Psychedelic Jam rock band moe. Is Back with a Vengeance
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Psychedelic Jam rock band moe. Is Back with a Vengeance

After a nearly three-year break, moe, the acclaimed psychrock band, is back on the road. The acclaimed psych rock band moe is back on the road and ready for rock. They are currently touring the United States until the end of the year. Jim Loughlin, percussionist, said that people are turning up, everyone’s excited to see Chuck [Garvey] again and everybody’s thrilled that we’re playing once more. It’s been amazing. The guys are feeling rejuvenated and excited to reconnect with their fans after speaking by phone with Vinnie Amico, moe.’s long-time drummer. Jim Loughlin, my second favorite thing to do was music. I would listen to music all day and started playing in seventh grade. When I was a freshman in highschool, I knew I wanted to study music. I didn’t know what I wanted to do in music or what I would be doing in a band. I also didn’t know how it would work out. When you turn twelve, everything starts to happen. Some people don’t make it out of high school while others do well. High Times: That’s when you start to know. The next thing you know, I’m at college and playing gigs every day. It was something I did and not something I was pursuing professionally. I got out of college and found a job, but I was playing more gigs than I was spending my time improving my job. The job no longer meant anything. It was all about the music. Jim Loughlin: In seventh grade, we had a garage band that played until ninth or tenth grades. Then, in high school, we played in many different garage bands before I started studying music seriously. I was in eleventh grade when I joined a conservatory program. I would spend my mornings at another school studying music and then return to my regular high school to complete my English and social studies requirements. I met the moe guys in Buffalo, New York, where I was a bass player. But I got a drumming job with them because I had both. It was then that it became clear that you were going to be in a band. gig. Once moe, the validation arrived. I was on tour and got to perform at Saratoga Performing Arts Center, which was the same concert venue where I grew up. I felt like I had made it. This is my career.” It was amazing. It’s a big dream to be on the stage when you’re sixteen years old and you’re watching a concert at SPAC. Jim Loughlin: My first gig with moe was at a lot of local Buffalo gigs. After that, we started to branch out and do a few two-hour drives. We also did weekends. When we moved to Albany, New York, it was our decision to “this is it”, quit our jobs, and bought a house. Our first two-week South tour was a two-week-long adventure. We all piled into the van with our gear, drove the entire trip, and slept on floors. It didn’t matter how many people came, it was amazing that so many people from North Carolina and South Carolina came to see the band from Buffalo perform. It was a wonderful experience and it was so fulfilling that it made Vinnie Amico realize that this was all before the internet. Jim Loughlin : Nobody knew who we were. At the end of each show we would take down our gear and meet the five to six people who stayed. They would say, “Hey, great show. Need a place to crash?” Then they’d sign up for our mailing list and ask for a CD. It was so powerful because it was so far from where we grew up. We were already playing in front of 5,000 people, but we still only did a few hundred people per show. It was amazing to be able go down South knowing that word had spread and people were coming. This was in ’92 or 1993. It was a different time. It’s hard to know what would have happened for us. You couldn’t record a single track in your bedroom back then. You had to go to a place that had a tape machine and all the equipment. It was difficult to release your own album. Headseed was the first album we released. We had physical copies of the CD for many years. It was more than “Here’s the link to our new album.” Someone would put a moe if there was enough space at the end of a tape, such as a Phish show that would take up X amount of tape and leave 10 minutes of dead space. It would have a song on it. Then, you would trade a tape with Phish fans and get a Phish concert. You’d then hear a new band and be like “Oh, that song is great!”