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  • December 13th, 2017

    Every Reason You Need to See Tweed at Garcia’s

    It’s not often that musicians can reinvent the sounds of an entire genre but for the past seven years, Tweed has been turning the jamtronica scene on its head. Hailing from Philadelphia, the hometown of the likes of The Disco Biscuits and Lotus, Tweed has quickly become to talk of the town, even hosting their own music festival this summer. Now, they will be making their Garcia’s debut on Thursday, December 21 for an evening of soaring jams and unpredictable madness.

    Hailing from Philadelphia, Tweed is a big slice in the already-thriving jamtronica scene filled with the likes of Lotus and The Disco Biscuits. What sort of direction has Tweed managed to carve out that makes you guys distinguishable amongst the rest of these powerhouse bands?

    The Disco Biscuits and Lotus are two of our favorite performing acts so it’s an honor to be compared to them, but I think we have a different sound that’s more lyrically-driven and takes influence from disco and prog-rock. We strive to make music that is completely unique.

    You guys are one of the few highly-successful, college-formed bands, coming out of the University of Delaware. For those who don’t know, how did guys come together and how did the underground live music scene happen to be the perfect concoction for the formation of Tweed?

    AJ and I (Joe) both separately met Jon on campus during freshman year. He was an easily recognizable character with a big orange afro at the time and always a big smile on his face, and we jammed a few times casually in the dorm. Then summer before sophomore year, I met AJ in Atlantic City at a Disco Biscuits/Lotus/Brothers Past concert serendipitously because AJ was wearing a UD t-shirt. There was a moment of “I play guitar” and “I play drums,” so we’re going to be friends! We jammed in my apartment that year, with Jon on guitar, and later played our first show in the basement of a house that AJ and I lived at on Halloween 2010, with our original bassist Paul. We met Dan senior year and jammed a few times, so when Paul moved in another direction, we knew just the guy to call for the position.

    As far as the live music scene in Delaware, we didn’t really appeal to the underground indie movement so we were basically forging our own path to build a fanbase. We played a lot of our first shows at a new venue called Mojo Main where we teamed up with other talent from UD and even did a show with Dopapod. We would take regular trips up to Philly to The Blockley which was a better scene for us and we made a lot of connections by hanging out and playing there. Both of those venues are no longer around sadly. We were determined to create a scene at UD, so in 2011 we founded the electronic music club at UD, Deltronica, and a festival with it, called Bass Campus. BioDiesel and Space Jesus were among some of the names on our inaugural event and it continued on for five years. Once we graduated, we decided to really take creating music and touring more seriously with Philadelphia as our hub.

    This past August, you put on your inaugural first festival, SENSORiUM, which included the likes of Jesse Miller of Lotus and lespecial. What were some of the challenges and payoffs of organizing your own festival? Do you think artist-curated and hosted festivals such as SENSORiUM are the future of the jam band festival circuit?

    We had been talking about doing something of our own for a very long time and finally, we had the opportunity because we knew our fanbase could support an event this size. The biggest challenge was working within our budget for talent and venue for a first-time event because you don’t know exactly how many tickets you’re going to sell. We ended up with over 500 people in attendance and it was a huge success. I had so many people tell me it was the best event put on at that venue and one of the best days of summer, and that makes it all worth it. It was a great learning experience and we’re working on future curated festival-like events that will happen more than just once a year too. Tweed always goes big.

    I think it’s a successful model for bands to curate their own events for so many reasons. It’s a great way to stay connected with fans by organizing the type of lineups they love and it’s a platform to introduce new music to that audience. As a musician, you’re also a business owner and a visionary for your musical career, and the more you can take success into your own hands, the more opportunities you’ll have to succeed. If you look at events like Camp Bisco, Electric Forest, moe.down, and even Domefest, I think fans are going there because artist-curated events are going to deliver above and beyond. It’s not only the reputation of the festival on the line, but the entire band, and band’s care more about their fans than anything.

    Your last EP, “The Chunky Life,” is a pallet of wild tastes and sounds that attack the listener from all angles. You also worked with Jeff “Mudd” Mahajan on producing this record. How was the process working with Mudd in creating this EP? Are you looking at going back into the studio to craft a new record, and if so, what can fans expect?

    Mudd has been an invaluable asset to our song creation process as well as a great friend and mentor. Those tracks were heavily live tested on the road before we brought them into the studio for tracking. Mudd has challenged us to think about what elements make up a great song, like the melody, story-telling within our lyrics, or creating a harmonic wall of musical sound. With conscious effort, we really crafted the direction of our sound throughout the making of the EP, which I think will be more evident in our full-length album coming in 2018. We’ve been working tirelessly on the new full-length since we finished The Chunky Life and we’re dropping the single along with a music video, “El Sucio Grande” (The Big Dirty), in the next month or so. We’re really happy with how it’s turning out and hopefully it catches the ears of a lot of new fans!

    We are buzzing about your performance at Garcia’s on Dec. 21, especially since having your hometown companions, Lotus and The Disco Biscuits, play at The Capitol Theatre. What are you looking forward to most regarding your Garcia’s debut?

    This is a special show for us since we’ll be performing in this space that has such a rich musical history. We’re pumped to take our Philly flavored funktronica to Garcia’s – We’ll be bringing the heat for our debut!