Moe. clocks twenty years together as a family
:: moe. ::
:: Belly Up :: February 3 ::
By Hap Fry
If not for the fact that they have a history going back to their teenage days, Chuck Garvey probably would be justified to take offense at being called “Satan” by Al Schnier.
But that’s exactly what the co-frontman of moe. often calls Garvey, the group’s other frontman, during the song “Akimbo.”
Garvey now is universally known as “Satan” by the group’s most die-hard fans, affectionately — or maybe even appropriately — known as “moe.rons.”
“Rob (Derhak), Al and I all have this cycling vocal part in ‘Akimbo,’” Garvey said during a recent phone interview with The Marquee from his Cincinnati home. “Al’s line was ‘couch is Satan.’ That’s basically referring to procrastination or being lazy. I think, no I’m pretty sure, I actually fluffed a lyric and then Al started saying ‘Chuck is Satan.’ That’s how it started, and it got perpetuated for a while. It just kind of stuck, but I don’t hold any grudges. I’m not really Satan. At least, I hope I’m not.”
Grudges and moe., though, can’t really go together. The five-piece group that also features Jim Loughlin (percussion) and Vinnie Amico (drums), along with Garvey (guitar/vocals), Schnier (guitar/ vocals) and Derhak (bass/vocals) is comprised of guys that have known each other since their college days in the late ’80s and early ’90s at the University of Buffalo.
The group just wrapped up its twentieth year as a band, and since they never thought of the act as a long-time thing, they’re pondering the next two decades together.
“We’re looking into it,” Garvey said. “The whole thing started kind of just as a hobby. The fact that we’re still doing it right now is a surprise. We’re just wondering what the next 10 to 20 years will bring. We’ve all known each other for a long time. It’s kind of like this extended family, which is good. It definitely helps with the stability, and it helps keep us grounded. Just having the friendship first and then doing this as a career second was important for us. Having that family aspect I think has been a major factor in everything we’ve done.”
The group is in the midst of a 17-show winter tour that includes back-to-back performances at the Ogden Theatre. They also have their annual Snoe.down slated for late-March in Vermont and have a brief seven-show spring tour set up. But Garvey, and understandably so, is most excited about the group’s four shows after the Ogden, which will all be in Japan.
“The last time we went to Japan, we literally were there for 36 hours,” Garvey said. “I’m definitely looking forward to this trip because it’s a tour. We’re going to do, like, four shows in six days, so we’re going to get to see a bit of the country, which we’re all looking forward to. The culture is very inspiring.”
Whether or not the culture inspires the group to write any new material remains to be seen, but moe. will be traveling to the Far East and to all their other tour stops with plenty of new tracks already in their arsenal.
Garvey said no plans are currently in the works for a new record, but he’s become quite fond of a few new songs the group has been playing live.
“There’s one called ‘Paper Dragon’ that’s kind of got this vicious riff and may have a little flavor like Gov’t. Mule with the riff part,” Garvey said. “It’s just kind of like this heavy song that came out of nowhere [during a last-minute writing session before the group’s Halloween show last year]. Another one of Rob’s songs that’s in this new batch that’s really fun to play is called ‘Billy Goat.’ It’s kind of like this heavier song. And Al wrote a song called ‘Puebla’ that’s got this really laid-back groove to it and is kind of hypnotic. I really like playing it.”
Garvey said the process in which moe. has debuted these new songs is one that benefits the group.
“Right now, we’re kind of forsaking the new album,” Garvey said. “We’re just writing new songs and debuting them live. It’s good for us and good for the process. It’s worked well for us in the past because we’ve been able to find the best elements and twists on these songs and then lay them down in the studio.”
If the past is any indicator, moe. has made some very good decisions while also having a lot of fun along the way. That’s something even “Satan” can attest to.
“When we first started out, we would basically just do anything that would make us laugh,” Garvey said. “We would try anything ridiculous just for the hell of it. That was kind of defining for us — just taking chances and doing things for the hell of it and not really worrying about professionalism.”
:: moe. ::
:: Belly Up :: February 3 ::
:: Ogden Theatre :: February 4 & 5 ::
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