For more than thirty years, the CMJ Music Marathon has been the world’s most important platform for learning about new bands and discovering new, untapped wells of glorious music. This year, October 15-19, at more than 80 different music venues in Manhattan and Brooklyn more than 100,000 fans came out to see more than 1300 artist performances. At the festival’s Hotel on Rivington press lounge on one of those days I was lucky enough to get to sit down and chat with seven new bands and talk to them about their music and their future.
Another fun interview I got to do was with mischievous pop rockers Chevonne & The Fuzz This is a six piece; fronted by lead singer and ex-member of Lady Gaga’s recent worldwide Monster Ball Tour Chevonne . You may also recognize Chevonne from her appearance on NBC’s “The Voice.” Whethe r you’re hearing icons Heart or more recent entries like Gwen Stefani and No Doubt or something else, there’s a lot that’s familiar and freeing about Chevonne & The Fuzz. But what do they have to say about themselves? The band was present but most of the quotes here are attributed to Chevonne.
How did you all meet?
“It was sort of like I came to them and they came to me. The whole reason this band started was I was on “The Voice” and Christina Aguilera told me to go out and do solo music. I had been a backup singer for Adelle and Lady Gaga but I jumped on Kickstarter and found these amazing guys. I thought let’s do this solo record project. But as soon as we picked up our instruments it felt like it should be so much more than my songs and them playing them. That’s how we wound up as the band we are today.”
What would you call your musical style?
“Our primary influence collectively is Foo Fighters and Dave Grohl . Their music is so accessible and so universal; I don’t think that the Foo Fighters is pop but they take from so many different sounds and that’s what we do.”
What does it mean for your band to be here at the CMJ Music Marathon in 2013?
“It’s a very big deal because we’re a very new band; not even a year old. To be at CMJ and be recognized by the music community at large gives us legitimacy . We still have to get ourselves together as a band and get our feet wet. We’ll never sell out but we also want to have this be our life.”
What does Indie Mean?
“When we say we’re “independent” we do everything by committee and it can be arduous but that’s just what we have to do. We’re lucky because almost all the decisions we’ve made have been unanimous. If there’s someone who’s not happy we should really investigate that because there’s a reason. It’s crazy because everything is so smooth I’m just waiting for it to blow up in our face.”
What are your feelings on Auto-Tune?
“I think when you’re using it as a tool to create a sound you couldn’t make otherwise that’s better than using it to fix mistakes. For us when it comes to making music i t has to be done now, in this moment, there’s no room for mistakes.”
If you could score any film or director, who would it be?
“Quentin Tarantino .” “Robert Rodriguez”.
I guess I don’t have to be shy about Lady Gaga?
“I love her, I think she’s wonderful. I was a backup singer for her and she helped me pay my bills. She actually did help me with my hair. I was supposed to be this LES preppy garage girl.”
If you could add any musician living or dead to your group who would it be?
“Amy Winehouse .” “I have a sick obsession with Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age.”
What’s your advice for any struggling young band who’s reading this article and is hoping to make it to the CMJ Music Marathon 2014?
“The world doesn’t owe you a living. Don’t wait for anyone or anything to get things done. If you wanna be a fuckin rock star you have to go and get it!”
Is there a question every interviewer doesn’t ask you that you wish they would?
“I’m dating someone in the band and no one ever picks up on it…”
Oh really, who?
…Come to see Chevonne and The Fuzz to see if you can pick out who her man candy happens to be!