There’s certainly something to duo Jaggfuzzbeats; the band’s musical gradient goes from the “jangles of folk,” to the drawl and blues of southern rock, to the wasted youths of your favourite stoner rock bands. All working in tandem to make them as infectious as their catchy choruses, memorable riffs, and easy-to-dance beats – living up to the three things that make up the portmanteau that is the band’s name; the Fender Jaguar (‘Jagg’), the effects pedal (‘fuzz’), and well, the beats, of course. But for Azrul Zainal (guitar, vocals) and Omar Aiman (drums) to still resonate with their age group, who musically has grown apart from the idea of a rock band, is an even more impressive feat.
Curious to know what makes them relatable to today’s audience, and with a big festival show (Good Vibes Festival ’17) ahead of them, JUICE got these Shah Alam boys to tell us about the people, places, and music that helped shape Jaggfuzzbeats.
The People and Places That Shaped Jaggfuzzbeats
My big brother who actually got me into music and even taught me how to play the guitar. Growing up, he – and also my eldest Irfan – influenced me into listening to bands like Nirvana, Kings of Leon, The Strokes, and Jeff Buckley. He was also the one who initially came up with the idea for the band name and suggested it to us.
She’s the special person in my life and a big inspiration to me. Most of the time, the songs I wrote were based on how I feel about her. She’s also the inspiration behind our acoustic track ‘Little Miss Sunshine’.
Okay, this sounds kind of silly, but I would have a lot of ideas when I’m in the shower. It’s kinda like a zen moment for me. I’d just go crazy in my head and sometimes I would end up with an idea for a song.
Mamak lepak sessions
Before JGFZBTS started, we would often spend our time at our favourite mamak restaurant with our friends, where we would just lepak, talk about our interests, music, and other shit for hours. And somewhere along those countless hours of lepaking, we thought about starting a band, maka lahirlah sebuah kugiran bernama Jaggfuzzbeats.
Growing up in Shah Alam did not just allow us to meet at a young age, but it also taught us how to be humble and true to ourselves, in which we implement a lot in our writing and producing process.
It was hard for us to get shows when we were first starting off, cause it was just the two of us and we didn’t know how the scene works nor did we have anyone to help us, so we turned to open mics, which allowed us to expose ourselves and build our fanbase during the early stages. I personally feel that open mics are awesome, it helped us out a lot!
The Albums That Shaped Debut EP Rest Now
Kings of Leon’s Aha Shake Heartbreak
One of my favourites from them. I would say this album inspired the ambience we wanted to capture. Just raw and natural kind of sound.
The Kooks’ Konk
This album had all sorts of vibes and feels and I admire that. It was just a mixture of emotions and that was something I wanted to do with Rest Now too. I wanted to make songs people can sing, dance, or even cry to.
The Strokes’ Room on Fire
JC is my inspiration when it comes to songwriting. His words can be simple yet impactful. It showed me that how you express yourself, even through words, is limitless. This album was a big influence to me getting into writing.
The Black Keys’ Turn Blue
This album is inspiring to me because it blends the element of blues, pop, and stoner rock so well, expanding the boundaries of sound and genres.
Title Fight’s Hyperview
It’s crazy how this album is heavy and dark but they managed to make it sound ‘happy-ish’, and that is somehow similar to Rest Now, in a sense where the album as a whole sounds jangly/happy/friendly, but our lyrics tend to be more on the darker side.
Kings of Leon’s Come Around Sundown
Personally, this album inspired my drumming for Rest Now. I felt that Nathan Followill’s laidback, straightforward but soulful drumming was something that I needed to implement in Rest Now.
Jaggfuzzbeats are set to play the second day of Good Vibes Festival ’17 on Sunday 13 August ’17.
Stream Rest Now here.