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Myles Deck and the Fuzz are dead 

A short oral history of a rock band.

click to enlarge Myles Deck and the Fuzz drink up together one last time. - ALISON LANG
  • Myles Deck and the Fuzz drink up together one last time.
  • Alison Lang

Five years ago, Myles Deck was bored. Night after night, he watched the usual array of Halifax bands go through the motions. The music wasn't bad, but something was missing. "I felt a good frontman was lacking in every show I went to," he says. "I wanted someone who was there, who you couldn't ignore."

To that end, the drummer created his dream project---a band that made it OK to be cocky and unapologetic. Since then, Myles Deck and the Fuzz have released two full-lengths, two seven-inches, toured to Ontario and back twice, opened for Thrush Hermit and Monotonix, and---if you believe all the stories---pissed off endless bouncers and audience punters. They were committed to the idea of a pure rock and roll spectacle. They were impossible to ignore. And soon they will be "dead."

February 19, 2009, Montreal: Myles Deck and the Fuzz are playing the first stop on their first tour to Ontario. During the set, Deck knocks over a man's beers. The man demands Deck buy him more. Deck refuses. The man pulls him off the stage and the crowd starts brawling. The band continues playing and Deck eventually crawls back. The man returns later in a different outfit, comes up to Deck, calls him a douchebag and punches him twice in the head.

November 7, 2010, 4am, Nova Scotia Music Week, Yarmouth: Myles Deck and the Fuzz play a ferocious set at Dooly's. Hours later the band is loaded, wandering to the floor where the bulk of MNS delegates are sleeping soundly. Bassist Alan Hoskins, in a moment of drunken recklessness, yanks a fire extinguisher off the wall and chases his bandmates down the hall with its powerful chemical spray. A special crew is summoned from Halifax to clean up the mess. Hoskins, horribly embarrassed, personally apologizes to Music Nova Scotia and is fined thousands of dollars for the damage.

When Myles Deck and the Fuzz get to telling stories, the atmosphere is raucous. While some anecdotes leave them cringing, there's also a palpable sense of glee. They have a good time.

When the subject of the impending split comes up, however, everyone goes quiet. For Deck, the departure of longtime guitarist Dale Boudreau in August was the final straw, highlighting creative differences as well as a general sense of malaise. "It was a wake-up call," he says. "I was really unhappy and it came out in an ugly way. I just feel that I'm a little burned out."

It's clear that the rest of the band doesn't feel the same way. "Myles has reasons for ending the band. I had counter-arguments for all of them," says Hoskins.

Drummer Jordan Oakie, who has the band's logo tattooed on his back, seems most affected. "This band, as far as live performance goes, is at the top of whatever I've done previously," he says. "For five years, this band has been the most important thing in my life."

January 3, 2009, The Marquee Club, Halifax: At a punk cover show, Deck smears his naked torso with peanut butter and dives off the stage. Instead of catching him, the crowd backs up and he hits the ground.

Lester Bangs wrote that in the cycle of music, rock never dies, it returns in a different form. This is the way of things in Halifax, and it will remain so for the Fuzz, who are too talented to remain idle. But sometimes there's a certain type of cacophony that won't be captured twice.


Myles Deck and the Fuzz Are Dead w/Sleepless Nights and The Grabods

Saturday, March 19 at Gus' Pub, 2601 Agricola Street, 10pm



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