Written by Silvie Mietzekatze
If you’re from Ventura and you have not heard of HARD SIX, you must have been dead for the last couple years. HARD SIX is a Ventura county based Rockabilly band that features FUSE HARDSIX on vocals/ guitar, BILLY VOGELCIDE on upright bass and CHRIS STORY on drums. Fuse is one of the most hardworking musicians out there. Every time I go and see a show or anything that has something to do with music – the chances are pretty darn high I run into him and most of the time he will be on a stage preforming. Just to make this clear – No I’m not stalking him, it’s just, I don’t think this man ever sits down and rests a minute – and everything he does is gold. He even ended up being a regular host on the Red Light District Radio show since last September.
And then there was that one time, when I ended up at a late night house party at 4 am and Fuse was singing and playing guitar in the middle of the living room backed up by his gorgeous wife DeeDee. Everyone just sat there listened and completely got lost in the music. The most raw and beautiful form of hearing good ol’ rock n roll – directly straight from the heart. Moments like that are unrepeatable, but I do have to admit that every time I see him and his band – he gives it all, no matter if it’s in front of a few drunken friends or the audience in a packed Ventura Theatre. Rightfully has HARD SIX received many awards, from Best Rock Band in Ventura County ( Ventura County Music Awards), and Ventura County Star’s Reader’s Choice Award for best band (beating out all other genres) in all of Ventura County, to two times best award for number one video and even an album of the year award. Yes, they deserve the recognition. I had to find out a little bit more about this multi talented rock n roller, who never seems to rest and ask him a few questions.
Fuse got into music when at the age of five he saw an Elvis movie and that made him want to be a singer.
He explains further, “I was a serious loner for all of my school years, so I taught myself how to play guitar, bass, and drums. My first bands were actually Christian rock, but that religion and some of the people involved in it, did a serious mind–fuck on me. When you’re having panic attacks at the age of 12 because you think it’s the end of the world and you’re going to get your head chopped off by the Anti-christ’s army, it can have a tendency to poison your thoughts. I still have anger and disgust about that. A lot of my personality and dark power comes from my feelings towards it. Did you notice how I said “dark power”? I just said that to fuck with “certain” Christians. Haha. It’s kind of true though. To those holy rollers who messed up my child hood, hail Satan and fuck you.”
Fuse can play pretty much any instrument or he says he can figure it out, except wind instruments.
He is no stranger to the rock n roll business though, a few years back when he lived in Hollywood, Fuse played in a band called AUTOMATIC HOTEL. They were very successful and even got to open for national acts like the BLACK EYED PEAS. AUTOMATIC HOTEL broke up, due to band member issues with drugs and drama right when they were on the cusp of a major record deal.
Anyone who knows Fuse, knows also that he is married to a gorgeous woman named Dee Dee.
The hopless romantic that I am I had to ask them how the two met – Fuse said:
“ I met DeeDee the best way a guy could ever want to meet a girl. I was performing on stage at the HOUSE OF BLUES and I was doing a guitar solo and saw her at the front of the stage. I went up to her and got in a low stance. She put her hand out and I flicked her hand with my guitar pick then continued with my solo.”
Dee Dee is not only stunningly beautiful, she also shares his passion for music and so do their children. Kelli who plays with Fuse in a band compares them to the modern day Patridge family.
“ The whole family is into music and there’s a lot of talent there. “I’m glad Oz “SHORT FUSE” (son) is carrying the rockabilly torch with his upright bass playing, and I hope he continues on with it. He’s loved that music since he was baby. I’m also trying to get Kylah (daughter) to sing and play with me as well.” And Kieren is in orchestra playing the cello, but has no rock n roll ambitions currently. You can see and hear Kylah singing backups with DeeDee on a facebook video we did of my song “HOT DRUNK ROCKABILLY MESS” and it’s up over 6000 views now, so maybe we’ll try to do something there and see if we can book VIVA LAS VEGAS ROCKABILLY WEEKENDER in the future.” ( HARD SIX has played VIVA three years in a row now at Reverend Martini’s All nite Jumpin’ Showcase).
“I want to do a family ROCKABILLY act. Something totally separate from Hard Six. We’ve been talking about it. So stay tuned!” says Fuse.
His wife DeeDee runs a vintage hula troupe called DEEDEE’S ISLAND ALOHA DOLLS – with their daughters, and Fuse picked up the ukulele for that as well.
