Double Fuzz
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Double Fuzz

Calgary, Alberta, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Calgary, Alberta, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Duo Rock Blues


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Calgary duo Double Fuzz expand their sound, double the pleasure with second album CoCo"

Jonny Whitehead wants to get one thing straight.

And he’s actually quite adamant about it, bordering on fervent.

“I drive,” Whitehead says “I don’t let anybody else drive, because I’m very particular about driving: safety, highway etiquette, I concentrate, I take it seriously.

“So for me, I’m the driver.”

So it’s shotgun or back seat for everybody else?

Well, technically, yes, when it comes to hitting the open road with his van. When it’s hitting an open stage with his band? Not so much.

Especially not the current incarnation of his Calgary duo Double Fuzz. That, he says, is much more of a partnership with drummer Harvey Warren where they both help steer and navigate the back roads, byways and highways of rock ’n’ roll.

“One hundred per cent, of course, yeah,” the singer and guitarist says while sitting in a booth of 17th Avenue haunt Local 510 alongside his bandmate and roommate.

Warren joined the band a couple of years back, after he heard founding member Roland Lowson had left, calling Whitehead up out of the blue and pitching his talents. They are wide and impressive, including One-900 and longtime hair-metal cover band Broken Toyz, which, of course, led to his famed appearance filling in for Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee a decade ago when Lee was injured and unable to perform.

Fortuitously, as we’re sitting chatting, Warren is also responding to texts from the Crue’s crew, inquiring about his availability to sit behind the kit for a couple of shows for a yet-again ailing Lee.

Alas, that will have to be declined, as there’s a more pressing matter — the Saturday release of Double Fuzz’s new album CoCo with a show at The Palomino.

It is a record that most certainly benefits from the new drummer’s likes and leanings, expanding the blues-rock sound that defined the original version of the band to a more glammy, grungy, druggie and fuller thing — think Eagles of Death Metal rather than The White Stripes.

“Definitely there was some influence from Harvey, and it definitely works,” says Whitehead.

“The new album is representative of that, the way we play now and the image that we’re going for and the whole persona of the band. Everything’s changed, it’s different, it’s all progression.”

Warren says it was a natural fit and a natural evolution, the case of the pair meeting in the middle.

“Friends of mine that I’ve played with for years they say it’s the perfect band for me to play in, because I’m just playing the way I play, I didn’t change the way I played to play with Jon,” he says. “I play the way I play. And that’s what he does.”

Interestingly, the songs that make up CoCo came from time Whitehead spent away from it all including from Warren. The singer was living on Vancouver Island, soaking up the beach vibes, and reconnecting with musical influences from his own past — many of which he was sharing a coast and ocean with.

“It almost feels like you can reach out and touch Seattle, it’s right there,” he says. “You feel like you can reach out and touch L.A. It feels like it’s all right there. So those vibes were sort of coming in.”

They both admit, though, that Warren may have helped nudge him in that direction, with the elder statesman a fount of knowledge when it comes to the who’s, whereas and whys of the world of rock — knowledge he’s more than happy to impart to his younger frontman when they’re on the road.

“A ride in the van is a history lesson of rock ’n’ roll for Jon,” Warren says with a laugh.

Whatever the case, when Whitehead brought back the songs in their early stages to Warren, the kit-hitter knew entirely where things were headed and was more than on-board with getting them to that destination.

And CoCo, recorded back out west and in a Vancouver studio with producer Jesse Gander, is a full frontal rock record, with a side of tease and seduction to get you there.

For Whitehead, he wanted to convey what it was like growing up in suburbia, with no apologies for those memories, those longings, those indulgences, those cultural touchstones that led to the person he now is and the music he now plays.

“That’s what this album to me is trying to pay homage to, that era of my life, where it might have been -30 outside and you’re looking at girls in bikinis on the beach and you’re listening to ZZ Top and you’re immersed in it,” he says, picking up steam. “You’re obsessed by it. What are you obsessed by? The sexuality, the rock, the riffs, the something, everything, the image, the package. You’re obsessed by it. And that’s where this album is coming from, it’s a step back to that time, that era of my life, and it’s important.

