Meet Leeds grunge/post-punk trio Fuzz Lightyear, which is comprised of Ben Parry (vocals/ guitar), Josh Taylor (drums) and Varun Govil (bass).
Their previous releases gathered attention from the likes of Shell Zenner on Amazing Radio, BBC Introducing and Brudenell Social Club (Leeds).
Having spent the lockdown evolving their sound and recording demos/live sessions, they emerged with a powerful sound, and are back with captivating live show.
Latest single 'Berlin, 1885' was releases on 25th of August and produced by Alex Greaves (Lice, bdrmm, Legss).
With members from Wales, Yorkshire, and India, international solidarity is at the heart of the band’s morals. As singer Ben Parry explains the lyrical inspiration of the track comes from "the disturbing rise of the far-right across the globe, the divisive weight that it holds, and the bridges that it continues to burn. 'Berlin, 1885' calls for an upheaval of their bigoted and hateful worldview."
Please give us a little intro about of you who you are. How did you guys meet? Please tell us a bit about the origin of the band.
Ben: We all met at Leeds Conservatoire. Josh and I shared some classes together and I met Varun through the Uni grapevine. Fuzz started out as a little two piece between me and Josh. We spent a couple practices jamming and rehearsing crappy punk songs I wrote that summer, using way too many pedals and playing way too loud. We pissed off a lot of Jazz students at our uni with our little duo. We both agreed we needed to be louder, got Varun to join in, and here we are.
Varun: Yeah I think I met Ben at a flat party or something like that and he mentioned his band that needs a bassist. I was mainly a drummer at the time but played a bit of bass so I joined and then I met Josh through that
What impact did the pandemic had on you mentally/creatively and how did you stay motivated throughout it?
Josh: We all didn’t like not being able to play/practice together as before lockdown during Jan/Feb 2020 time we were playing a fair few shows around Leeds/surrounding city and felt like the band was starting to pick up in popularity but lockdown obviously put a stop to this. However this didn’t stop us all wiring songs throughout and sending ideas back and forth between each other, our google drive and private sound cloud is full of random riffs and progressions we still pick out of for ideas nowadays.
Ben: The pandemic sucked ass. As a band we really cherish playing live as part of our creative process so it took a lot of energy to work out how to keep writing whilst we were apart. Luckily by the time lockdown 2.0 hit we were all living together, and that made everything a whole lot easier. We stayed motivated by knowing that somewhere at the end there would be a gig with a mosh with our name on it.
Varun: For me there were pros and cons of the pandemic. I think all the negatives are obvious and I don’t really want to dwell on them much but it was nice having more time to focus on all the bits around being a band that otherwise slipped to the wayside, like merch, recording in a proper studio, and future plans. We also all moved in together at one point so we were able to write and rehearse more than I think a lot of other bands which was helpful and motivating.
Have you always been interested in music? Was there a particular song/performance that made you say “Woah! I wanna do that”?
Josh: Most of my family play music in some form (especially my mum and dad) which kinda meant I had to start playing something at some point. I remember listening/watching live videos of Slipknot when I was a kid and realising that’s the kinda thing I want to do when I'm older, I feel you can definitely hear that aggression within our music. 
Varun: Yeah I’ve always been into music. Both my dad and brother play the guitar as a hobby so I’ve been surrounded by music my whole life. As cringey as it is, though, I think I realised I wanted to dedicate myself to music when I was 16 and started listening to Rage Against The Machine
Ben: Bands like Dense and ZoZo were my personal inspiration for getting to work with Fuzz. Before, I'd only been part of the bubble that's built around the Conservatoire, a lot of jazz and soul stuff. Really complex, but it never really made me feel anything. Hearing those bands made me realise how diverse and rich the scene outside of uni was though, and I really wanted to be a part of something less academic and more emotional.
Your latest single 'Berlin, 1885' was released 25th of August - ....what is it about and please give us a little insight into your creative process.
Josh: I remember writing the song reasonably quickly as a band, I think Varun came into practice with the scratchy bass part and we built upon that. I know at this point we wanted to write something super heavy for us which was loud and sludgy. Probably best off asking Ben about the lyrical side of things, not my department. 
Varun: Lyrically it’s a response to a lot of the rising xenophobia across the world. The lyrics came second though with this song. It started off as one of the first jams we did once we were able to rehearse together again. I heard another band do some string scraping on the bass and thought oh I should try that out and was doing it in a rehearsal room and then the rest of the guys added their parts. It came together fairly quickly and organically.
Ben: Berlin 1885 is probably our most directly political song. A lot of people in the scene might think it's cliche to be a political musician but to be able to not speak out at it comes from a position of privilege. Those of us with any platform should use it as we can. There's too much hate coming from people that know so little, from people that have too much.
What do you do outside of music? / Do you have any hobbies that you turn to to rejuvenate your creativity?
Varun: I do a lot of writing in my spare time, mostly music reviews and the like. It’s still involving music but through a different lens I suppose. I also really enjoy learning about and trying new foods. I find food culture across the world really interesting.
Ben: Personally, I don't do much outside of music. I read a little, but I've always thought of that as part of the music thing. I'm gonna sound like a proper softboy here but writers like Nabakov, Cortazar and (at risk of sounding basic) Orwell are probably my favourite literary dudes. They've inspired a lot lyrics and structures involved in our writing.
Josh: I don’t really do a lot outside of music really. I enjoy chilling and playing games with friends most of the time if you can even class that as a hobby.
If we were to have a look at the artists you are listening to, who would we find on your playlist?
Ben: English Teacher, Fehlt, Spectres, Perspex, Show Me The Body, Megan Thee Stallion.
Josh: The new Turnstile album is class, as well as the new Portrayal of Guilt/Chat Pile split that just released. Me and Ben love a good bit of classic shoegaze too, stuff like MBV and Slowdive are a massive influence to us, I especially love the ‘You Made Me Realise’ EP.
Varun: A lot of English Teacher, Beige Banquet, Keaton Henson, and Autosuggestion, plus a good helping of Primus and 90s alt rock too.
Little insider tip – best thing to do in Leeds?
Varun: The art gallery is a really lovely time if you’re into that sort of stuff. Kirkgate Market is great for food and Kirkgate Abbey is a lovely walk. Also get a pint at The Brudenell.
Josh: Have some pints at some nice bars, North Brewing City Taps is my favourite, and go see some sick Leeds bands at places like Wharf and Mabgate Bleach, there’s always something to do.
Ben: Start a band. Chat shit in smoking areas. Drink lager at Mabgate Bleach.
What's next on your agenda? Future goals for you?
Josh: Simply write more tunes, release more cool stuff, play more gigs and just have a laugh doing it for me. I’d love to release some merch in the near future which we are kinda planning at the moment too.
Ben: Just writing and playing really. We've had a long time off so we're just getting back into the swing of things. We have a couple great gigs coming up soon in Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool. Trying to keep busy, I guess.
Varun: We have a few more releases lined up that we can’t announce yet. Like Ben said, we have a lot of gigs including our first festival outing (Liverpool Sound City in October) and we’re playing Manchester and London for the first time this year too. I think we’re hoping to write towards another small collection of tracks but we’ll see how things go.
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