Hey there all here's my interview with band Fuzzruckus by way of thi=eir guitarist & songwritter A.C.
How'd you get started in music?
My parents told me I was always dancing to music as a toddler. Of course I don't remember that at all. But I do remember my dad listening to old school country music and my mom listening to pop music. So I got a love of melancholic acoustic ballads from my dad, pop melodies from my mom. The rock guitar - that's from Jesus! I do remember being a little kid listening to "Can't Fight This Feeling" by REO Speedwagon on the radio in my bedroom. And there it was - the combination of pop and rock music that I would pursue in life. The first cassette single I bought was "Armageddon It" by Def Leppard, and I'd play "Don't Be Cruel" and "Ghost Town" by Cheap Trick in jukeboxes. When I was a teenager I was really into the hair bands of the era, especially Poison and Warrant. Warrant would be my first concert and Poison's guitarist C.C. DeVille would be the reason I decided I wanted to play guitar. By the time I got my first guitar for my high school graduation present, grunge had already taken over the music scene, but I was still into the pop rock stuff as I learned to play guitar. I took lessons at a local guitar store and started to write songs as well. I eventually joined a band called Ambassador At Large as the guitarist/co-songwriter. We played basement and backyard parties. Eventually that morphed into Greenstick Fracture. We recorded and put out a few cds, had our songs on Myspace and the early streaming services like soundclick, and played in bars. It came to a sudden and awkward end for me. I then gave up music for many years, but music is a part of me. I couldn't quit. I got back into playing and writing. I had a few failed projects before Fuzzruckus. We started recording in 2020 and put out our first EP in April of 2021. Our latest EP came out in May of this year.
Who are your inspirations or influences?
My earliest influences were Warrant's singer-songwriter Jani Lane and Poison guitarist C.C. DeVille. A little while after I started playing guitar, I got really into Cheap Trick, who I had only listened to a few songs of theirs in the past. I was never going to be a singer and front man like Jani, I wasn't going to be a shredder like C.C., but Rick Nielsen - now there was a guy I could and wanted to be like. A guitarist/songwriter. Cheap Trick became my biggest influence, along with Enuff Z'nuff, a great and underrated or maybe just overlooked and misunderstood band. They're basically on the power pop - hair band borderline, so their music really appeals to me. As the 90's progressed and alternative music moved into post-grunge, there were bands I really enjoyed and became a big fan of - Goo Goo Dolls, Gin Blossoms, Collective Soul. They became influences as well. Also pop-punk like Green Day and Bowling For Soup. And again a lesser known band - Marvelous 3, a punkier power pop band lead by Butch Walker who went on to produce everyone from Taylor Swift to Panic At The Disco. So my influences are pretty varied - everything from 70's/80's rock like Cheap Trick and REO Speedwagon, to the hair bands Poison and Warrant, to 90's alternative Goo Goo Dolls and Green Day.
What advice would you offer aspiring performers?
First and foremost - always be yourself. Authenticity is so important. If you're not making the music you want to make just to fit in, what's the point? In my opinion, then you're doing it wrong. Maybe you just want money and stardom and you'll sacrifice authenticity for opportunity, and I guess you do you. But if you want to make music and enjoy it and express who you are as an artist - be yourself and if people don't like you, too bad! Second would be the cliche of "never give up". You're going to be rejected. A lot! Over and over. And it's going to suck. It's going to make you want to quit. It is going to make you wonder if you're any good. I had so many failures before Fuzzruckus which has become my biggest success. Third - finding a community/scene to belong to will help tremendously You'll find people to listen to and support your music. Whether it is in your hometown, or even on the internet. Fuzzruckus is extremely happy to be part of what artist Marc Schuster recently named Tweetcore. We're artists who have met on twitter. I will always be grateful to The Negatrons for being the first band that really helped us figure things out and introduce us to the community. Along the way met Scoopski, who I have so much respect for, he's a great talent and was awesome enough to join us for our single "Fortune Cookie". I can't name everyone and apologize to anyone I don't name, but also - Modern Amusement, Thee Rakevines, Mikey J, Orange Creek Riders, Jim France, The Future Us, No Drinks For Jimmy.
How do you set yourselves apart from other bands or singers?
The thing that sets us apart is our varied influences. Are there any other bands out there whose influences range from REO Speedwagon to Green Day, with all points of pop rock in between? It definitely sets us apart, but what I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. I can't say, "Well, we sound like Cheap Trick", because on the first EP there are songs that I've been told sound like Oasis. I can't say "We sound like Goo Goo Dolls", because I've been told a song on the second EP sounds like Weezer. I love the diversity, I think it sets us apart, but I'm not sure it helps us find the right listeners sometimes. I'm honestly also a little sensitive about being "the guy who likes hair bands" amongst a crowd of The Replacement fans, but what are you gonna do? I guess what I'm trying to say is Fuzzruckus sets ourselves apart by being unafraid of being uncool.
Any new gigs or albums in the future?
We just released our latest single, "Redundant", a Green Day cover which completes the deluxe edition of our latest EP, Paranoia Baby on Spotify. The standard version is available everywhere, including for sale on bandcamp.com As well as our first self titled EP. Our next single will be out mid October. And it marks a new era for Fuzzruckus. I'm not sure our listeners are quite ready for this one! If your open to hearing us sound like Poison in 1987, you'll dig it. If not...well, you know... We hope you all stick around for the new song and new era. Until then, enjoy "Redundant"!
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