“That’s why it comes across to a lot of different people in Calgary, too. You know you’ve got guys who work construction that love that stuff, and then there’s people who are maybe a little bit more into the hip scene.

“It’s where I come from, it’s an honest representation of me being a Calgary guy … It’s genuine.”

And the band is hoping that translates when people in and outside of the city limits hear it.

First up, though, is that Palomino date, which will actually feature the band in trio form, as Warren’s 18-year-old son, a member Phenix will sit in on keys and help recreate the CoCo songs in live form.

He’s actually something of an honorary Fuzz member, with the player and budding producer having recorded the demos for the album earlier in the process — a handy thing if you’re looking for a little family discount.

“Oh, we don’t have to pay him anything,” Whitehead says and laughs.

Meaning that he’s the perfect some time member to have, with not only those many musical skills at their disposal but now, as proud papa Warren is quick to note, his son also has his licence and can certainly be the designated one should he be required.

Whitehead stops.

“I drive,” he says.

Double Fuzz release their new album CoCo Saturday at The Palomino. - Calgary Herald

"Calgary blues-rock duo Double Fuzz releases second (dripping-with-sex) album"

CALGARY — Opening with a rollicking blues riff, the second album by Calgary’s own Double Fuzz immediately hits you on a primitive level. CoCo is big, sexy, and sweaty; a testament to the duo’s promise and better realized than their celebrated self-titled debut. Adorned with a bikini-clad woman whose lipstick-adorned mouth has left remnants of a kiss on the top right corner, the album is short and sweet. Spanning a mere eight songs, within guitarist and vocalist Jonny Whitehead and drummer Harvey Warren amp up the blues and glam. Sleaze is slathered all throughout.

It should come as no surprise that the band has another stellar release impending. Three years ago, Double Fuzz was similarly on a high. They scored the top prize at x92.9’s Xposure competition alongside some seriously high profile gigs. The clothing company Patagonia used their song in a commercial; the Showtime series Shameless used their songs on the program. However, their lack of urgency in recording and releasing a follow-up meant they seemed to somewhat disappear. According to Whitehead, this was intentional.

“I moved from Calgary to this little place outside of Pemberton,” he says over the phone. “It was this little cabin in the woods, total isolation. We had access to Pemberton, but we essentially just wanted to get away, and look after the property for a bit. I wanted to get away and focus on things I wanted to focus on, to trim the fat, so to speak. And so we did that, took that opportunity,” he says.

“After that, that wasn’t a very long-term thing, [my ex-girlfriend and I] decided to move to a city because we both worked in restaurants. So we just picked Victoria, because it was close.”

It was in Victoria that Whitehead finished writing the album; his bandmate and drummer Warren flew over for the recording process when writing was complete. To capture it, they returned to Jesse Gander, who can verifiably be called the best recording engineer on the West Coast of Canada. Gander has recorded albums by White Lung, Bison B.C., Anciients, Subhumans, Japandroids, S.T.R.E.E.T.S., and more, alongside many of the acts who’ve released notable albums in the past decade. It was Gander who helped solidify the early sound of Double Fuzz. While the self-titled debut was strong, merging the three-chord blues-rock oozing from Black Keys with an unrestrained psychedelia, CoCo sees the band moving slightly into new territory. The production is stronger, placing Whitehead’s stentorian vocals above the mix, while the riffs and drums work better in unison. Perhaps the songs are slightly simpler, but they are bigger and bolder. The sexual edge is undeniable.

“I think it is a huge part of rock and roll historically. You know, the way it’s been sold, and for me, it’s not about selling sex,” says Whitehead. “For me, it’s about trying to represent things that rock and roll embodies and represents, and all those things you are sort of obsessed with when you were a kid growing up. I grew up in suburban Calgary, so checking out Guns N’ Roses and staring at the cover of albums, like ZZ Top albums, there is a hot [woman] on there.”

He continues, “It’s all part of the package. Like I said, those things, that inspired you or obsessed you, and now I play the guitar in a specific way thanks to those influences…. It’s a stripped down, two-piece sound with those undertones on top, sexuality and things like that, and [I try and] make it so it so it’s not all glam or all blues, it’s a blend of something in between.”

