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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Electronic




"Tweed Hits Hard & Gets Weird On Debut Album “The Chunky Life” [Stream/Review]"

Coming hot off of three national tours in 2016, jamtronica act Tweed has just dropped their first studio release, The Chunky Life. Blending styles from Daft Punk to Rage Against The Machine and Phish to the New Deal, Tweed shows they’re not afraid to get a little weird when layering a track. Unexpected twists pepper The Chunky Life bringing some of the best highlights of a live Tweed show to your personal music player.

Tweed rolls into the first track on The Chunky Life, “Big Sky,” with a tight bass groove laid down in synergy by bassist Dan McDonald and keyboardist Jon Tomczak. Once the song opens up it really makes you want to dance, with the heavy hitting beats of drummer Joe Vela balanced by AJ DiBiase’s alternation between lead and rhythm guitar. Vocals on this track are really strong unlike many bands in this genre. A solid kick off.

One thing noticeable as you dig deeper into The Chunky Life, is how Tweed has intentionally translated their live sound to studio recordings—a high level of energy dominates the tracks with plenty of variation to keep it interesting. The band comes together for tight comprehensive jams with funky transitions that cross the boundary between albums like Lotus’ self-titled release and The Disco Biscuits’ Otherwise Law Abiding Citizens.

On nearly every track, bassist Dan McDonald delivers thick rolling bass grooves punctuated with funk reminiscent of The New Deal’s Dan Kurtz. With a style that’s distinctly Tweed, AJ shreds unique solos on guitar, shining through in tracks “Loup-Garou” and “You.” His vocals are clear, smooth and perfectly accented by backup from the band and some awesome call and response with Jon, the resident synth wizard. Joe Vela lays down the drums with pristine precision throwing down a pocket that is both driving and laid back.

Tweed finishes in their truest form with “Loup-Garou,” starting with a super dancey funk rhythm that drops off about halfway through into a dark and spacy jam. Nearly threatening to drive you off the rails, AJ’s guitar comes screaming through to pull you back in for the final stretch of the song, showing that Tweed can get weird while maintaining style.

Overall Tweed’s first studio release is an action-packed thrill ride full of depth and high energy moments. Every element that makes a live Tweed show special is represented on The Chunky Life with the smooth finesse Tweed brought to the studio. I think it’s a good sign that I couldn’t help but listen to the EP multiple times through on my first sitting and I am now living. the. chunky. life. - Live For Live Music


Tweed was first founded among the campus at the University of Delaware and have been bringing their fun-loving psychedelic-electronic, dance, funk, and rock energy to fans all across the Mid-Atlantic and east coast ever since. Now the band is based in Philadelphia, PA which has been a powerhouse of jambands and all sorts of musical genres allowing them to further grow and build their connected network; including playing some of the top festivals with some of the top artists in the business.

The Chunky Life is their first full album, and really showcases all of Tweed’s musical influences and styles they have developed over their short but strong history as a group. The first track, “Big Sky” brings out their clear influence of electronic artists like Daft Punk, Disco Biscuits all while bringing out lyrics and music that makes everyone want to get up and dance! Drummer Joe Vela keeps a funky beat while moving the music across the sky with Jon Tomczak on synth and vocals. Lyrical samples and really unique sounds are what I love about this song; it indeed will keep you “Beaming” and “Flying Through the Big Sky” all while seeing smiles across the beautiful faces who listen no matter where or when! This first track really packs an awesome punch, and you will soon know why these guys are the real deal.

A fun track comes next with “Best Thing on the Menu” with immediate synth from Jon once again and lyrics and some powerful guitar from AJ DiBiase which has some very underlying sounds similar to Pink Floyd while successfully weaving through the different layers of music from the band. This song is about someone who didn’t get to try the Braciole or pronounced “Brajole” on the menu and sadly having to settle for meatloaf.. (Maybe this is a nod to the band’s favorite foods, or another to the great Italian food found in Philly.) Either way, a song about food is something I and many fans will always love, and it is nothing short of “meat” in the overall song.. Dan McDonald keeps the funky bass line throughout all of the different “courses” of this tune; another one that is sure to keep people dancing and even hungry throughout a show!

