Wednesday 6 September 2023

FUZZ EVIL Return And Offer A Bloody Great Time. An Interview With Stoner Rockers FUZZ EVIL

Desert/Fuzz/Stoner/Doom Rockers FUZZ EVIL return after a five year slumber to release their wickedly entertaining and stunning new album New Blood.

The album features a wide array of different Hard Rock styles within the thirteen tracks that make up the album. If you want a record with a highly energetic and rebellious attitude then New Blood is the album for you.

I caught up with Wayne Rudell (Guitar/Vocals) and Joseph Rudell (Bass/Backup Vocals) who make up this highly talented band. 

What follows is an in-depth interview where we discuss the making of the album and formations of the band amongst other things..

Read on for a great interview. 

Hi guys. Thanks for doing the interview. How are things with you all today.

Wayne: Hey Steve, thanks for doing this interview with us! We are doing Great! 

Joey: Doing well! Thanks. 

For people not in the know, can you provide a brief history of how Fuzz Evil came together and where it is today.

Wayne: Well Fuzz Evil has been around since 2014. Some people may not know but my brother and I are also in the stoner rock band Powered Wig Machine. In 2014, we finished a short run tour through Southern California, and we all were taking a break for a bit after. I still had so much creativity going so my brother and I spent the next few months writing what would come to be Fuzz Evil's Self-Titled debut. The first song we wrote was "Good Medicine" which Arthur Seay from Unida ended up doing a solo on. We met Arthur Seay while we were playing a show in The Palm Desert. As far as the name goes my brother gave me the idea for the band name. I am a fuzz pedal enjoyer and even dabbled in building a few of my own. I built one for my brother to try on his bass and he said," Man that Fuzz sounds Evil" Boom that was our Dewey Cox moment and Fuzz Evil was born.

Joey: Wayne and I’ve been writing music together since we could pickup instruments. I feel like Fuzz Evil captures that between than any of the other projects we have.  Now days? Well, we come a long way.  We got 2 full albums and a split out, done multiple tours, and played a ton of shows.   

How would you describe your music in your own words.

Wayne: Man it's really a mixed bag. I really do love stoner but stoner is only a small part of the sound. There really aren't any stoner bands here, south of Phoenix. The desert scene, Arizona in specific, is a real Punk/Hardcore heavy scene with peppered Indie and Metal bands. I think the fast punk vibe really fits well into our music. Where a lot of bands in the stoner scene are Sabbath influenced, we are more Misfits, Queens of The Stone Age and Grunge influenced. I think a lot of it is like a dirty punk carnival. haha Carny-rock. I Think where we deviated a bit is we put big hooks into most of the songs we write.  Real similar to what Torche was doing.

Joey: I’d describe the music as aggressive and thoughtful.  As the name suggests we spend a lot of time thinking about the Fuzz sound. 

We're here to talk about your new album New Blood. What can people expect from the album. 

Wayne: Personally, I think this will be the best received record we have written to date. We wanted to put a whole journey with the record with 13 songs and almost an hour of music. The record will have something for everyone. Songs like "Suit Coffin"."Perfect Slut" and "Run Away" will be similar to our first release. Fast punkish desert rock!. Songs like G.U.M.O.C.O has a classic Kyuss feel. If you like to get into the weeds then "Littest Nemo" and "Gullibles Travel" will be your jam. "Gullibles Travel" gets into some doom elements. I think some tracks like "Heavy Glow", "My Own Blood" and "Keep on Livin'" are great crossover tracks that could draw people in from the rest of the rock, metal, and electronic scenes. 

Joey:  This album is definitely a journey. Just about 60mins of music.  It starts heavy and fast then moves into something more laidback and catchy,  By the time you start settling into the album about 30-40mins in it changes again.  The songs get longer and become more complex. Wayne wrote a really great track “Keep on Livin’” That is a perfect way to end the album.  As far as a listen goes.  It feels very complete, and by the time you get to the end it’s exciting to get back to the beginning. 

Why was the new album called New Blood. 

Wayne: New Blood felt right for this record granted how the last few years have been. In 2018 we recorded "High on You" with producer Paul Fig (Slipknot and Alice in Chains) at Dave Grohl's studio 606. We had all this momentum. We were touring a bunch! Packing out shows. Our song "The Strut" even landed on the hit Tv show NCIS:La (Season 11) Then Covid hit and derailed all of our plans, and our good friend and drummer Orgo Martinez landed a killer job playing on the Fremont strip in Vegas 6 nights a week. It left us in a bit of a hiatus for a while. My brother and I got out of the funk about a year ago and wrote, recorded/programmed, and played all the instruments on the record. We even had Orgo drop in and play on the song "Perfect Slut".  Feeling that fire to play and write is such a good missed feeling and we were ready for some new blood.

