Saturday, October 20, 2018

Al Schnier of moe. on festivals, friends and taking a break

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Posted by admin On May - 23 - 2008

-A.S.

Here’s some highlights from the interview I did with Al Schneir a couple of weeks ago as Zack and I were putting together the festival season preview. With Summer Camp here and moe. playing all three days of the festival, it seemed appropriate to put up some more of the interview aside from what made the mag.

Andy Shore: You guys have a pretty unique perspective on the festival scene. What is it like for you to see a festival like moe.down or Summer Camp grow into what they have?

Al Schnier: It’s interesting because we have the unique perspective because we’re a band that gets solicited to play festivals. On the other hand we’re trying to host ours and solicit other acts. We’re really getting a lengthy lesson in the nuts and bolts of putting on a rock festival. It’s interesting seeing it from both sides. I think it’s probably made us better guests than anything else.

Andy: Do you enjoy the festival scene?

Al: Yes and no. As a fan, I love it, because I get to spend the day wandering around and seeing bands I’m either curious about seeing some bands or am already a fan and excited to see them. As a musician, I love it because I get to see friends that sometimes I haven’t seen in a year. There’s a downside to it to. As a 40-year-old man, I’m kind of over it. I guess it goes both ways. If I can get just enough sleep, then I love it.

Andy: Who are some of your favorite people you’ve had the chance to play with?

Al: The members of the Grateful Dead, that’s been a dream come true for me. The guys in the Flaming Lips. Honestly, I love playing with the guys in Umphrey’s, the Disco Biscuits, Tea Leaf Green and New Monsoon. They’re not heroes or people I looked up to, but peers and friends of mine. We’re all relaxed on stage together and it’s a good time. It’s not like ‘oh my god, oh my god, I’m playing with Bob Weir.’ It deepens bonds. I love seeing Brendan Bayliss (Umphrey’s) at a festival, or Marc Brownstein (Disco Biscuits).

Andy: Are there any bands you’re looking forward to catching at any of the festivals?

Al: Yes, at Summer Camp, I’m really pysyced about seeing the New Pornographers. Hopefully I get to see Tom Petty at Mile High. That would be really cool. I’m kind of hoping we cross paths with Vampire Weekend. I just really like that album, I wanna play with them or meet them or whatever.

Andy: I read that moe. is going to take a break after moe.down. What are your plans for the break?

Thus far, I already have scheduled a trip to Mount Rainier. I’m planning on releasing a new Transameraicans album and a tour to support it. The idea is I’m supposed to take a break, and spend some quality time with the family.

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