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The best kept secret in music


"Valley's own Fuzztub reunites"


Valley's own Fuzztub reunites
Thursday, August 9, 2007

The band members are giving Fuzztub another shot.



YOUNGSTOWN — Fuzztub is back, and it's like 1994 all over again.

With its three original members intact, the Mahoning Valley rock band has reunited after splitting up a decade ago.

In it first formation back in the '90s, Fuzztub experienced a meteoric rise, playing on tours with established national acts such as Clutch and The Unseen and collecting fans in the Midwest and up and down the East Coast. The band released one EP, "Cake," but never got a record contract. Mounting disillusionment and the feeling they had gone as far as they could go precipitated a breakup.

The three men went their separate ways. Guitarist-vocalist-songwriter Bob D'Amico stayed in the area and became a law enforcement officer; bassist Jim Markota moved to Florida and worked as a motorcycle mechanic; and drummer Brandon Yanvari moved to Las Vegas, where he formed a new band, called Bronson, that included members of the famed Blue Man Group on drums and bass.

Years went by. The Fuzztub flame flickered but never went out.

"Brandon kept calling every year, saying we should get back together again. But it never felt right," said D'Amico. "Finally, I said yes."

The three men put the act back together late last year and are ready to pick up where they left off.

D'Amico said the metal trio got back in the groove the minute they picked up their instruments. The went to a Pittsburgh-area studio and hammered out a seven-song CD entitled "Boon" in just five days.

"We hadn't been in the same room together for 10 years, but it was like no time had gone by at all," said D'Amico. "I had written some songs and these guys came in and we connected. We did it in one take."

California producer John Vestman, who has worked with Grammy winners Hole, mastered the disc.

The album

"Boon" has a fuzzy but muscular hard rock swagger that would've been right at home in the '70s. It's precisely the classic-rock sound that's caught the ear of many teen-agers today (think Wolfmother), but it comes naturally to Fuzztub.

"We never try to sound like anyone else," said D'Amico, who has a good explanation for the new CD's organic feel: "We're not even trying. That's how you can tell it's real."

The armageddon attitude that imbues the music and lyrics on "Boon" doesn't sound the least bit dated. "It's tongue-in-cheek," explained D'Amico. "Don't take it at face value."

As for the album's cover art, it's also open to interpretation — and the band isn't talking.

Created by famed New York art studio Cheeba Productions, which has done work for the likes of Staind and Godsmack, it shows a hellish creature with a pig's head and wings. Is it a statement about Fuzztub? Well, if the band was planning to reunite when pigs fly, then ... .

The band members have all hit 30, and have a more mature outlook, one that is less serious and more suited for the long haul.

"We have no delusions of grandeur, and we don't plan to get rich," said D'Amico. "We just want to get our music out there. It is from the heart."

Rock fans of all ages have taken notice of the resurrection. One of the first shows the reunited Fuzztub did — June 2 at The Cellar — drew teen-agers and people in their 20s, as well as the group's original fans.

How did it feel to get back on stage after so long a layoff?

"I didn't know if I was gonna choke or not, but it turned out to be a good experience," said D'Amico.

Both Markota and Yanvari are moving back to the Youngstown area to devote their attention to the band, which will enter the recording studio again in the winter. Until then, Fuzztub plans to hook up with some larger acts and hit the road to re-establish their considerable fan bases in cities such as Toledo and Detroit.

"Boon" can be bought online at CDBaby.com. - Youngstown Vindicator


"Cake" EP -- 1994
"Spine 1000 Compilation CD -- 1994
"Boon" CD -- 2007



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