When I tried to recount the making of FUZEE, I was struck by a chord of memories
- the other bands and music experiences I had leading up to the present day.
It seems a bit hazy now, but we are who we are because of what we’ve
done and how we got there.
In my pre-teen years, it was a struggle. I played a lot of crap while learning the piano. After two years of lessons, I realized the instrument was not my passion, but it did give me exposure to theory. I bought my first guitar with my own cash when I was 13. I continued with lessons for only a year. I started learning by ear and from there rock and roll became a whole new world. The Sweet’s Desolation Boulevard was my first record and had a blast learning and making tons of mistakes. The record that really blew my mind from a production standpoint was Queen’s A Night at the Opera. Then came the punk explosion in the late 70s and I’ve never quite seen music the same since.
At 19, I played guitar in my first band, Vice Versa. We were all high school friends and played out a handful of times. During my college years, the Tearaways was a four-piece outfit, which never saw much of the light of day. However, this project was responsible for the learning of the songwriting process and the result was a solid battery of original songs, some of which are still alive today. Ordeal was a successful, all original three piece power pop outfit performing many shows in Milwaukee in ’95 & ’96. It was in this band that I started playing bass - more out of necessity than a passion for the instrument.
It was during the Ordeal years that I was introduced to Joe Neumann by a mutual friend. He and I jammed on and off since ’95 and in ’99 crossed paths again at Record Head. Neither of us being in a band at the time made the situation ripe to form an ensemble. We decided to tool and retool our power pop gems and make a go of it. Now two drummers later, after the addition of Zak, Fuzee is well on the way into this new century.
Regarding musical interests, I am grounded/rooted/steeped in 80s power pop and post punk, I am most influenced by the Replacements, Soul Asylum, the Clash, Pixies, Tommy Keene, 20/20 and 90s groups including Nirvana, Figgs, figdish, Jawbox, and so on...
What John Has been listening to lately:
Burning Airlines - Identikit
Arlo - Stab the Unstoppable Hero
Jellyfish - Spilt Milk
The Jam - All Mod Cons
The Figgs - Sucking in Stereo