Salad Brain is the love child of a group of creative besties who met when they were young, now living in different cities in California, coming together to produce enlightening and lively clips including art, music, videos, and live-streaming a variety of entertaining media – all inspired and fueled by cannabis.
The group consists of musician, Joe Wachter, aka: Party Bear; barista and hotel front desk agent, Russell Brown, aka: Haybale; server at the OC’s historic White House Restaurant, Chad Litten, aka: Dak; artist, freelance video producer/editor, Ryan Massey, aka: Earthworm; and sometime member, Jake Massey (Ryan’s brother), aka: Jonboi.
They became best friends where they grew up in Yorba Linda, a suburb of Orange County in California.
“We all met during middle and high school – 15 years ago now. We were all in drumline and band,” Litten explained. “Many of us have moved away, but we come back together every other month, usually to film and produce content.”
As a group, Litten shared they always sought out ways to express themselves through various forms of art. Salad Brain has shown itself to be the perfect foil, with a strong presence on Instagram.
“We were in bands together, hosted variety shows at our high school, and made short films in our backyards on the weekends,” Litten said. “With Salad Brain, we’ve finally found our niche. With this production company, we’ve found great ways to showcase and utilize our individual talents to make people laugh – which is something we’ve always tried to achieve in any medium. We love to make people laugh!”
Massey attended film school at Northern Arizona University, graduating in 2015, with a BA in screenwriting and producing. He’s a self-taught artist and creator of the vibrant graphics that dominate Salad Brain’s work and merchandise. His inspirations include Aaahh!!! Real Monsters and Pokémon.
“I’m self-taught as an artist,” he explained. “My influences are cartoons that I loved when I was young, like Aaahh!!! Real Monsters. Some of my favorite artists are Sean Aaberg, Skinner, and the late, great Keith Haring. It’s great to have the freedom to make our content independently, without being beholden to anyone else’s vision or requirements.”
The years of friendship between them, Ryan said, is rare, and inspires a natural collaboration, complimenting each other’s talents.
“No one is precious about their ‘creative territory’; we all get to share input and ideas freely,” Ryan added.
Russell Brown is thankful to be included, and said working with his best friends is an opportunity he’s grateful for.
“Having this outlet for my creativity, gives me a purpose – it gets me out of bed in the morning,” he shared. “We are on a schedule and collaborate honestly – It’s incredibly fulfilling.”
Joe Wachter, who is the team’s audio engineer, adds, “There’s a comfort and a safety within the group from being friends for so long that gives us the confidence to take risks and try really weird things together!”
Bongstruction 101 Is A Thing
Litten, aka: Dak, is the face of Salad Brain and star of two series they produce for The Weed Tube: Bongstruction 101. He also produces, edits, and creates the bongs for the Bongstruction show. You could say that his bongs are a huge part of his personal stash, and the stash of his cohorts.
“Over the years I’ve created a lot of wild bongs,” he said. “The Double Gravity Gatorade Bong Helmet is quite a mouthful. It was one of the most difficult to make because there’s a lot more mechanics behind it than you’d expect – but, I was committed to make it work, and it performed beautifully.”
The Plunger bong, Litten said, is one of the “grossest” looking bongs he’s ever made.
“There’s just something so wrong about it, but it packs quite the punch” he continued. “One of my all-time favorites is the Lightsaber Bong. It combines smoking with one of my other favorite past times. I’d like to make another one of these with a really nice quality lightsaber, but that’s going to have to wait until we have a bigger budget!”
The Book Bong came from a fascination with carved-out books with secret compartments.
“I thought, what if you could use that secret compartment for a bong?” he explained. “It seemed simple enough – with the word ‘simple’ being the operative word. It was quite the undertaking. Then I created the Snow Globe Bong, which is absolutely the prettiest bong I have ever made. It’s also the only bong my mother has ever wanted to keep herself!”
Lastly, the Bong of Destiny has been the most fan-boy bong of Litten’s Bongstruction career.
