Columbus, Ohio-based BareFuzz, a five-man psychedelic jam band, never plays a song the same way twice.
The group, consisting of vocalist Ryan Jones, bassist Adam Tackett, guitarist Andy Maughan and drummers Derek Petrucci and Jason Weihl, relies on its strong bond and hours of practice in order to improvise when creating and performing its music, Weihl said.
“You get a certain chemistry with musicians that you just build. It’s like you know how to read their mind after a while,” Jones said.
The direction of the members’ improvisation reflects their emotions and can be therapeutic, Weihl said. This organic way of performing draws from the energy of the crowd and the venue, Tackett said, making each performance a singular experience.
“I feel like it’s more fulfilling to come up with something unique,” Tackett said. “Even as a band, we’ll go on stage and we don’t always know exactly where the song is gonna take us, but keep your ears open and keep your minds open and it’ll go somewhere.”
The members of BareFuzz felt a connection shortly after forming in Athens, Ohio, in 2018, Tackett said. They got their start playing heavier, more intense rock ’n’ roll that evolved as the members solidified their dynamic and brought in the influence of their own musical interests.
The bandmates agree that The Allman Brothers Band reigns supreme as a source of inspiration, though the members’ individual tastes range from 1930s blues to ’70s rock, from jam bands to electronic dance music. Although it has maintained a rock ’n’ roll core, BareFuzz now has a groovier sound, injected with funk and blues, Tackett said.
“Over the last year and a half-ish that we’ve been playing music together, we’ve all really created a brotherhood,” Weihl said. “Spending that amount of time together practicing, playing shows, going gig to gig and hanging out has a lot to do with what our progression has looked like.”
Petrucci said he attributes their packed shows to the tight-knit music scene in Columbus, where the arts thrive as new talent frequently crops up.
“There are new venues that are popping up that are awesome. There’s venues that are mainstays that just keep taking care of us and are bringing through awesome shows of all kinds of different music,” Petrucci said.
The collaborative nature of the city’s music community strengthens the entire scene and enlivens BareFuzz’s performances, Maughan said.
“I think there’s a great clique — at least in our scene of bands — that are always playing shows together and always striving to make just that one night the best night for everyone there,” Maughan said. “I think that’s super important, that we’re all getting together on shows and not pushing anybody away.”
Tackett said the friendship the bandmates share with one another and other local bands extends to their audience, allowing them to create performances that reflect their relationships.
“Not everybody’s out there making friends with their fans, and I think that’s something that we are pretty big on is making that community and being friends with everyone that’s there,” Maughan.
Being the backdrop to the crowd’s night out is one of the most rewarding aspects of the job, Petrucci said.
“Especially with shows, you can kind of zone into it. You just close your eyes, and you’re inside of it for a second,” Petrucci said. “And then when you come back out and see people enjoying it and people messing around with their friends, doing stuff in the crowd, it’s fun. It feels really good.”
Tackett said the catharsis he experiences after a well-played show is the most gratifying aspect of being a musician.
“When you really are connecting with the music that you’re playing and with everybody else that you’re playing with, there’s just some feeling, some release, that you get after a show or after a good practice,” Tackett said. “It’s something that is going to keep me coming back.”
BareFuzz will play Jan. 24 at Woodlands Tavern at 1200 W. 3rd Ave. Doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets cost $10. BareFuzz released its second album, “Half Way Down,” in 2019.