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  • 2:54:01 am
  • Saturday
  • 20 July 2024

Word. On the Edge of Chinatown

After some conflicting schedules and cancelled meetings, Tweed finally caught up with Omer Leibovitz, Andrew Fritch and Sean Davenport of the band Word., on the edge of Chinatown.

Bill Why don’t you guys start off by introducing yourselves, who you are, what you play...

Omer I’m Omer Leibovitz. I play guitar, sing, book shows write music with Word. That’s about it. That’s what I do.

Andrew My name’s Andrew Fritch. I play guitar and alto saxophone—sometimes sing in the band Word. I write some music as well...

Sean Sean Davenport. I play keys—sometimes sing. And I am starting to write music for Word.

Stew Can you just say something for the guys who aren’t here?

Sean There’s Layton Weedeman—plays drums.

Omer Liam Sullivan—he plays bass guitar and sings.

Bill Where are they?

Sean One’s in Rhode Island, the other one’s in class in Boston.

Omer He had schoolwork today so, uh—he couldn’t make it.

Bill So are you guys still in school?

Andrew I graduated Berkeley actually just this May with a degree in production engineering.

Omer I graduated myself [pause] I fuckin’ quit! I went to Berkley for 2 and a half years... I just didn’t have the funds to go, so... I got a job.

Bill So you guys are touring now?

Omer Yea. We’re doing like 2 weeks then coming back. It’s like a dispersed tour. We’re pretty much just traveling from Boston to Pennsylvania to New York, Rhode Island...

Stew So you guys are all over.

Bill We got your press package—the CD in there, is that your EP? What’s your deal with recording? What’s happening with that?

Omer We just finished adding another three songs—I think you have the three-song one?

Bill Yea.

Omer So we added three more songs to that. What we do is, we do everything for free between Andrew and I—we do all the engineering, the recording and the mixing, you know...

Bill So you guys have a studio or just some equipment?

Omer We have some equipment and we usually do stuff at the studio I work at...which I get like, free access to. Works out pretty good—so we do that. And we do some stuff at Berkley.

Bill So is that what you are sending out in your press packages? Or are you selling them too? Giving them out for free?

Andrew We are dong all three.

Omer Yea. If you’re looking for it go to and email us—ask for a CD. We’ll send you one.

Bill So you’re selling them at shows?

Omer Yup. We sell them at shows for five bucks—three if you’re nice. It’s getting to a pretty nice point where I call the club and I’m like “Word.—Check out the website.” Or whatever. And they seem to be pretty satisfied with that.

Andrew Yea—we have clips from the CD on the website. We have some live music, some random jams—just a couple things to check out.

Bill So what’s the deal with the name—Word.? [Emphatic] I like the name...a lot.

Stew ...with the period on the end.

Omer That’s crucial.

[Excited laughter]

Bill I am so down with that. You don’t even know...I love it.

Omer We never really named ourselves. We would always just find ourselves saying, “Oh, word, word, word.” Shit, why not?

Bill So what’s with the period? W-O-R-D-period Word.

Omer Well, that was Andrew’s genius—stoned know. He came over—he goes “I think we need a period at the end.”

Andrew I don’t even remember saying that...but if it happened...


Omer I remember. I guess it’s a differentiating point I guess. There’s like “The Word” and, ya know, “the Word of Christ.”


Bill I was gonna ask about that...

Andrew I originally wanted to be called “Homosexual Jesus.” But everyone thought it was too controversial.


Bill I once started a band named “Full Metal Faggot”

Omer Nice dude. That’s a good one.

Bill So how do you guys describe your sound?

Sean You’re supposed to have a really good answer to that one, but uh, I don’t know...

Omer We always give like, the cool musician answers like “Well, ya see, it’s a little bit of this and this.”

Andrew We like to not sound like everybody else.

Omer Yea, we definitely try to be unique and the thing is, everybody in the band is so open to all genres of music, it ends up just like, coming out. I mean, I’ve always been huge into the jam band thing, but I like jazz a lot and other stuff....

Bill Throw out some names, what bands?

Andrew My favorite band is still the Grateful Dead. They are still the hugest influence on everything...I mean, John Coltrane for me, Phish. I think what makes us weird is the fact that we’re a jam band. I mean, you can categorize us as “jam” but we all went through the phase of fucking Pantera, Metallica...I still love that shit. It gets heavy at times and it all comes out and it’s kinda weird. We get some people come out to see us expecting a jam band and they really don’t know what to do with themselves.

Bill [looking at Sean] What about you? Coming from California...

Sean I started off with like, the punk scene, I guess. I don’t know—a lot of Sublime...

Bill Coming from California, are you a Fishbone fan?

Sean I wasn’t a Phish fan until way later in High School.

Bill Fish-bone.

Sean, there were definitely a lot of influences. I mean—I grew up in a blues household.

Omer I was gonna say, you definitely play a lot of blues—you like a lot of Dr. John and shit.

Sean I had a dad that was into a lot of blues music and so—I got a pretty well rounded mix of everything. I guess lately it has been mostly The Mars Volta.

[Agreement from all around]

Omer Mad props to those guys.

Stew We were just talking about The Mars Volta.

Bill I can’t stop talking about The Mars Volta.

Sean Were you a real big At the Drive-In fan?

Bill Yea.

Sean Not a big Sparta fan.

Bill No, me neither. That was a big disappointment.

Sean Yea.

Bill So where do you stand on the up-coming election?

Omer I don’t even like any of them. Obviously, it’s John Kerry and George Bush. But uh, I don’t even get into it cause I don’t even care. I don’t like either of them personally, at all. I think at the situation we are at right now—as much as I hate George Bush—I might actually feel safer with him...

Bill really...

Stew So what do you all feel [looking at the rest]?

Andrew I’m gonna vote democrat—you can quote me on that.

Bill John Kerry?

Andrew Definitely. Definitely.

Bill And what’s the future of the band? Where do you hope you’re going?

Andrew Definitely to do a full tour. Maybe by summer, hopefully by the spring, we’ll see. We definitely have some issues with the bass player and Sean still being in school.

Sean I have a few years left—about a year and a half.

Omer For now, we just want to promote, promote, promote.

Stew Do you think you might start your own record company? Would you sign with a label?

Omer Eventually, yea, I’d say it’d be a good possibility, but as of now, we definitely want to stay away from getting into any sort of contract until we have our say. When we have a good amount of fans where we can be like “We are gonna do whatever we wanna do and if you want to make money off it...” But we are a risky, risky band to get into. Most reviews we get from production managers and shit say, “You know, I just don’t know where to fit you guys, I just don’t know where to put you. You’re too—out there.”

We’re gonna be like, The Mars Volta of the jam bands...

Is Word. The Mars Volta of the jam bands? Decide for yourself:

William Wallace
Monday, 09 August 2004

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