Health and Safety

November 11th, 2010

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For years I have been trying to help develop some kind of community-based space for not only discussing and exchanging information and opinion, but also to help encourage various ways to increase general health and safety. It is a difficult undertaking due to so many various opinions, difficult to answer questions, and conflicting perspectives.

It is not my intention to tell people how to live their lives, but rather to try and help people find answers concerning how to improve their lives and the lives of their loved ones. I want to not only encourage people to actively think for themselves, but to actively grapple with life, and ask difficult questions, and challenge themselves.

This is a good thing to do because it is thorough: you only have one life, one body, and one chance, so why not optimize the heck out of it and literally ‘be the best you can be’… It is also a good thing because as we make progress as a civilization and learn ways to positively tweak and improve the way life works, we can pass on that information to others, and gradually increase the quality of life for everyone.

I am still developing the best way I can contribute to this cause, but in the meantime, I wanted to say some direct words about health and safety.

There are good and bad aspects to many things in life. And it is possible that something can be good in one context, but bad in another. I think that is pretty much obvious. But I feel it necessary, because as I attempt to offer some words of caution, I do not want to make anyone feel unfairly judged. My hope is to encourage you all to take the best possible care of yourselves and each other.

Like most people, I did my share of experimentation when I was younger. While I was much tamer and more reserved than many of my friends, I made a decision early on that I wanted to attain the clearest, strongest, most capable mind possible. And although I still enjoy some occasional vices (drinking wine and coffee), and of course if I have a head ache I take Tylenol or whatever, I never ‘get high’ or ‘party’ irresponsibly. This is just a personal decision (and I love it! I LOVE being clear, and I deeply believe that Bassnectar has grown as a successful project in a large part due to the clarity and focus of my mind)…

In the past decade I have seen several dear friends lose their lives due to drug abuse. And I have seen a large amount of friends’ lives deteriorate (sometimes to heart-wrenching levels) due to chemical dependency or abuse.

It is obviously difficult to balance a culture of celebration, a culture of art, a culture of high-energy activity of any kind with 100% health and safety. But I deeply believe in the positive benefits of music, art, dancing, and community. For me music and dancing have been an incredibly healthy release, and this has been without drugs, on multiple levels (spiritual, physical, emotional, etc) and I am often concerned that not enough people are being responsible or taking enough care of themselves or others.

This is everything from getting enough sleep & excercise; to drinking enough water, to being responsible with drugs and alcohol. There are positive moves (improving your diet, working with an awesome counselor to make positive changes in life, working actively on goals and seeing them through) and there are negative moves (quitting smoking, avoiding dangerous habits, etc) but I feel it is important to take an active role in improving all aspects of life… I am even concerned with ear safety (which is why I wear ear plugs every night, as does everyone on my crew, and why we give away unlimited free ear plugs every night) but each and every issue has it’s own particular nuance and detail, and takes a long time to respond to and expand on.

Tragically, a week ago, someone passed away after being at a show at the Aragon. I do not have all the details, but I am told he had ingested some kind of drug (potentially mdma?) and today his mother wrote into the site. I responded to her privately, out of respect. But I felt an even more pressing need to address this issue of ‘healthy & safety” with the rest of you.

I think it is important to not only show deep respect, but also to learn from this tragedy, and spread the word about how important it is to educate yourself on being careful and healthy.

I understand that in any counter culture environment there will be exploration and experimentation, and while I am not here to judge how any of you lives, I cannot possibly overstate how important it is to make wise decisions that prioritize education, health, and safety.

Getting sidetracked by the specifics (MDMA, molly, hydration) or even by the question of what classifies as “Drugs” and what does not, all of this detracts from how important it is to cherish your life, to take care of yourself and those around you. There are so many ways to do this (educating yourself, discussing with others, making safe and wise decisions) but here is another reminder of how fragile life is, and how important it is to treat your body with extreme care. I have seen many people’s lives destroyed by drug abuse. For me personally, life is just too short and precious to take unnecessary risks, plus I have learned to love and prefer a strong, clear mind over anything else.

Please all of you: educate yourselves about drug use from reliable sources. There are a lot of resources on the net with information about drug use/abuse like http://dancesafe.org/. As with all things in life please get educated before your decide to tamper with your body.

Obviously there are dangers everywhere: frat parties, night clubs, even sporting events and every day life. Instead of living in fear, I encourage you to give constant thanks for your life and show respect for yourself and others by making the most of all that life has to offer.

I have been preparing an information and discussion area for this site, regarding health & safety and general well-being. These things take time in part because so many issues are so complex and multi-faceted. Hopefully in the meantime you can find some of this helpful:

http://dancesafe.org/

http://www.thesite.org/

Much Love!

Lorin

  • RastaBass

    Bassnectar, I am glad you are taking initiative in this matter. I was at the Halloween show and the STS9 Aragon show, and I am glad you said something regarding safety. With the changing fan base, some new comers to the electronic show scene are not used to things that happen at them regarding substances. I don't do drugs, I smoke weed. Some of my friends do though, and I like being sober enough to take responsibility and help them if something were to happen. I made this wallpaper with ideas from one of my best friends who I rage at your show with and always watch each others back.BTW smart move with your logos as .png files… hope you like the graphics.

    http://img151.imageshack.us/im

  • Qwaizang

    Lorin, the more I learn about you — the man behind a rising tide of deep octave subsonic waves, capable of squeezing nectar out of bass — the more I am inspired by who you are and what you do. I was at the Eureka show and the experience I had was literally life-changing. I have never done any drug so I have no frame of reference, but what I felt during your show far surpassed anything you could get from a pill. I too value my sharp and clear mind. Would be nice if more people felt the same.

