moe. On Legalization and Vermont Vibes

Moe photographed in Peoria, IL May 21, 2009 ©Jay Blakesberg/Retna LTD.
Erin Doble 5 Dec 2019

Founded in 1989, moe. is one of the largest jam bands touring the country today. With 24 albums to date, they showcase their mix of Americana, melodic vibraphone roller coasters, clever lyrics and classic jam band vibes in every song they record and perform. 

Members Vinnie Amico (drums), Rob Derhak (bass/vocals), Chuck Garvey (guitar/vocals), Jim Loughlin (percussion/vibes) and Al Schnier (guitar/vocals) have built a massive following of self-proclaimed “moe.rons” over the past two decades playing hundreds of shows, headlining numerous festivals, including their own moe.down festival founded in 2000.

Ahead of their two-night run in Burlington at Higher Ground, we had the pleasure of coordinating a Q&A with (almost all of) the members of moe. over e-mail and sent a few canna-questions their way. 

You can catch Moe. on Friday, December 27 and Saturday, December 28. Two-day passes are sold out, but single day tickets are still available. The Heady Vermont team will be in attendance, so stop by and say hello!


HVT: What do you hope to see happen with legalization?

Jim Loughlin, Percussionist 

Photo by Jeremy Gordon

Ultimately, I’d like to see federal legalization for medical. I’d also like to see full decriminalization of marijuana across all 50 states. Finally, my hope is that legal marijuana doesn’t turn into a for-profit business. People need to do good things with the money they make from selling marijuana for recreational purposes.  


HVT: Moe. has a few songs about or that mention cannabis, notably Recreational Chemistry, a fan favorite. How did this song come about?

Al Schnier, Guitar

Photo by Kristine Codon Photography

“Recreational Chemistry” is pretty self explanatory haha.  The song was written a long time ago & the title was borrowed from an old ‘60s reference book with the same title. I was fascinated with the book at one point as a teenager, as it was replete with experiments and recipes for making recreational drugs using plants, herbs and foods.  


HVT: You guys play some big venues and festivals, then come to a smaller spot like Higher Ground. How does it compare? Do you prefer the more intimate shows?

Chuck Garvey, Guitar

Photo by Paul Citone

The more intimate the venue, the more energy and danger sometimes!

I like the feel of a smaller room – packed to the gills with a fired up crowd – you can get a good sense of the personality and vibe of the crowd. This makes the music take different directions!

Higher Ground just has its own unique feel that’s always welcome. Like visiting a friend. Let the good times roll!


HVT: As moe-rons, we noticed that moe. tries to visit Burlington at least once a year. What makes you guys come back? What do you love about the state of Vermont?

Vinnie Amico, Drums

I think that moe. tried to get back to Burlington every year because it has such a great music scene.  It is a big college town with lots of kids looking to see live music. Plus it is a very similar vibe and geography as where we all live.  We are all from the northeast and have an attachment to this area.  


Editor’s Note: Band member Rob Derhak was unavailable for an interview.


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