It’s a cold snowy Saturday in Camden, St Patricks Day 2018 to be exact but that is not the reason I am at the Camden Assembly tonight. It is all because of three charming French lads that make up the rock and roll trio Fuzzy Vox!
Hailing from the outskirts of Paris, Fuzzy Vox have taken their love for British rock music infused with some modern elements and pure rock star energy to the UK shores as part of their first ever UK tour with The Bellrays. Ahead of their wild rock set I sat down with Hugo (guitar), Jerem (drums) and Greg (bass) and had a chat about British music and French fries.
Hi guys, hope all is well! Can you describe Fuzzy Vox in a few words?
Hugo: Energy. Kick-ass on stage. Power trio. We only use real instruments.
Jerem: And we make people dance!
Tonight is the last night of your first ever UK tour, how does that make you feel?
Hugo: It was so great, these two and a half weeks in the UK, we have seen so many cool things! It is the first time for us in the UK, we have felt for the very first time that the crowd actually understands our music, as we play British rock and roll! And in France, Germany and Spain they like us because we rock out on stage but in the UK people seem to really understand our music. They understand the lyrics and the jokes we make, so its cool!
Can we expect something special for the last night of the tour?
Jerem: The biggest rock concert – ever. We will play 30 minutes tonight and in these 30 minutes we will take over Camden!
Hugo: We have this thing before every show, we get together and say ‘Tonight we kick asses!’ so that’s what’s gonna happen tonight.
How has the UK been treating you so far?
Jerem: Can we talk about the food, please? No honestly, the people are really welcoming and super nice. So after every concert they wanted us to come back and headline!
Hugo: People are incredibly nice!
Jerem: The sound check is the fastest we have ever had, people in the UK music venues really know what they are doing, everyone wants you to have a good set, so that’s nice.
Hugo: But the food, come on! French fries and chili on top, really? I mean we didn’t believe it! In France you would call the police – the French fries police! 😀
You have taken your EP ‘Ba-Da-Boom’ onto the live circuit around Europe which sounds fun! I guess the fans are happy to hear some new music from you lot. How was the reaction from the fans?
Hugo: The feedback has been really great so far! We went to Germany in December and now the UK, and obviously toured in France and the response in these three countries has been amazing. The biggest response was probably the UK, simply because they just ‘get’ our music. We need to go and see other countries now like Italy, Spain and maybe Scandinavia.
Are there differences between the fans in France and UK?
Hugo: I think it is a matter of culture. In France there is this law that 75% of the music played on the radio has to be French and we are outsiders. The people in France don’t really understand our lyrics, they do like our energy on stage during our live shows but sometimes they don’t get it. They don’t have the musical background. We fucking love British rock and roll and rock music is a really small scene in France and specifically British Rock and Roll. It’s not exactly mainstream so it’s a bit harder for us.
Greg: Our favourite band ever is ‘The Jam’ and ‘Dr Feelgood and all these incredible British Bands. And in France nobody has ever heard of them as I think they haven’t really toured France that much. So to be able to play in front of people that really understand and get our music is incredible.
You just released an amazing video for your single ‘Fell In Love With The World’ which takes an unique spin on social media. How did you come up with such a creative concept?
Hugo: I think the idea came up when we released our older videos and we saw these assholes online who would just hate on your music because they are bored. It is just so annoying when you have spent 3 months of your live on writing and recording an EP or creating a music video and then there is this one guy who has never seen or heard you before and he just leaves comments like ‘ This is fucking shit’ etc. so we wanted to take this experience and turn it into something funny.
It took us a long time, as there are no special effects on the video. So we had to coordinate several timelines, it was just extremely complicated.
Greg: Hugo and a friend of ours, Yann Buisson, basically did the video on their own. Hugo was just working and working every single minute!
Fuzzy Vox is an independent band, which means you do everything yourself. Do you feel that’s a good thing or do you sometimes which you had an entire team to help you out?
Hugo: I guess it depends on the time and task. Sometimes having that much freedom is good, because you can pretty much do whatever the fuck you want. That is why we went to the US to record our second EP and toured so much as have our own van.
But sometimes it’s true, we feel tired especially in terms of competing with labels. You can have spent all your energy on recording, promotion and touring but you will never be able to beat a label. We are just starting out as a band and we don’t have a label but when you see the work that labels can do in a blink of an eye that shows you that you just can’t compete with them as an independent artist. But we will always try and compete!
Where do you get ideas for new material from? Does the close proximity to Paris help influence your or does it do the opposite and hinders you from being creative?
Hugo: We are very inspired by living in the suburbs. First of all we got this frustration of having to catch the last train to get home which is annoying. Living in the suburbs means that everybody usually drives so that’s a chance for us. We know so many bands from Paris that were trying to conquer Paris, constantly gigging in the capital but they would never get the fuck out of Paris.
But for us, when we started we bought a van as we wanted to play other cities and other countries! I think it is really the live on the road that teaches you what it means to be in a band and to grow and achieve new levels on stage. If you always play in front of the same audiences in Paris you will never get that experience and will never learn. So I guess coming from the suburbs pushes you to be a bit more active and go out and see and play the world.
What cities that you haven’t played yet, would you love to perform in?
Greg: Tokyo in Japan, that’s my dream!
Jerem: San Francisco.
Hugo: Probably South America. They like their rock and roll!
If you would get the chance to record a Split EP, which artist would you like to work with?
Greg: Sleaford Mods! I’m totally in love with them. We played Rock en Seine with them. I like their flow!
Hugo: Shame! We just bought their vinyl the other day.
Jerem: King Khan and the Shrines.
Give us some music tips, who are the French rock bands we should all listen to?
Greg: Pogo Car Crash Control!
Hugo: They are amazing! They sing in French but you almost can’t tell!
Jerem: It’s hardcore punk with a funny twist.
Hugo: Les Grys Grys. They are from south France and they go crazy on stage.
Hugo: Friends from us from Nantes! They are just two guys, a drummer and a guitar player and they are great.
Thanks for your time lads! Catch you later live.
If you like your good old hand crafted rock n roll music, make sure to check out Fuzzy Vox and their impressive back catalogue. Even better if you can catch them live, as they are on fire on stage!