We Interviewed The Werks at Bear Creek About the Suwannee, Funk and Chivalry
At Bear Creek Music & Arts Festival, we caught up with The Werks. The four-piece band and us discussed what sets the Suwannee apart from other festival venues around the US, the funkiest lineup of the year and, of course, chivaly. Read below and check out some tunes by these guys.
DubEra.com: Thanks guys for meeting up with us. Let’s go ahead and go around the table to state your name, position in the band and one fun fact about yourself.
Rob: I’m Rob, I play drums and I’m a tourist.
Chris: My name’s Chris Houser, I play guitar and I’m left-handed. Well, I write left-handed.
Dino: I’m Dino Dimitrouleas, I play bass and I like water sports.
DubEra: That’s cool, what’s your favorite one?
Norman: I’m Norman Dimitrouleas, I play keyboards and I’m a lot better than my brother at water sports.
DubEra: Well if it keeps raining outside we’ll go to our campsite and see about that.
Dino: (Laughs) I’m Down [soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/15389639″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
DubEra: So what sets the Suwannee apart from other festivals?
Chris: The vibe here is really cool. The scenery is really beautiful with the Spanish moss and everything. And the people who tend to come to this camp ground for this specific festival really sets it a part from the rest for me. As well as the lineup.
Rob: I just like watching Paul Levine walk around. He’s one of my favorite people in the world.
Dino: The lineup is especially special here as well as the way the grounds are laid out. The way everything is camping, but it feels like an inner-city community. It’s its own feel. There’s a lot of spaces and places to go and see stuff.
Rob: I’d also like to say the production team here is one of the best. It’s a lot of our friends that run sound and stage manage so it’s really good to come here again and see them.
Norman: It’s kind of like Thanksgiving.
DubEra: So why are you guys so amped up on the lineup?
Rob: It’s super funk based! (Hears Jennifer Hartswick’s horns warming up) There’s a lot of horn sections.
Chris: That’s the number one thing for me: it’s just the amount of funk, it’s awesome.
Dino: The level of musicianship too. It’s really great to do great things with all of these incredible artists. A lot of festivals like to mix the electronic with this and that and everything, but Bear Creek just lines up the super-funky, virtuoso musician lineup. We’re always really pumped to see the lineup.
DubEra: Would you guys go as far as to say that this is the best funk festival in America?
Rob: That we’ve been to, yeah.
Dino: There might be better, but I wasn’t there.
Norman: Maybe once upon a time, but we weren’t there.
DubEra: Do you guys have a favorite Werks sit-in moment?
Chris: Last year with Roosevelt was awesome. We did “Music.”
Dino: I really don’t have a favorite. I always enjoy when another musician gets to come up and play with us. It puts us on our “A” game and nobody wants to let anyone down.
Norman: Final Countdown with Jason Hahn and Todd [Stoops] with us coming out all 80s style and shit…
Rob: We jammed with this 13 year old girl named Jaden Carlson who plays guitar and she’s one of the best guitarist I’ve ever seen live and she’s 13.
DubEra: What can we expect from the Werks going in to 2014? Do you guys have any crazy tours or new albums or anything planned?
Chris: All of the above, I think!
Norman: We have a new album coming out and we have a great lineup of shows that we’re not allowed to talk about. (Laughs) But expect good things
Chris: When can we expect the album?
Dino: It’s close.
Chris: It’s really close! It’s been close for a while; it’s just the matter of getting out to Pittsburgh to finish it. The biggest thing is that we don’t want to rush it. There’s still a couple things that we want to tighten up on it. Putting a deadline on it could possibly rush it, so we’re just taking our time on it. We really want to put out our best product.
DubEra: And there’s really no need to rush it these days. It isn’t like you have to put one out soon so you can –
Chris: Make money!
Chris: It’s really funny because when we were growing up, Napster happened. Everyone was so pissed about Napster. Now, that’s just how things are.
DubEra: Would you guys rather have that 90s music business model back?
Norman: I don’t think any musicians happy with it.
Dino: Both ways have their advantages. The way things are now it’s a lot easier to access music, which from a fan standpoint helps them get the music they want to listen to. That helps our genre. But then again, you can’t really make money off recorded music anymore. When you’re in the business of doing that, it’s a small set back.
Chris: Luckily we’re a touring band though.
Dino: Yeah and at the end of the day we all created music for the same reason: we wanted to reach people. So I think we’re all cool with the fact that people are able to access our music easily and listen to it and enjoy; that’s most important to all of us. [soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/15389638″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
DubEra: And wouldn’t you agree that live music, especially in this genre, it’s a lot more powerful than sitting in your room or your car and jamming out?
Chris: That’s what it’s all about.
Dino: Oh yeah!
Norman: Don’t get me wrong. I’ve had a lot of good times just sitting in my car and just jamming out.
Chris: Myself personally, even if I’m listening to it in my car, I’d rather it be live. I respect studio albums from a lot of our friends and you have to respect the studio work. Everybody took a lot of time to do that, but I’m a sucker for the live shows.
DubEra: Do you have any go-to soundboards or anything you guys are always playing in the van?
Chris: Ummmm….not really. Not that I can think of right off the top of my head. I, myself, listen to a lot of Phish.
Norman: We all listen to pretty much anything you can think of. It can go from hip-hop to country to just anything.
Rob: All of the acts that we play with on the road is music that we listen to a lot. They’re our friends and we really like and respect their music a lot as well. That’s one of our favorite parts about touring is that you get to play with all these awesome musicians across the country and listen to their styles of music.
DubEra: Well thanks again for your time, Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Norman: Yes, I would absolutely like to add a shout-out… BITCH I WANT MY MOTHA FUCKIN COAT BACK!
Chris: Milly from Auburn stole Norman’s $800 leather coat. Wait – actually she didn’t steal it because he put it on her and then walked away.
Norman: Look I said [to her] you look like you’re cold, I’m right here on the tour bus just come back and give it to me.
Chris: You walked off bro.
DubEra: And they wonder why chivalry’s dead…
Norman: You fuckin’ killed chivalry Milly!