With a line-up now featuring Adam ‘Fonzy’ Armour – Guitar and Lead Vocals, Olivia Jury – Vocals, Zack Reed – Saxophone/ Keys and Vocals, Jed Long – Bass and Sam Bennett on Drums, their expression speaks of anger, confusion, good times mixed with bad, with elements of Rock amalgamated with Americana melodic stories, laced with the beauty and angst of Folk, and the glory of good ole Rock n Roll.
The band is always exploring new avenues in their musical horizons, to give their fans a glimpse of the history of Rock in today’s music scene, leaving every venue and stage they grace, with a memorable live performance every time. Since officially starting the band in July 2019, Fonzy & Company have headlined and performed at some pretty major UK venues, have played and been reviewed on over 600 radio stations and publications globally, and signed their first record contract only 6 months into their career. This impressive achievement in such a short time, says a lot about any band, and their future longevity in the industry.
Knowing each other for years is always a great start for any band, but as is always the case, there was never a good time to get together until now, with other commitments calling the shots. Fonzy had previously written and recorded their first EP, leaving Olivia and Zack to add their parts at a later date. Now things were really starting to happen for the band, and soon everything just started to gel and fall into place, and soon the EP went on to get the recognition it greatly deserved and well received by many.
Members take their personal inspiration from a multitude of genres, with Pop, Jazz, Ska, Punk, Rock, Thrash, Classic Rock, Hair Metal and Folk being the lifeblood of their mixed bag of styles. Collectively, as a band, Rush, Brian Fallon/Gaslight Anthem, The Cranberries, Paramore, Aerosmith, Pixies, Green Day, Billy Joel, Tool and Norah Jones all add to their creation, with influences from Lady Gaga, Rush, Lamb Of God, Pixies, Green Day and Red Hot Chili Peppers only touching the tip of the iceberg, with their multifaceted compendium of sound.
With the Labyrinth being his all-time favourite film to inspire his creativity, albums like Gimme Nora Jones and Green Day’s Greatest Hits spurred his passion to perform. His love for stand-up comedy, although something he admits he is not great at, only strengthens his stage presence and interaction with his audience, with his teenage crush of Brody Dalle from The Distillers giving him the need to succeed along with a dream to tour America.
Olivia, inspired by Lady Gaga has her passion strengthened by her Enigma show, along with the album Artificial Selection by
Dance Gavin Dance. Her creativity is enhanced by painting, making jewellery and anything to do with cats to help centre her, along with a secret love of Charlie Simpson from Busted to keep her focus and a dream to tour Japan.
Zack’s desire to perform comes from his love of the band No Doubt, and LIVE shows from Crystal Castles and Steel Panther.
This, along with the album Season Of Poison by Shiny Toy Guns, lit a fire in his career. His passion for adventure all adds to his focus on success, with the love of the character Aragorn from Lord Of The Rings, and favourite actor Chis Hemsworth aka Thor now has the strength to succeed.
Jed, influenced by the love of Abba and Joy Division, has a very cultured side also with his love of Hamlet. Powered by the film
Kung Pow, the album Supernatural by Des’ree and a hobby of chasing waterfalls, also helps him chase his dream to tour the Vatican City.
Sam, cut his teeth as a drummer listening to Lamb Of God, with Black Sabbath’s farewell concert being his most favourite gig.
The album 1000 Days by Tool, being his most favoured, sets the cornerstone in his abilities today. With Axe Throwing as a hobby and a job closely followed by his love for the character Bulma from Dragon Ball and the Quentin Tarantino film Django Unchained, the band better watch out.
“Fonzy is the heart for sure. There is never a day where something isn’t going on band wise. Our collective as friends makes that very easy”.
So with that said, I asked what the meaning was behind the name, they went on to add;
“Fonzie was Henry Winkler’s character in the sitcom Happy Days. Fonzy was his a nickname as a kid, so we stuck with it”.
I followed this up by asking what they have learnt about themselves as a band on their journey so far, they replied;
“That we are very close. We have had a surprising amount of labels and companies try to screw us out of money and we have come out stronger and wiser and raring to prove those people we aren’t to be taken lightly”.
“Fonzy writes the songs and brings them in and everyone develops their parts and we all adjust the final product. Simply, don’t write if having a block, if you force something out, chances are its crap. We have written and thrown away a dozen songs doing this, gotta have staying power”.
So with that said, I asked Fonzy & Company what they enjoy most about being in this band, and if there was anything they wished they had known before they started their career in music, they told me;
“The bond is, and I think we all agree, the strongest we have ever experienced. Having people not only you can write with but can talk to about anything, anytime is a total blessing. There are way more dodgy practices and overall toxic people than you think in this industry. We have learnt to be calm and collected but we don’t tolerate being treated like garbage. But would have been nice to be more prepared”.
To buy this EP, click the cover art below
And that brings me nicely to the EP in question here “Is It Me”.
Action packed and full of energy, this EP projects the right amount of colour and life needed for any successful release, both visually and beneath the cellophane. Dynamic throughout, every track keeps giving the more it’s played, evoking a memory of two reflected in the music alone, with a full catalogue of lyrics written by the pen of a master.
Vocally, Fonzy puts the cat amongst the pigeons, with a vast array of dulcet tones that kick up a storm where needed, with the right amount of grit in all the right places throughout his impressive range.
Musically, each member brings an incredible amount to the table, with each one being a credit to their achievements so far as musicians, and their time so far within the industry, offering some dynamite dynamics in a masterclass of syncopation and performance.
Lyrically, the creativity found within every hymn sheet is a master stroke of genius, and the work of a true observationalist, tailoring real life experiences with the fabric of life itself.
As a band, Fonzy has struck gold with this line-up, and with the future already looking extremely bright for this 5-piece, they are set to go further than they can possibly imagine.
Star Rating – 10/10
If ever there were three tracks to tempt the listener into buying this album they would be –
“Is It Me”, “It’s So Real” and “Hella Sweet”.
“Our new EP Is It Me is out on the 20th November. Thank you to Stargazer Music Magazine for your support and to all our fans old and new, you’re the best”.
© Stargazer Music Magazine 2020
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