A Brief History of The Prof.Fuzz 63
The Prof.Fuzz 63 began in 2013 as a vehicle for The Professor (an actual university professor) to work up newly-written songs in a band setting. A veteran of the early 80s Houston, Texas punk scene (check out some of those bands here!), The Prof was itching to get back into making music after a number of years devoted to school and family. Armed with a collection of fuzz pedals and some weird songs, he enlisted drummer (and former Teaching Assistant) Julie G, and a guy named Aaron on bass to prepare a dozen songs for public performance. One night, The Prof and Julie received a text from the bass player informing them that his cat had thrown up and his girlfriend had to work that night so he couldn’t be in the band anymore. Undeterred, the duo turned to The Prof’s wife, a mildly narcoleptic visual artist, art teacher, and long-time solo pianist (mostly 17th–18th century cover tunes) to round out the band. The Sleepy Redhead declined to learn bass, but offered her organ skills to the group, and The Prof.Fuzz 63 was thus formed.
The band played its first live shows in the fall of 2014 before taking a six month break while The Professor was overseas for work. Regrouping in the fall of 2015, the trio went into Cloudland Recording Studio in Fort Worth, Texas to record their first album, “Chinese Folk Songs,” with Britt Robisheaux. The album was released on Dreamy Life Records in January 2016. https://prof-fuzz63.bandcamp.com/album/chinese-folk-songs-album Julie left the band around that time, and in April 2016, The son of the Professor and the Redhead, Mr. B, took over the drum chores, hitting things in exchange for room, board, and college tuition.
With the addition of Mr. B, The Prof.Fuzz 63 became a full-on “family band,” like a black sheep branch of the Osmond Family, or a darker and edgier Partridge Family, albeit without the artsy school bus. The band played 25 shows in 2016, and in November went back to Cloudland to record tracks for what became the “Panda Attack EP” and “Bang me hard! (to get inside)” album.
“Panda Attack EP” was released in January 2017 on Dreamy Life Records and featured new versions of four songs from “Chinese Folk Songs.” https://prof-fuzz63.bandcamp.com/album/panda-attack-ep In May 2017, the band released their second full-length album, “Bang me hard! (to get inside),” again on Dreamy Life Records. The album showcased the band’s range within the “garage rock” genre, featuring fuzzy blues riffs (“Shitwater Tx Blues”), noisy drones (“Three-way Tie for Dog of the Year”), as well as two waltzes (“Bacon Waltz” and “Las Vegas Waltz”). https://prof-fuzz63.bandcamp.com/album/bang-me-hard-to-get-inside The band played 50 shows in 2017 in support of the EP and album, including their first regional tour in December.
2018 was even bigger. Early that year, north Louisiana dance-punk Ian Quiet invited PF63 to collaborate on a series of shows that spring, including a headline slot at a SXSW showcase. The combined acts played selections from both the PF63 and Ian Quiet songbooks at four shows in Texas and Louisiana, recording them all for posterity, and self-releasing the album “Glitter and Fuzz Live!” in June. https://prof-fuzz63.bandcamp.com/album/glitter-and-fuzz-live All together, PF63 played 63 shows in 2018, including a 16 day trek up and down the US heartland. Following a summer tour, the band went back to Cloudland to make another album with Britt Robisheaux. The August 2018 sessions resulted in “Kirvin Streetman’s Sugar Bride Blues” (Dreamy Life Records DLR 063). https://prof-fuzz63.bandcamp.com/album/kirvin-streetmans-sugar-bride-blues
Released in January 2019, “Kirvin Streetman’s Sugar Bride Blues” (the band’s first vinyl release) featured ten new off-kilter tunes about homicide, rock and roll and other sorted fantasies, identity theft, alien abduction, gender inequality, aging disgracefully, the city of new orleans, and getting high as a kite, all set to a backdrop of pounding drums, roaring organ, and fuzzy-twangy guitars. The album shamelessly name checked friends and influences such as The Crystal Furs, Motörhead, Judas Priest, Buck Owens, Mark E. Smith, Ray Davies, Alex Chilton, and Jerk Unicorn. The band played 47 shows in 2019 in support of the album, including twenty gigs away from DFW.
That summer, PF63 was invited to contribute a track to a planned tribute to Houston, Texas punk pioneers Really Red. The Professor grew up in the Houston punk/underground music scene, and was honored to be able to pay respects to his old friends. PF63 recorded “Nico” at Elmwood Recording in Dallas with Alex Bhore at the controls. The double-album, “Teaching You the Fear Again” was released on CIA Records in fall 2020. [NOTE: PF63’s track does not appear on the CD release for some odd reason.] https://ciarecords2.bandcamp.com/album/teaching-you-the-fear-again
In January 2020, the band returned to Elwood Recording to make a full album with Alex Bhore. The sessions resulted in “Owls,” an eight track record that featured five new PF63 originals, and three covers by artists who influenced the band: Flipper and Tom Waits. Prior to the album’s release, the band premiered two video singles from “Owls.” Nick Brown produced a trippy effected rendition of the first single, “Nadine Codeine,” which was released on 15 May 2020. Ryan J. Gill of web comic The Other Ass fame produced the lo-fi lo-tech animated companion to the song “Owls,” released on 5 June 2020. The “Owls” album was released on 15 June 2020 on Philadelphia’s Sister Raygun Records, in vinyl, CD, and cassette formats. https://prof-fuzz63.bandcamp.com/album/owls
The world shut down in March of 2020, resulting in the cancellation of a nine-day tour of the US southeast, and two other planned summer tours. Undeterred, the band rearranged their rehearsal space at Casa de Fuzz and expanded on their practice of livestreaming sessions. Over the course of the rest of 2020 and into the summer of 2021, they livestreamed 25 performances, most featuring additional bands and performers from around the country. New songs were written. New gear was incorporated. New sounds were made. In July 2021, the band ventured back into the world and live shows, playing 19 shows in DFW, Texas, and beyond by the end of the year.
In early September 2021, the band encamped at Echo Base in Bryan TX, recording a batch of songs slated for the next full-length PF63 album, as well as a radio-friendly version of “Owls”!. Post-production work on these songs was completed in April 2022, and the album was self-released on 27 May 2022 on CD and digital, with a vinyl release on 25 October 2022. https://prof-fuzz63.bandcamp.com/album/peaches-herbicide A summer tour in May–June consisting of 13 shows in 15 days, took the band to some old favorite cities and venues, and first-time appearances in the northeast, including Brooklyn and Philadelphia.
As always, new songs continued to bubble to the surface, so the band hit the studio again in August and October 2022, recording four tracks with engineer and producer Clint Niosi at his Orange Otter Audio in Fort Worth. These songs were released digitally and on CD by the band in early 2023 as the “Cinnamon Sea EP.” https://prof-fuzz63.bandcamp.com/album/cinnamon-sea-ep A quick winter tour in January 2023 took the band back to the northeast for shows in the NYC/NJ/Philly/DC area, and a live session on the Evan “Funk” Davies Show on WFMU in Jersey City!
Plans are in place to record another four tracks that will complete the “Cinnamon Sea LP,” with a vinyl release hopefully ready by the end of 2023.