While tracks like “Sugar Momma,” “Miss Taker” and “Lost in Love” seem to specifically address this so-called obsession, track three “Wanna Go For A Ride” is an unexpected departure into darkness that addresses the history of “the many missing and murdered women from Vancouver’s Downtown East Side.”

“Everything has more than one side,” explains Whitehead. “I feel though although it’s very basic, I do like to have a broad range of things. Not just having happy songs, I like to wrap up it a little bit of dark lyricism and a poppy riff, for example, because that type of juxtaposition makes sense to me. It’s creepier, it’s more real.”

When we mention the parallels to Guns N’ Roses, Whitehead leaps at the correlation. After all, the band was sleaze rock personified, their lyrics addressing unbridled sexuality, abuse, and addiction. The banned cover of Appetite for Destruction (1987) even depicts a robotic monster advancing on a terrified woman. While CoCo is far less menacing in its sexual displays, the subject matter of “Wanna Go For A Ride” is indicative of a darkness that is easy to miss unless one digs their claws in.

“That era I’m trying to represent heavily is Guns N’ Roses. Because they saw it, they were in L.A. in that glam scene, and they had that dark side that you don’t always see with all those misbehaviors and all that,” concurs Whitehead.

“I want to do a good job of representing both sides of the stories.”

Double Fuzz will perform in Edmonton on Friday, October 16th at the Mercury Room. They will also perform at the release party for CoCo at the Palomino Smokehouse and Bar in Calgary on Saturday, October 24th. The album will be available on CD at the show. -

"Duo Doubles your Listening PLeasure"

Double Fuzz releases their self-titled debut Friday night at Broken City.

Yes, there are logistical reasons. OK, even monetary ones. And, perhaps even the moniker comes into play.

But if there's one overriding reason that local rock outlet Double Fuzz is and probably always will be a duo it's because it works that way. Spectacularly so.

In fact, it pretty much did from Day 1, says drummer Roland Lowson and guitarist-vocalist Jon Whitehead, sharing a booth in Local 510 on an early week afternoon. They discovered it when the two were working together as servers at neighbouring 17th Avenue eatery The Living Room, and got talking, eventually setting up a jam session with a couple of other staff members.

"It was just a s..t show," White-head recalls. "Everyone was not on the same page, just sort of blasting. And that sort of fizzled out and then we tried a couple more times with just the two of us. And it started working really quickly."

"We're just so adept at music," Lowson jokes. "It's the musical prowess that we have."

"I think the music just lends itself to a straightforward two-piece band," Whitehead continues, noting he already had some song and stylistic ideas when they hooked up. "So once we had the two of us together, it worked. And soon we had enough (original) material to play our first gig."

It's been almost three years now, and since then Double Fuzz have buzzbombed the scene with their swaggering, sex-sweat-wet-ted blend of bong-nodding rock, narco-country Gun Club blues and neo-Stooges grooves.

Now, they're set to drop their superlative eight-song self-titled debut Friday night at Broken City. The album was recorded late last year in Burnaby with producer Jesse Gander - who adds some more heft and layers to their sound with some organ and key-board accompaniment.

It manages to walk the fine line between sounding huge, polished and pro while maintaining, as Lowson calls it, the band's "really gnarly grit."

It also displays that Double Fuzz are anything but your typical White Stripes-or even Royal Trux-inspired blues rock duo, incorporating, as it does, odds 'n' sods from the entire spectrum of music that the pair get off on.

From the heaviness of a big ol' rock act such as Eagles of Death Metal to the melodies of classic pop to the dancefloor mixes and old school hip-hop which show up in the beats - it all goes into the heady, electric mix.

"That's what separates us from just a two-piece blues rock band - the other influences of our music show through a lot," says the guitarist. "Many people don't necessarily notice that right away because they don't listen to those other bands, so the immediate comparison is . . . the Black Keys or someone like that."

"We bring both of our very different influences into the band," agrees Lowson. "That kind of helps build the sound, make it distinct. . . . We love music that makes people want to dance, so we try and orient, whatever we write, to get people kind of moving."

"It all translates," Whitehead says. "I like those instances of taking little bits (from other styles) - it takes things beyond and makes more of a complex sound.