Joey: Along with all the changes in life, this album is definitely some New Blood.  It has a different flavor than what we’ve done before. 

Was this an easy or hard release to and write for compared to your previous album. 

Wayne: I think this record was honestly the easiest to write and record. My brother and I mostly just wrote all the songs individually then recorded them. We  sent the projects back and forth til we got the songs near finished musically. We both have pretty good small home studios so It makes it pretty convenient. We only got together to work out parts we were stuck on or record final vocals.

Joey: After watching Paul Fig work while we recorded “High on You”  I became a bit obsessed with audio engineering.   I pretty much spent a majority of my time between “High and You” and now studying and recording.   Having the ability to record on our own really opened doors to being able to add a lot of creativity to the album. I’d agree though.  The easiest for us to put together.  There really weren't any moments during writing for this album where I felt stumped with a song.  Everything we did came naturally. 

Your last two albums gathered some cool praise within the underground scene. Did that surprise you in anyway?

Wayne: Man it is always a surprise when someone appreciates the music you have created. Humbling honestly. We are just two brothers from a small town on the US/Mexico border. It still always takes me back thinking we have sent records to every continent in the world including Antarctica.

Joey: We shipped an album to Antarctica?? That’s rad haha.  I’m really happy that people like the music we are creating. We’ve made a lot of friends over the years playing in the underground, and I’m happy that we’ve had the opportunity to be a part of it. 

Looking back at your last two albums. Would you change anything about them?

Wayne: HAHA, that truly is the ever present musicians dilemma. I think every artist would love to go back and change stuff that they felt wasn't quite right. I had to learn to let it go and just embrace it as the progressions of each album and the evolution as an artist. I think our last two records will always have a special place in my heart. The memories of the shows and people you meet during those times. Where you were in life and to reflect and where you're heading.

Joey: I wouldn’t change a thing.  Each album is like a time capsule.  I actually still have some recordings of Wayne and I playing when we were teenagers. Every few years I love to bust those out and revisit them.   It’s like going back in time and reliving everything you were going through at the time. 

Did you do anything differently when recording New Blood compared to your last album. As High On You was recorded at Dave Grohl's famous 606 Studios.

Wayne: Recording at Studio 606 was such a huge learning experience for us. Paul Fig is an amazing producer and showed us a lot of very cool ways to get amazing sounds on the recording. Just being in the room with all those Foo Fighter/Nirvana awards was aww inspiring. Playing music you wrote in the bedroom then recording it on quite possibly the most famous recording console of all time added to the magic of recording in a high profile studio. New Blood was almost a complete opposite approach. The entire record was split between my home studio and my brothers. We really took advantage of not being on a studio clock to really flush out and experiment with our vocals and guitar tones. We used tons of different  fuzz/distortion pedals, baritone guitars, Live amping, Re-amping, clean guitars in the DAW.  This allowed us to create, in my opinion, some of the most interesting guitar tones we have released.

Joey: The way we wrote some of these songs was different as well.  Some of these evolved in the DAW.  Having unlimited time/access to a studio really allowed us the freedom to experiment, listen, rewrite, and change the sound of what we wanted to present.  Along with all the crazy guitar work, the song “Heavy Glow” has two bass guitars, and we’ve added synth throughout the album as well.  

What is the creative process or setup within the band? Do you write the music together or do certain people within the band do that?

Wayne: Typically my brother and I come up with all the music for the band. Over the last year we changed the  process of how we have been creating material. We have both been separately writing entire songs from our own studios and sending them back and forth to flesh out the ideas. We can turn around music very fast this way because when we send the songs to each other they are about 80-90 percent finished. I  much prefer writing like this. I can essentially finish an entire song in an afternoon. It saves so much time.

Joey: We still do a majority of the writing together, but It has been a lot of fun putting “New Blood” together.  As Wayne said,  we were sending almost completely finished songs to each other.   In some cases Wayne sent me bass riffs and I added guitar parts. There was no pattern to it besides us collaborating on the direction forward.  

Will you be promoting the new album with upcoming gigs. If so, where can people see you live?

Wayne: Yes we will be promoting the album with upcoming gigs. We finally found a replacement drummer and have added a second guitarist to pick up some of the utility work with synth and effects. We will probably be getting together in NOV to perfect the set,  and hopefully we’ll be out playing into 2024. I would love to make some appearances at a few festivals in Vegas, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Texas. 

Joey: Looking forward to working with the new guys and getting back on the stage!

What is the live Fuzz Evil experience like?

