Hailing itself as the longest running Alternative mid-week club night in the city, Fuzzy Logic is an integral part of Leeds’ nightlife. This may seem a bizarre accolade, but Leeds is riddled with lots of similar nights, so the Gryphon had a quick chat with Ryan Paul, resident DJ and organizer of the night to find out what makes Fuzzy stand head and shoulders above the rest in the run up to its 16th birthday this Thursday…
So you’re the resident DJ for Fuzzy Logic at one of the favourite clubs in Leeds – how long have you been doing that for and how did you get involved?
Well I started DJ’ing at Fuzzy Logic about two years ago but I was just covering whilst one of the founding members, Pete Fabianski aka Fabs was on holiday and then after DJ’ing Fuzzy every week for the last 15 years (which is a feat in itself!), he decided it was time to get a proper job and walk away. And then, the next thing I knew, not only was I a resident but I was also running the night which was such a big honour!
What particularly appealed to you about Fuzzy?
The thing about Fuzzy, it is like no other club night I’ve experienced in my life. From the music to the loss of inhibition, there’s something about the basement of Wire. It really is the place of hopes and dreams.
What are the best and worst things about the Fuzzy crowd?
I haven’t got a bad word to say about the Fuzzy crowd – I love every single one of them! I said it before and I mean it, the crowds at Fuzzy are like nothing I’ve experienced before. They come down, they leave their inhibitions at the door, they fully lose it and party, they’ll sing at the top of their voices (I could cut the volume and they’ll still sing the words!) They’ll get down to brand new music, they’ll get down to the classics and they’ll make requests all the time and if we haven’t got it and it’s a banger, we’ll play it the following week.
Have you got a particular tune that is a guaranteed crowd pleaser?
That’s a hard one! It changes all the time but I’ll have to say for obvious reasons, it’s currently David Bowie – Rebel Rebel.
How do you keep your sets fresh week on week?
In terms of keeping our sets fresh, well, I’ve got OCD and I’m a big music nerd (most DJs are). So every term, I completely clear all my playlists and trawl through all my artist back catalogues where I quite often find forgotten jams of years gone by and re-select my playlists. But on a weekly basis, I’m reading through various music publications, searching Spotify, Last.fm, Soundcloud, related likes on Facebook to find new artists and new music to play because that’s what we do at Fuzzy Logic as well as playing the absolute classics.
What’s the best thing about Thursdays?
It’s not quite the weekend and it’s a school night so the fact you might have work tomorrow is pretty rebellious.
Fuzzy has been going for 16 years – what is its key to success?
I think the biggest compliment is that it’s been going for 16 years directly through word of mouth. It’s pretty much engrained into Leeds nightlife now. These days, you have social media to spread the word as well as various different platforms to promote your club night. Before I came along, Fuzzy Logic didn’t even really have real branding, it just had rotating artwork from month to month but now we have a fantastic artist, Molly Fairhurst who designs all of our artwork and branding by hand. But that never mattered, Fuzzy Logic has packed out Wire every week for 16 years and so many bands have come and partied at Fuzzy, even ones we hadn’t booked to play. I’ve been told many a story about people like The Cribs, Kaiser Chiefs, The Sunshine Underground, Pulled Apart By Horses who have all danced in that basement and got down to guitar music!
How would you describe the Alternative scene as it stands today in Leeds? Do you think alternative music has a permanent place in the North?
Without trying to quote that Alex Turner BRIT award speech, Alternative music never goes away. There will always be people who like guitar music, it’s only the trends that change but it always goes full circle, but I think what we’re starting to see right now is the re-emergence of Alternative music. You’ve got bands like Wolf Alice, Foals, Everything Everything, Tame Impala entering highly in the charts and then with all the upcoming releases from the heavyweights and rising artists…it’s an exciting time for guitar music. I think Alternative music always has a permanent place in the North. Certainly from DJ’ing all over, we’re a livelier bunch up here, especially in places like Manchester, Leeds, and Sheffield.
Fuzzy always manages to get the most incredible band bookings – how do you go about arranging that?! And do you think its important for musicians to step off the stage and behind the decks?
*chuckles* We just keep our ears to the ground and listen to who our weekly Fuzzy faithfuls want to see and then we just get in touch with them and if they’re free from touring, making or promoting an album then they’re up for coming to Leeds to party! Well if for a musician or artist, the hard bit is making the record then surely the playing or performing is the fun part, right? And DJ sets provide fans an avenue not only to meet them but to hear what music their favourite band likes. It’s pretty surreal to be honest, I’ve had a pint with Carl Barat, I’ve shared the end of night McDonalds with Peace and that’s just in the last year!
Have there been any particularly memorable DJ sets? Have you done any accidental B2Bs?!
There’s been too many! They all kind of just blur into one big Fuzzy haze. Peace was pretty good – we had Harry dancing on top of the DJ decks to Uptown Funk which was played on more than one occasion by them that night. Fuzzy has always been known to have accidental B2Bs over the years. Nick, formerly of Kaiser Chiefs has played for Fuzzy Logic many a time. We’re yet to have one this year though so if anyone’s in town soon…
Where do you see the night going…?
Ah! There’s a lot going on at the moment that is top secret at Fuzzy Logic HQ which will be revealed soon but the basic idea is for Fuzzy Logic to become a platform so we’re working on a blog, the video channel, podcasts, DJ mixes so it can become a bit of a hub for Alternative music for our fans to get involved with but also to read but I suppose it wouldn’t be fun if I didn’t give you one little exclusive… We’re currently in talks of bringing you a live music event so watch this space!
What can we expect at the 16th Birthday celebrations?
When it comes to our birthday parties, I say expect the unexpected. They always sell out, Wire is always packed to the rafters with Fuzzy fans of new and old and it’s always a good time. Quite often, we go on till the very early hours so as long as you’re still standing, drinking and dancing then we’ll keep partying till the early hours. Last birthday we had Carl Barat and obviously this year we have Wolf Alice so it’s big shoes to fill but I’m sure they’re up to the challenge.
The 16th Birthday Bash is this Thursday at Wire with Wolf Alice (DJ Set) – tickets are on last release available from here: http://www.ticketarena.co.uk/events/Fuzzy-Logic-pr-1/index.html
(Photo courtesy of Wire)