We came to the conclusion to interview Beelzefuzz for our next team up. Their brilliant debut album has been winning praise all over the place. My review is here and Lucas review is here:
I called the album - "The album is expertly produced. The sound is clean and crisp which projects Beelzefuzz’s sound to maximum levels. The album maybe on an a brisk 36 minutes but it’s a fast paced 36 minutes you can listen to over and over again. You are never bored for a second as the album keeps you entertained through out.
Beelzefuzz have delivered an excellent album that should win them a huge following within the Stoner/Doom Metal scene. I expect big things from the band in the years to come. However, for now let us enjoy their superb debut album. They deserve all the rewards and praise coming their way"
Lucas has already published Part 1 of the interview here. Now its' time for part 2.
So lets get started with Part 2 with the brilliant BEELZEFUZZ!!!
1. Lucas: I like to mention your unique and distinctive sound every time I talk about the band, I won’t ask where it “comes from”, but do you guys listen to the new stoner doom and retro bands that are coming out all the time or do you stick to mostly the classic stuff? And would you mind rattling off a few of your favorite classic albums from yesteryear? Maybe some stuff that you think might have crept into your work.
Dana: I’m always interested in hearing new releases, I do try to check out as many new bands as I can. We have played shows with a lot of cool bands, I think that to not be influenced by new things is just not possible. There is a band from MD called “Chowder”, they have a song called “Custody” that I think is just killer. A few weeks after hearing the song, I find myself jamming out a riff that I later recognize as a direct ripoff of that song, so much for that riff, haha. So, yeah, have to be careful that the influences don’t take over. I do always return to my favorite albums from Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and Peter Gabriel era Genesis.
Darin: I think people expect us to be more tuned into what's currently happening in the scene and while we're aware of a lot of bands it doesn't, or I should say, we try not to let it seep into the creative process. There's a few bands currently out now that people have compared us to and it's purely by coincidence if there's any similarity whatsoever. As far as where our influences come from...well, basically the list of bands that Dana just said, Purple, Heep, Black Sabbath, Nazareth, Lucifers Friend, stuff like that. The "golden age" of clean melodic vocals and heavy riffs.
2. Steve: Which bands are you currently digging within the Sludge/Doom/Stoner Metal scene. Any bands that both of our readers should be aware of.
Dana: There are some cool Sludge/Doom bands in our general area, Fortress, Slagstorm, The Osedax, Rhin, Hollenarm. Def a lot of cool Doom/Stoner bands around here, Heavy Temple, Clamfight, Weedisweed to name a few.
3. You know, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about labels vs. independence. Obviously, Beelzefuzz already had a decent buzz going with the help of guys like Steph from Temple of Perdition on the strength of just a few demos uploaded to bandcamp. How do you think being signed to a label (and a highly respected one in the doom community) has helped your band? Do you feel the band is better off with a label or do you think it may have limited the availability of the album to those who might prefer to have it up on bandcamp for instance?
Dana: We owe a great deal of thanks to Steph from Temple of Perdition and JJ from The Obelisk, they helped us out in a great way by spreading the word and continue to do so. Cool sites like The Sludgelord and Paranoid Hitsophrenic, man, without them, it would be tough to get the word out, we greatly appreciate the help. Being independent, releasing a CD and promoting your music effectively is alot of work, time and money. We are very fortunate to be on the Church Within label and to have Oli giving us his support.
Darin: Being on a label definitely helped get the music out there...pressing CDs, the distribution, the promotion are all things that GREATLY helped spread the word and brought our music to more people's attention. I'm sure there are situations where the band/label relationship may not be that great and there could be a question of whether it's worth the aggravation but as far as we're concerned having Church Within backing us has been a great experience so far. Oli's a good guy and has earned the respect of many people in the scene, we're pleased to be associated with him.
4. What are your views of blogs such reviewing your records, as opposed to mainstream music magazines? Has your music reached the mainstream mags, at home or around the world?
Darin: Yes, we've had reviews in magazines like Terrorizer and Classic Rock so the word has spread through the more conventional channels as well as the more "modern" mediums like blogs and webzines which are also invaluable sources as well. It's great to live in an age when we can benefit from both sources...not just from the perspective of a musician but also as a fan as well.
5. This is kind of a silly question … Beelzefuzz is a play on the name of the demon Beelzebub. Would you like to share with us what you know about Beelzebub and was that buzzy intro to “Lotus Jam” a reference to him/it?
Dana: I thought Beelzefuzz would be a great name for a band, everyone knows about Beelzebub, but, turns out not so many are familiar with the “Lord of the Flies” or how to pronounce the name.
Darin: it's actually amazing how many people struggle to pronounce the name, haha. Some people seem to think it's brilliant while others say it's ridiculous...whatever the reaction is, the fact remains that it's obviously a unique and memorable name.
6. What were your original aims and dreams for the band and have they been fully met yet.
Darin: well, personally to create music that runs along the same lines as the originators that inspired us when we were young. Anyone can pick up an instrument and make noise...there's plenty of bands doing just that. However, at the risk of sounding pretentious, to hopefully create music that sits comfortably alongside 'classic rock' icons like Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Black Sabbath with the same breadth of creativity and inspiration is I guess what we hope to achieve.
Dana: I'd like to have a solid group of songs that conjure some of the cool vibes I grew up hearing. I think we do a good job of playing the songs live and recreating all the sounds on the album. My goal is for the band to have so many memorable, quality songs, that you HAVE to see the band live, haha!
7. I got a question here from Soggy Bob from the Soggy Bog of Doom podcast. “I love Dana Ortt’s vox. He reminds me so much of (Fates Warning co-founder) John Arch. The melodies, the phrasing, the range. I’d like to know if he’s a fan and has Arch had an influence on him.”
Dana: My knowledge of Fates Warning is a bit limited to a few songs. I first heard them first on the Rivers Edge soundtrack, my friend had the “Night On Brocken” tape which I heard quite a bit . I’ve never tried to emulate John Arch, but, I have heard that comparison a few times now. . It’s cool with me, did listen to a lot of Iron Maiden, Helloween, Queensryche and Dio in high school, maybe that is where I acquired the John Arch sounding influence. I just try to sing like me, for better or for worse, usually worse, haha! It’s flattering to be compared to a singer like him, especially if you heard me a few years ago awkwardly trying to croak out a song. Some people are naturally gifted with a great voice, I’m def not one of those people. It took a number of gigs, practices to get to this point, maybe one day I’ll sound alright, maybe.
8. With 2014 almost upon us, what is in store for Beelzefuzz in 2014. And what New Years Resolutions would you wish for to make the Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal world a better place.
Darin: 2014 should definitely see another Beelzefuzz release and hopefully another visit overseas. My fingers are crossed for the vinyl version of the LP as well...haha.
Pug: We wish for vinyl to make the world a better place.
I want to thank the guys from Beelzefuzz for taking the time out to talk to us at Sludgelord and Paranoid Hitsophrenic.
Beelzefuzz S/T Debut album is now available to buy on The Church Within Records.