“I didn’t really feel I had the energy to do it, but they really needed an emcee to make it work, so I do it for them. I said, okay, it’s gotta be a vintage hula show then and I just need to have a few drinks before, and during each show. I get stage fright still, and I’m really, truly an introvert who’s learned how to pretend to be an extrovert. So I have to get pretty sauced at the Hula shows to come out of my shell. I have a sponsorship from SHAKESPEARE VODKA, so I’m drinking those vodka martinis. I’m channeling my inner Dean Martin and it works out.”
His love to Rock N Roll was predestined. Fuses father had worked on 5 ELVIS MOVIES, had been to the king’s house in Beverly Hills and his parents got even married on the set of “VIVA LAS VEGAS”. “I was supposed to go and see Elvis Presely but then he died and I was crushed. I was pretty young, but I’ll never forget that day. Elvis was the reason I got into music.”
When asked how to describe the music of HARD SIX – Fuse answers: “ I don’t know what we are. I just write the songs how I’m feeling and I don’t like to limit myself. That also makes it harder to make it in music. Promoters often want you to fit into a mold. I’ve never fit any mold. We are Rockabilly, but we’re not a pure rockabilly band because I can’t help myself and I end up injecting some of my punk and goth roots into the music.”
Fuse also loves Morrissey and just like me he has a goth background.
“I channeled a lot of my lonely teenage darkness through Morissey and the Smiths. That music described how I was feeling. I was also listening to THE DAMNED, SISTERS OF MERCY, THE MISSION at that time in addition to all the Rockabilly music I could find. I did also channel a lot of rage through PUNK. I had a lot of rage from what my childhood Christianity did to me.” One of his influences that he mentions are the Vandals, because they were one of his early influences and also one of the bands spearheading Cow-Punk which he completely loved because he grew up loving vintage country and American roots music.
Two years ago Fuse decided to play stand up bass because great bassists as DAKOTA COLLINS, ALEX VOGEL and others inspired him. He even got a sponsorship from “FANTASTIC MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS” in Pasadena and he taught himself how to play. After 4 months of slapping bass at home Fuse asked to audition for the PHANTOM POMPS, because their stand up bass player DAKOTA COLLINS had just moved to Nashville. Kelli and Chris of the Phantom Pomos were already best friends and Chris Story who had played drums in BLAZING HALEY – ended even up becoming the latest drummer of HARD SIX as well. “ Being in the PHANTOM POMPS is one of the best things I have going for me. I consider myself extremely fortunate.” Says Fuse.
When Fuse isn’t writing new tunes for Hard Six ( he is working on material for a 4th album), playing Stand up Bass with the Phantom Pomps, being a hardworking dad and rock n roll husband who supports his wife’s passion of Hula dancing, or playing some of his acoustic shows he might have a rare weekend just for himself. And what does a overworked punk rock n roller like Fuse do on these rare occasions? “ I’m really looking forward to binge watching “STRANGER THINGS” this weekend and just resting. I don’t have much free time but when I do I like to be in a quiet room, away from social situations and sometimes now I play “WORDS WITH FRIENDS” when I should be sleeping.
HARD SIX are headlining THE CORE POUR FESTIVAL in Santa Paula on November 11th and they are also going to do a show at the SAN MANUAL CASINO in December.
For more info please check their facebook page – and Fuses youtube channel where he has some killer videos of HARD SIX and his other musical projects as well. They are actually talking about collaboration with Horror film director WESLEY ALLEY to shoot a music video in the near future.
Fuse is one of the people that has always one more project up his sleeve. Right now he is collaborating with GATOR, the driving force behind the COFFIN DRAGGERS and started a side project called “GATOR AND THE UNDERSHAKERS” that rocks very hard.
Bottom line, we need more people like him who just put everything they got into what they love and that’s why it’s really important that each one of you out there makes sure to support true hearted musicians like FUSE HARDSIX.
Thank you Fuse, you rule! Any last words?:
”I want to give a shoutout to my band mates, Alex “ Billy” Vogel on bass, and Chris Story (of the PHANTOM POMPS and BLAZING HALEY) on drums. Those cats are the real deal and play a major roll in making HARD SIX rock as hard as it does. Also to DeeDee, who has always been a crucial support and who super-charges Hard Six performances every time she joins us on-stage”