Locals Only: : Fizzgig

Pressing 'Reset,' punching out a new CD and biting at the heels of Japan and the U.K.



Think of the damn amusing (and double platinum) eccentric band Weezer. Similar in Power Pop nature, local group Fizzgig has already scored a huge presence in the U.K. and Japan. With a name like Fizzgig, which refers to a furry, sharp-toothed, alien-like creature from Jim Henson's film The Dark Crystal, one would expect some quirky comments from Evan Brass and Matt Zink. Maybe barking. But they're lighthearted on this chilly, cheerful spring evening fit for a Muppet.

A full-time musician, singer/guitarist Brass wears a normal army-green shirt decorated with not-so-normal pink guitars and guns. Zink (guitar, vocals) has deep, mischievous brown eyes. It appears that he's about to bust out laughing. He often does rather than giving up info and he's not easy to crack. Rather, he shrugs, letting Brass do the talking.

But I get a little bit out of him. Zink followed in his older brother's (bassist Garry Zink) footsteps. Along with Brass, Zink has no day job, although the other two band members, Phil McKenzie (bass) and Kevin Finkelmeier (drums), work full time. Zink assures me, "Oh, they'll probably lose their jobs soon."

The original Fizzgig baby started back in 1994. Brass is the last of the original members (Zink came in three years ago). McKenzie and Finkelmeier were recently added. They've played only two shows with the new lineup, but they seem energized, smiling, all teeth.

Reset, their 2008 CD, is three years in the making. Recorded locally, it was later mixed and mastered in England. The resulting feel is one of punchy guitars and smooth vocals that could be likened to Northern Ireland Pop band Ash or Knoxville's reunion-bent Superdrag. It'll bust out the kid in your sorry, 9-to-5 ass.

Brass explains, "Band members leaving. Running out of money. Running into delay after delay after delay ... but now that it's done, it's like a huge weight has been lifted off our shoulders and we can be a real band again, focusing on playing shows and writing new music."

Then we pause while Brass and Zink swap sandwiches. Zink takes a bite of the new one and gives a "thumbs-up" on the switch.

Cementing Fizzgig's sound, a mix of kicking energy and slick, upbeat vocals, Reset has already been playing on London radio. Fizzgig tours the U.K. extensively nearly every year.

"Our manager's from there and their radio reaches across the entire country," Brass says.

Now, there's also Japan to consider. Soon, Reset will be released by Japan's Powerpop Academy, a label that already released a Fizzgig compilation CD this past December, one that proved the sound was nice enough and mean enough to reel in the listeners.

Brass says, "Our music has heavier guitars, but nicer vocals. There are no screamers in the band. I try to make nice melodies. When I play, it's like the fun side of Rock & Roll, instead of the 'lonely, feel my pain' side."

A soft-sharp mix with a beat that's booty-shaking friendly. Wonder how it feels? Picture a show, any show. See that adult woman in the front row wearing Etnies with her hands raised, her hair in pigtails, going crazy with moves, bounce-dancing like a creature from the fucking moon? That about pegs it.

"I think that Reset is a good evolution and maturation of the sound we were always going for," Brass says. "I'll probably keep the fire burning with this band as long as I can."

FIZZGIG (myspace.com/fizzgig) plays Dirty Jacks Saturday.

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