If you've heard Wayne Rudell's name before, it's most likely been in connection with the heavy fuzz tones of Powered Wig Machine. But that's not all he has to offer your ears, as he recently formed a new group to handle all the surplus fuzz rock ideas buzzing around in his brain. Fuzz Evil just released a split 7" with CHIEFS, and we were able to ask Wayne a few questions about the band's past, present, and future.
Ride With The Devil: How did Fuzz Evil come together?
Wayne Rudell: Fuzz Evil came together in the summer of 2013. We'd just come off a short mini-tour with Powered Wig Machine and were taking a break for a few months. I started writing all this material that didn't really fit with PWM, and I was jamming a lot of The Stooges' Raw Power, a bunch of fuzz rock, and tons of psych. Musically, the songs were a nice 'reset' for me.
The name came from my brother Joey. When I have time, I love collecting and building fuzz pedals. I'd just finished making my first commercial pedal, the Doom Treader. Haha, I guess our Dewey Cox moment came after we fired it up when Joey said,"Man, that Fuzz is Evil," and Fuzz Evil was born.
(RWTD note: You can find a video for the Doom Treader at the end of the interview.)
RWTD: Who all's in the band, and what are their musical backgrounds like?
Wayne: The band consists of my brother Joey on bass and backing vocals, our long-time friend Marlin Tuttle on drums, and myself on lead guitar/lead vocals.
With Fuzz Evil we have an interesting mix of bands contributing to our sound. We love the 'dirtiness' of The Stooges and MC5. Fuzz! Fuzz! Fuzz!
Fu Manchu and Electric Wizard have always been some of my favorites for guitar tone. We all love our psych. A lot of the great current stoner/psych like Black Pussy, Mothership, Dead Meadow, The Truckfighters, and of course Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats have all had influence on us as musicians.
RWTD: Since you've mentioned fuzz and dirtiness being the essential parts of Fuzz Evil (which the name does a great job of communicating), how does the band work towards achieving that sound? Are there some specific pedals or amps which you feel help in making that happen?
Wayne: We get our sound by mixing and matching various vintage gear. Being a three-piece, one of the biggest challenges is to sound 'full.' We hand-picked specific gear to give a very full live sound. I use the Boss FZ-2 and a Big Muff Tone Wicker slammed through a 1973 Sunn 190l going into a full Marshall Stack.
Joey actually runs two separate bass rigs. One for clean, one for fuzz. The Clean Rig is a Galleon Gruger 1001rb running through a 8x10 Ampeg SVT. The Dirty Rig runs a 1970 Big Muff, Sans Amp, and a custom fuzz I built simultaneously through a Sunn Concert bass into a 2x15 Cab.
We decided to go with acrylic drums for how loud they are. Gear-wise Marlin uses a 1970 blue Ludwig Vistalite kit Downtuned to get that warm low-end punch.
RWTD: And how do you usually approach putting a Fuzz Evil song together?
Wayne: Song-writing is a very organic process with us. It has to feel natural. We try and create a lot of movement in the music. We love big hooks and it has to groove. Vocally, I tend to come up with melody first then place lyrics against the melody once the song is finished.
RWTD: Has Fuzz Evil been doing any live shows yet? If so, how does it compare to working in the studio?
Wayne: We have done quite a few shows this year, and we have really lucked out on the shows we've played. Our first seven shows we played with the Truckfighters, Crobot, Fu Manchu, Mothership, Black Pussy, Nik Turner's Hawkwind, Witch Mountain, and Lord Dying.
We are definitely a live band, since we tend to open things up a bit, playing extended parts and playing to our crowd. The studio work is very clean and polished. We record our music live so we can still get that organic feel. The studio stuff is really Brian Gold, our sound engineer at Primose Studio in Sierra Vista, AZ. He has a real love and ear for the genre, he's meticulous, and his attention to detail is the best I have ever seen or heard. I have no doubt that you will be hearing a lot of great things coming out of his studio in the next few years.
RWTD: What are Fuzz Evil's plans for the next few months?
Wayne: Our immediate plans are to finish the New EP and try to get it out early 2015. I imagine we will do a few mini- regional tours, work on a video, and possibly try to play a few festivals.
RWTD: Anything else you'd like to say to our readers?
Wayne: One thing is that if your readers haven't already, they should check out Battleground Records. They are a great new label and imprint based in the southwest US.