RL WRLD opens with a very electronic groove from Jon and Joe with a very dark tone that at some times sounds very heavy like Tauk or Umphrey’s McGee and has a very strong transition to break the tension into something much more jammy-sounding. The diversity amongst these first three tracks really shows what Tweed is all about! This melodic transformation from sound to sound is further pushed by Jon’s synth bringing it to outer space; “The Real World Now, Everything is Everything Now” is sampled on vocoder and spoke really highlighting the difficulty of bringing a somewhat dark-heavy jam into something super funky and electronic with each band member doing what they do best! Sit back and enjoy the ride.

Simply titled “You” opens with really clear and powerful lyrics shared by each band member, then quickly dropping into a faster tempo with some deep spacey grooves. More transitions and genre-breaking changes occur as Tweed pushes this sound to extraterrestrial boundaries with some amazing lyrics; which is not common in many jambands all while telling people to “get down.” The proper message for any track! Just when you think it is about to slow down and continue the chill melody; AJ brings it all back to earth and digs deep into a rocking solo to finalize this great song back to the chorus; clearly showing how every member continuously can build a song together and do what they do best!

“Loup-Garou” opens with some howling at the moon; which is what I intend to do while listening to this song; hopefully in the early morning hours.. A quick lyrical break builds right into AJ bringing out another mesmerizing solo with Joe, Dan and Jon building tension and the music behind him. The upbeat tempo quickly slows down into a very trance-like sound with the bass popping extra hard behind the synth and drumbeat with lots of starting and stopping to progress the song even deeper. A heavier sound comes to fruition as AJ busts out another shredding solo out of the slower groove of before; all guaranteed to keep you howling at the moon no matter what!

Tweed’s name implies textured fabric; which relates so well metaphorically: they have lots of colors, sounds, influences and textures to weave in and out through each track and performance to create their own “clothing.” I think the best part about Tweed’s newest release, The Chunky Life, is that it builds off of each individual members influences to create a uniquely “live” album quality to it, which is exactly what the band had intended to do. Lots of energy is hard to do with a studio recording, but Tweed successfully nailed this one! Lots of boundaries and sounds crossed-over onto one another made this all possible. Lyrically, musically, and technically Tweed will keep fans dancing all night long, and with already playing over 100+ shows the last few years, and 2016 alone; they are on the rise and not going to slow down anytime soon! Do not miss them the next festival or time they are in your town! - Live Music Review

"Checking In With Tweed From The Great North Festival [An Interview]"

Tweed’s Electric Donuts Tour landed in Great North: Music & Arts Festival, held from September 9 -11 in Minot, Maine this past weekend. The electrifying Philadelphia based jamtronica band has been showing the whole country the sort of transformative funk they bring to turn any venue into a psychedelic paradise. Playing alongside bands like The Disco Biscuits, G-Nome Project, and The Indobox at this year’s Great North Festival, it’s arduous to not be impressed by one of the hottest up-and-coming bands on the scene.

The jamtronica powerhouse has been altering minds one high-strung, rhythmic show at a time, while inviting the masses along for the mind-winding ride as the band has already surpassed well over 100 shows in 2016. Tweed seems to be on a cohesive mission that inspires rage induced dance parties and searches through the expansive ocean of your psychedelic mind.

Since the beginning of this tour, the band has gained recognition for their tremendous amount work and welcomed sit-ins on their sets from musicians like Jason Hann of String Cheese Incident and EOTO at Astral Observatory Festival in Astral Valley, Missouri.

Whether it’s waiting for exhilirating emphatic licks out of AJ DiBiase’s guitar, witnessing their psyche become a shifting paradigm with knob-turning exploration on the keys from Jon Tomczak, dancing in the deep heart bass grinds of Dan McDonald, or following the high-energy rhythm train of Joe Vela’s drum kit, the crowds keep grooving and they keep coming back for more, spreading the word around town that Tweed is here and it’s time to party.

Filling the 4:30 P.M. slot on Saturday at Great North Festival, the band was met with an ominous sky that began to bring down an aquatic drizzle of rain that was quickly crushed in intensity by Tweed. Fittingly, the band transitioned from “RL WRLD” into “Big Sky”, which appeared to rein in the falling sky back to the clouds just after opening up the set.