“Tenacious D has been a big inspiration in my life and in the lives of my colleagues that I create Bongstruction and other content with, so I wanted to honor them. It’s made out of a real Springbok horn, which had a nasty smell that took a lot of work to get out. This bong is just a tribute to the greatest band in the world!”
Other bongs not pictured include a mini-guitar bong, and a flower pot bong – which Litten said functions perfectly as a usable flower pot when it’s not being used to partake.
Salad Brain Stashes
When Litten was in high school he started smoking cannabis recreationally, but around the same time he presented with migraines.
“The positive side effect of smoking weed was that it seemed to help the migraines!” he shared. “Even though I’ve never seen medicinal purposes as the underlying reason to smoke, I can’t deny that it has huge benefits for me at times when I’m feeling stressed or depressed. Mostly, I like to use cannabis for creative purposes. When I medicate to get high, I find that I no longer worry about other people’s judgments, and I can put aside my own insecurities in order to freely and happily create.”
His cultivars include a CBD called Lifter, he also partakes of Alien OG crumble; and Watermelon Zkittlez – an as of late favorite sativa.
Ryan Massey’s stash isn’t plentiful, but he said his Boundless CF dry herb vaporizer gets the job done.
“I use the temperature controls depending on my mood and what I have planned,” he said. “Whether I’m lounging, drawing, or need to get stuff done, I usually stick with pre-ground flower, and my preferred brand is Old Pal. Each of their bags of weed comes with rolling papers, so when I’m looking for an extra boost of creativity, I make myself some tea, smoke a joint, turn on some CZARFACE, and ride the wave.”
Massey said he smokes weed medicinally, as an alternative to sleep aids and anxiety medications, both of which he’s relied on in the past and would prefer not to take again.
Wachter, aka: Party Bear, said his stash is a “mess of cannabis products and sound equipment.”
“If you can look past the plethora of electronics and percussion instruments, at the center of it all you’ll find my RAW Triple Flip bamboo rolling tray keeping my entire desk organized,” he said. “My other smoking essentials are my Moose Labs MouthPeace, and Kali Kutz grinder. I like to keep my glass simple, and my bong of choice is a little eight inch beaker-bottom by Diamond Glass – that absolutely chugs. My favorite dab rig is a simple, yet gorgeous piece by a local company called White Diamond.”
He prefers sativa dominant hybrid cultivar, but occasionally picks-up a straight sativa if they are too good-looking to pass-up.
“It’s rare that I’ll go with an indica, as I feel the hybrids have always been a perfect balance for me,” he added. “The sativa cultivars tend to keep me more alert and motivated. I also enjoy and regularly consume CBD products by a local company called The Pure Cure.”
Being an avid rock climber, Wachter said he uses CBD balms topically to ease physical pain. He also uses CBD tinctures to ease anxiety, depressive thoughts, and stay positive.
Just Add Weed
Its Mission Statement includes the groups’ passion, for Salad Brain to become “… a top creator of cannabis and cannabis adjacent content on the internet.”
They would also like to create unique and recognizable brand aesthetics on merchandise such as clothing, prints and cannabis accessories.
Russell Brown, aka: Haybale, is slated to host Sotally Tobers, alongside Dak, as they plan their upcoming pandemic line-up, in the face of COVID-19 lock downs continuing throughout the country.
For the Sotally Tobers show, Brown will read fables and short stories while medicated. Think, Drunk History on weed.
While the world legalizes the most illicit and beloved plant on the planet, Salad Brain Productions just celebrated its one year anniversary of looking at the culture of cannabis with art, humor, and a healthy dose of weed for inspiration.
“It’s been one year of this crazy experiment, so far,” Massey concluded. “We are thankful to have found a way to, not only be creative individually and together, but to have grown closer to each other in the process. Whether or not we find success or not, everyone can rest easy knowing that we are having a lot of fun – and smoking weed, like old high school friends do.”