Excited moe. fans are looking forward to the jam band’s visit to the Tennessee Theatre on Wednesday night. However, die-hard fans or “moe.rons” are not the only ones who are excited; the band members themselves are looking forward to returning to Knoxville and sharing their musical progress with their devoted listeners.
Moe.’s last album “Wormwood” came out in 2003, and it was a whole four years until they finally released “The Conch” about a month ago. Besides having a busy touring schedule, writing and recording in between stops, moe. had other reasons for taking so long to bring out a new record.
“This is our third album since leaving Sony. Now that we have our own label, the money we use comes from us,” bassist Rob Derhak said.
The record was actually recorded and mastered a year and a half ago, but Derhak said the band was just plain unhappy with it.
“So we went back to the drawing board,” Derhak said. “It was probably a little bit of us being perfectionists, but we were also making a DVD at the time.”
He added that they had not realized what making a DVD involved and that it was hard to focus on both the DVD and recording an album.
As a result of the past four years, moe. has matured as a band.
“Since leaving Sony, we have learned so much in the studio about the recording process and the aesthetics behind it,” Derhak said.
When the producer and engineer are out of the picture, they have to take on those responsibilities themselves.
“So I do feel like we’ve matured, but others might disagree,” Derhak said jokingly.
But moe. has also come to realize that the studio is not its home — it is not where the band belongs. “We’d so much rather be on-stage where we’re comfortable,” Derhak said.
The stage is where moe. really knows the ropes.
“They are just one of those bands that, during their shows, no one wants to go to the bathroom or even get a drink. All eyes and ears are on them,” said Robyn Halbert, a freshman in political science.
And according to Derhak, the band members are always trying new techniques and incorporating different instruments into their concerts. The song “MacIntyre Range” should be a favorite at the concert. Derhak takes out an upright bass for the beautiful instrumental piece. When asked what other songs fans should be looking forward to, Derhak was unsure.
“Part of the operation of our band is always changing the live performances — it keeps it interesting for us, as well as the fans,” he said.
The band tours a great deal more than other bands, so switching things up keeps the band members excited and on their toes. “It’s not like we’ll come out sounding like Marilyn Manson…we just want to keep that sound fresh,” said Derhak.
The band will take the stage at 8 p.m. And for those planning to attend the concert, it’s hard to know exactly what to expect since the band hardly even knows what will happen Wednesday night.

Leah Forbus
Staff Writer