The festival season has officially begun! Martin Luther King weekend brought upon great times for the music obsessed at Aura Music & Arts Festival down in St. Cloud Florida. With performances from the popular Heavy Pets, Papadosio, The Malah, Chroma, Zoogma and many, many others, attendees got down and dirty while experiencing a sense of freedom and an appreciation for music. A complete sold-out event, thousands of festival-goers had the chance to enjoy great music, while camping in the woods and viewing live art. Whether you came with an entire group or with just another, attendees left with brand new friends and positive ‘vibes.’
While at the festival, I sat down to talk with Jeff of the rock n’roll/improvisational group, The Heavy Pets who filled me in on where they’re headed this year. After seeing them many times down in South Florida it was interesting to casually converse with Jeff at The Brotherly Love tent at Aura.
So in your own words, how would you describe The Heavy Pets music?
Definitely rock n’roll with jam mixed in with improvisation and some weirdness.
Fill me in on what’s new. Last time I saw you guys was at a Phish after party at Tobacco Rd. down in Miami.
Very nice, we’ve been touring a bit since then. We’re currently in the midst of releasing an acoustic album and recording another. It’s cool cause we have five song writers in the band so we have more than enough material, just not always enough time. But we have a new studio down in Delray Beach now, which is pretty awesome and allows us to constantly play and practice music on a daily basis.
Speaking of having five song writers, I know some members have left and new ones have joined in over the years, how has the affected the sound of your music and the direction of The Heavy Pets?
Yeah, there has been a lot of changes over the years. I’d currently consider us The ‘Heavy Pets 5.0,’ but we’re all very tight and have a strong bond. Everyone has known at least one other member since youth so that has created some great times in the studio.
That’s awesome, there’s nothing better than good music and genuine friendships. How has your bond affected the music you play?
So you know how identical twins have almost a secret language or sixth sense with each other? Well, the five of us kind of have that; it’s pretty cool. As you know we do a lot of improv while performing and at this point in our career as musicians we understand what the other is thinking, or like, about to do.
So besides just perform, what’s your favorite thing to do at a festival?
Actually experience the music! I’m so focused on playing music all the time that I never really get to enjoy other’s live music too often.
Any favorite festival? Besides Aura, of course.
Ha, well, I really loved playing at Langerado. We were voted in the first two years, first by fan’s vote and then by producer’s choice. That’s where we really broke through in the festival scene in Florida. It was awesome, right away we were doing a press conference with Matisyahu and The Taj-Mahal.
The Heavy Pets have definitely come a long way since then. What can we hope from you guys this year?
A lot of touring! We’re headed out to California to build a market out there and pretty much just play a lot of tunes. And like I said earlier, we’re coming out with a new album so fans can expect to see some new stuff in the next few months.