Fuzz, the proto-metal power trio which features the always prolific, Ty Segall (drums, vocals), Charles Moothart (guitar, vocals), and Chad Ubovich (bass, vocals) have just dropped their first new album in five years, entitled III, on In The Red.
The new album features a more stripped down, aggressive sound and was recorded and mixed by the legendary Steve Albini.
With all this activity going on in the Fuzz camp, we decided to send guitarist Charles Moothart a bunch of questions pertaining to the new album, working with Albini, and how he’s been dealing with the pandemic so far. This year just got a little more tolerable because there is a new Fuzz record out.
Below are Moothart’s answers. Enjoy.
When you started Fuzz, did you ever think it would make it to three albums?
When we started Fuzz, we weren’t sure what it was going to be. Ty and I wanted to write songs together and experiment with a heavier sound. So, in reality, I don’t think we started the band thinking anything specifically in terms of how far we would take it.
The three of you have many diverse-sounding projects that fit into many different types of genres. Why do Fuzz? What kind of musical itch does Fuzz allow you to scratch?
Every project serves different parts of a person’s energy or personality or interests. When you have a wide range of creative interests and you want to explore different facets of rock and roll music, sometimes the best answer is to have a different outlet. That can also be so that you relieve pressures from other projects, or you open up to working with different people. Some artists choose to do that all under one name or umbrella, which is cool too. But, keeping things interesting and different allows a different level of mental freedom for both the listener and the performer.
For III, why did you decide to employ the services of Steve Albini to record it? What did he bring to the table?
Steve Albini is one of the few people who not only is extremely talented and knowledgeable when it comes to sound engineering; he is also a punk and doesn’t give a fuck. The biggest thing he brings to the table is that he alleviates any questions or fear that anything will go wrong on the technical side.
He is also able to work at a very quick pace because he is so talented and has so much experience. So, if the goal is to get live takes that feel fresh and free, as well as work at a reasonably quick pace … Albini is the master. He also is very funny and interesting to listen to. We are lucky to have worked with him.
The new album sounds more stripped down and in-your-face. Was this the sound you were looking for? Or was this just the way it turned out?
Yes, generally we were going for this. Once the majority of the songs were written, it became more clear what the aesthetic of the record was going to be. The last record was dense, and the ethos was totally different. This time around, we wanted to make something that felt personal, honest, and raw.
As a follow up, do you think having Albini behind the boards had any effect in the sonic direction of the album?
No, because the idea was to go in and just play. There are a few things that were subject to change as far as sonics go. But, that’s just standard with making any record. Until the record is done, you can’t say specifically how everything will end up. But, like I said, the idea was a honest recording of a power trio, which is part of what made Albini the best person to work with, but that didn’t effect the direction of anything.
What did you decide to address in the lyrics?
I wouldn’t say there was a conscious decision to address specific things for the whole of the record. Obviously, when you sit down to write lyrics, you figure out where you want to go with a song or an idea, but it’s not a concept record or anything.
I think we wanted to stay true to the feeling of honesty and the raw aesthetic. A lot of it has to do with just trying to navigate life as a decent human being. We are all fairly existential by nature, so our lyrics will always have a tweaked perspective.
How have you been coping with the current pandemic? What’s it like being an active band during these difficult times? Are you planning anything outside the box to promote the new album or your music?
It has been hard, just as it has been hard for everyone. In a selfish way, I was very much looking forward to playing shows again. We haven’t played in five years, and we were excited to pick the band up again. That being said, there is so much going on in the world, and people need more than live music right now. I want be able to offer light and positivity to anyone who wants to see us play or see anyone play … so that’s certainly hard.
But, we have a lot to get through, and we have a lot to achieve from a social and a health perspective. I hope we can grow as a society and learn to love and respect each other and our planet since all of these things go hand in hand. Until then, we might try to do something that feels appropriate for the band to celebrate the release of the record, but it’s hard to replace a live experience.
And, with a rock ‘n’ roll bad that hasn’t played in five years, we want to make sure it’s enjoyable for everyone because it’s all about the people who like the music. It’s about them, not us.”
Photo Credit: Denee Segall