Fuzz Interview

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The guys switched up their roles from some of their more comfortable instruments for Fuzz. Ty Segall sits behind the drums, Chad Ubovich backs him up on the bass and Charles Moothart wails away on the axe. Together they’re able to pull off a sound as heavy as Sabbath and as trippy as Hawkwind. If you haven’t heard them in skate videos yet, pick up their albums and check them out. They guys took some time to talk about the band. Interview and photos by Jordan Joseffer

Why’d you name the band Fuzz? Did you just want to start a band with a lot of fuzz sound?
Ty: Well, it’s funny. Charles and I started jamming because Charles had some songs he played me and I was, like, “Whoa, this is rad.” He said I should play drums and I had been wanting to play drums. We never thought of a name or anything and we literally wrote on the tapes “fuzz jam #1, #2, #3—” for the demo tapes that we did. We were referring to it as the Fuzz band because there’s lots of fuzz and then it just stuck. For me, it’s cool because it’s so basic and silly in a way that it’s almost like an anti-name.
Charles: The process of becoming a band was real slow and steady so we were just focusing on songs, if we had any.

What made you guys want to start this band aside from your other projects?
Charles: It kind of happened out of nowhere. I had a coupe things and we started jamming. There wasn’t too much thought into specifically doing this. Ty was stoked to play drums and kind of explore this whole thing. It snowballed into reality.

How do you find the time for this band?
Ty: We set time aside. We love doing it so we’ll say, let’s focus on this for the next six months or whatever and everyone is down. Then after that we take a break and everyone works on their other projects. It’s a nice way to have a cycle and keep it interesting and not totally just hammer it into the ground.

What do you guys think about the term “side project?” Do you fully commit to every project?
Ty: We all view Fuzz as full on. Every project is full on. I think naming something a side project puts it into a different frame of reference.
Chad: It gives it less meaning. It makes it sound like we don’t care about it.
Ty: Yeah, and this is totally as meaningful as it could be.

Top three three-piece bands:
Ty: That’s really hard. I would probably put Jimi Hendrix Experience, Blue Cheer and The Groundhogs.
Chad: Primus, Rush, and Jimi.
Charles: I don’t think I can add any more to that.

No Motörhead?
Ty: Yes, Motörhead. Weird, I don’t even think of them as a trio. They’re psycho. They might take the cake as the gnarliest trio.
Chad: Oh, dude, Sleep. They’re a three-piece.

Is it hard playing drums and singing at the same time?
Ty: It has its trying moments. It’s a good excuse to take care of my lungs. Like, go running and stuff. It’s hard for sure.

Do you have any drummers who sing that you look up to? El Duce?
Ty: Ha! I think Robert Wyatt from The Soft Machine is the coolest. It just doesn’t make any sense how free and crazy he is on the drums and how free and crazy his singing is.

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Do you think trends in hard rock are going back to their ’60s/’70s roots?
Ty: Yeah, I think it’s totally in a popular moment. There are a lot of bands playing this kind of music and a lot of people are going to see them and buying records. It’s a lot different than ten years ago.

Predict the future: what’s the next wave of rock music?
Chad: I think people are going to get bored of the whole thing. It just makes sense. People like rock ‘n’ roll but its peak was in the ’70s, so there’s nowhere else it can go. So maybe it’ll just die. I don’t know.
Ty: No, it won’t die. People will always need that kind of energy. Live music will always exist.
Charles: Yeah, people will be playing rock ‘n’ roll forever.
Ty: I think early ’80s dance punk will come back.

Lets say the technology apocalypse comes and destroys all digital media. Is the world a better or worse place?
Ty: Better! Why not? Start fresh. What do you guys think?
Charles: Yeah, I’d be down to see what happens with that.
Chad: I think it’d be really good. There would be more money put into things made for better quality instead of more money being dumped into digital things.

Have you seen the Thrasher videos with your songs? Do you guys get stoked on that?
Ty: Hell yeah. Super stoked. Skate videos are how I found out about most of the music I liked when I was a kid. Like 411, all the Baker videos, Sorry.

If you grew up in Ohio, do you think you’d have the same musical influences? How has California, in general, influenced your music?
Charles: I don’t think so. There are so many factors that you can’t even equate it. You don’t know who you would be surrounded by, what your environment would be, what you would be exposed to—there’s no way to know. I want to say yes, but there’s no way of knowing.
Chad: I think I would like the same things but the friends you’re around could influence you.
Ty: Well, definitely culturally, too. For us in Southern California, there’s a big importance of punk, skating and surfing. We all come from skating and surfing backgrounds and we got into music through that. If we were from Ohio, maybe we would just be trying to rip off Devo or something.

Why shouldn’t people trust the iCloud?
Chad: Because your stuff gets leaked!
Ty: Stolen electron property.
Chad: It’s Skynet. The real Skynet.
Ty: The only reality one should trust is something you can touch and feel and ingest and hold and eat. You can’t eat the cloud.
Chad: I can’t eat the cloud, therefore I’m not going to fucking trust it.
Ty: People can hack everything.
Chad: All of my sexy pictures can get leaked.

Is that a bad thing if they do?
Ty: It’s a good thing for other people because they’re really good pictures, but it’s a bad thing for Chad.
Chad: I only want people to see them if I say it’s okay.

What advice can you give kids that are married to their cell phones?
Chad: Look up.
Ty: We were just talking about this. When you’re waiting in line or waiting in a doctor’s office or just doing something really boring and tedious, just live it and experience it instead of looking at your phone. You’ll reflect and maybe come to some sort of different thoughts that you wouldn’t otherwise have.

Anything else you’d like to say?
Chad: Keep skating.
Ty: Skate and make stuff.
Charles: Don’t take yourself too seriously.
Ty: You can use the cloud, but just be aware of the dangers of the cloud.


Check out their official video for "Raise"

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