Which is tough, because you're just a two-piece band so you're limited to what you can do."

That includes in the live show, which, stripped of the studio and added instrumentation, means the pair are left to their own de-vices to fill the room and fill-out that sound - something they're more than adept at doing with their adrenalized and pheromone-soaked stage show.

"We do just enough to give people the perception that we're doing more," Whitehead says.

"When we do it live, you . . . get the same sort of feel as when the organ's backing us because of the emotion of what we're doing. You get the same sense of the song."

"It's almost bigger," Lowson says, "almost larger than the actual sound itself."

Yeah. It is. It's double. Spectacularly so.

Read more: - Calgary Herald

"Kind of Blue"

Roughing up Calgary’s garage rock scene since 2009, Double Fuzz is a hard-hitting guitar-driven duo with a penchant for getting down and dirty. Often compared to fellow lead-footed bluesy two-piece outfits like The Black Keys or the White Stripes, guitarist-vocalist Jonny Whitehead and his percussionist-partner-in-crime Roland Lowson have a lot more in common with Vancouver’s The Pack A.D. Indeed, it was The Pack’s Unpersons engineer Jesse Gander who gave Double Fuzz’s forthcoming self-titled debut album its rollicking highs and dark, resonating lows.

“We headed out to Vancouver to do the recording for our new LP at The Hive studios in Burnaby,” Whitehead says. “It was a pleasure working with a great producer-sound engineer like Jesse. He’s done recordings for a ton of bands out of Vancouver and his little studio is always super busy. We took that as a positive sign.”

As groovy as it is soulful, Double Fuzz’s followup to their initial three-song demo veritably screams with portent and potential. Heavy, fearless and older than the hills, the lyrical images evoked by Whitehead and Lowson tap into the timeless well of canonical blues on cutting laments such as “Big City Lights.” Conversely the two-fold band conveys a remarkably modern perspective, as when swerving across wet asphalt on the slick shaker “Alone in My City.”

“Production-wise, we added some stuff to give the album a bit of extra element,” Whitehead says. “Going into the process, we knew that we wanted more than just a straight-up, stripped-down two-piece number. And, yes, we can achieve that same sound when we play a live show. I’ll use three different amps to cover a whole range of tones so it sounds like playing bass and guitar at the same time. We’ve also been experimenting with filling out our sound by adding a bit of organ here and a bit of synth there. Having said that, the energy of our live show is what we are best known for. We’re full of emotional power. We’re in your face and we hit hard.”

A born-and-raised Calgarian, Whitehead met up with musical cohort Lowson while serving at a couple of popular local eateries. Destined to work together time and again, the self-taught rockers conveniently found themselves living on the same street.

“Roland and I both worked at a restaurant called The Living Room and after a few drinks we started talking about how he played drums and I just happened to play guitar. Unlike most drunken promises to jam and get together one day, this actually panned out. I introduced him to a couple songs I had written and it went pretty quickly from there. Soon we had enough material to play a show.”

With the serendipitous circumstances that led to the formation of Double Fuzz, it’s a sure bet that they’re on the fast track to notoriety. Chest-pounding beats and über-cool guitar flourishes leave the audience wondering whether they should bang their heads or shuffle their feet, and that’s only the beginning.

“Give us any chance to perform live and we’ll make it an event, we always try to give people the best show possible,” Whitehead says. “There’s no denying that being a tight two-piece is an attribute that makes things so much easier, logistically speaking. Plus, the fact that there’s nobody else trying to share the limelight. We may be laid-back guys in person, but once onstage that’s all gone.”

- FFW Weekly

"Double Fuzz"

Double Fuzz is a lot of band. Jon Whitehead and Roland Lowson both tower well above six feet, a metric that seems to be exaggerated on stage, their rugged masculinity on display as if they finally solved the puzzle of rock and roll. As a two-piece band, the temptation is to err on the side of scrappy garage grit, but Double Fuzz dig deep and blow their sound up to far larger proportions than their lineup would otherwise suggest. The stage sags underneath Whitehead's three daisy-chained amps swelling his guitar attack while Lowson drives the metronome forward with dizzying force, pounding out the enormous rhythm with deceptive ease. Their riff-driven sound howls and snarls a confident swagger, as if the duo were a pair of caged animals looking for a release, all cock and strut.

