Let’s not worry about what genres fit or which scenes apply with an event like Fuzz Fest, and particularly with a band like Child Bite. The Detroit-based mutanic-metal quartet is headlining day one of this 6th annual live music event at the Blind Pig (starting June 20), along with The Amino Acids, SNAFU, and more than two dozen local bands that, more than anything else, bring a bit of loudness and edge to the stage. Founded and curated by local musician Chris Taylor, the inspiration for Fuzz Fest continues to celebrate Michigan musicians who launch from the deck of guitar-centric “rock ‘n’ roll” into new, creative, eccentric, refreshing and strange directions.
A bit on Child Bite
“You’re going to have upwards of 30 bands, and none of them are inside the same genre,” said Child Bite’s lead singer Shawn Knight. “People may try to pigeonhole (bands) or boil it all down to one (genre) but it’s just not the case. But it’s so they can maybe simplify it so they can categorize it in their brain, I get it; I probably do it too. But (Child Bite) is always a square peg, wherever we try to fit; it’s pretty much the nature of what we’re doing. There’s just a lot of proportions and different influences amongst myself and (bassist Sean) Clancy, and (guitarist) Jeremy (Waun), but it winds up working out because we get to play with a bunch of unique bands, anything from noise-rock to post-punk, or indie-rock, or whatever you call it.”
“It’s always more interesting,” Knight continued, “to go to something like Fuzz Fest, where all the bands have their own personality, as opposed to other fests where they literally homogenize the lineup, with the same genre, and you can get burned out with that.” If you’ve never heard Child Bite, suffice it to say, they often get lassoed into a esoterically-defined subgenre like “thrash-metal.” But the group, formed in 2005, has genuinely evolved, every four years or so, from DEVO-esque art-punk, to an anthemic hardcore-inflected post-rock, to something that’s altogether adventurous and gnarly, and maybe a bit demonic-sounding.
“Yeah, I used to have a youthful yelp, but it’s become a chiseled sort of demon moan,” said Knight, looking back on a progression through four albums, several EPs and singles. Throughout Child Bite’s arc, Knight has provided a consistently vibrant and macabre visual aesthetic for the band’s album art, flyers and paraphernalia (having graduated back in 2000 with graphic design bonafides from the College of Creative Studies in Detroit).
In the studio
Child Bite is now in the studio with legendary producer Steve Albini, to knock out their forthcoming fifth album, and Knight is excited to bring newest member Waun (on guitar) into the creative process. “Because he’s a shredder, but very versatile; he’s somebody who brings an eclectic range of influences, just like (Clancy and I have), he’s a swiss-army knife–that’s what makes sense for the band!” Clancy, meanwhile, has been in the band for 12 years and Knight said he’s crucial for minutely weaving in the subtlest of rhythmic details into tempos that are already blisteringly-paced.
And just like their energized arrangements, the band just keeps rolling on. See the bands at this year’s Fuzz Fest, like the spaced-out surf rock vets of Amino Acids, or the country-inclined twangers of Loose Koozies, or the expansively droney, psychedelic surf-rock of those neon-hued aliens in Krillin. Expand your musical consciousness three nights in a row, at the Blind Pig, starting June 20.