Watch and listen to the latest single, “Out On A Limb”.
At its best, rock ‘n’ roll combines seemingly random atoms into a single, undeniable force. Chaos meets control. Jagged edges somehow fit together just right. That kinda sums up what FuZZrd is all about.
Leave it to FuZZrd to find the bright side of Armageddon.
The Minneapolis band has a knack for documenting searing personal experiences, strapping them to turbo-charged guitar riffs, and creating kick-ass rock ‘n’ roll in the process.
They make no attempt to hide the scars acquired on the journey. But rather than dwell on darkness and fury, FuZZrd focuses their energy on hard-won lessons and glimmers of hope. The result? Tales of obsession, devotion, and redemption – all sung from the crater of a live volcano.
And there’s room for some humor too. Asked about the band name (pronounced “FUZZ-erd”), lead vocalist/guitarist Brett Petrusek laughs and turns evasive: “It has six letters, just like the six knobs on an old Marshall amp. It’s actually kinda goofy, but we all need some goofy right now.”
All kidding aside, Petrusek and his three bandmates – bassist/vocalist Robert Berg, guitarist/vocalist Eric Fairchild and drummer Scott Savage – get down to serious business as soon as the amps are warmed up and ready to roar.
Introspection Fuels Detonation
First single “Monster Carnival” sets the tone, opening innocently enough with Petrusek’s solitary EQ-squeezed guitar riff. And then all hell breaks loose. “It’s about struggling with debauchery,” Petrusek says. “You can be a pretty happy-go-lucky dude but sometimes you find yourself in a very dark place, like you’re turning into a werewolf. This song is about finding somebody who recognizes your dark side and embraces you for it.”
The pulverizing vibe continues on standout tracks like “Razor” and the anthemic “Life Turned Black.” “Viral Connection” features Mark Slaughter providing guest vocals, a healthy dose of guitar ear candy throughout and an outro solo on a song that Petrusek dryly describes as “a dark, twisted little snapshot about retrospectively looking back at your first love.”
The soul-baring approach reaches a peak on “Demons,” Petrusek’s gut-wrenching account of learning about the father he had never known. “I recently found my brother, who I never knew I had. We talked and in 35 minutes I learned more about my dad than I had ever known before.” You can hear the sheer emotion in Petrusek’s vocal, recorded on the first — and only — take.
“I’ve become a lot more comfortable letting out my personal thoughts and not second-guessing myself. Being my own therapist and putting it into words. Tapping into the stories that already exist – that’s what makes it more real, more genuine.”
Berg sums it up a bit differently: “You get these catchy, sing-a-long choruses, but the lyrics are pretty stark and disturbing,” he laughs. “If Black Sabbath and Motörhead took Bon Jovi
and Def Leppard, rolled them into a joint and smoked it today, you’d be in a cloud of FuZZrd.”
Contrasts Build Stronger Connections
FuZZrd’s evolution is a straightforward tale. Petrusek and Berg had played together for years in the well-regarded Minneapolis hard rock outfit Downtread, recording three albums and playing a bunch of high profile shows throughout the Midwest. Looking to explore a more organic, stripped-down sound they connected with kindred spirits Fairchild (2021) and Savage (from Minneapolis stalwarts Crashmatic) in late 2019.The rhythm section quickly dialed-in a lean, less-is-more symbiosis between Berg and Savage.
The chemistry was instantaneous, starting with the interaction of the two guitarists.
“In this band there’s a yin/yang chemistry,” explains Berg. “In some other bands there isn’t much yin to the yang. But with this group we have a lot more open space to take liberties.”
FuZZrd benefits from contrasting styles that seem to mesh pretty damn well. “I’m not a metal drummer,” Savage admits. “I’m actually a groove drummer, and I’ve always been interested in serving the song, rather than showing my chops. I’m a huge fan of Prince, R&B and Cheap Trick. It was a big change for Brett because he was used to borderline out-of-control metal.”
Prepare to Launch
The four members were ready to unleash the beast in 2020, but then COVID-19 intervened. Amid the crucible of 2020, the band was determined not to let a pandemic go to waste. FuZZrd decided to record their new tracks with producer/engineer Jeremy Tappero, who has made countless records in Minneapolis and is best known for his recent work with Soul Asylum (and a longtime ally and collaborator of Petrusek and Berg from their days in Downtread).
They’re stoked about the work-in-progress. “We’re all having so much fun with it,” says Savage. “I hate to say we’re taking advantage of the pandemic, but the down time has really been important for the band’s chemistry. This is a different way of doing a band. We haven’t even played a show yet! But we’re really loving what we’ve got.”
2021 marks an inflection point for FuZZrd and all the rest of us. A chance to rip off old bandages, turn the page, and confront what’s really important in life. You might as well find a soundtrack that perfectly captures the moment…and crank it up damn loud.
“If you need someone to lean on / When the wolves are hungry / If you need someone to feed on / Stand in place, darkness waits / Let me feel your rage” – Monster Carnival
“We can call this over / Until we meet again / Call me when you’re lonely and you’re wasted” – Viral Connection
“Found somebody just like me, who never knew my name” – Demons