Wayne: Well being from a small town sometimes it is easier to throw shows because there is not much going on. We typically like to go all out on our live shows. I really like it to be an experience. Nothing is worse than a band with high energy music and low energy performance. Live, we also strive to be very tight with our music. We are hard on ourselves and always are pushing to put out exceptional performance. All that aside we try and have fun because if you're not people can really tell.

Joey: When you are on stage you are leading the audience to rock out.  It’s about bringing energy and excitement and sharing it with those who came to see you.  We got a lot of energy on stage. 

You guys are from Sierra Vista, Arizona. What is the local live scene there. Do you have a live scene to perform gigs on a regular basis or do you have to travel further afield?

Wayne: The Sierra Vista scene is an incredible place to play music. We have multiple venues here in town that support Heavy Rock and Metal.  Most of the bands here in town are Punk or Metal, but we have a really close supportive scene where we all show up and support each other. We normally played at a cool venue called the Horned Toad, but PC's Lounge is another great option. Bisbee, our neighboring town, is another place with The Quarry run by our friend Dana who is always bringing in national acts passing through. One of my favorite places to play is the Rialto Theatre in Tucson. Kris, Mark, and all the guys who run the theatre are always looking out for us and offering really great national shows to build our resume. The Rialto is a beautiful theatre in the heart of downtown Tucson where I have so many of my favorite bands.

Joey: We have a very energetic music scene for how small the town is.  You can count the number of bands around here on two hands, but they all work hard, have loyal fans, and are incredibly supportive.  We lucked out to be honest.  Sierra Vista music is not “clicky” at all.   It’s pretty amazing. 

What bands or artists influenced you to pick up an instrument and to become a musician?

Wayne: I remember the first record that really stuck with me was Offspring's Smash. I was 14 Grunge was king and I must have listened to "Self Esteem" a thousand times. Nirvana, Soundgarden, Bush all helped shape my musical taste. I always loved the raw energy and dirtiness of grunge. I didn't really get into Sabbath, Priest, Maiden until I was more of adult. I would say, of course, they played a role in what I like, but they didn't carry as much weight as Grunge for me. I started playing guitar when I was 18 and when I turned 21 I remember going into a Hasting(One of the coolest stores to ever exist) and they had listening stations of all of the new music that came out. I remember putting on this record that caught my eye that was solid red with a big "Q" on it. That record was Queens of The Stone Age "Songs for the Deaf. I must of sat there and listened to the record twice. I read that Dave Grohl one of my favorite musicians and people played drums on the record. I knew from that point if I wrote music that I wanted to write something like this.

Joey: Going to agree with Grunge. I mean, we are brothers. We did listen to a lot of the same music the very first songs I learned how to play were “Polly” by Nirvana and Offsprings “Self-Esteem”.  I think the most influential bands for me were Tool, Dave Matthews Band, QotSA, and Muse. 

Do you guys have any side projects that folks can check out. I know you are both in  Powered Wig Machine but I'm not sure if that project is still going?

Wayne: Powered Wig Machine was our main project for the longest time. PWM is a stoner boogie band  like a stoner rock Rare Earth. The Super Collider record is still one of my favorite records we have ever put out.We actually wrote ann entire new PWM record back in 2020. We haven't released it yet. The record is called "Sundowner" and hopefully Joey and I bring it to the light of day eventually. It has some real boogie bangers on it. Joey and I always have our feet in the fire with different music. Joey also writes and produces music with his wife, and she has a couple great songs out under the name Anne Marie and the Unkept Secrets. I am always working on stuff at the home studio. Been messing around with an Industrial/electronic project.  Maybe it will see some light next year.

Joey: We’ve never officially retired Powered Wig Machine (PWM), and we definitely have some amazing songs ready to go.  We have a PWM song called “Dying Cowboys under Desert Skies” that I think is one of the best PWM songs we’ve written.  We’ll release it at some point. It might be a bit before we pull the band back together for shows though. Everyone is still playing music and interested in doing some PWM stuff, but the other guys have other things happening in life right now.  Wayne, Thanks for mentioning my wife. She is a great songwriter. It’s been a blast working with her to release songs. Her songs were definitely on the things that made me fall in love with her. 

Before you go, do you have any words of wisdom for your fans currently out there.

Wayne: I think all your goals are possible with hard work and dedication. Doesn't matter if you're from a small town or you're broke. Just keep showing up everyday and eventually you'll notice that you're moving the needle. Don't listen to people who say "You will never be(insert goal)”.  They lack vision. You gotta trust yourself and keep grinding.

Joey: You can do anything you set your mind to.  It’s not always easy, but with an open-mind, dedication, and confidence to face the fear of not knowing where to start, you can definitely accomplish anything. Thanks again for doing this interview with us!  

Words by Steve Howe and Fuzz Evil

New Blood will be available to buy on CD/DD via from September 09th 2023


Official | Facebook | BandCamp