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Proud to be a jam band

The Heavy Pets embrace long solos and diverse influences

Florida jam band The Heavy Pets play Tuesday at Old Town Pub.
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Traveling in a tour van from Aspen to their next show in Breckenridge, Florida-bred jam rock band The Heavy Pets have one question they want to answer and one they don’t.

First, the positive – what are they doing in Colorado, thousands of miles away from their Fort Lauderdale home?

“I think this is probably the best state in terms of being in tune with this music scene,” said Heavy Pets drummer Jamie Newitt. “Everybody knows all about us and about other bands on our levels, and we’re playing all these towns because everyone’s really receptive.”



Thanks, Jamie.

Then there’s the one The Heavy Pets don’t want to be asked: “The only question they don’t like is, ‘Where does your band name come from,'” manager Alex Evangelist said before the phone interview.



Fair enough. Never thought that question was interesting, anyway.

The Heavy Pets are a self-proclaimed jam band, indulging the group’s jazz, rock and funk influences in a way bassist Felix Pastorius describes as “unexpected and amazing.” The band plays Tuesday at Old Town Pub, coming through Steamboat Springs for the first time as part of a seven-date tour through Colorado.

Pastorius and Newitt talked with 4 Points about The Heavy Pets’ influences and where they fit in the jam band scene.

4 POINTS: What is a Heavy Pets show like?

FELIX PASTORIUS: We never play a tune the same way twice. We feed off the crowd and we have fun doing it, so it’s always a blast.

4 POINTS: How long has the band been together?

FP: The Heavy Pets have been around for four years, and the two leaders of the group have been playing together for 10 years or more. I just joined the group about a month and a half ago, but we’re very close already.

4 POINTS: Would you classify The Heavy Pets as a jam band?

FP: We are definitely within the jam band scene, and I had never really been in a jam band. I’ve always had a hard time trying to place music into genres because it’s constantly changing.

4 POINTS: What can people expect from the show in Steamboat?

JAMIE NEWITT: You can expect sonic explorations – it’s probably going to be the best live music the venue’s ever seen. We take many liberties in our improvisations and create new things every time we play.

4 POINTS: How do you feel about the jam band label?

JN: We’re definitely in the jam band scene, and we do consider ourselves a jam band. I know a lot of bands these days don’t like to label themselves as that, but they’re really just faking the funk. : If you’re playing these venues and some of these festivals and you’re jamming, then you’re a jam band.

4 POINTS: Why do you guess some bands that seem to fit in that scene are, I don’t know, so surly about the title?

JN: The term has gotten a weird stigma somehow, and I don’t know exactly what it is, so people will try to differentiate and call it jam-tronica. : People have kind of avoided calling themselves jam bands; I don’t know why. It can be kind of a cliche term, and some people might consider it below what they’re doing. But if you’re throwing it down on stage, it doesn’t matter what you’re calling it.


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