rich diem of tubers

by carlos r. andujar
With only a few days until the anticipated Harvest of Hope Festival sets up camp in St. Augustine’s fairgrounds, a lot of buzz is being generated to spread awareness of the event and its performers. With the recent pullout of headlining acts like Broken Social Scene and the Faint, HOH appears on the surface to have been dealt a small blow to its attraction of people to its noble cause. But don’t abandon Hope just yet! They’ve actually added more bands than have been dropped from the bill. Fresh add-ons include KRS One, Black Kids and Gaslight Anthem.
Aside from well-known bands like Tokyo Police Club and the National, HOH will also prove to be a great showcase of our area’s local talent. Among them is St Augustine’s Tubers, slated to perform Friday March 6th of the event.
Vocalist/guitarist Rich Diem (12 Hour Turn, Solid Pony) is optimistic of the opportunity for St. Augustine. “I’m super excited about it,” says Diem, “because Ryan Murphy (of No Idea) is in charge of running things and No Idea (Records) is helping out. It’s kind of a wide range of music that’s being offered, different music tastes you know? So, I think that’s pretty awesome.”
In addition to the musical prospect, the fest also hits close to home on ideals that the band values highly. Having derived the name “Tubers” from an agricultural term referring to rooted vegetables, the members in the band all grow and maintain gardens with their own vegetables. They are strong advocates of preserving the environment and DIY agriculture. As Diem admits, though, they still are inevitably forced to go out and buy food.
“More important than whoever’s playing is the festival’s excellent intention to benefit migrant workers and migrant families, which is incredible. The fact that someone that I know is doing what a lot of people in punk rock and DIY claim to do for something other than music instead for migrant farm workers and their families on a large scale is incredible. One thing I also keep in mind is the idea of knowing where you put your money in. I mean, even if you were to go to a fast food place like Taco Bell whatever little produce they might have comes from migrant farm workers, and a lot of times they’re treated as slave labor. So, yeah, I feel that this being the subject of the whole event is really incredible.”