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EXCLUSIVE: moe.’s Vinnie Amico Talks Hiatus Plans, Brooklyn Comes Alive, Allman Brothers

EXCLUSIVE: moe.’s Vinnie Amico Talks Hiatus Plans, Brooklyn Comes Alive, Allman Brothers

first_imgIf there is one thing moe. drummer Vinnie Amico knows, it’s the importance of keeping time. With the band beginning an unexpected hiatus while bassist Rob Dehrak undergoes cancer treatment, Amico currently has more time on his hands than expected–and he plans to make the absolute most of it. He’s currently in the process of recording and releasing the newest record from his Americana side band, Floodwood. He’s working on writing new material for moe., too, and preparing to take part in the third annual Brooklyn Comes Alive alongside an enormous list of incredible artists.Moe. may be taking some time off, but it’s clearly still crunch time for Vinnie, so we’re grateful the drummer could carve out a few minutes to chat about what’s in the works, teaching the young guns, his considerable culinary capabilities, and more. You can check out the conversation below:Live For Live Music: During this hiatus, are you seeking out more opportunities for your side band Floodwood to help keep you active?Vinnie Amico: Yep! Actually I am so busy playing right now I can’t even believe it. Not just with Floodwood either. All the local people I sometimes play with know I’m off tour and they are calling me left and right. I’m playing more gigs than I know what to do with and I am still saying no to at least half of the offers.L4LM: In general you are a pretty physically fit guy. With this extra time off, do you increase your drum exercises to match whatever physical workout regimens you have?VA: I don’t really do that. Playing the drums by yourself is pretty boring to me. That’s why I play as many gigs as I can: Playing [live] is practice to me. Playing music with other musicians is much more fun for me than sitting there alone trying to figure stuff out.I also have a couple people I give lessons to during the week. That actually helps me not only keep my chops up but helps me as a player in general. [Teaching] is not just doing a thing, it’s examining what I am doing and being able to explain why it should be done. That is a fun challenge too. I have to understand something if I am going to teach it to somebody else…I’m more of a general teacher than a patterns guy. I break down everything I do and show folks what I do, why I do it and how I do it. That really helps my drumming. When I play, I don’t really think about what I’m doing.Check and see whether Vinnie really does “know what he’s doing” in this fun clip featuring “Haze” and “Wicked Awesome” below, via Rex Thomson:L4LM: Were you a good drum student? Did you take a lot of drum lessons when you were starting out?VA: I wasn’t a good student. I mean, I took lessons for two years but then I quit. But my mom had bought me a drum kit and I really liked playing. You can ask my students…I’m a very basic teacher. You don’t need all that fancy stuff to be a good, solid, fundamental drummer–that’s what I teach to my students. You need to work the rudiments. You need to learn certain combinations of hand and foot. You need to be able to play a good groove and keep a good time. If you want to get gigs as a drummer, you have to be able to do that. You have to be able to play basically any song in any time. All that other stuff can come later. You don’t want to be some kind of crazy chops guy who can’t keep time in a band. That doesn’t help anybody.L4LM: moe. has done a lot of sit-ins and collaborations this year. As the drummer, you are basically the backbone of the operation. Do you welcome these opportunities to vary your routine, or is it ever annoying to keep changing those things around and even give up your stool from time to time?VA: I like playing music with people. Playing with my guys, playing with other people….I just like playing with people. And the thing about playing with these other people is…it’s usually a cover song. I know so many tunes, but there are so many I don’t. It’s a great thing, a fun challenge: ‘I’ve heard a song a thousand times but I have never played it before but now it’s time to do it!’L4LM: We have a new wave of bands starting to really come into their own on the jam scene. There’s a bunch of them–Spafford, Aqueous, Twiddle, Pigeons, and so on. What do you think about the state of the scene these days?VA: It’s great to see new bands that not only care about the scene but also kick ass! They are working really hard to keep this thing going. They work so hard at it. The quality of playing is impressive. Seems like kids keep getting better. And they’re hitting the road and writing. That is how they get better.Watch Vinnie play in a special rendition of the Grateful Dead‘s “Friend Of The Devil” during a surprise acoustic set featuring members of moe. and Twiddle at this year’s Summer Camp Music Festival below, via Rex Thomson: L4LM: Speaking of writing, are you working on anything of your own during this little break from touring?VA: We are all doing some writing on our own. I have a couple songs floating around in my head. I don’t usually put them down. I just tell the guys the ideas I have. They’re pretty much full song ideas…even if I haven’t worked out every part yet.We do have some live stuff that is just sitting there ready to roll. In the future, it wouldn’t be beyond the realm of possibility that some of that stuff could come out. Floodwood is in the process of finishing an album. Al [Schnier] and I have the Everyone Orchestra and Brooklyn Comes Alive and gigs coming up. He and I are both gonna be real busy with that for sure.L4LM: Brooklyn Comes Alive is going to be quite the party. You’re part of the festival’s tribute to Butch