    I do not want to copy you, I want to challenge myself to find my own musical voice in the genre and try to pay forward what you have done for me. Any insights, advice, technical process, or basic human bond would be much appreciated.

    Many thanks!

  • nelsongirl

    i'm so sorry to hear of the death on your tour….very sad indeed. as usual your response is shows u r someone who truly cares about his audience and i really admire u for that. i too have seen countless friends go through drug addiction and loose focus of what we r trying to achieve with going to festivals and such. it's to raise our conscious vibration so we can do good for this planet not to lower it by doing so many drugs that one just burns out. i remember the year at Shambhala when u played the video of the guy in front of the tank in Tiannamon Square and your message to the crowd was like”come on you guys don't forget what we are here for. we need to stand up to our governments like this guy did it's not all about partying”. i personally thought it was a very profound gesture on your part but that night i couldn't believe it when some people thought u were being a buzz killer it made me feel really sad. i hope that your message here about doing drugs will get through to the people who need to check themselves now and decide that maybe just maybe it's about the music, love and “community. yes it's also about “going off” too but in a way where you are still very much in control of your senses and will actually remember the incredible experience you take us on during your shows. keep doing what your doing which is in my opinion keeping it real. peace an luv.

    • nelsongirl

      just to confirm i understand that the death did not actually occur at your show as you expained.

  • Kyle Weiand

    Lorin,
    Even though i know this doesnt pertain to just this blog but, i decided to go around that and just tell you that after reading some of your blogs, i have nothing more than the UP MOST respect for you as an influential artist and person. i fell in love with your music at the All Good 2010 show. I myself have been embracing this new wave of media like a bad habit and researching, and researching, and some more researching (along with some studying). I know ive strayed away from what i was talking about but im just going straight from my head and threw my fingers tips as they mash the keyboard. I cant stress enough about the respect ive gained for you, especially about your “Health & Safety” blog. Your absolutely right! While some may think that by taking psychedelics can open and broad-in their mind, they are loosing the bigger picture. They get consumed in what they think is real and what is just the altered reality due to the drugs. Now dont get me wrong im no model citizen myself, ill admit to doing these things and attempting to alter my perspective on everything and still continue to do so, BUT with self-control being my number 1. People in our today's society tend to lean on the whole “Oh man you gotta be trippin, high, or completely wasted to understand,” not true. They tend to push everything to the limit to get to the “next level”. What really is the next level?? Death? Sorry im loving life right now to ruin my mind at my age just to literally chase the high. I dont mean to sound hypocritical, because i admitted to experimenting with the psychedelics. That doesnt necessarily pertain to LSD, MDMA, DMT, Shrooms, but all drugs can be labeled as a psychedelic even the most popular drug of today, Marijuana. And NOO im not under the influence right now, i just have a very open mind and very willfully express my opinion about anything and everything. Just who i am. But, i dont want to keep dragging on because i would actually love to get a response back from you instead of you starting to read this and just shake your head and go, ” What in the heck is this guy even talkin about??” So im going to end this, as painful as it may be bahaha, to literally stand up and applaud you for everything you have done in the past 15 years. Loved your show you performed on Sep. 23rd at neighborhood theater in Charlotte, NC and cant wait for you show in Asheville, NC Feb. 19th at Bass Center 2. Hope to hear, well read, back from you!!
    – Kyle Weiand

  • Great post Lo. Much respect.

  • Great post Lo. Much respect.

  • JayBird

    Hey lo,
    I guess I want to start by thanking you for your incredible mind and love for the universe. My husband and I have been avid bassheads since early 09 and we will be celebrating our 3 year wedding anniversary at both nights of the tahoe blow out. (would LOVE a shout out 🙂 ) we were married on leap year technically. But the reason I'm writing to you is because I've witnessed the scary health problems and altogether shisty nature that comes with kandy kid drugs (MDMA) sadly most people don't realize it's a meth analog!!! Not only does it not expand your consciousness like LSD or fungis or thc, it actually degrades your mind and body! We've seen you at almost 10 different venues so far and the one that will stick with me forever is sadly not my favorite. We were at the mezzanine in sf early-mid 2010, I left to get a water and in a matter of seconds the couple standing in front of my husband went from the “LIfE of the party” to the DEATH of it!!! The 2 20 ish year olds were taking ecstasy or mdma and within a blink of an eye she went from laughing and dancing, to her LIMP body being hoisted up by her boyfriend while her eyes rolled into her head, her lips went blue, and her skin COLD!!! The saddest part: her boyfriend was so “high” on ecstasy that he didnt notice and was still dancing with her dead body!! it took my husband grabbing him and the girl to get him out of the crowd.
    I didn't share this story to pass judgement on the drugs people choose to put in there body. But I hope it hit home with at least one person that reads this.
    We love and respect your intellect and creativity lorin. Thank you for being a strong beacon of light, sound, and moral compass, especially in this time of consciousness shift. We came from nature, we are natural, let's keep it that way and give back to our creator. . . Energy
    Always grateful, always bassfull,
    Birdie (jaybird)

  • Well said. I respect that you take your role as a leader seriously and use your voice to challenge others to think about how they live their lives.