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Take the Twiddle Trip: the Band, the Bud, and their Bus

The uplifting grooves and feel-good vibes that power this Vermont quartet elevate you to that higher ground.

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Take the Twiddle Trip: the Band, the Bud, and their Bus
Phil Blair/ High Times

If you’re reading this website, suffice it to say that you love weed. A lot. So when you read about this band of dudes who hail from the green state of Vermont, it shouldn’t come as a surprise (though it did for me) that they know their way around a rig and can talk the cannabis talk. It’s rare that this interviewer feels inadequately prepared with enough weed, but lucky for me these guys came locked and loaded.

Sitting on the glass countertop of Twiddle’s backstage dressing room is a gleaming and gigantic slab of amber-colored concentrate. “We’ve gotten a lot more into concentrates these days,” says Mihali Savoulidis, the group’s guitarist and singer-songwriter. “I think it was Brook [Jordan] who got us into it”—he points in the direction of the band’s drummer. “We call it digital and analog—some of us still roll analog, but we’ve mainly switched to digital because it’s easier to travel with, doesn’t smell as much and you can keep more of it.”

For the Vermont quartet who average 100 live shows a year (plus their own music festival, Tumble Down), crisscrossing the country can be tricky, especially navigating nonlegal states in the Midwest and the South. “We have to be careful on tour—and having really beautiful stinky buds may not be the best thing for the tour bus,” says Savoulidis. “But going digital or hitting a pen lets you take a quick hit and go about your day.”

Savoulidis knows what he likes when it comes to weed: “I’ve always loved Sour Diesel, Strawberry Cough and some of the older strains I still love. Our buddy grows a really mean Blue Lotus, and Blue Dream has always been around us.”

As much as weed contributes to Twiddle’s day, music plays just as significant a role. The band shares what they’re listening to with one another, from funk to classical to reggae. Each member’s diverse taste informs the band’s unique sound.

Jordan credits his personal transition from skateboarding and listening to metal and punk to smoking weed, getting into bands like 311 and mellowing out. “311 was a nice segue from the harder stuff into some of the more groove-oriented and stoner-esque music,” he says, “but I was influenced by pretty much everything.”

Just like the music of fellow Vermonters Phish, Twiddle’s sound can be hard to define, and they can’t simply be labeled as a jam band. Their sound has a depth, and it also soars, always reaching for that musical high. For instance, “Dr. Remidi’s Melodium” takes fans on a sonic journey with danceable reggae grooves and shredding guitar licks that melt into classical compositions. “It’s a blessing and a curse,” says Savoulidis when asked how he describes Twiddle’s sound. “We stray in all directions. Funk. Disco. Latin. Classical. We have a lot of rhythm.”

As for being compared to Phish and the Grateful Dead, the only similarity the band sees is the scene: “It’s people with the same mind-set. And that’s the same we see with our fans—positivity and open-mindedness, and being part of a community.”

Enjoying being one with the green holds true for the Twiddle ethos. While on tour, they’re definitely conscious of how much plastic they use and accumulate. “We’re always trying to figure out how to make this tour or the next better for all of us, the environment, and eliminate [waste] and be better about it,” says Savoulidis.

Keep up with the guys at twiddlemusic.com for upcoming tour announcements.

This feature has been published in High Times magazine. Subscribe right here.

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