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Interview with Fuzz Evil
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Hi, I’m Joseph Rudell, I’m the Bass Player for Fuzz Evil. Thanks for giving us some time to sit down with you. So, that’s a great question, and a hard one to answer. Only god knows maybe selling some crack cocaine on the corner? Haha for real though, My Brother, who is also in Fuzz Evil with me, have been playing music together since we were little kids. Music has always shaped everything else we’ve done. For example, we needed flyers for shows, so I started making them. Now I have a side business, Ghost town Graphic Art (https://www.facebook.com/ghosttowngraphicart ) that does flyers for labels, festivals, and bands. There was a need to make videos and record music, so I’ve spent years and took courses to understand video editing, animation, and audio engineering. My brother loves Fuzz Pedals and amps and spent quite a bit of time building his own and learning the technological ins and outs of electronics. Wayne also has delved into the business side of the house, managing, and running a music festival as well as getting into the business side of the house of running a band as a business. I guess I’d say it’s a hard question to answer because if for some awful reason we stopped doing music we’d likely still be involved with music as all our skills have been framed by music. With that said, outside of music my brother is a UPS driver and I work in Computers. I feel like those are just more requirements to survive though not necessarily what we’d be doing today if we never got into music.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Haha, guess I answered that a bit already. We both spend a lot of time playing music. Outside of that we are always exploring things to make our music better. Art and technology are really what’s important to me alongside music. I recently just created flyers for the Vegas Rock Revolution, Planet Desert Rock Weekend IV (https://www.facebook.com/VRRProductions ). I also previously worked on the Second Coming of Heavy vinyl series for Ripple Music (https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/ ). I did those with Carrie Olaje, an amazing artist down here in southern Arizona. That was a series of art for 10 records. On the technology side of the house, I’ve been working in video editing and animation for years. My brother and I have a running animation called “Fuzz Off” which is about the adventure of a Super Fuzz and Big Muff Pedal. (https://www.tiktok.com/@fuzzevil). I’ve also gotten deep into exploring the use of AI. I was one of the early adopters of using Stable Diffusion AI. I know the AI topic is controversial to some, but as an artist I believe it’s an amazing tool when used creatively. For example, I just recently created a video to one of our songs “Suit Coffin” using only text to video AI.
How does all this influence your creativity? I mean I think it’s a back-and-forth relationship. We often are thinking about the other artistic applications of our music when we are creating it. I guess a good example of that is our song “Littlest Nemo.”
We actually wrote this song to the intro of the movie Nemo’s adventures in Slumberland
. If you line the beginning of the movie up (at 1.2 speed) with the beginning of the song, the music is soundtrack to that opening sequence. We took that a step further and created a modified version of the intro to the movie that when watched with our song really makes the whole thing almost feel like an acid trip. We’ll be sharing that video here in the next weeks. I highly recommend checking it out.
How long has your band been around?
Technically, Fuzz Evil has been around since 2014. We’ve got 2 EPs, and LP, a 7” split with Chiefs, and a 12” split with SwitchBlade Jesus out. We’ve also been on multiple Tours. However, my brother and I have been apart of the music scene in one way or another since the early 2000’s. Our main project early on was Powered Wig Machine (https://poweredwigmachine.bandcamp.com ). We put out two records and did A LOT of shows until we started Fuzz Evil.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
So, we are from the Southwest down in the corner of Arizona right next to the border with Mexico. Technically we are from Sierra Vista, but no one really knows where that is. Usually on tour we just tell everyone were from Tombstone. Which everyone knows. Haha. Technically it’s partly true. I did go to high school in Tombstone. I always joke that it’s one of the few places you can go to school and hear gunshots at lunch, and no one jumps. I’d say the western influence was very heavy in Powered Wig Machine. We used to refer to us as “Heavy Western.” On the other hand, southern Arizona has a history of hardcore punk. I’d never claim that we are hardcore punk lol, but we do have some drive to our music that sometimes is flavored with a little bit of punk.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
The name Fuzz Evil is self-explanatory I think and should give the listeners an idea of what they are getting into. After coming up with ridiculous band names in the past, we really wanted something simple. I’m pretty sure, unless I’m completely making this up, which is possible… that the name Fuzz Evil came to existence after Wayne played a particularly tasty lick and I said, “Man that was some Evil Fuzz.”
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
I know this answer will be different depending on who answer it. I recall an interview from the past where my brother called out a show we played with The Eagles of Death Metal as one of his most memorable. That was a dope show. I think my favorite though was different. I had to go back and look at a tour flyer but it was 04 OCT 2016, we were on Westcoast tour and playing at the Starlite Lounge in Sacramento. Unfortunately that venue no longer exist thought. The Starlite Lounge was wild. To bring your gear up you had to take like two flights of stairs. That part sucked since I use two bass cabs when I play haha. Anyways, lots of cool stuff happened at that show. We ended up meeting with a photographer and had an interview with Capital Chaos TV. I believe there is a video of the show out there on Youtube; but here’s a picture of it.