Whitehead and Lowson are relative newcomers to the Calgary scene. The two met a couple of years ago, when they were both working at Living Room, an upscale lounge on 17th Avenue. A drunken night out both cemented their friendship and realized their dream of forming a rock and roll band. Double Fuzz is the first serious musical project for both of them and it is clear that they've moved fast in their short time together.

"We started talking and it came up that he was a drummer and I played guitar and we were drunkenly saying, 'Yeah, we should jam!' Most of the time, that never really comes through," laughs Whitehead, sitting outside Caffe Beano on a chilly January afternoon. "We actually jammed with some other people that we worked with, but they never really came back. We played a couple more times, just the two of us, and it kind of stuck."

"I had an electric drum set and Jon just came down with his guitar amp. He had a bunch of songs written right off the bat," furthers Lowson.

That was almost three years ago. Since then, Double Fuzz have been grinding out their sweaty, sexy rock and roll jams to great success. They first noticed they had something great going when they were tapped to play a Factory Party at the Uptown shortly after they debuted. Pushed back into a corner of the room, Double Fuzz drew a sea of fans with their unrepentant sound, people literally falling into them as the crowd thronged forth. This would soon become a common scene at their shows: their Sled Island set last year, for instance, crammed them into the small stage on the second floor of the Legion, where a long column of people craned their necks to catch a glimpse of the rapidly growing band.

It's easy to see the appeal behind Double Fuzz: Whitehead's no-nonsense, ballsy riffing is supported by Lowson's smart, electro pop-inspired rhythms, dripping with sweat and sexual magnetism. It's no coincidence that the front row at their shows is usually populated with gorgeous, stylish girls who track Double Fuzz's every move with lustful eyes, especially when Lowson takes his shirt off in the heat: "Taking my shirt off is touch and go," he laughs, "[my girlfriend] Whitney doesn't like it very much. But it gets hot up there!"

"I played a lot of bass, initially, that was my thing," says Whitehead, divulging his approach to songwriting and explaining that he loves two-piece drum and bass bands. "But I wanted to play songs in front of girls and start singing. I thought the lead man would get more attention. I did actually want to start playing and singing along and, with a bass, it's not as easy when you're by yourself. I picked up my mom's guitar and started playing along with Pink Floyd and learning that." He goes on to cite a range of classic rock influences as his abilities progressed, including trying to play along to Metallica songs and feeling a kinship with Jimmy Page's solos.

"I think Roland's influences come through in some of his drum beats," he continues. "He likes a lot of electro pop and stuff, so you can tell that when he plays with Double Fuzz, there are a few parts that have that feel, those dancey parts… It's a nice combination because it separates us from the bluesy two-piece band that everyone is doing. There are some aspects that come from Roland, the dancier vibes, and then, on guitar, there are some parts that are a bit more metal that take us away from being just a two-piece blues band."

"I just play what I think is appropriate for the music," explains Lawson. "We like music that is really different to our music, too. We love our music, but we like a lot of other styles." During the photo shoot for this story, for instance, Lawson uses the time between shots to blast M83, letting the gauzy pop wash over the scene.

Of course, there is a quick and easy comparison that can be made with that other two-piece band that's making headlines all over the world, the Black Keys. Many might point to the similarities between the two bands as evidence that Double Fuzz is only another in a long line of blues rock, dismissing the duo as too facile. But Whitehead and Lawson remain unfazed by the association, suggesting that not only do they take the likeness in stride as a compliment, but that it is also indicative of larger structurations of music taste-making and the way in which most people tend to consume music.

"It is flattering, I love the Black Keys. All their stuff is so good, even their latest stuff, where they evolved to more of a pop-oriented sound," Lawson admits.

"A lot of people don't know music like maybe our friends and our circle," offers Whitehead. "So when you have an easy comparison like that, many people are going to make it. They're not comparing us to some obscure band from New York because that's not what they're into. If they're excited and they come up and say that they like us because we remind them of the Black Keys, that's a compliment."

