The Fuglees
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The Fuglees

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The best kept secret in music

Press


NEW CD 'INDIANA' SHOWCASES GROUPS WIT

Make no mistakes about it: The Fuglees are a powerhouse band. Forget for a moment their funny material like "Crazy Girls" and "Get the Fuck off the Stage," and concentrate on the playing.
Guitarist Erich Anderson plays heavy, 1970s-influenced guitar while drummer Tom Knapp and bassist Andy Kuhn handle the low end with verve. This is a very good group here.
Now, with the release of their second CD, 'Indiana,' The Fuglees have made a compelling case for themselves as some of the best songwriters around. Nearly every song, whether an ode to Hoosier David Lee Roth or a love letter to the Indiana-based drug Prozac, is chock full of hooks and harmonies.
They've become well known in the Indy music scene not only for their live shows-they were finalists in last year's Patio/Benchmark Battle of the Bands-but also for their frequent appearances on X103's morning show.
They'll debut the CD Friday night with a show at The Melody Inn.
NUVO talked with Anderson and Kuhn about the new disc, their ambitions for the future and the nagging question that follows the band: Are they just a comedy band?

ANDY KUHN: You know, I've kind of worried about that from time to time, but now I think we've sort of made our bed and now we have to lie in it. I think there are people who, if they see a band that writes a funny song, they immediately think that everything about them is that way. "They're the next Weird Al or whatever." But not every single song we do is funny, and even most of the songs that are funny, there's genuine pain behind the humor. We just choose to express it in humor.

ANDERSON: That's a kind of "Inside Edition" question. "Does it bother you that people just think you're a funny band?" I've got to be honest, in some ways it does. I don't want to see the skill that we put into the music ignored. Going in the other direction is the fact that I'm happy that people are listening to us. writing music and starting a band from scratch and going to the public with it is one of the riskiest sales jobs there is. I can tell you from experience that it's very hard to sell a band to the public. It takes a long time and it takes really good material. We just don't want people to overlook the fact that we focus on being a good band first.

KUHN: We play in a rock band and that's what we do. I hope people will give us a chance and just listen to the record and not think this can't be rock. But I do think there are people who think that if I'm not exposing my deep inner pain to you, it's not rock and roll. There are so many bands out there whose whole message is, "Our life is so hard. Everything sucks." And we're just kind of like, "Dude, you're playing in a band. It's gotta be pretty good. Playing in a band is fun as hell."

NUVO: Which song of yours seems to be the most popular with audiences?

KUHN: I don't know. I would say that "Get the F" is one that people respond to. It's usually the last song we play and we kind of have it both ways. The people who like it, sing along with us. And the people who don't like us sing along with it too, because they're saying, "Get the fuck off the stage."
We were just fooling around in the practice room, and I just started singing those words. We have all played in bands that have gotten that kind of reception. I started singing those words and it became a song. Usually when we practice, we try and amuse each other. Hopefully other people enjoy it as well.

NUVO: Of course, you really hit home when you noted the sexual talent of unstable women (in "CrazyGirls").

KUHN: I would say that's our other most requested song. After practice one night, Tom and Erich were having a discussion about different crazy women they'd gone out with, and who was the craziest. I was getting ready to leave and go home, and just as I was walking out the door, as a joke, I said, "Hey, guys, have you heard this new song that I wrote? It's called "Crazy Girls Sure Can Fuck Good." And we all had a good laugh, and a few days later I wrote the chorus and added the verse and put it together.

NUVO: Talk about why you named the album after the state.

ANDERSON: I wound up thinking "Indiana" was a good title for the album, because when I looked at the collection of songs, it seemed to be a great little comic book about where we live and who we are. And all of us have a refined sense about how to make this music. This record represents three years of pretty close collaboration between three kinds of guys (who) are exactly the same kind of smartass. It's like I found my spiritual and philosophical brothers in Tom and Andy.
When you've done it for a while, when you've taken the hits and the criticsism, and you've proven to yourself that you're a survivor in the business, you can come forth with confidence, because you know you can't be hurt by anything. That's kind of where we are. The fact that it turned out funny is a good thing, Because - Nuvo Magazine


