MM: Soul to Soul‚ huh?
RB: Yeah. Great stuff...oh man.
MM: Yeah‚ I have to put that on my list of stuff to listen too. I go through phases like that...I think it was a few years ago I was in my car and I heard a Stevie Ray tune and the next thing I know‚ I was at the record store picking up a few albums.
RB: Yeah‚ I saw him a bunch of times when I was in college. He made a lot of mistakes but he just went for it all the time.
MM: Well‚ what about that idea? Removing yourself from that safety zone when you're playing‚ where you move away from what you know and drop your inhibitions and go for it?
RB: It's really a hard thing to do. I know recently things have been going really well on stage and so we get into doing certain songs certain ways and I would always hope it would go that way. We played a bunch of shows where we had small crowds; this was late summer‚ and it was at those gigs where...for myself‚ I was like‚ "There're ten people here‚ who cares‚" and I would just let go. I've now taken that to all of our gigs with the idea of just trying something new. And you know what? It might suck. (Laughter) But who cares‚ it so worth trying. Let's just lay it all out there; you might not make it‚ but who cares. That's the way to play‚ especially when there are only a handful of people there. I think bands like Phish and those bands that improvise to huge crowds; I think that's it for them. I don't know those guys personally‚ but I imagine when they play it's like they're playing in their living room (laughs). And sometimes it doesn't come out that great. But who cares‚ I mean‚ that's part of the experience and with crowds that go to shows like that‚ there's a certain amount of patience. If you want to have those great moments playing live‚ like we've been talking about‚ you're going to have to sit through some moments that might not be that great‚ they might even be train wrecks (laughs).
MM: Yeah‚ exactly. I think that sums up my whole love affair with moe. They've done such incredible things playing in the moment that I'm willing to sit comfortably and listen to them noodle for twenty minutes to get there. I'm willing to do that because they're willing to lay it all out there. And that goes for the Grateful Dead and Phish as well. And another thing that you mentioned there‚ the more you do it and go out there‚ the less it will suck (laughs). The more you do it and are willing to let go in that environment it begins to suck less and less. You mentioned Phish where they improvise without any safety in front of 20‚000 people and they do it like they're playing in their living room; well‚ it wasn't always that way.
RB: Yeah‚ you're right. They kept getting better.
MM: But‚ yeah‚ I've seen those guys fall flat on their faces many front of huge crowds. It's great to see a band play a great song in the live setting‚ but you're not going to see that group of musicians over and over again if that's all they do. That's what I think is so great about this - that you want the unknown and the element of surprise.
RB: I wish there were more people like us (laughs).
MM: Yeah‚ to have the patience with music.
RB: That's it. You have to be willing to sit through some things to get to the great stuff. I think in this day and age people's attention spans seem not very long. I don't mean to sound whiny‚ and I don't even know if that's totally true. That's just the way it feels around here right now. I know there are a lot of people out there who care and who are into it‚ and those are the people we're hooking up with. There are always great bands that do the same songs every night and there's an audience for that. That's cool and that's great‚ but that's not what we're doing. It's just different - it's not better or worse- it's just different. I'm attracted to it and I'm inclined to say its better‚ but that's just my perspective.
MM: I would agree‚ but who am I to say.
RB: We know what works for us (laughs). I'll go to a moe. show with you anytime.
MM: (Laughing) Right‚ exactly.
RB: Those guys have been really good to us so I always want to give them a plug. Great guys...
MM: Great band.
RB: Yeah. Vinnie (Amico) actually grew up in my home town in Niskayuna.
MM: No shit‚ Niskayuna‚ huh?
RB: Yeah‚ Nisk-Guy-Yoon-Na! You better spell that right in the interview.
MM: (Laughs) Yeah‚ I might have to look that one up.
RB: Right‚ go online for that one.