Stoner Rock

Fu Manchu: Stoner Rock Isn't Just for Stoners Anymore (And Never Really Was)

Editor's note: Check out a Q-and-A with the band here.

"Stoner rock" has yet to gain entry in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, so for the definition of the phrase, look no further than Fu Manchu.

Yet, like so many genres, the name hardly fits the sound. Pink Floyd is stoner rock, while Fu Manchu storms in -- all heavy, sludgy, psychedelic, and fuzzy -- with plenty of searing guitar riffs and a propulsive bottom end. Though Pink Floyd, continuing the comparison, works great when stoned, stoner rock fans need not bother with pot at all, explains Fu Manchu guitarist Bob Balch via an e-mail exchange.

"Most of the people I know who smoke massive amounts of weed don't ever listen to stoner rock. It doesn't really go hand in hand," he says.

"You can call it what you want," he says. "It's funny when people call us desert rock, because we are from the beach. I call it dessert rock! No, really, it's just Fu Manchu: loud guitars, fuzz, live-sounding drums, [Scott] Hill's voice. That's the only way I can describe it."