moe. has repeatedly donated and participated in events for the Kelberman Center, a cause which is close to Schnier’s heart.
“It’s in my community. We have a child that was diagnosed in the Autism spectrum, who participated in a UCP Promise Program, which preceded the Kerlberman Center. It’s been formed just recently. It’s provides ongoing services for kids, and families dealing with Autism. There’s a huge demographic of kids with the disorder who are getting older and aren’t getting the services they need. It’s the least we can do. Autism is such an important thing for people to be aware of. Anything we can do, really, is great,” Schnider says of the band’s involvement with the center.
When not recording or supporting one of their pet causes the band is often participating in, or working on, the next moe. fan event. From the moe.illiemum to snow.down to the moe.dow–and don’t forget the moe. cruise–it seems although moe. is always thinking of a new way to interact with their fans.
“Being an active touring band and playing other festivals, we thought it would be fun to host one and do it out way. A family reunion of some sort. We get to pick the bands, pick the lay out and flow of it. Not better, just different,” the singer says of the band’s ever growing series of moe. centric events.
The flagship of these events, the moe.down, is scheduled to happen the final weekend of August at the Snow Ridge Ski Resort in Turin, New York. WIth this year’s big event on the horizon, from a festival with a reputation of brining together far-flung musical acts under the same banner, what can one expect from moe.down 2008?
“Good question,” Schnier replies. “You know, you never know. The crowd grows a little bit every year, but it’s never huge or overwhelming. The atmosphere at moe.down is friendly and laid back. I love that there’s all different kinds of bands, punk bands, jam bands. All just really good bands. Music for music lovers. That’s something that I love about moe. fans, they’re open minded. They don’t try to confine us,” he says of the annual festival.
The moe.down has begun to carry more significance for moe. fans (commonly referred to as moe.rons) than being the biggest of the moe.centric events. Rumors have been abound that the band will call it quits after the festival’s ninth year.
“Yes, yes, we’re breaking up for a short time,” Schnier confirms and adds, “I don’t like to call it a hiatus. And if we break-up, we get to do a reunion tour,” he jokes. “We’ve decided to see other people. We’re seniors now, and we need to see other people,” he teases, likening the coming break to a high school romance.
But before taking that breather, there are a few things the band has to tend to before this year’s moe.down.
Recently the band released the latest installment of their Warts and All series. The albums are live, unpolished recordings of the band on the road which are hand picked by the band members.
“It used to be we had to decide unanimously. Then I think we realized that it would take forever to do that and nothing would ever be released,” he says of the old way of selecting Warts and All shows. “Now it’s on a rotating basis. I listen to a bunch, usually shows that I mark off in my journal as being really good and then do the homework, like listening to them in the car,” he says of his own decision process and adds, “I’m just looking for something unique and cool. It’s Warts and All, and it’s not going to be perfect, but there are certain shows when you can tell when the band is on that night, that you captured something special.”
In addition to ushering in this new release the band will be putting on two performances in the area, first in Asbury Park on June 8 as part of their Summer Stage series and then on June 15 on Governor’s Island and June 16 at the Highline Ballroom, both in New York City.
When asked why the band decided to go with the off beat and seldom used Governor’s Island, Schnier explains, “ We just wanted to to do something different. We just did Radio City for New Year’s and we felt that doing Central Park again would be asking a lot of our New York audience. It’s a different way to play New York in the city.”
Lastly, what Schnider would like people to know about moe. is, “We play songs. We play songs you can sing along to.” And about life he adds, “There’s more to life than Pitchfork [media.com].”
Sticks And Stones is in stores now. You can catch moe. on June 15 at Governor’s Island, NY, and June 16 at the Highline Ballroom, also in NYC. For more visit moe.org
Photo Credit: Danny Clinch