A few years earlier we ended up becoming friends with Lance Mead, The Mad Alchemist after meeting him at a Radio Moscow show. We did a few gigs with him and had him out for a festival we put together, The Borderland Fuzz Fiesta. So, Lance lives up in Sacramento. We start loading in and low and behold lance is there setting up. He said he heard we were coming to town and said he wanted to do a light show for us. Between that, the amazing bands we played with, and the energetic crowd, it was quite an experience.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
I think one of my favorite venues to play at is the Rialto in Tucson, AZ. It fits about 1000 people in it. We’ve had the opportunity to play with some acts touring through, like Eagles of Death Metal and Uriah Heep. That place always has amazing sound, and playing on that stage always is accompanied by a big lively crowd. Whereas I’d love to play some other big venues of festivals, to me it’s less the venue and more the crowd. I recall playing a show at this little venue in OceanSide, CA call the Royal Dive. I believe that venue is gone too. Which is sad. Anyways, that venue fit like MAYBE 20 people in, but when you pack 20 people in there the show is wild. I live for that.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
I could answer this a couple different ways. Like who do I think we’d fit the best with? Probably Queens of the StoneAge, Royal Blood, TigerCub, and us would be like one of my Dream shows. On the other side though, If I could play on any lineup, I’d say I’d love to play on a crazy lineup. Like Black Sabbath, Metallica, hell throw Taylor Swift in there too. I think it would be cool to be exposure to a large diverse crowd. A lot of the time it doesn’t really come down to how good your music is but who has had the opportunity to hear it. I’d love to have the opportunity to play our music to a large captive audience like the dream shows above.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
I remember once some told me, “let’s say you are selling oranges, and you are on a street full of other people also selling oranges. What makes people want to stop and try your oranges instead of everyone elses” I pondered this for awhile, honestly I think there is no right way to answer this, but to consider that if you want to be noticed sometimes you have to take risk to stand out. You must put yourself out there. It’s not an easy job. Writing music, being a performer, recording music, setting up merch, building a social media presence, etc… You have to really commit yourself if you want to be in the music business. I think the advice the question I’d ask someone new is Why do they want to play music and what are you willing to give up or do to get there?
As for advice Id give my younger self. That’s a tough one. I’d probably just let him know he’s doing a good job and to keep it up. I’m proud of myself and I’m happy that we have recordings of us playing from all the way back when I was like a freshman in high school. I like to look back on my art and music and see the growth. I’m excited to see where I will be in 20 more years. Giving that advice to my younger self though would be nice. It would have been nice to know that I’d be successful and that hard work would pay off.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
You really like tough questions don’t you. Ok, so It’s hard to say because every song we’ve written really has a special place at that time in our life. They each are an expression of what you are going through at the time. Off our new album “New Blood” the song Souveneers is special to me. Usually, my brother does most of the lyric writing. It’s not something I’ve ever felt comfortable doing. Souveneers is one of the first songs I wrote completely. The final recording of that song my brother is singing, but I have a version with me singing it. It feels nice to break down that wall for myself. That song also was a way for me to really got some emotions I was dealing with at the time out. Hence the end of the song with it’s “I don’t fucking care about your stupid fucking games” part haha.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
That really depends on the crowd. For me playing live is about what the crowd wants to hear. I remember once we were up in the northwest somewhere. I want to say Eugene, OR. We were put on a punk show bill. We decided to play our set a bit faster, and we focused on the songs that really blast. That was an awesome show. It was fun to play those songs that way and for that crowd.
As for most requested song. Probably Glitterbones. That song really smashes live. It’s got some great hooks, good energy, and it goes into a driving and energetic jam session at the end.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
On previous albums my brother would come up with some riffs and we’d usually sit down as a band to work through a song. I’ve always been one that loves to work on the transitions of parts and the flow of a song. However, we did something completely different with our new album “New Blood.” Wayne, and I wrote a majority of that album in the DAW. We both were sending almost fully finished songs to each other. I think this is why there is such a variety of different things happening on “New Blood.” Whereas we did sit down and work out different sections of songs as a band, I think that we will continue to move forward writing this way. We are happy with how the songs came out, and it really makes the writing process go much faster.
As for inspiration, I think it comes from lots of different things. Thinking back, relationships, current events, or favorite stories, bands we love, where we are from…. All these things have played into what our music is about and how it’s written.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I think it’s not really about a message we want to get across and more about what the listener can get from the music that’s important to them. For us it’s about making music that someone can relate to or a song they can be latched to a memory. Everyone has those songs. Sometimes they are random too. Like you recall a song that was playing while you were doing something in your life. Then when you hear that song again it reminds you of that time in your life. I think helping create something that is that for another person is the great accomplishment.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Hahaha, no not really. I mean unlike a lot of siblings that bicker with each other. We have never really been like that. I mean we’ve had our share of disagreements, but they never turn into anything of note. When it comes to music we give and take all the time. Usually, it comes down to how passionate one of us is about our position. On that note, we are highly likely to criticize each other and questions each other’s position. I’m pretty sure we’ve told each other a thousand times that something sucks and to fix it. It’s not personal. I really enjoy this type of relationship. I don’t think I could be in a band where everyone is tiptoeing around each other’s egos.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We are constantly pushing forward. For now, the big efforts are to release more songs more often. As for spotlighting something coming up, stay tuned as we have 3 more videos to release for songs off our new album “New Blood” and we have some singles/covers we are recording right now.
Thanks again for taking the time to have us and thank to all of you that read this. If you’d like to learn more about Fuzz Evil or pick up some Merch, head over to our website https://www.fuzzevil.com