Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig Welcomes Twiddle’s Mihali Savoulidis On ‘Time Crisis’ Podcast

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Toward the end of January, Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig dedicated almost 50 minutes of his internet radio show, Time Crisis, to dissecting Twiddle‘s fan-favorite song “Jamflowman.” Along with co-host Jake Longstreth, the duo analyzed the tune’s lyrics, exploring its title character and comparing him to other famous music figures like Bob Dylan’s “Jokerman” and Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode.” Recently, Twiddle’s lead guitarist and “Jamflowman” creator Mihali Savoulidis called into Time Crisis, offering his own thoughts on the song and outlining its creation.

The conversation began with Koenig and Savoulidis talking about their similar origins growing up in New Jersey, eventually shifting to discuss Mihali’s move to Vermont for college and how Twiddle came together. On “Jamflowman,” Mihali explained that he wrote the song in high school about mythic guitar heroes, citing that he was studying jazz at the time and synthesizing that influence with inspiration from guitarists such as Trey Anastasio, John Scofield and reggae pioneer Ernest Ranglin. Later, the guitarist offered insights on how “Jamflowman” evolved after bringing it to Twiddle and how the group approaches jamming the number.

After much dissection in the initial podcast, Koenig prompted Savoulidis to discuss the somewhat dark twist hinting at substance abuse in the song’s final verse. Said Mihali on the topic:

Now that I’m older—been touring for a while—I’ve had a lot of people go through ups and downs with substances, myself included. At the time, when I was writing it, I was so naive to all of it. For me, the ultimate guitar player was this dude who could rage and party and smoke and drink … and all the girls loved him. … At the time, it was hard to think of a guitar god who didn’t do the whole party thing, so I think that it was an element of what I thought at the time was cool. … It’s funny, listening to you guys break down, because it’s like, shit, it really is kind of dark. [laughs]

Mihali also addressed Koenig and Longstreth’s previous discussion about unfounded Twiddle hate in the jam community and, specifically, hatred directed toward “Jamflowman.” He added:

Part of the reason why that song gets so much hate and gets a lot of negativity is because it was written by a 15-year-old kid. That was one of my first songs; it was like the second or third song I had ever written, so I didn’t have a lot of experience under my belt at the time. … When I was writing it, I didn’t think it was going to end up being what it ended up being. I didn’t even think I was going to bring it to the table, but when Twiddle started, we just needed songs.

Savoulidis also put Jamflowman in the context of other characters, discussing additional mythic figures within the Twiddle universe including Tiberius, Carter Candlestick and Frankenfoote. He closes out his appearance on Time Crisis with a discussion of “Orlando’s,” a song of the band’s last album Plump that finds all the early characters from Twiddle songs meeting in a bar.

Click on the link below, and listen around the 39-minute mark for Mihali’s portion of the podcast:

Tour Dates for
Twiddle

  • Mar
    28
    2019
  • Mar
    29
    2019
  • Apr
    11
    2019
  • Apr
    12
    2019
  • Apr
    13
    2019
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    19
    2019
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    20
    2019
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    21
    2019
  • Apr
    24
    2019
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    25
    2019
  • Apr
    26
    2019
  • Apr
    27
    2019
  • Apr
    28
    2019
  • May
    2
    2019
    • 1 Health Camp Road
    • Greenfield, MA 01302
    • United States
    May
    24
    2019
    • 41 Mullen Rd
    • Newport, ME 04953
    • United States
    May
    31
    2019
    • 200 Hurd Road
    • Bethel, NY 12720
    • United States
    Jun
    13
    2019
    • 15 Pier Rd
    • East Providence, RI 02914
    • United States
    Jun
    15
    2019
    • 5900 South Water Road
    • Rothbury, MI 49452
    • United States
    Jun
    27
    2019
    • 1000 Montage Mountain Rd
    • Scranton, PA 18507
    • United States
    Jul
    18
    2019
    • 10 College St
    • Burlington, VT 05401
    • United States
    Jul
    26
    2019
    • 10 College St
    • Burlington, VT 05401
    • United States
    Jul
    27
    2019
    • 2300 Oak Ridge Road
    • Arrington, VA 22922
    • United States
    Aug
    24
    2019
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