The Fuglees are known to be songwriting machines.
If something or someone arises in conversation - "Battle of the Bands,"
"Heavy Metal Girl" or "Yoko Ono," for instance - this Indianapolis-based trio has a history of knocking a tune out in short order.
So it was lucky, but not entirely odd, that bass player Andy Kuhn, guitarist Erich Anderson and drummer Tom Knapp could draw on a brand-new holiday number when making their recent debut on "The Bob & Tom" radio show. While the Fuglees are frequent guests on the "Big Dumb Show" on WRZX-FM (103.3), this was their first visit to sister station WFBQ-FM (94.7).
After Tom Griswold popped the seasonal-song question, the band took a stab at a tune written just the night before. "Dollar Store Christmas" fared well enough on "Bob & Tom's" local segment that it's also received airplay during the coast-to coast syndicated show.
The Fuglees, thankful for the massive exposure, quickly cut a studio version of the song and are adding it as a freebie when copies new album "Indiana" are ordered from the band's Website.
According to Anderson, "Dollar Store" conveys what it's like to have a budget of $8 and a gift list bulging with nieces, nephews, siblings and parents.
"It's about being poor at Christmas - that's all it is," he said.
So after chasing rock 'n' roll fantasies for 20 years or so, the Fuglees find they're getting the farthest simply by being themselves. And there are cocky, caustic and comical sides to the band.
Once we stopped trying to be serious, we enjoyed just the good parts about playing music - which is the comaraderie of playing with other good players," Knapp says. "You think we're funny on stage, come to one of our rehearsals. We spend 20 minutes playing songs and 40 minutes rolling on the floor laughing."
If "Dollar Store Christmas" works on WFBQ, the classic-rock station should jump on the Fuglees' tribute to David Lee Roth, in which Kuhn sings, "Where is David Lee Roth? You know we need him more than ever now," and Anderson sprays a career's worth of Eddie Van Halen riffs.
"It is a little bit like mocking, but more like ribbing," Anderson says. "I wouldn't go after anybody unless there's some affection involved."
Never hampered by an inferiority complex, the Fuglees also proclaim themselves as "Badass!" on "Indiana." Written by Kuhn, the song features the line, "We can block a karate chop with an E chord."
"Andy has a really visual writing style," Anderson says. "His lyrics sound the way a comic book looks."
This analogy comes easy, considering that Kuhn draws comic books as his day job. His resume includes work on Spider-man, Digimon and Marvel Comics' up-coming "Young Ancient One."
Kuhn, A resident of New Mexico, Schedules a string of Fuglees performances whenever he returns to Indianapolis. In addition to playing the Patio on New Year's eve, the band will play the Melody Inn on Jan. 2 and Birdy's on Jan. 3.
Women remain the Fuglees' ultimate songwriting inspiration. "Indiana" offers the intermingled love and hate of "Pretty," the post-break-up pain of "Not Together Now" and the near admiration of "If I was a Girl."
The band set a standard for dysfunction and R-rated bluntness when it recorded "Crazy Girls" for 2002 debut album "Go Apesh*t!"
Still, Knapp wants to clarify where the band stands: "you just need to put in bold letters: 'We don't hate women.'" - The Indianapolis Star


The Fuglees create music very much like the cartoon personas they use to promote themselves. Their music is an audio cartoon in a way, full of humor although not free of a sentimental side. This is music that draws from both the serious and the silly to create power-pop gems. Their pop sensibilities apply sweet vocal harmonies to oft-sour topics like lost love, the sad state of current Van Halen, and antidepressants. Combine that with strong guitar and rhythm and you have songs that seem tailored for radio. When you consider how Fountains of Wayne have recently enjoyed time at the top of the charts with a song that sounds like it was ripped from The Fuglees' catalog, it appears The Fuglees are releasing their second album, "Indiana" at a most beneficial time.
"Indiana" features many songs that are staples in the band's live set. This list includes "David Lee Roth" and "Yoko Ono," humorous analyses of rock music and the places of lead singers and girlfriends therein. These anthems are best experienced in a live setting, with the players crashing into their instruments and the audience singing along with the infectious lyrics. Both tunes manage, however, to retain their charm and spirit on disc. I found similar charm in surprise entry and perennial set-closer "Get the F". Humor in music is easily mistaken for novelty, But these songs manage to stand up for repeated listening.
Along with their humorous side, The Fuglees are also capable of sweet and straight pop and rock. Most everybody has experienced the combination of frustration and pain expressed in "Not Together" or the phenomenon of seeing a little too much of an ex-significant-other covered in "Almost You." It's this quality that sets the band apart from novelty status and makes them more human. These songs are mixed in well with the more humorous material, allowing neither the humor nor the heartbreak to gain too much attention.
To no surprise, bassist/vocalist Andy Kuhn, guitarist/vocalist Erich Anderson, and drummer/vocalist Tom Knapp mesh well together both live and on this record. Most of the songs on "Indiana' received extensive road testing before they were recorded, allowing the kinks to get worked out and structures smoothed. The band's challenge was capturing their over-the-top image and stage show on disc. The band has a larger-than-life image to live up to, so I wanted to hear the booming drums and thundering guitar on this CD. Happily, I can report they were more than successful. Other elements that shine on this recording are their trademark harmonies and sonwriting skills which help deliver a clear translation of the band's humor and wit from the stage to the studio.
Overall, "Indiana" captures the songwriting skills and hilarious delivery typical of The Fuglees. It's very much a record aimed at fans of pop music. Those who prefer a little more adventurous ambitions or pathos in their listening should probably look elsewhere. The songs on "Indiana" are tight and polished power pop songs that make no apologies for being witty or humorous. Go in expecting that sound and this album will make a lot of sense to you. - CD Review by Ryan Williams


Discography

'Indiana"- full length CD - 2004
"Dollar Store Christmas"- single - 2003
"Go Apesh*t"- full length CD - 2002
"Fake I.D." movie soundtrack
"Vesting" movie soundtrack

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Often refered to as songwriting machines, Indianapolis based power-pop trio The Fuglees exploded onto the scene in 2002 with the release of their wildly popular debut CD "Go Apesh*t". The album virtually flew off the shelves at local record stores and established the band as a driving force in the Indianapolis music scene. Armed with humor, wit and an endless repertoire of catchy pop songs, The Fuglees style is similar to tongue-in-cheek acts such as "Bare Naked Ladies" or "They Might be Giants" with an edge reminiscent of "The Foo Fighters".
The Band recently released their much anticipated second CD "Indiana" to rave reviews. Mastered by Andy Vandette (Kid Rock, Uncle Kracker) "Indiana" is garnering the kind of attention that has The Fuglees poised for a national breakout. The new album has received regular rotation in over 400 radio stations nationwide and is even charting above many more familiar national acts like Greenday or Cake.