Catch The Werks At The Downtown Dayton Revival Music Festival
Music. It has always been with us. It has been our healer, our voice, our stories as well as our histories. It has been an invitation to dance, a call of the community spirit and a spark to inflame one’s temperament. The ambiguous moniker of “jam band,” while conjuring up images of searing light shows, the untroubled writhing of bodies and feverishly hypnotic rhythms held together by intensely introspective melodies, it is also a signal for a shamanistic release. In the final analysis, it is an uncompromising unity of spirit that not only surpasses, but supersedes and envelopes the music itself.
The Werks, a Dayton original if there ever was one, have found themselves in possession of the perfect potion to create the perfect storm of music, ambience and spectacle that has skyrocketed them into the pantheon of progressive musical groups. Formed in 2007 by Dave Bartoletti, Rob Chafin, Chris Houser and Chuck Love the group has run through various permutations, ending up with their current line-up of Chris Houser (guitar and vocals), Dino Dimitrouleas (bass and vocals), Norman Dimitrouleas (keyboards and vocals) and Rob Chafin (drums, vocals, samples and percussion). Through their melding of various styles of rock, funk, psychedelia, jamtronica and other musical elements, The Werks has created what they have coined “psychedelic dance rock.”
Recently, I was able to speak with Rob Chafin, the band’s drummer, to ask him about the band’s role in the upcoming Downtown Dayton Revival Music Festival, how they have dealt with the band’s dramatic rise in popularity as well as the role the fans play in creating an exceptional show.
Rob: Oh, absolutely! We feel that the audience and that connection that we have between the audience and ourselves is great. We feed off the energy that they throw at us and the more people that are getting into it, the harder we play. It’s a cycle. That’s what makes the improvisation at our shows so unique every time. The crowds and the energy of the room has a lot to do with that.
DMM: Do you think that the audience being a very active member in the band keeps everyone’s egos in check?
Rob: Yes. We’re all very humble guys and we’re all really down to earth. We like to talk to everyone after the show, just to say hi and to thank everyone for supporting us.
DMM: I don’t know if you can speak for the band on this, but what would one of your ‘dream collaborations’ be for a jam session?
Rob: Ones that have already happened?
DMM: No. One that you would love to have happen. It can even be one that you know could never really happen.
Rob: Is this with living musicians today?
Rob: (Laughs) Well, that would be broadening the list quite a bit. I think I’ll stick with the live ones. I think it would be pretty cliché to say Phish. I’d really love to jam with David Grohl.
DMM: Now that was more of a personal one, right?
Rob: Yeah, definitely. Oh, it would also be great to jam with Santana.
DMM: What do you think is one of the more oddball covers that you guys have done?
Rob: The Power Ranger’s theme song.
DMM: That would be cool! I’d actually like a recording of that.
Rob: Trust me…no you don’t (laughing). We like to have fun onstage and for everyone to have a good time, so sometimes we’ll throw in something weird. We do a version of Killing In The Name by Rage Against The Machine, so that’s kind of an oddball cover for us. We’re kind of all over the place, so you never really know what to expect.
DMM: Aside from the musical aspects of the band, are there other elements that you guys want to incorporate into the live performances that you haven’t gotten to yet?
Rob: I’d like to get even crazier with the lights. That’s my goal: to get the light to where we’re even wearing LED suits. It would be fun. We feel that the visual aspect is very important to the show as well. When you go to a concert, you’re not just listening to a CD, but you’re going to see a show. Sometimes, you have to rely a lot on the showmanship and the visual aspect of the show just as much as the music, but we have been very successful because of that. There is something to be said for that, that’s for sure.
Rob: Oh, it’s definitely going to be a shortened version of our usual shows. In a perfect situation, we would try and go for two or three sets, but I think that we are only going to be playing for an hour or an hour and fifteen minutes. It will be a quick little taste of what we do, as it is with any festival.
DMM: Is the band being recognized more readily outside of Dayton?
Rob: Dayton is definitely our home base, as is Columbus for me. I guess Columbus would be our biggest draw as of right now, but Dayton is where everyone else in the band is from, so there will always be strong roots in Dayton. Ohio in general is just great for us.
DMM: Now, you guys shot up in popularity incredibly quick. Are you all taking it in stride or are you still standing around trying to make heads or tails of it?
Rob: Everything in your life is relative. Every once in a while, you have to step back and take a look at the big picture. Sometimes, it’s funny. There are things that happen now that, if they had happened two or even three years ago, we would have just absolutely flipped out. Now, it’s like, ‘Oh! Cool!’ We’ve definitely been blessed with a lot of amazing opportunities and have met a ton of wonderful people who have helped us throughout the years.
After getting a “quick little taste” of The Werks at the Downtown Dayton Music Revival, make sure to catch them September 20th through the 22nd at the Werk Out Music And Art Festival being held at the Legend Valley Music Center in Thornville, Ohio. For more details about this and other upcoming acts appearing at the Downtown Dayton Revival Music Festival, go to http://www.downtownrevival.com. To learn more about the Werk Out Music And Art Festival, as well as The Werks other upcoming shows, go to http://thewerksmusic.com .
See all of our Downtown Dayton Revival Music Festival Band Spotlights