The Werks is an American rock band originating from Dayton, Ohio and noted for its musical improvisation and exploration of music across multiple genres. Founded in 2005 by Dave Bartoletti (keys), Rob Chafin (drummer), Chris Houser (guitar) and Chuck Love (bass), the band is best known for its quick rise into the jam band music scene and appearances at major festivals and events across the US and abroad. In early June 2011, the band rose to prominence when it hit the number 2 top searched artists on the leading online Jam Magazine, jambase.com, behind the band Phish and again in early 2012 when they hit number 1.
In 2005 the foursome met while attending a local music contest in Dayton, Ohio. After agreeing to commit to a band project, they named the group after their first meal together; ordering a dish with "The Works" from a local restaurant. The naming convention would be changed to "The Werks" soon after. The band officially formed in 2007 and Dave Bartoletti would leave the band one year later; he was replaced by keyboardist, Norman Dimitrouleas who previously performed in another Dayton band, The Maji. In the summer of 2011, bassist Dino Dimitrouleas, also from the Maji, replaced founding member Chuck Love and percussionist, Aaron Armstrong, from Toledo, Ohio, would join with the band from May through November of that same year. Dan Shaw, of Columbus, Ohio, replaced Norman Dimitrouleas, now deceased, in 2014 as the band's keyboardist.
The band incorporates rock, vintage psychedelic, funk music, and jamtronica into their own musical form, called "psychedelic dance rock". It bridges a gap by incorporating high energy music and high production values with themes that embrace "exploratory jams", a more accepted "shift occurring in the musical world", according to some critics.
Like The Werks, Dayton, Ohio, is known for its revolutionary inventiveness. The community has always been a hot spot for funk artists such as Zapp, The Ohio Players and alternative rock artists such as The Breeders and Guided By Voices. The Werks have been inspired by this rich history and technique, creating a solid foundation of music by weaving these influences into the fabric of their musical voice.
The Werks have played many notable festivals, including appearances at Wakarusa Music & Camping Festival, Summer Camp Music Festival, Electric Forest, All Good Music Festival, Camp Bisco, including their own festival, The Werk Out Music and Arts Festival, held annually each September in Central Ohio.
The Werks have adopted the policy of allowing fans to tape, trade, and distribute their live shows. Werkers (fans) have been taping and trading shows since their inception, which has helped them to gain their national following.