Also known at one time as Governor Fuzz, G: Fuzz were veterans of the Midwest club and festival circuit, opening for a who's who of both local and national acts. They gained the attention of -and worked with many in- the Smashing Pumpkins camp. Dark and dreamy, this is a disc of moody, melodic power pop from one of Milwaukee's favorites. Ranging from a whisper to a scream, this 5-song ep showcases some of the band's best songwriting, as well as a richly layered guitar-based production. Pushing Forward was produced by Mark Rew, lead singer-guitarist of the band Catherine, and co-produced and engineered Steve Spapperi (Smashing Pumpkins, Ministry, Cheap Trick) at the Pumpkins' Farm Studios in Michigan. Leader Bay Dariz now fronts LA-based The Mercy Kiss. - G: Fuzz mixes talent, savvy for success Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Gemma Tarlach How do you spell tenacity? G-F-U-Z-Z. The Milwaukee quintet, which started out five years ago as a hard rock band, has endured personnel changes, stylistic 180s and the tag of being 'different' to emerge as one of the most promising rock bands on the local scene. Specializing in eclectic, moody alt-rock, G: Fuzz also excels at, well, not taking no for an answer. 'You can't expect people to like you,' says founder and guitarist Bay Dariz. 'You have to make them like you.' Dariz - the only original member of the group, which started out as Governor Fuzz - and his band mates have parlayed a potent mix of musical talent, smart marketing and passion for what they do into a growing success story. 'Remy Zero is going to produce our next CD,' says Dariz, only half-joking that he can coax the critically acclaimed band into the studio to work with G: Fuzz. 'They don't know it yet, but they will.' Dariz has already been in touch with the Remy Zero camp via e-mail, and has been mailing off demos to (hopefully) seal the deal. Similar 'just say yes' G: Fuzz tactics have led to two Summerfest appearances, radio spots on several regional stations and a CD recorded at the Farm Studio (owned by Smashing Pumpkins' former bassist D'Arcy). The five-song CD, 'Pushing Forward,' (482 Music) evolved out of G: Fuzz's darkest moment: the band's near dissolution in the weeks following their Summerfest '98 gig. Three members exited, leaving Dariz and singer Mark Allen. 'When those guys went, I thought, Is that it?' remembers Dariz. But Dariz and Allen picked up the pieces, adding former Tin Pan Alley members Michael Erbe (guitar) and Chad Clausen (drums) along with bassist Chuck Tolentino. The band's sound, already evolving from it's hard rock roots, became more melodic and experimental. Songs such as 'I Surrender' give strong hints of influences such as Radiohead and even Pink Floyd, while remaining original. Dariz and Allen credit producer Mark Rew (of the Chicago band Catherine) with helping them achieve a fresh sound. 'We're trying to do something different and we learned a lot working with Mark,' says Dariz. 'We learned less is more. The simpler the song is, the better.' 'All the bands people remember - Nirvana, Faith No More - are the bands that were the first to do something different,' Allen points out. G: Fuzz's latest 'different' move will be to give away it's next CD - with six 'more upbeat, rockier' songs - to fans who buy 'Pushing Forward.' As G: Fuzz's sound evolves yet again, so does it's lineup. Erbe is moving out of state and Riz Rashid, veteran of such local favorites as Buddha and Kickstand, 'has graciously agreed to fill in,' according to Dariz. Setbacks such as the loss of a band member have been enough to bust up many acts, but G: Fuzz is in this for the long haul. 'I don't want to live my life looking forward to my lunch break,' says Allen. 'A lot of people live that way, but I'm not going to be that guy.'