and Gregg, The Road Goes On Forever: Celebrating The Music of The Allman Brothers Band. Do you remember when you first encountered the music of the Allmans?VA: Sorta. I know I was pretty young. It was in high school right around the time I got into the Grateful Dead, for pretty much the same reasons. I saw the Dead–the “Jerry” Dead–like fifty or sixty times, and I saw the Allman Brothers around twenty or thirty times over the same period. I studied both both of those bands and their type of music pretty closely.I wanted to know how to play this music correctly and to hear this music correctly. It wasn’t that I wanted to learn how to play the song…I wanted to know how to play the song the way they played it. Both of those bands formed my way of looking at music.Check out moe. rocking the Allman Brothers’ “Southbound” earlier this year at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg, FL:L4LM: What do you think of the core concept of Brooklyn Comes Alive, with the mixing and matching of individual artists and themes as opposed to full bands?VA: It’s really cool. Sure, everybody loves their favorite bands, but this is a chance to see their favorite players do something different. It’s gonna be really good and some of these combinations may end up surprising people. There is so much friendship and energy in the scene…there are gonna be some great moments. There will be times when artists try something for the first time and the audience wonders ‘Holy Crap! What did we just see?’Super-jams can turn into nightmares sometimes, especially when there are too many people onstage. Everyone wants their little shot. It can be a little much. The Brooklyn Comes Alive model, with smaller configurations and actual thought and guidelines behind the pairings…like the Allman Brothers set or us playing with the Aqueous boys…drawing from the catalogs of just two bands. That should be really cool.L4LM: How is that Aqueous/moe. set gonna work? Is it all moe. tunes or some Aqueous material also?VA: I should say “It’s a secret!” but I honestly don’t have any idea. I know the Aqueous dudes have played our music before and that Mike Gantzer is a nut job in a good way. He is so good and he really studies music. If he is doing this he probably knows our songs better than we do by now. Maybe he can tell us what we’re doing wrong. Either way it will be a great night.You can get excited for Brooklyn Comes Alive with pro-shot video of Vinnie and Joel Cummins (Umphrey’s McGee) sitting in with Aqueous at Summer Camp below, via Aqueous:L4LM: What is your perspective on the band taking control of the managerial reigns for moe.?VA: Al is doing most of it. It’s good. We are all more involved in the decision making. The only question is if it is sustainable. I don’t know if Al will get tired of it and say “Screw this!”EXCLUSIVE: moe.’s Al Schnier Talks Hiatus And Coming Collaborations, And Taking On The Responsibilities Of Being The Band’s ManagerWe may end up splitting up the tasks more. We’ve been doing this a long time, and we basically know how to do this stuff ourselves. For now it’s good, and hopefully we can keep this up and maintain it.L4LM: How did you enjoy the return of moe.down?VA: I had a great time. It’s a busy weekend for us but I think it’s worth it. Hopefully everyone enjoyed it and we hope to not only do it again, but grow it into what we wanted it to be.Watch moe. delight their faithful fans with this “Crab Eyes” > “New York City” jam at the 2017 moe.down music festival:L4LM: I know politics is an incredibly touchy subject right now, but I have to ask…have you and the new mayor of moe.down had a face-to-face meeting yet?VA: Shut it. I don’t think we will either…[laughs]L4LM: Before interviewing an artist, I usually reach out to their fans to gather ideas of questions to ask, see what’s on their minds. I would say about 90% of the responses I got for you were food-based. First up…any thoughts on opening your own restaurant?VA: I would love to, but everyone always tells me how hard it is. I’ve never even worked in a restaurant. I’d have to bring people in. We live in a restaurant culture around here and these folks are pretty heavy duty. A lot of competition and a lot of work I just don’t have time for…There will still be some cooking shows coming though, so look forward to that.L4LM: Well, it sounds like you have some really appetizing future plans! Look forward to seeing, hearing and maybe even tasting what you’re cooking up for us!VA: Thanks! See you out there soon!Don’t miss Vinnie Amico and Al Schnier of moe. performing in a wide range of diverse sets at the upcoming Brooklyn Comes Alive, set to take place across three venues in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on September 23rd – 24th. The unique homegrown event puts the focus on the musicians, curating dream team collaborations, tributes, and artist passion projects for two full days of incredible music both new and old. For a full list of artists, head to the event’s website. Two-day and single-day GA and VIP tickets are available now. The 2017 lineup is set to include hand-selected band lineups featuring all-star musicians like John Scofield, George Porter Jr. (The Meters), Bernard Purdie, Kofi Burbridge (Tedeschi Trucks Band), Joel Cummins, Ryan Stasik, and Kris Myers (Umphrey’s McGee), Aron Magner and Marc Brownstein (The Disco Biscuits), Mike Greenfield and Jesse Miller (Lotus), Jason Hann (String Cheese Incident), Alan Evans (Soulive), Cyril Neville (Neville Brothers), Henry Butler, Jon Cleary, Reed Mathis (Electric Beethoven), Michael League, Nate Werth, Chris Bullock, Robert “Sput” Searight, and Bob Lanzetti (Snarky Puppy), Jennifer Hartswick and Natalie Cressman (Trey Anastasio Band), and so many more!center_img [photo by Jay Blakesberg]last_img read more

