If I were to name a band after pet names that lovers in my life have given me, you’d have some pretty awful band names. No one wants to play the new “Cuddle Monster” album or go to “Bed Angel’s” concert, but when you take a look at Chris Teague, Lucian Nicholson, Matt Woodruff and Samuel Damewood you see why the name Fuzz Face is a perfect fit.
A penchant for scruffy guys, their own varying degrees of facial hair plus a Craigslist missed connection make for a humorous origin story.
“Fuzz Face was a pet name I was given by an online friend a few months before the band formed. I saw a guy in a waiting room at a tanning salon and couldn’t muster the courage to say hello,” singer Woodruff admitted. “My friends convinced me to post a [Craigslist] Missed Connection ad and he responded. He started calling me Fuzz Face and I guess it kinda stuck.”
Aside from being a pet name, Fuzz Face also describes the band’s vibe. “It encompasses the rawness and ‘rough around the edges’ vibe we love to have,” Damewood said.
Coming from various musical backgrounds, the guys instantly clicked and were able to build upon each other’s diverse musical tastes to create a “furry and fun” sound. “Mumford & Sons definitely have an impact on our sound arrangement. We’re very attracted to using minimalist /offbeat percussion instruments,” Teague said.
But don’t expect every track to sound like a Mumford record. Damewood started out playing jazz and bluegrass, Teague has written a children’s musical, Nichols has spent his time honing his guitar and dobro skills, and Woodruff has strong pop sensibilities.
The culmination is music plays across a wide spectrum of genres. “When I listen to our song “Furry Belly” I hear this unique rockabilly sound and wonder where that even came from?” Woodruff questioned.
It doesn’t matter where it came from, what matters is that these guys know exactly where they want to go. Into iTunes, your CD player, your car and your home stereo – it doesn’t matter. Fuzz Face has been working diligently for the resources to fund their first EP. “So many folks ask us at our concerts where they can pick up our CD,” Teague said.
Using Kickstarter, the band is currently more than two-thirds of the way to making sure the next time someone asks where they can get the album they will be directed to their merch table.
Kickstarter has become the new electronic wave of raising funds for artists and musicians. A group sets a monetary goal and then different level in which fans can interact and receive perks for helping the band achieve their goal.
In true Fuzz Face fashion, the levels are named after varying degrees of facial hair. The $10 level, The Mustache, gives fans a digital advance of the EP when it’s complete. The $25, or The Fu Manchu, gives fans the digital release plus a limited edition T-shirt. As the levels increase the perks increase as well.But what should fans expect from the EP?
“The EP is going to be a close representation of the sound you hear when you see us perform live,” Woodruff explained. “We’re eager to finally have a tangible representation of our music that fans can take home with them.”
In addition to the Kickstarter campaign, Fuzz Face has put a lot of energy into honing their live shows. For those who have yet to attend a show Teague promises “high-energy folk music with twangy, tongue-in-cheek lyrics and raw, sweeping ballads from a queer, human perspective.”
“Whether there are 2 or 200,000 people out there, we will entertain and have fun to the fullest,” Damewood added. But if their first headlining show at Canvas Lounge was any sign of things to come, they won’t have to worry about only two people showing up.
“We played to a packed house and were overwhelmed so many fuzzy and fuzzy as heart folks came out to show their support,” Woodruff said. But this is just the first step in an expansive set of shows to come. “We want to bring this fun to your town,” Damewood exclaimed. “So make sure you contact and book us!”
The Fuzz Face mission doesn’t stop with music though. A portion of the proceeds from their Kickstarter campaign will benefit Ben Cohen’s StandUP Foundation, the world's first foundation dedicated to anti-bullying.
Nicholson admits to being bullied as teenager so the band’s decision to work with StandUP was a no-brainer. But don’t expect the band to ignore the obvious. “Have you seen Ben Cohen,” Woodruff coyly asked. “WOOF!”
In addition to the band’s work with StandUP, Damewood is also the founder of the Peeled Labels Organization- a company aimed at “allowing artists to perform without prejudice.”
“Sexuality should have no bearing on a band’s ability to reach an audience,” Damewood said. Damewood’s Peeled Label Organization is working to promote unity within the music industry but at the same time help HIV/AIDS awareness and cancer research.
With such strong convictions who wouldn’t want Fuzz Face to succeed? Log on and help Fuzz Face ‘kick start’ this EP.
You can find Fuzz Face on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fuzzfaceband on the web at www.fuzzfacemusic.com and help fund their Kickstarter campaign at www.kickstarter.com/projects/2027027244/fuzz-face-recording-our-debut-ep-album.