Catskill Chill Artist Spotlight : The Werks

Sept 23-25, New Minglewood, Lakewood, PA

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It’s hard to believe that Catskill Chill is only in its seventh year, as it has already rooted its reputation in the festival community as a must-attend attend event of the summer.  Boasting a “chillfam” of avid fans and a unique summer camp setting, word traveled fast about the wild fun that could be had at Catskill Chill.

This year Catskill Chill takes place Sept 23-25, at a new venue called “New Minglewood” in Lakewood, PA.  The venue has the same familiar summer camp feel, with cabins for rent, tennis courts, a late night indoor stage, and new amenities like a VIP indoor and outdoor swimming pool.  The lineup is stacked as always, featuring the mega headliner Mike Gordon, as well as Greensky Bluegrass, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Keller Williams, Lettuce, and more.  Of course some of our favorite bands will also be there, including Dopapod, Cabinet, TAUK, and The Werks.

Though we are huge Werks fans and big Catskill Chill fans, we’ve never gotten to see them play at the Chill!  This will be their second year and we are excited to see them play not only a set of their originals, but a collaboration with Particle called “Partiwerks.”  I talked to Rob Chafin, drummer of The Werks, about what’s going on with them currently and why they are excited to join the Chillfam this year!

Congratulations on playing Red Rocks this Saturday and congratulations on another stellar Werk Out Festival! How have things been going with The Werks and your new bassist Jake Goldberg? 

Thank you so much!  The Werk Out was top notch this year and we were incredibly stoked for Red Rocks, definitely a bucket list venue for us!   We are very excited to welcome Jake to The Werks family, he is a great player and we are really starting to take jams to the next level.  It has been a difficult few years for The Werks with tragedy and member changes, but with the help of our friends and family we have been able to push through.  We are very excited with the music we are playing and feel like the future is very bright!

Are you working on any new music together?

Yes!  We have been hard at work putting together new material and are planning to release a brand new album early next year!

How would you describe your sound currently and what song would you suggest people listen to in order to get a feel for what your all about?

Well, for lack of a better word we are a jamband, but we are trying to push the limits and enhancing what that term means. We have lately been focusing a lot more on vocals, specifically vocal harmonies.  Also, really taking the improvisation to the next level by stepping outside of the box and listening to each other more.  We have been pushing each other very hard to excel and it’s definitely showing more and more in the live shows.  It’s hard for people to really get what we are “all” about with just one song, however our latest album “Inside A Dream” really shows the direction we are heading musically.  We are very excited about our new material as well, with songs like Moving On and Lights Out showcasing the next chapter in The Werks sound.

What do you enjoy about playing at festival vs. venues?

Festival sets are great because the vibe is completely different than a club show.  There is that sense of freedom and bigness that you get with festivals that is not as prevalent with indoor venues.  As a jamband, we definitely react to our environment, and the vibes play an important role in shaping the music.

This will be your second year at Catskill Chill which is pretty exciting for me, why are you looking forward to playing the festival again?

We are very excited to be back to Catskill Chill for the second year in a row.  Besides seeing all of our wonderful friends, I am most excited to check out the brand new location.  I’ve heard great things about New Minglewood and I know our friends who throw Catskill Chill are equally excited for the move.  Catskill Chill is a special festival because the organizers really focus and strongly encourage collaboration between all of the bands, as they are very well known for creating super groups every year.  We are very excited about our collaboration set with Particle, called “PartiWerks”!

Who are some bands on the lineup that you are excited to see?  What would be a dream sit-in for you?

The whole lineup from top to bottom is stellar!  Of course I am pumped for Mike Gordon, P-Funk, Keller Williams, Electron and Perpetually Groove, as they have been staples in the scene for many years.  And naturally VERY excited for all of the homies / Werk Out veterans: Lettuce, Greensky Bluegrass, Dopapod, Twiddle, Break Science, Turkuaz, Kung Fu, Particle, Zach Deputy, The Nth Power, The Main Squeeze, Tauk, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, The Heavy Pets, Big Something, to name a few!   We are very lucky to be such good friends with so many talented bands and musicians, Catskill Chill definitely has the “family vibe” we all love. Besides anyone from the list of bands I just mentioned, it would be great to have Mike Gordon or George Clinton sit in.

What time is your set?

The Werks two sets Sunday night, one of which will be the special “PartiWerks” set with Particle.

I am also doing a set with the one and only Todd Stoops, in our over-the-top EDM side project called TRAKSTAR

Can’t wait to “Chill” with everyone very soon!!

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