. Fans had to do a lot of work, and bands had to do a lot of work. We would mail fliers to anyone we knew in the town we were going to. You would pray that the club you were going to hang up fliers in town back then. There was no guarantee. Bands today have so much control over their lives, what happens and where they go. However, I feel that we had less control back then. It was a lot more dice that were rolled than now. You can post on social media now and then look into the analytics to see which city is getting the most hits. It was just flying in the darkness, man. But it’s also a double-edged weapon because these bands do put in a different type of work and experience different stress levels. You can post something and hope it catches, but back then it wasn’t a big deal. There are so many bands and so much content out there. The problem is that kids have shorter attention spans. High Times: In those days, music was the engine of the ship. Today, social media posts may lead to virality which can then lead people to the music. People can find you on many other platforms than just by attending a live show or listening to tapes. All this happened before they went on tour or released a single. Before they ever did a tour, they built up a fan base. You had to tour for many years in order to get your name out. It’s a completely different world. You can also fail before you get out on the road. Advertisers will pay them money if they have a million views on TikTok. Sometimes, even before they go on the road. Jim Loughlin: This is what it was like growing up in the 1980s. You would go to a show and demo your band to the guys so they could hear it. The next thing you know you’re in Los Angeles recording. It was all about getting your demo in the hands of someone, then they decide to record you, then that record sells a lot, and then you go on the road to support your record. Jim Loughlin, when moe. When I started out, my mentality was to just play as much as I could. Play wherever you are. You can play at a fucking parade along the side of the road. That’s a gig. Grab the gig. We took everything. It’s amazing how the landscape has changed over time. But, for us, our bottom line has always been live shows. It’s our bread and butter. We know how we’re doing when we stand on stage and look out at the crowd. It’s how we gauge how things are going. Vinnie Amico: It helps you be a good band and play every night in front people. There will be shitty nights and great nights. But that all changes as you improve. If you practice in your garage and make videos, then it’s hard to play in front of people. You can find something interesting in any music, from pop to Indian music, and everything in between. High Times: I find something interesting in almost any music released, from pop music to Indian music, and my friends did the same. We did that. We sat in my bedroom and listened to music. We would pass around the album covers when new albums came out so everyone could see the liner notes and all that stuff. From an outside perspective, it seemed like a bunch of kids having fun listening to music. It was an experience for us all inside, and it made those moments more important and more memorable. When you’re a little high, music hits you differently sometimes–especially back when we were younger, and getting high was a new thing. When I smoke, it’s to relax and ensure I can sleep through the night. Although I do enjoy smoking when I’m writing songs or recording at home, it’s only to relax and make sure I can sleep through the night. I used to sit in my room, stoned, and listen to records over and over again. I learned a lot from this and I can’t recall ever being on stage without feeling high. Before I started playing, I smoked pot. It was a great way to relax and it also made you more open to the idea of creating with marijuana. It’s still an important part of creativity, but it’s more in the “see the creations you make with the plant.” High Times: Which are you guys more Indica or Sativa? Jim Loughlin: Indica. I can’t ingest Sativa anymore. It’s the one that makes you paranoid, schizy, and constantly looking over your shoulder. I prefer to be calm and “in the sofa” as it were. It just doesn’t feel right to me now. It still gives me the eighth-grade feeling of “Everybody’s watching you, man.”Vinnie Amico, I agree with Jim. However, for me, it’s just a matter if I smoke a lot or if I get a huge hit and start coughing up all over the place. It’s very middle of the spectrum. It’s somewhere in the middle of the spectrum.Jim Loughlin : Vin’s Inica is my favorite [laughs]. High Times: What about touring and recording? Jim Loughlin : This tour is our first in nearly three years. Chuck [Garvey] is back, which is huge. It was strange to play without him. I felt like I had lost a limb, but I could still feel it. Now, I am playing again and playing a lot. The shows have been great. People are coming, everyone’s excited to see Chuck back and everyone’s happy that we’re still playing. It’s been great. We also have Nate [Wilson], who is a new flavor for us. It’s been great to have something new, almost a new direction and a fresh breath in the band after doing this for thirty-years. It’s been a great experience to have Chuck back and it makes the band feel whole again. Nate adds an additional aspect to improvisation so that our ears can find a new sound and collaborate with it. We’re having a blast! Follow @moetheband for more information and tickets.


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