Photo credit: Ashley Kauschinger
“You Never Bring Me Any Flowers” is a hard rock song decked out in a wide pair of bell bottoms. The Buzzards of Fuzz bring a little bit of everything to this track—boxer fracture guitar leads from Ben Davidow, Bassman’s croon-of-doom, and a prog-heavy guitar solo underpinned by big piano chords. It's a sweet fuzz trip about romantic frustration. Van Bassman joined us for a chat about the writing process, studio life, and his fellow buzzards.
Check out "You Never Bring Me Any Flowers" here.
SC: What inspired the inclusion of the piano in this song?
VB: Actually the piano inspired the rest of the song! That opening lick was rattling around in my brain for about six months before I did any real work with it. I wanted it to be good, I needed something warbly . . .
SC: How important do you think it is to try to bring different instrumentation into the songwriting process?
VB: Personally I believe there's a time and a place for anything. I'm a drum and guitar guy but you know we'll throw a theremin at a track in a heartbeat if one of us hears it!
SC: What was your writing process like for "You Never Bring Me Any Flowers"?
VB: Buzzards typically has two writing methods. Roughly ninety percent of it comes organically from jamming a riff that one of us brought in but occasionally we'll do it Super Awesome Family Fun Band style and walk in the studio with a riff and let it flow. "Flowers" was definitely the latter.
all my ideas were too weird and I really didn't think it would go anywhere. I'm not shy with the delete button and at least twice what comes to fruition ends up in "Whalehalla".
(Lead guitarist) Ben and I were slated to lay some guitars on another track called "Tarantulove" but the night before I sprang out of bed at three in the morning, wrote down all the lyrics without a second thought and went to sleep. Due to a serendipitous computer issue our tracks for "Tarantulove" were inaccessible the following day.
Ben was a little late so Damon Moon (producer/engineer at Standard Electric Recording Co.) and I got to work. I only heard it on piano but I wanted to wait for Ben as he's a much better pianist than myself so I did a rough run through on guitar with a metronome. I stopped at each section to write the part as we were rolling. By the time we got to the middle eight Ben was there and we sorted the rest.
Ben hammered out the pianos and leads fairly quickly. Zach wasn't scheduled that night, but he was close by so we called him in. He nailed his parts on the first go—we call him "One Take Batson" for a reason. Chuck (bassist) came a week or so later and sorted the bass and the song was complete. It was a really quick and easy process.
SC: How often do you write? Do you keep a songwriting schedule or do you wait to be inspired?
VB: I write constantly but I'm very selective about what I keep or finish. Those that make it to production require inspiration . . . otherwise it's just a bunch of songs about Hot Pockets.
SC: How does your community of songwriters influence your writing?
VB: More than anything Atlanta makes me work. I go to a lot of shows, especially in the village—and the sheer talent I see on any given night has me thankful to be a working musician in a city so full of stellar bands.
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