Darren Criss Stars in ‘Already Home’ Music Video by A Great Big World

Darren Criss Stars in ‘Already Home’ Music Video by A Great Big World

first_imgLong distance relationships can be tough, but when you’re that far away from Darren Criss? The agony! The Broadway alum and Glee cutie stars opposite Gossip Girl’s Jessica Szohr in the new music video for “Already Home” by A Great Big World (a duo consisting of Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino). The tune tells the story of a couple trying to make a long distance relationship work when on opposite coasts. Take a look at the split screen-laden music video featuring Criss below!  Darren Criss Star Filescenter_img View Commentslast_img read more

Teen rescued after falling from cliff

Teen rescued after falling from cliff

first_imgBedford, IN—Early Tuesday morning, Indiana Conservation Officers helped rescue a teenager who fell from a cliff in Hoosier National Forest last night.At approximately 11:30 p.m. Monday, officers responded to South Hatfield Road in Crawford County regarding a missing juvenile who had not been seen for an estimated four hours. Officers determined the juvenile had left the area on his ATV and possibly traveled to Hoosier National Forest to explore caves.This early this morning, responders formed a search team in an attempt to locate the juvenile near Messmore Cliffs in Hoosier National Forest. While searching, officers made verbal contact with the juvenile, learning that he had fallen 50-60 feet from the cliffs.Search crews removed the juvenile from the area, and he was flown to the University of Louisville Hospital for head, lower back, and leg injuries.“There is no doubt the officers’ knowledge of the area and expertise from being members of the Indiana Conservation Officer Cave Rescue Team played a huge role in locating, securing and transporting this juvenile to safety,” said Maj. Tim Beaver of DNR Law Enforcement.last_img read more

‘We’ll win the cup’ – Kotoko fans react to 2-0 win over Kano Pillars [VIDEO]

‘We’ll win the cup’ – Kotoko fans react to 2-0 win over Kano Pillars [VIDEO]

first_imgThe boys played a marvelous game and we are very satisfied and hopefully they do the same against Etoile du Sahel. And we will win the cup.Those were the words of some of the supporters of Asante Kotoko after they beat their visiting Nigerian opponents, Kano Pillars.The fans of the Porcupine Warriors expressed their satisfaction as the Kumasi-based club qualified for the next round of qualifiers of the CAF Champions League.The club faithful also shared their expectations after the team overcame their deficit to progress to the next phase of qualifiers.Kumasi Asante Kotoko overturned a 3-2 deficit to book their place in the next qualifying round of the CAF Champions League.Kotoko made it to the first round of the Champions League after they beat Kano Pillars 2-0 in Kumasi on Sunday, August 25, 2019, to progress 4-3 on aggregate.The Porcupine Warriors will now face Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia in the next round of qualifiers and will hope to make it to the group stages of the CAF Champions League.Watch what the supporters had to say after the game:last_img read more