Drummer keeps progressive jam band moe. in line
When: 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 12, through Saturday, March 14
Where: The Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main St.
Cost: Thursday tickets range from $53-$65, Friday tickets run from $49-$70 and Saturday tickets are $53-$75
The progressive jam band known as moe. has sharing its grooves with fans for three decades. For 25 of those years, drummer Vinnie Amico has kept the band, which will play Thursday, March 12, through Saturday, March 14, at the Egyptian Theatre, in a more improvised structure.
“When I first saw them, they were, um, raw, but I also remember them being very original,” Amico said. “I knew then if there ever was a band that I’d want to be in, it would be moe., so when I did get the call to join, I think I straightened things out a little bit timewise and songwise.”
Amico’s musicality helped him align the music played by bassist Rob Derhak, guitarists Al Schnier and Chuck Garvey and percussionist Jim Loughlin.
“I’m able to hold down a line for a long time, which gives the band the freedom and space to really play out there, so when we do come back to Earth, things will be where we left it,” he said.
A part of Amico’s musicality comes from his love of jazz.
“My dad was a jazz trumpet player who played bebop, and when I was little I was able to see some of the best musicians in the world, and the drums were the thing,” he said. “Then I had a friend who was a year older than me in elementary school who played drums, and I would go to his house and play on his practice pad. So my style comes from such a different place than the other guys in moe.”
Although Amico has helped his bandmates structure their jams, they still find themselves trying to remember how their original songs were written.
“We’re always like, ‘Is this the way the song is supposed to go,’” he laughed. “The music tends to go different ways, because we do so much improv and segues. We’re always trying new ways to play the middle parts, and we find ourselves consitently and continuously playing new music within our own music every night.”
Speaking of new music, Amico said the band wants to continue moving forward.
“We have a bunch of new songs recorded, and we plan to release two albums this year,” he said.
Playing music for a living is itself one of the biggest rewards for Amico.
“I mean, what else is there if we weren’t doing this, you know,” he said. “Sure, we would probably all still be playing music if we had different jobs, at least I would. Before I was in moe. I had a real job, and I would play on the weekends. And I’d sit around looking at my coworkers every Monday thinking, ‘You guys have no idea what I did this weekend.’”
In addition to the gratification of playing music for a living, fans are another reward, according to Amico.
“Without our fans none of this really exists, and we have developed a community of people who come from all over,” he said. “There are fans who have come to our shows for years, and we’ve seen them meet each other. We’ve seen them get married. We’ve seen them bring their children to the shows. And for us, it’s pretty amazing. It’s wild to think we’ve become an important part of their lives.”
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