The Arizona trio Fuzz Evil are in the spotlight for this week’s Meet The Band. Every Saturday we give you the chance to get to know a new or up-and-coming artist. Vocalist/guitarist Wayne Rudell and his brother, vocalist/bassist Joey Rudell, introduce us to Fuzz Evil.
Give us a brief history of Fuzz Evil.
Wayne Rudell: Fuzz Evil started out in 2014 after we had just finished up a small California tour with my main band Powered Wig Machine. Sometimes as a artist or musician you need to walk away from what you’re working on and revisit it later. I had gotten burnt out with Powered Wig Machine and I had all of these songs that I wanted to do something with that didn’t work for PWM. It is no secret my love of old fuzz pedals.
This was my chance to scratch that itch. Later that year in October 2014 we put out a 7′” split with the Chiefs featuring our song “Glitterbones.” We have spent that last couple years writing tons of music and cutting our teeth playing live with everyone from Fu Manchu and Nik Turner’s Hawkwind to Crobot and Acid King. We finally have our debut record out, and a split is in the works for early next year.
Describe the songwriting and recording process of your self-titled album.
Wayne: Joey and I wrote all the music for the record and then we worked in drums later once the bulk of riffs and melodies were finished. Joey and I having been playing together since we were very little and you can really feel the symbiotic relationship between the guitar and bass on this debut record. Being a three piece, one of the difficult things to accomplish is to sound full.
We use a lot of harmonies between the guitar and bass and two rig setups to fill up the space. Oh, and fuzz; lots of fuzz. Tons of old vintage gear was used during the recording of this record. Univox Supa Fuzz, old Sunn amps and a ’70s clear blue Ludwig Vistalite kit were the brick and mortar of that old sound. The record was recorded by Brian Gold at Primrose. Brian is hands down one of the best at capturing that vintage rock sound in the southwest.
How would you characterize the album’s style/sound?
Wayne: This record has a very ’70s rock n’ roll feel meets early desert rock. I have always romanticized with the ’60s-’70s rock n roll era and the heyday of desert rock. With this record we brought both of those worlds together for a record filled with hooks and riffs.
What has been your most memorable live show?
Wayne: For me it was when we got to share the stage with Fu Manchu. I have tons of respect for them and they have been one of the driving influences for me as long as I can remember. I remember the surreal feeling that night of back-lining my full Marshall stack right in front of Scott Hill’s thinking, “damn!”
What are your upcoming show/tour plans?
Joey Rudell: In the near future we will be heading up the west coast up to Seattle and back from Oct 1 through 9. We didn’t get a chance to hit much of southern Cali this run so we will probably head back this winter and pick up some dates there and some throughout New Mexico, Texas and Colorado. Next October we would love to work on a European tour if we can get everything to line up.
Who are your musical heroes?
Wayne: The two biggest influences for me have been Jimi Hendrix and Josh Homme. I have literally worn out their records. Jimi’s guitar shaped a lot of my guitar playing while I was younger. He was a master at controlling feedback and making it musical. I use a lot of that playing live in Fuzz Evil between songs and in solos.
With Josh he always had such great tone. Fuzzy cranked mids. One of his first guitar teachers only taught polka and I love that you can hear so much of that in Kyuss and Qotsa records. You can here some of that on our first track we recorded called “Glitterbones” in the chorus.
What’s the dynamic between you and your brother? Are you the type of siblings that get along really well or fight all the time?
Wayne: Joey is my partner in crime. We have a great relationship with each other and complement each other’s weak points. He handles all of the art for the band and he has crazy attention to detail with the writing process. Me, not so much. (laughs)
I book and manage the tours, handle the band finances, and do a lot of the driving. It works for us. Growing up we never fought. He was my best friend and we did everything together. It is nostalgic watching shows like Netflix’s “Stranger Things” because that is how we grew up cruising on our bikes getting in trouble.
What’s the heavy music scene like in Sierra Vista, Arizona?
Joey: The scene here is very close knit. The bands here are few and vastly different from each other. People come out to shows in Sierra Vista, though. They love live music. The population is only about 60,000 but it is common to have about 40+ at every show. Great support down here from the town. We play a lot in a town just 15 mins south of Sierra Vista called Bisbee, which has a great blues and rock n’ roll scene. The city is in the valley of a mountain and laid out like an old European town with small cobblestone roads winding up and down the mountain.
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
Joey: Yes, if you’re interested in our music, our new record is out now on Battleground Records. The label will be selling a limited amount of clear vinyl. You can pick one up here. If you live on the west coast come say hi to us on the road.
(interview published October 1, 2016)