Head for the Hills: Tweed Interview

By Kendra Sells
Head for the Hills Press Team

 

Tweed Guitarist AJ DiBiase at Head for the Hills. Photo by Kendra Sells.
Tweed Guitarist AJ DiBiase at Head for the Hills. Photo by Kendra Sells.

Tweed is not only a funkadelic band from Philadelphia, but they are a sweet group of guys that took a chance and gave me, a complete stranger, a ride from San Marcos to Kerrville for Head for the Hills. I hadn’t listened to them prior to the trip because I figured a live performance would be the best first impression. I was completely right. These guys opened the festival and set the precedent for three days of solid music, high energy and kind spirits.

We sat down outside of their van to chat on Friday morning before they left Kerrville to finish out the rest of their tour.

Sells: This is yall’s first time in Texas, how do you like it?

Joe Vela: I love Texas, man. This is a great state. It’s definitely exceeded my expectations, definitely wasn’t exactly what I expected. I expected more dude ranches and cowboy hats, but they’ve got a great hippy community, great music scene, great food scene and great people – it’s all about the people.

AJ DiBiase: Kerrville and the grounds for the festival are very beautiful, where we’re at right now for Head for the Hills has beautiful grounds.

S: How did your show go? Do you want to play here again?

V: Yeah, I was a little bit worried being the first set of the weekend. We were a late edition because we’re on this big national tour right now. I hit up Miles who is the owner of the festival I’m like “we’ve gotta play this festival, we gotta be on Head for the Hills.” There’s a great line up, great local/national acts. I thought the set was great, everybody was bumping, everyone was dancing. They all flocked to the stage when we started, great crowd reaction. I think we’ll definitely be back. I’d love to plan another Texas trip around Head for the Hills 2017.

D: Yeah, we really had a blast, especially to have people dancing, we feed off of that energy.

V: And we did a super funk jam this morning; opened up Thursday and opened on Friday.

S: Yeah you did! And it was awesome. Who was that you played with?

V: We played with Lucas Parker who used to be in a band called Mouth. And he’s just kind of like a band friend of ours. We had met him in person for the first time this weekend. We’ve been in touch over Facebook and email. We saw an opening and we always take the advantage to get a renegade set and get another chance to get on stage. Obviously, we love to play music, so that’s what we’re here to do. We had the whole place dancing again, it was fun.

S: I know there are so many different types of sub-genres, I can never keep up. What exactly do you call what you do?

V: I think if you asked all of us, you’d get a different answer. What I usually say is funk electronica. A lot of people would classify us as a jam band maybe, because we jam but when you listen to our music, we don’t sound like a jam band. I would say funk electronica, we have a little disco here and there. Somebody else would probably say something different.

Jon Tomczak: A little darker, a little bit composed. Definitely inspired by jam bands, inspired by the jam, but we wanna bring different elements from all different kinds of music into it. All of us love all kinds of music. We want to play them all. It’s a good way to bring together every kind of music that we like and keep everybody dancing.

V: Somebody at this festival said it was like Lotus meets Rage Against the Machine. I’ve never heard that one before, but I like it.

S: Where did you get the name Tweed? What is a Tweed?

T: You want the real story or you want a cool story?

S: Both?

T: Honestly, it’s pretty lame. We booked a show and we didn’t really have a band name, and one of our friends was like, “Hey, I always thought Tweed would be a good name for a band,” so we were like, “Alright.”

V: He was like “I was saving this word, this word just rolls of your tongue. I’ve been saving it for something special.” He was like, “let me hit you with it – Tweed,” and we all got behind that, and it kind of stuck

T: You can think of it as Tweed, is interwoven pattern of different colors, different things overlapping and layering, and that’s kind of what we try and do with our music. We had a day a little while back where we were trying to come up with acronyms for Tweed and one of the ones that stuck to us was  “Time Wizards Eating Electric Donuts”

V: Try and embody that one

T: Try to pick up the time wizard vibe. My mom says it stands for “The World Evolves Every Day.”

S: Oh, it can mean anything that you want it to mean, I suppose..

V: Yeah.

S: Y’all have been on tour for how long?

V: We’ve been on this tour, this is day 21 of the Free to Fly tour which is our March and April dates. And we did the Chunky Life Tour which was our January and February dates. (In) January, we went to the midwest to Colorado, New Mexico and back. (In) February, we kind of did the northeast which was our hometown throw down with a band from Colorado called Greener Grounds. I think we did 56 shows last year, and this year were close to about 45-50 already. We’re trying to get to that 150 mark for 2016. I think it’s going to be a big year for us.

S: So you said you’re new to this full-time musician thing, what’s it like being away from home for so long?

V: I definitely miss my bed, I miss cooking dinner for myself. But this stuff if so fun, you could pin-point any day on the calendar and I could tell you a crazy story.

T: It can be exhausting, but at the end of the day, there’s nothing I’d rather be doing so it’s very rewarding to give it our all doing something we love to do. As much as I love to sleep in my bed every night, I can’t think of anything I’d rather do other than this.

V: These guys, Dan, AJ, and Jon, are my best friends and even though they get on my nerves, we make it through. I’m looking forward to some alone time

T: It’s gonna be really good not to see these guys for a day…make it sound like we’re friends.

S: Any last words?

V: We’re coming to a dance floor near you.

T: You’re going to kill us?

V: What?

T: Is she going to kill us?

S: Yes, that’s the next step.

V: Alright, goodbye world.

T: Goodbye world!

S: This is Kendra with Tweed and you’re listening to KTSW San Marcos!

Follow the band on Instagram for fun tour updates.

Song: “Pixelrise” by Tweed.

Disclaimer: I didn’t do anything to harm the band.

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