It’s an amazing thing to see what a band of self-described “best friends” can do when armed with instruments that are as dangerous as burning fire in skillful hands. Just after their set, I was able to sit down with Tweed and admiring fans at the rear end of their touring van, “The Valiant Stallion,” and got to know a little bit more about these electric funk-masters in what came to be an enlightening interview. Enjoy!

Live For Live Music: Hey guys, thanks for sitting down for an interview. So, how’d you all feel all about your set?

AJ DiBiase: It was really awesome to be able to play here again at Great North and we found ourselves really get into some deep jams.

L4LM: That’s awesome to hear. What’s it like being able to come back and play Great North for the second straight year in a row?

Joe Vela: This is actually a different location and we have a really beautiful 360-view of the skyline. We’re here with a lot of bands we’re friends with like G-Nome Project, The Mushroom Cloud, Teddy Midnight, Manifested, and Chachuba, who I got to sit in with for their entire set…so yes, it’s a lot of fun.

L4LM: How has the band responded to such an intensive tour full of shows spreading across the U.S night after night?

Joe: It’s the never-ending Tweed tour 2016!

Dan McDonald: This run has definitely built up to this (Great North Festival). We were at Astral Observatory Festival last weekend in St. Louis, and we had a really great time over there. We pretty much did a slingshot across the country from Missouri to Maine in a week.

Joe: It’s tough, but you can’t take yourself too seriously as a musician. You’ve got to know when to kick back and go with the flow, and this tour can be demanding of the ability to do so.

AJ: This has been a very demanding schedule and we’ve made long treks between almost every show. I’d say every show on the tour leading up to this music festival has been a success.

Joe: We’re hitting a lot of cities that we’re going through for the second and third time this year and we’re starting to build up each of those: Chicago, St. Louis, Kalamazoo, Rochester, Buffalo… So we’re getting a lot of repeat customers in different places across the country.

Jon Tomczak: It’s been super exhausting, but I think I speak for everybody when I say there’s nothing else we’d rather be doing. We’re on a MISSION and quite honestly it’s totally worth it to push our limits. We may be tired if we’re pushing it every single day, but that doesn’t mean we’re tired of it.

L4LM: You mentioned a mission. What is that MISSION for Tweed?

AJ: We’re HUNGRY. We want to play music for as many people as we can everyday. Music in general is just such a great thing to spread and is a positive energy. I think it’s a good thing to spread to more and more people. We have a lot of fun doing it and it seems like people have a lot of fun hanging out with us.

Dan: It’s also a personal mission of being a musician and wanting to get better playing with people. That’s what we were all doing in the first place when music developed into a love and a passion and now we’re pursuing it as a career.

L4LM: What’s it like having friends and fellow musicians like Jason Hann of String Cheese Incident sit in with you at your shows?

Jon: That was pretty surreal and reaffirming to sit down and play with guys who are amazing musicians and becoming peers to us now.

Joe: Of all the musicians that we meet, I often find that the ones who are most successful are ones who are extremely humble and down to Earth. That really resonates with me–stay humble, those are the type of people that everyone wants to work with.

L4LM: In the jam music scene particularly, bands pride themselves in offering a unique and different show each and every night they’re performing for their fans. What sort of preparation goes into putting a Tweed set list together?

AJ: I spend a good amount of time crafting our set lists, I’ll look at what we played the last time we were in the area and I think that being able to play a different set every night makes for a formula to keep things interesting.

Joe: And importantly, it keeps it interesting for us.

L4LM: What kind of improvisation techniques do you guys use while playing a show?

Dan: Our personalities come through on stage in how we move. When I’m watching these guys, I’m always listening to their musical cues. When you play with someone for so long, you can pick up on the most subtle body language. It’s like we’re having a conversation, it’s just that fluid now.

Joe: One specific cue we have is when you want to extend the jam, you just rub your nipple. Milk it! Whoever is feeling it, stretch it out.

AJ: The improv spectrum is just about getting comfortable in the pocket together and we’ve worked up a pretty good chemistry over the years. I think we’re playing a lot more consistently now.

L4LM: When did you all realize that Tweed was able to do this for real, full-time, and when did you jump into the circuit and do such intense tours?

AJ: We’ve been going full steam since January and had to kind of take a leap of faith. Music is our life now and it’s a beautiful thing.

Jon: I feel like we really found ourselves once Dan showed up and we all put a little bit more time into it, sat down, and made it a point to really dive into the music.

