The Fuzz Drivers are the fastest moving claim to fame to ever rock out of Portugal. The foursome comprised of Marcelo Vieira (vocals), Sergio “Mad Mag” (guitar), João Lopes (bass), and Duarte Carvalho (drums) have been playing together in different projects for quite some time. Vieira, is originally from Brazil and Carvalho is from Azeitão, while the hometown boys Lopes and Mad Mag are from Lisborn, where the band now resides.
Their arrival at being The Fuzz Drivers is a story in itself. “I bought my first record when I was 12, “Queen’s Sheer Heart Attack…that transformed my life forever!” exclaims Vieira. “I began singing when I was 15, which was all by accident. In reality I wanted to be a drummer, but some friends who were a backing band asked me to sing a few lines to Somebody Save Me by Cinderella. The minute I opened my mouth, they stopped playing! That’s when we discovered I could sing some high notes….That was it!” Vieira’s first band in Brazil was called Trama and he still remains best friends to this day. “I played in several bands throughout the years, honing my skills until I felt I was ready to create something new. I just needed to find the right people to team with, and here we are! The Fuzz Drivers!”
Mad Mag grew up in Alamada, Portugal, located 19 miles south of Lisbon. “I began making music in high school in a band called Black Sheep. We actually had a song with major air play on the radio in the early 90’s. My brother turned me on to so many great bands when I was just six years old. He was a giant AC/DC fan along with several others from the 60’s and 70’s like Hendrix and Deep Purple. He also introduced me to the world of rock, blues and country with bands such as Atlanta Rhythm Section, Lynyrd Skynrd and The Allman Brothers.” He began playing guitar at the age of ten and by the end of three years was learning songs by Stevie Ray Vaugh, Jimmy Page, Ry Cooder and several others. “I also took an acoustic journey to the roots of blues, rock and country. During this time I kept a close eye on The Black Crowes and their style. Shortly thereafter I met Duarte and João and we put it all together in a band. In 2010 The Fuzz Drivers were born.”
Lopes is a Lisbon native. “My first band experience was as a guitarist in a band with Duarte. I met Duarte when a friend of mine and I were trying to assemble our first band. By blind luck we ended up knocking at Duarte’s house (whose father we knew could play the bass) and managed to find ourselves not only a bass player but also a kick ass drummer!”
This band eventually broke up after many changes which included Sergio joining that band and Carvalho changing to the bass. “After that we decided to form a new band and this is how The Fuzz Drivers were born, where I kept on playing the bass.”
Azeitão, a small village south of Lisbon, is the homeland for Carvalho. “I began playing drums at the age of four and by age five I was playing in my father’s band. Later at age 13, I had my first drum teacher, Vasco Gomes, from whom I learned all the basics. Before that time, I had self-taught myself from albums ranging from Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, The Beatles and Pink Floyd. In 1999 I joined the Professional School of Music in Almada in the course of Music and New Technologies where I had drum lessons with teachers Acácio “Salero” Vieira and Carlos Cardoso.” After completing courses with some of the greatest teachers, Carvalho played in several bands and artists such as Carl Mendes, and later joining The Fuzz Drivers.
While three were playing together for a time, Vieira answered an ad the band had posted in an online forum searching for a vocalist/lyricist. After a few email exchanges, the band sent two – one minute samples to Vieira. “Marcelo created and recorded melodies and lyrics for both songs in less than 24 hours! The chemistry was instantly there! Everything flew in an amazing pace from there and the songs are on the album!” explains Carvalho. “We have played together as a band for around two years now, but we other three have been playing the local scene for a few years before Marcelo joined us. We have been rehearsing a lot since the release of the album, just four weeks ago! We are getting ready for a kick ass show for this album tour!”
The musical talents of this band will definitely take most by surprise. A Portuguese band serving up Southern Rock with flares from the 60’s and 70’s is a definite unexpected fortune for music lovers. “Our musical influence is from so many styles and bands. Ranging from Soundgarden to Queen, passing through Led Zeppelin to The Allman Brothers. We blend it together and the end result is our sound. Each of us have our own influences and have brought them to the band. One of those is Southern Rock, like Atlanta Rhythm Section and The Black Crowes…Great music knows no boundaries” states Lopes. The music for this album was written by Carvalho, Mad Mag and Lopes and later lyrics and melodies and vocals were written by Vieira.
The album released on January 31, 2013; (just four weeks ago) has brought the guys a rush to fame. “ We’ve had an overwhelming response to it all, considering it has only been four weeks. Still things are still pretty fresh, so there are people still discovering us”, smiles Vieira. “It’s really awesome and we are extremely appreciative”, says Carvalho. With such a massive response to their music, a tour would definitely be inevitable and greatly warranted. “We are a live band, so YES we will tour. We have just been added to the lineup of a great summer festival here in Portugal and we foresee several tours. We would love to tour the USA, however the logistics behind a tour preparation requires plans and resources not available to us yet. We know it’s the most kick ass experience any band can have and we are willing to work hard to make it happen. (Hint, hint to anyone in the US willing to work with us!)”, exclaims Vieira. There isn’t one particular city or even country we would like to play. We really wish we could visit as many countries as possible doing what we love. But of course it would be a dream to tour the USA, we could very well start in Georgia! I think we would fit right in!”
Media coverage and exposure has been pronounced and very welcomed by the band. “We want to build a solid fan base and what better way than via the media! All this support from the media has been great and we are very thankful for that. But for us it is essential that it translates into new followers for The Fuzz Drivers. Therefore, we definitely want to tour extensively and spread our music and our sound to a bigger audience” states Mad Mag. “Until you can see us live, you can purchase our album on our website, Amazon and on iTunes. We look forward to touring and seeing everyone there.”