Vinnie Amico: moe.’s Rhythm Method
America’s favorite hippie jam band, moe., has been busy touring – and procreating. Explains drummer Vinnie Amico, “I went on my first tour in the spring of ’97, then went out with the Further Festival. Then I had a baby. Then another guy in the band had a baby in the summer of ’98, and then another guy in the fall of ’98. We’d love to be on the road and play, but being away from the family is hard.” As of June, the ranks of Vinnie’s family increased again.
The band has similarly swelled with the addition of Jim Loughlin, moe.’s original drummer, who returns as percussionist. Says Vinnie, “It’s a bigger groove. Because Jim knew a lot of the songs, we have similar ideas about the fills, so we do tend to step on each other once in a while. But we’re getting pretty good at listening to each other.” Accordingly, Vinnie tunes his toms with minimal sustain: “I have them sort of dead so they don’t get in the way of the timbales and percussion.”
Moe.’s epic-length jams require super endurance. Amico says, “I get fired up and then I think, Oh, man, I’ve got to chill out! It doesn’t mean chill out my playing, but to just loosen up, because if I stay that tight for the whole hour, I’ll be dead.” Explains Vinnie, “We’re not your basic hippie jam band. We play harder: a lot less like The Grateful Dead, a lot more like The Ramones.”