It’s a lot easier to sell your music if you have a really crazy energetic live show...
Photos: George Dellinger
Back in September, Pink Fuzz out of Colorado slammed through Denton like a tropical storm and lay waste to a small vanguard of rock n roll devotees gathered indoors at Backyard On Bell. John Demitro the band's guitarist and co-vocalist took some time out of his non-stop touring schedule to pen some responses to questions I sent old school via email. (If you're new to Pink Fuzz, read the review and listen to the music first here.)
Q1. OK so you’re the guitarist and vocalist of Pink Fuzz with your sister LuLu on bass and vocals. I’ve done some investigating and know you also play with another sibling in Velveteers as the drummer (or co-drummer). At what age did you and your siblings start playing musical instruments? I hear in interview you all played piano. Can you describe your musical background and education? Did your parents give you all guitars upon birth and put you in a room with their vinyl collection and a hi-fi?
Haha something like that. We all started playing piano round 3/4 years old. Piano wasn’t our favorite but stuck with it and realized how important it was later. I picked up the drums when I was about 7. Bass when I was 13 and then eventually guitar. Our parents played lots of classic rock, funk, disco, and classical music as we were growing up so all those had a big influence on what we are all into.
Q2. Is music a viable career at this point with digital sales, merch, licensing? Is the band looking to stay independent and therefore in control of everything?
There are definitely pros and cons to being independent. Thus far we have been mostly independent and in complete control of everything. We’ve done some really cool things that I’m really happy with. We’ve been touring since 2013 and do it a ton. It’s cool to see results from that. We are very lucky to have some of our music placed through publishing on some big TV shows: HBO’s Shameless, MTV’s Ridiculousness, and several others. We definitely like being independent but it is a lot of work especially touring and playing as much as we do.
Yes and no. Denver has some cool bands and a decent music scene. No one really tours out of Denver that much or ever leaves their scene which is kind of disappointing. Doesn’t really breed the best scene or music when everyone hangs out and plays at the same 2 places. We prefer to tour and play outside of Denver more. We have found we have had more success doing that with our music. I don’t really consider Denver our home base or our “scene”.
Q4. Any plans or hopes for international tours? I know Velveteers has shows in UK coming up. What about Pink Fuzz?
Yup! I’m actually sitting in the U.K. doing the interview right now haha. Pink Fuzz has plans to tour internationally in the next year and a half.
Q5. Would you say it’s fairly accurate you are either playing music or thinking about music or something related every waking hour?
Yes I’d say so. I’m constantly thinking, working on, or playing music. It’s a pretty intricate part of my life. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Q6. Do you prefer writing and recording music over live performance? Or is the live show where the biggest high is? You look like you’re having fun live!
They are two different highs. But I love both equally. Writing something and developing it with your band is a really cool thing and then when you finally get to hear what was in your head come together through speakers it’s one of my favorite things in the world. That’s what you’re chasing for as an artist. Then playing it live is an extension of that energy because your playing in front of an audience and it’s super loud, sweaty, and crazy. We are having a blast playing live and need a lot of energy to play our music. It’s a blast touring and playing in front of new crowds and crowds of repeat customers.
I think as long as you are moved or feel something from you’re music and really believe in it everything else will follow suite. People seem to gravitate to people who really believe in what they are doing. It’s really cool to see people come out to shows on tour who have seen us there previously. Something resonated with them at the last show. The most important thing for me is writing good music that makes me feel something. And it’s a never ending chase for that. If all of those things are working I’d call that a success. And it’s really gratifying when you feel like you’ve captured that.
Q8. What is your attitude about band marketing and promotion? Just make music, put it out there, and tour?
Yeah I mean that’s really the only way to do it at this point. Our main goal is record good songwriting and put it out and tour it. It’s a lot easier to sell your music if you have a really crazy energetic live show that people can see and experience and you have a really good record you believe in to sell. The more touring and live shows you do the better.
Q9. One thing you might tell young musicians inquiring about a career?
It’s a lot of hard work but it’s worth it. You get to travel and see different countries, experience different cultures and meet so many cool people along the way who can influence you to think and write differently. You just have to keep at it and write music that makes you happy and feel something.
Q10. Take any 10 albums to an island!
1. The Beatles “Revolver”
2. Led Zeppelin “Led Zeppelin II”
3. Queens of Stone Age “Songs for the dead”
4. BRMC “Howl”
5. Motörhead “Bomber”
6. The Stooges “Raw Power”
7. Earth, Wind, & Fire “That’s the way of the world”
8. Black Sabbath “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”
9. “The Desert Sessions”
10. Any Jerry Reed or Johnny Cash/Outlaw country
Thanks John! If you're a fan of rock music, check out Pink Fuzz. (And don't forget The Velveteers!)
Special thanks to George Dellinger aka Instagram @squareindenton for the photos.