Interview with Mihali Savoulidis, Brook Jordan, and Zdenek Gubb of Twiddle

Interview with Mihali Savoulidis, Brook Jordan, and Zdenek Gubb of Twiddle

Coming in hot out of Burlington, Vermont is one of the hardest-working eclectic jam bands on the scene these days: Twiddle. Their complex yet groovy take on jam music lends a soulful feel to shredding improvisation and uplifting songwriting. They’ve been catching ears and turning heads left and right, and they are not a show to miss at Summer Camp this year. To that end, guitarist/vocalist Mihali Savoulidis, drummer Brook Jordan, and bassist Zdenek Gubb were cool enough to answer some questions about the group and their place in the music world.

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Often times in the jam music circuit, bands spend a great deal of their time in a live performance setting, with studio albums being the second priority, if not an afterthought. Savoulidis offered a different take on working in the studio, both pros and cons: “I think the biggest downside to the studio is just the air of expectation surrounding something like a double disc album. Other than that it’s mostly upside in my opinion. The studio lets us play around with various instruments, invite our favorite musician friends to join, and experiment until we’re tired of experimenting.” Twiddle is known for involving friends and collaborators on a lot of their projects and in live shows, so knowing how to work well in a studio environment is a pillar of their success.

The spirit of adaptation doesn’t stop at live vs. studio, either. As we all know, the music world has changed dramatically in the last 20 years. Jordan described what he viewed as one of the key differences between then and now: “The biggest change may be the way the internet plays a role. When we started in 2005 there was barely Facebook, let alone band pages. Now your band has twelve different social media accounts, it’s crazy. But the silver lining is that grassroots touring, things like shaking the hands of fans after a show, is still a fundamentally sound recipe to grow your band. So even though it’s changing there will always be those pillars of rock and roll.” It’s important in the music world to be able to adapt and survive while staying true to what inspired you in the first place.

Grassroots touring is indeed one of the most important aspects of maintaining a successful music career these days, but recently there is another hallmark that more and more bands are starting to get into: throwing your own festival. Twiddle hosts the annual Tumble Down Festival, a two-night affair on the Burlington Waterfront. Gubb describes putting the event together and where the priorities lie: “We’re working with a great production team with Higher Ground Presents. The main challenge for us, then, is trying to put together a really fun weekend of live music for our friends and fans. The fans who are coming to Tumble Down are the number one priority. How do we improve on 2016? There are many ways, and we know our management team is working with Higher Ground on all of them.”

Twiddle’s career began in 2005, and while some things may have changed, some things are important to hold onto, as Jordan elaborates: “I’m sure all of our songwriting styles have evolved a little differently on their own. However, collectively, our group process has kept relatively intact over time. Usually one of us has a solid piece of a song already written. Maybe that’s just a few chords, but something that gives the other three guys some direction and a springboard to jump off of. In that way, while many songs on PLUMP are credited to one guy or another, all of them reflect the group sound of Twiddle, whatever that is.”

So as far as the future goes, what’s in store for Twiddle? Gubb shared his hopes, and they were characteristically good-natured: “Really just more of the same. Watching the fans each night jive in the most positive ways, hugging, dancing, you name it. That’s what it’s all about. We want our music to reach as many people as possible, because it seems to be doing a lot of good for a lot of people. Take into account the White Light Foundation, the 501c3 we actively collaborate with, and the hope is to just continue doing good, making good music along the way, as best we can.”

Doesn’t sound too bad to me.

Don’t miss Twiddle at Summer Camp Music Festival, Thursday, May 25 on the Starshine Stage at 8:00 p.m. and Friday, May 26 on the Starshine Stage at 11:00 p.m.

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