Morning Fuzz is a Brooklyn, NY based melodic rock outfit exploiting the talent and showmanship garnered by Frank Fussa and Chris Johanidesz, both former members of Ultra High Frequency. I caught wind of this trio after giving a listen to their really impressive, ‘Morning Fuzz EP.’ I also must admit that there is something special about the lead singer, Frank Fussa. He just comes across as the perfect lead to the band. If you go to their Myspace page you can see that the ladies are catching on as well. Start off your week right by checking out a band from NY that deserves a listen.
Stoli: How did the three of you come together and decide to call yourself Morning Fuzz?
Morning Fuzz: Well Chris and I (Frank) were in our old band (Ultra High Frequency) for 6 years together and when we broke up, I had a bunch of new songs and we record demos with me playing drums since we didn’t have a drummer yet. We then recorded the songs over at a real studio with our friend Billy on drums who learned the songs in the car on the way to the studio. His band just broke up as well, so we started to jam together and he joined the band. We wanted a fresh new start instead of going on as our old band name. I would always be up to really late trying to sleep and one night the name “Morning Fuzz” popped in my head and it stuck.
Stoli: You recently released the ‘Morning Fuzz EP’. Are you pleased with the response and how did you decide what tracks to put on there?
Morning Fuzz: The Morning Fuzz EP is basically all the songs that we were jamming on in the beginning and some old ideas and songs reworked and we went in to the studio and got them down. It’s really hard these days to sell your music and get it out there. We sent it out to a bunch of places and are waiting on some reviews. Now that we have been playing together for almost a year, we have more chemistry as a band and you will hear that on the next recording. The Morning Fuzz EP is more of just a foundation to get everything started.
Stoli: Why are so many bands opting to put out Ep’s now as opossed to full albums?
Morning Fuzz: I think the reason for that is because the cost and time it takes to record a full record. You can record it on your own or you can go into a studio with a producer but in the end, it still going to cost a lot of money even if you’re going to put it out your self. You can digitally distribute the EP or record on itunes and etc but if you are touring,playing out, sending out for reviews or radio stations, you are going to want some kind of hard copy cd that looks nice, and that cost a decent amount of money to print them up and get it all package ready. Now with the music industry so different, I feel its easier and cheaper for indie bands who don’t have any money backing behind them by a label or investor, to just record EP’s and keep cranking them out instead of spending all the money on a full record and then not releasing something for another year or 2.
Stoli: Billy Rhymer left the band to pursue other musical endeavours. Was it an amicable split and do you still talk and support him?
Morning Fuzz: Billy got the offer to be the new drummer for Dillinger Escape Plan out of a bunch of drummers who tried out. For everyone who knows about that band, knows how its a hard complex role to fit as a drummer and hes doing an awesome job! We support him 100% and we still are friends and talk.
Stoli: You are based in Brooklyn but you have played all over the USA. What are some of your favorite venues to play in NYC?
Morning Fuzz: In NYC we really like playing in the lower east side. They always had the best little rock venues to play and see shows. I’d say our favorite to play is the Mercury Lounge. Really great sound. Also Fontana’s has been good to us. Arlene’s and Pianos are fun. But in all the years that we have been playing in the city, CB’s will always be my favorite…RIP.
Stoli: Long Island is producing really great bands like Morning Fuzz. What other bands do you guys tour with and generally respect?
Morning Fuzz: We haven’t really toured with any specific band yet in Morning Fuzz. We have been just going on our own. We generally respect bands who never give up and stay true to their dreams, work real hard and hop in the van and play their balls off!
Stoli: Before you guys hit the stage, how do you like to prepare to play a live show?
Morning Fuzz: We would like to be relaxed right before but that never happens..haha Trying to find parking for the van and make it back in time for your set. Could get stressful sometimes with all the last minute shit that comes up but its all Rock and Roll!!
Stoli: You got Jason Marcus to produce the new EP. How was working with Jason and can we expect you to work with him again?
Morning Fuzz: Jason is a very close friend and we have been working with him since the first demos with our old band in 2002. Recording with him is nice and smooth and we always have a great time. It makes the whole process much more fun! Jason will soon be my new room mate, and with him being in the next room over with all his gear, will make it much easier to crank out demos and ideas I have. We will start working on the next recording very soon and we are looking forward to it.
Stoli: Would you say that being based in NYC offers an advantage as you are so close to the majors in NYC?
Morning Fuzz: I used to think so more but lately, I don’t know. I feel that the music scene here isn’t what it used to be but I really hope that this will pass and things will get better in time. “People, Put down your Ziggy Stardust records and get your ass into the clubs and check out these great bands who are playing in front of empty stools and bar mice!”
Stoli: I have to ask, what is the deal with the brown bag over the guys head?
Morning Fuzz: haha If I told you, I’d have to kill ya!
Stoli: Frank Fussa is a great lead as he has the voice & the looks. Did that happen naturally or was that planned before starting the band?
Morning Fuzz: haha thank you very much! I like that…just print that in bold and forget the interview! haha Just kidding…Ive been writing songs and wanting to do this since I was a little shit. My desires just grow bigger and bigger and I will do this for the rest of my life.
Stoli: What is the most exciting part of having a band in the midst of the digital revolution?
Morning Fuzz: There is a lot of pros and cons. Its really cool how anyone can record music and make a myspace page and put up a digital press package that has the potential of anyone in the world to see,hear and sell it at their finger tips! As too much of anything causes problems, people take advantage of that and just start recording toilet bowls flushing, calling it a band and posting it up on the Internet. There is no filter, so you can have a great package for your band and it can so easily be washed away in a big media tidal wave and you have to work extremely hard to gain some exposure which defeats the whole purpose of making it easier. Though if you come up with a good plan and work real hard, you can make it work for you which is really cool.
Stoli: Would you say that you are friends first or band mates and how do you keep the peace between you three?
Morning Fuzz: Me and Chris have been best friends since we can barely talk. We have been friends with Jesse for almost 10 years now as well. We have played in other bands together too. Sometimes it gets hard separating the two when you are in a band but that’s how its always going to be. As long as we don’t take band stuff personal with our friendship, we should be fine.
Stoli: Are you all on the same page as to where you want to see the band go and what is the five year plan?
Morning Fuzz: I try not to plan too far ahead otherwise it will overwhelm the shit out of us. We make goals and work real hard to accomplish them. From there we can keep going on and trying to figure out the next best move to make that wont take us any more steps backwards because that can easily happen.
Stoli: What is coming up for Morning Fuzz and where can readers get more from you?
Morning Fuzz: We will finish out the year playing a few more NYC and Long Island shows as well as some other east coast shows, finish demoing new songs, and hopefully cut another record in the beginning of the new year and get back in the van and tour more. You can always get the latest news at our myspace www.morningfuzz.com. From there you can find our Youtube and Facebook pages. Thanks everyone for reading and spread the Fuzz!! See you out there….