follow him on Twitter.