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Published: 2014/01/30
by Sam D'Arcangelo

moe. Memories of Wetlands

You guys have a bunch of guests coming to play with you for these 25th anniversary shows, which is very much in the spirit of the Wetlands? Were there a lot of collaborations when moe. was playing there?

Yeah that’s what it was really about. Most of the time we ended up playing shows with our friends’ bands, bands that we played with in other places, like Ominous Seapods and Yolk. You would always have somebody jamming with you or you would jam with somebody else. I think that’s when we started doing the “hostile takeover” thing, where someone would come on stage from the other band and start taking over our instruments and stuff. I think that’s where the whole idea kind of came from.

Some of these guys that are coming to play with us up at Port Chester, we’ve never actually gotten jam with them. Some of them we have, we’ve played with in the past. I don’t even remember how many different bands we’ve played with there, but I know we’ve done stuff with Jimmy Herring and the Conehead Buddha horns and all that. But Chris Barron, we’ve never really done anything with the Spin Docs. Maybe we opened for them once when I lived in Buffalo. But a lot of these other bands, it’s going to be a first time for us. They were all integral parts of the Wetlands though, so its going be pretty cool.

For sure, I mean John Medeski is going to be there. Jen Durkin from Deep Banana Blackout, Aaron Maxwell from God Street Wine, Reid Genauer, Scott Murawski.

Like we’ve never played with Aaron before. Well, he’s never sat in with us so that’s going be cool. I’m not sure, I know we’ve done shows with Jen but I don’t remember if she’s ever done anything with us. I think some of our guys have played with her. And obviously we’ve done stuff with John Medeski a few times. He’s phenomenal. It’ll be great. Never did anything with Scott. Reid I’ve done a million things with. So some guys, right away we’ll know what to do and other guys, it’ll be fun to learn where and what their style is. It’ll be cool.

Have you guys thought up any interesting ways to pay tribute to the Wetlands over the course of these two shows?

Oh yeah, but it’s all surprise stuff (Laughs). You have to leave something. You have to let everyone let that stuff unfold. No secrets (laughs).

Our own Dr. Dean Budnick directed a documentary about the Wetlands, Wetlands Preserved. Have you, per chance, seen the film?

Yeah, I’ve seen it. It’s good man. There’s that whole funny story about Rodney that kills me every time. I don’t know, man. Somehow I got involved in the Rodney story and I wasn’t even there that’s the funny part. That’s a great movie though. My son watched it. He’s 15 now and he was just impressed by the sort of legendry status that the film gives the venue. He thought it was cool.

Anything else you want to say about these shows?

We did a benefit a while ago at—I think it was the Roseland, or maybe we played at Irving Plaza—I can’t remember. It was with a Butch Trucks, Sam Bush, Trey Anastasio and stuff. We got together with all those guys and rehearsed and came up with all this great stuff and the whole show was just so much fun and it was just such a different thing. I’m hoping that we can bring something like that to this; where it’s not necessarily going to be a moe. show. It’s going to be us with all these special guests playing some of our music, some of their music, and some covers. Really make it special for me and for the Wetlands. And then, obviously, because of the amount of influence the Grateful Dead had on the venue, I think we are going to try to pull some of that stuff into the whole mix and do something. It’ll be good.

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