Joe: It’s also not just playing, we spend a lot of time forming our sound. It’s ever constantly changing, but like, ‘what is the vibe we want to have?’ Us four can jam up there, but I don’t think it would be the same as playing with intention.

L4LM: According to Wikipedia, Tweed is a rough, woven fabric, or a soft, open, flexible texture that’s closely woven together… How would you then describe the band, Tweed?

Jon: We don’t have a great true story for why we chose the name Tweed, it just rolls off your tongue, but we have several stories that we’ve concocted over the years. We embrace the idea of being interwoven in all different fabrics and textures in one cohesive piece.

AJ: There’s a couple choice words from that description, the fact of Tweed being interwoven, you think of the composition and fabric of Tweed, that we basically have come together as one throughout a course of our time playing together.

L4LM: We all have goals in life and each band has their own goal every time they step on a stage. What’s that goal for Tweed?

Joe: For me, it’s simple: make people dance. I also want to sell out MSG.

Jon: I always tell people who see us that I hope that’s the best show you’ve ever seen from us and the worst show you’ll ever see again. We’re trying raise the bar and get better as a group every show and have fun doing it.

L4LM: Your first studio album drops at the end of this month on September 30, what should we expect from The Chunky Life?

AJ: We’re excited for The Chunky Life EP. We’ve been living the chunky life a while and this album has been a long time coming. We’ve got some nice ear candy that we’re very happy with and excited to finally get out there.

Joe: We recorded at Brooksound Studios with our good friend, Jeff Mahajan. I think people who have seen us live will be really pleased with this album and these songs have been live tested this whole year. We’re already working on some new music for another album because it’s necessary to keep putting out music and to keep it up.

L4LM: What should we expect from Tweed as we get closer to the end of the year and start transitioning into 2017?

Joe: I would like to go on tour out West like California, Portland, and/or Seattle. It’s hard doing those because you got to be on the road for four or five weeks to make it worth touring all the way out there and back. There are a lot of festivals on our hit list for 2017 that we didn’t get to do this year so we’re going to start hollering at them soon. Email us now if you want to book us.

Jon: There’s always room to expand, a new scene to check out, a new group of people to share our art with, all types of artists to meet, all while perpetuating something real and keeping it original.

Dan: We’ve been hitting the road, but when we’re at home we’re practicing for performances so as soon as January hits we’re going to fine tune some new songs that we want to integrate into our shows and new album.

L4LM: We wanted to end this interview with keeping it an open forum, is there anything last to add that you think we should know about Tweed before we wrap it up?

Joe: We’re all very easily reachable and if you want to say ‘hi, come to my city,’ just let us know and we’ll make it happen. We also love fans who can cook!

On September 30, Tweed releases their first ever studio album that includes some of my favorite tracks “RL WRLD” and “Big Sky” and will bring it home to Philadelphia for their album release party at Underground Arts on October 1 and another album release party in New York on October 13 at American Beauty.

Watch out for upcoming tour dates near you, as the ever growing schedule, announcements and more can be found on the band’s website. - Live For Live Music

"Great Outdoors Jam – The Halftime Report: SICK AS FUNK!"

There will be a lot more great music at Great Outdoors Jam before it closes at sunset Sunday, but I guarantee you there won’t be a set better than the one Tweed played. This Philadelphia quartet was over-the-top astounding: jamtronic fusion heaven. The first tune got everyone’s attention, and the second one was, as Pat would say, “SICK AS FUCK” (now abbreviated as SAF). Just like Justino’s band, every one of these boys was incredible, but Dan McDonald on bass? SAF! The Philadelphia boys blew us all away! - Music Fest News


Still working on that hot first release.



Tweed inspires and excites with music fueled from high energy performance and improvisation. Just as their namesake fabric of mingling colors and textures, Tweed has interwoven a psychedelic web of funk, rock and electronica. The band was formed at University of Delaware and now calls Philadelphia their stomping ground. Their collaboration can take listeners from multi-layered visions through the psyche to sweaty, raging dance parties driven by their own incessant beat.

With multiple national tours and countless festivals under their belt, Tweed has proven they can fill larger rooms across the country with precision and style. Bust out your dancing shoes, this ain’t your grandfather's tweed!

Band Members