More so than the Black Keys' increasingly slick and radio-friendly aesthetics, Double Fuzz move and groove with a heavy darkness, accelerating as a function of rock and roll more than anything else. Their upcoming self-titled debut album, which was recorded in Vancouver with Jesse Gander (Pack A.D., Japandroids), amplifies and develops their signature sound, teasing out the idiosyncrasies that put the scuzz in Double Fuzz. Gander, who has had ample experience working with two-piece bands, proved to be the perfect fit for the band as he was able to blow up the duo's sound in the studio. Indeed, on album, Whitehead and Lowson seem to multiply without losing their primal approach or being buried under layers of production.

"On our world tour, we're going to have five guys behind the scenes with computers, adding an orchestra and everything," jokes Lawson of their larger-than-life approach.

"Jesse took our ideas to the next level, putting together our sounds and ideas that we had been thinking about but sort of not knowing how to capture. He knew sort of what we wanted and got those aspects of the band that we were really hoping to showcase. He really brought out that big sound, which is what we want. I like that big, heavy rock sound… but there's also some psychedelic '70s sounds that weren't necessarily as noticeable before we worked with Jesse — he brought a lot of that out, which sort of tied the whole album together," says Whitehead.

"It's kind of cool to sit in a room and listen to yourself play back, so you're not captured in the moment playing it, you can actually be an observer. I think we really got more of a grasp of what we sound like."

Having a finished product has re-energized the duo, injecting fresh and exciting confidence into how they approach their music. Although Whitehead considers himself a bit of an introvert and likes to hide behind the guitar, both him and Lawson stalk the stage with confidence. While they were recording their debut in Vancouver, Double Fuzz also had the opportunity to play their first shows beyond Calgary, proving that they were viable even outside their immediate and extended social circle.

"We have a little more conviction, now," says Lowson. "People can pick up on that. Even if people don't like the music, for example, if they're not into it, they'll get into it because we're really into it. There's nothing worse than watching a musician who's not into their songs."

With their album release just around the corner on February 10 at Broken City, Double Fuzz are committed now, more than ever, to pushing their craft and seeing where it'll take them. The album will be self-released for now, but neither Whitehead nor Lawson discount the possibility of trotting the album around, seeing if they can begin to build a following not only in Western Canada, but on the other side of the country and south of the border, too.

Still, Whitehead and Lowson temper their excitement and are a bit reluctant to describe themselves as full-on musicians just yet, preferring to take it a step at a time and patiently watching their career grow.

"I feel like music will always be a part of my life, in some fashion. I'd like to be a successful musician and kind of make a living off it," says Lowson. "That's the goal, the dream. Meanwhile, I know it is a pipe dream. We're chasing it. We're excited to see where this album can take us." - Beatroute Magazine


Double Fuzz, 2012

CoCo, 2015



 "Double Fuzz dig deep and blow their sound up to far larger proportions than their lineup would otherwise suggest." Mike Bell The Calgary herald

"The stage sags underneath Whitehead's three daisy-chained amps swelling his guitar attack...Their riff-driven sound howls and snarls a confident swagger, as if the duo were a pair of caged animals looking for a release, all cock and strut." Sebastian Buzzalino Beatrout Magazine

 Double fuzz is poised to release their next punch of infectious tracks with the scheduled release of their new EP in spring 2018. For the new record Jonny Fuzz travelled to Nashville to work with Grammy nominated producer JT Daly. It's by far the best thing Double Fuzz has recorded and the response is making them think they can do some serious damage together! Doubler Fuzz dug deeper into their songwriting and their own sound to etch out their distinct mark on the modern riff rock genre. 

Formed in the summer of 2012, Double Fuzz leader Jonny Whitehead (AKA Jonny Fuzz (vocals / guitar)) quickly caught the attention of local venue owners and fans alike, Double Fuzz have gained early success, Winners of local radio station X929's coveted Xposure contest and a 2012 WCMA (Western Canadian Music Awards) nomination for Rock Album of the Year. Double Fuzz has been Playing across Canada in Festivals such as NXNE (North by Northeast), Canadian Music Week, and Sled Island and opening for touring bands such as the Offspring and the Sheepdogs. Double Fuzz has had numerous sync placements, Most notably on Showtimes's series Shameless.