enough, the moe. canon – released largely through their own Fatboy Records, as well as via two label deals, one major, the other independent – further includes a wide range of archival live releases (including 2000’s L), a Christmas album, even a re-recorded collection of greatest hits.
2020’s THIS IS NOT, WE ARE – the band’s 12th studio album and first since 2014’s NO GUTS, NO GLORY – includes eight new songs, most of which were road tested over the past two years of touring. In addition, the LP features one song making its first appearance anywhere, the Garvey- penned “Undertone.” Self-produced by the band, THIS IS NOT, WE ARE sees moe. once again pushing their music forward while simultaneously rifling through their back pages on songs like Derhak’s nostalgic “Skitchin’ Buffalo” and the Al Schnier composition, “Crushing.”
“Our musical paths have diverged so many times,” Derhak says. “All of our original influences became part of what we were at the time and then as we played, our sound kind of just grew. It changed with the landscape of the music business and it changed with what we were listening to. For example, some of our albums further down the road reflect a much stronger Americana influence. It's like, all of the things that we've learned in the past thirty years, all the things that we've done, have sort of come full circle.”
“We’re a better band now,” Amico – who came aboard in 1996 and has remained behind the kit ever since – says. “The reality is, you spent thirty years with people doing what you do, you get better. There's no ifs, ands or buts about it. Your ears get more trained, your playing gets better and better, your ability to communicate with each other better.”
That preternatural interplay was of course honed through night after night, week after week, of on-stage togetherness. moe. is truly a live band, rightly adored by a fervent following for their epic concert performances, each one imaginatively improvisational, rhythmically audacious, and utterly unique. Indeed, the band has spent much of its 30-year career on the road, including innumerable headline tours, international festival sets from Bonnaroo to Japan’s famed Fuji Rock, music-themed cruises, and sold-out shows alongside such like-minded acts as the Allman Brothers Band, Robert Plant, members of the Grateful Dead, Dave Matthews Band, The Who, Gov’t Mule, and Blues Traveler, to name but a few. As if that weren’t enough, moe. has both promoted and headlined at multiple festivals of their own, including snoe.down and moe.down.
“We built our own career,” Amico says, “where we are able to play places like Radio City or the Fox Theater in Atlanta, playing SPAC (Saratoga Performing Arts Center), my hometown venue where I saw concerts as a kid. We’ve played Red Rocks eight times or nine times or however many times we've played it. The fact that we built a career that we’ve played these places and have sustained playing these places, it’s huge.”
That illustrious career path has been supported and nourished by the band’s ever-growing legion of devoted fans and followers, known lovingly as moe.rons. With their astonishing prolificacy and awe-inspiring longevity, moe. is among the rare bands that somehow manage to transcend time and trend to be passed down from one generation to the next.
“We’ve never been the kind of band where you’re one-and-done,” Amico says. “People have gotten married and had kids, now those kids are listening to us.”