If you notice a particular sweetness in the vocal harmonies soaring above the sludgy riffs, ripping guitar and ruthless drums of Denver rock trio Pink Fuzz, you’re on to something. If you pick out stylistic parallels to another Denver trio The Velveteers, you’re getting even warmer.
The sound you hear in the voices of John and LuLu from Pink Fuzz is called blood harmony. That sounds pretty metal, which is appropriate, arguably, but it’s a term used to describe the unmatched accordance that happens when blood relatives sing together. John and LuLu Demitro (and their sister Demi of the Velveteers) are siblings. And it’s not an act like Jack and Meg white – it’s the real deal. Something in the matching strands of Demitro DNA just sounds good.
“We were all born in the same hospital, strangely enough, and grew up in school together,” John Demitro tells BandWagon. “Around high school we all started getting into rock and roll, put together a high school group and played a ton. Over the years the band changed a million times but Lulu and I stayed writing partners.”
Maybe it’s easier to not break up as a band when you’re related, but John and LuLu also brought a former, non-Demitro comrade back into the family to complete the vibe.
“Forrest rejoined again about 5 years ago,” Demitro says of drummer Forest Raup, “and that’s the origins of Pink Fuzz. We wanted to create the heaviest, fuzzed-out band juxtaposed with catchy, memorable lyrics and melodies.”
The Pink Fuzz fam just finished a three week West Coast tour to Treefort Music Fest in Boise, Idaho, hitting the Weekender Festival in Seattle and more along the way. The road is like home for the trio, the place where they cut their teeth and figured out who they were, show after show.
“Lots of extensive touring around the country has really shaped us and inspired us,” Demitro says. “Touring, you really get to know each other. We always have a great time traveling and playing music.”
After Treefort, Pink Fuzz is taking a short tour break, then hitting the stage at The Aggie Theater in Fort Collins on Friday, April 22 for the proper return of Fort Collins’ beloved FoCoMX festival. A month later they will play a headlining show at The Hi-Dive in Denver on May 21. They’re stoked to play these Colorado shows and show their home-turf how the songs have stretched while on tour.
“The new material is some of our favorite to play,” Demitro says, “and some of the more challenging to execute. Maybe that’s why we like it! It’s heavier but still has these beautiful soaring vocal hooks that make you walk away singing it.”
But forget not – Pink Fuzz sings, but they also shred, channeling a huge amount of energy into the songs lined up for the new album, due out sometime in 2023. “They’re also really fast,” he says of the new tunes, “great for making you want to drive fast.” Spoken like a guy who’s toured a ton, John! “We feel that’s an important ingredient in good rock and roll.”
As per those ingredients, FoCoMx festival-goers can expect to hear the new material live, Demitro says, and Pink Fuzz promise fresh new merch at their Hi-Dive show in May. Things seem to be gelling.
“Tone-wise, I feel we’ve really honed in on what we sound like live,” he says, stating that each member’s unique twist on their instrument has started to mesh better than ever before. “Also, the lyrics are some of the best I feel we’ve ever put out,” he says. “We’re very excited to share these songs with everyone!”
The crowds, festivals and gigging across the nation are, of course, an inspiring highlight of life in a young band. But during the pandemic, the Demitros proved that being a creative unit is just who they are. Unlike other artists who struggled to find the muse during the last two years, Pink Fuzz seized the moment. And as a self-produced and self-managed band, the list of opportunities to stay busy was long.
“Honestly, quarantine was another defining moment,” Demitro says. “That was really motivational for us – to get creative, release videos and new music. We actually stayed extremely busy and released a lot of content we are really proud of. It’s a really satisfying feeling to do those things,” Demitro says, “Also a ton of work.”
It seems for Pink Fuzz, indie rock n’ roll is simply in their blood.
Pink Fuzz performs on Friday, April 22 at Aggie Theater in Fort Collins for FoCoMX. (More at pinkfuzzband.com). The FoCoMX festival takes place April 22 and 23 in Downtown Fort Collins. For tickets and complete line-up of the festival, go to focomx.focoma.org