From moonshine to Rock N Roll

Like bubbling, steaming goo from Seattles deep dark cauldron, please allow me to present – Buzzed & Loaded

I have been FB friends with Buzz Brown for 6 or 7 years. First meeting via my radio show after promoting and spinning Voodoo in Blue tracks. Following that, I interviewed him in mid-December of 2016.
From this friendship, Buzz introduced me to Rob and the Bromance became a three-way, lol.
Recently, I was fortunate to electronically sit down with Rob Trosino (Fluffer and Buzzed & Loaded), Buzz Brown (Buzzed & Loaded and Voodoo in Blue) and Andy Claus (Fluffer and Buzzed & Loaded).
We spent a few hours across the interwebs laughing, reminiscing, and messing about.
This is the edited interview I managed to rescue from that brilliant, off topic and at times out of kilter chat.

How did you guys become aware of each other and your work?

Rob – I think we met during a prostitution sting or at a recovery group for former boyband members…
Buzz – Rob and I became FB friends and started chatting about the great Canadian bands of the 70’s and 80’s, I spent 7 years touring around Canada before landing in Seattle, so I knew many of the bands that he loved, and that nobody in the States had ever heard of, and we decided to get together and jam some of our favorite cover tunes- and wound-up writing two damn good songs our first session.
Rob – Then Covid happened but we still stockpiled songs and hooked up with Roger Capps founding member of Pat Benatar to lay down some bass goodness!! We’ve played together 26 times and have 100 songs to choose from. Andy and I played together in Fluffer 12 years ago, he then stepped into the bass role of B&L in January. His playing on the new album is exceptional and a big boost to the band. I just started a company with my Daughter Kelsey’s 3 boys called Squatch & Roll which will be a Rock n Roll Bigfoot lifestyle brand!!! Its logo is a cool Sasquatch playing a red Flying V guitar. We will have all the clothing, stickers and giant Coffee Mugs to start with because it’s Bigfoot related, and he would need giant mugs. We plan on using proceeds to fund educational experiences for the boys and to teach them about the responsibility of running a business and giving back by each of them picking a charity for us to donate a portion of the proceeds to their charity.

How is the music scene in Seattle at the moment and how do you fit into it?

Rob – The music scene is coming back after covid if you are under 30 you have lots of venues. For old originals rockers like us it’s a little tougher to find venues that pay more than gas fare. Also strong for tribute bands.
Buzz – Rob pretty well nailed it- it’s coming back, but the once vibrant scene for original bands is not what it was

Been a massive couple of years for you both, in both Fluffer, Buzzed & Loaded and in your personal lives. How do you maintain structure and focus?

Rob – Fluffer has both me and Andy Claus with Tony DeMore on drums. Buzzed & Loaded is me and Andy but with Buzz on Drums plus Buzz has Voodoo in Blue. For me I am a lucky guy who operates well with little sleep so doing both bands, running now two companies and a weekly radio show I find it stimulating so it keeps me at a high level of endorphin dumps. I do make it a priority to get 5 days of weight training and aerobic exercise it’s important to the discipline of the precarious balancing act! My wife Karen is my business partner and co-host on the Jet City Rockers radio show.
Buzz – I seem to be on the run from 6 am ‘til late at night, getting the real estate business up and running, showing homes, trying to get our own home landscaping done, etc. It’s three years old now and almost done. My wife Ally does amazing things outdoors, it’s looking like a tropical getaway.

You are working on a performance for a virtual music show in Canada, tell me about that.

Rob – KB Radio in Canada is doing a Virtual Festival on September 10th that will be on YouTube and their website. It’s one of the largest independent stations in North America so we are stoked to perform with both bands it’s tied into the World Suicide Prevention Day I’ve lost a few friends to suicide, and it means a lot to bring some exposure to something that has sadly affected most of us. There will be ten bands 5 hours of great music spanning, rock, pop and country. Andy and I will be Greedy and be on the screen for 20 percent of the show.
Buzz – As above 😊

What can we expect to see from Buzzed & Loaded in the future?

Rob – Buzzed & Loaded is currently working on our third album. We just got the finalist award from the World Songwriters Association for our song Bad Penny, and We are up for Single of the Year for the same song at the International Singer Songwriter Association Awards. One of the only rock songs representing. We have the largest Indie Music Award Show in October at the Grand Ole Opry (the Josie Music Awards) for rock album of the year Fluffer is also nominated for same category we are double dipping. All selections were Picked by industry experts from over 54000 submissions. All four of us were nominated for musicians of the year for our instruments. It’s wild and such an honor.
We have aligned with a Seattle area whiskey distillery to have our own custom line of Buzzed & Loaded Moonshine (whiskey) It’s a natural fit for us!! Of course, we are working on finding a new PR company to get the Fast Cars album everywhere. Fluffer is officially releasing our 6th album Technonauts this month. And halfway done songs for album number 7.
As you know each album all proceeds of sales and merch go to charity. This one is for The Alzheimer’s Association which effects my mother, people in Tony and Andy’s families as well.
Fluffer and Buzzed & Loaded are looking at doing some live shows, videos and we want to do some Facebook live shows where we all can interact and drink together.
Fluffer did this pre covid and got 1000 plus viewers each Saturday night we did it. You would be hard pressed to get a club gig that big around here.
Buzz – We’re already writing for the next album- the addition of Andy into the mix is a really great dynamic. As a drummer, I appreciate his approach to bass lines. Lots of movement and flow, and yet holds the bottom down nice n solid. I would say that the writing and material is evolving into a higher level of musical delivery, kinda like Kiss when they went to work on Destroyer, they moved away from pure sexual innuendo songs and into songs with more depth and personal meaning, not that blatant sexual innuendo isn’t very personal to us.

Okay, 6 individual questions, taken from my standard Back 9 I ask every at interview.

What was the first instrument you owned and was it what you wanted to play?

Buzz – Drums- that was it- I’ve learned a bit of bass guitar, and can wank around on it. If I weren’t a drummer- I would have to be a bass player, like Pete Way from UFO.
Rob – The spoons, I know it is weird but my dad taught me, it is a real skill and percussive.
I think this made my hands strong enough to learn to play guitar on my first and VERY second-hand acoustic guitar. It has 5 strings and a neck like a banana.
Andy – Piano was my dad’s instrument. He was a lover of classical music and had a bust of Beethoven near his beloved Baldwin baby grand. And so, my brother and I both had to take lessons from dad. I started at age 6 but it soon became drudgery for me. I quit at age 14, but decided to play bass guitar at age 16. Haven’t stopped since then.

When we are kids, we all have heroes, someone we want to be. Who was your someone?

Rob – Guitarist in KISS. I would strum away on my tennis racket but could see myself on stage with KISS, I was going to be the Shark make-up
Buzz – Ringo Starr, I saw them on TV and thought it was the greatest thing ever- sitting behind that cool kit with the Beatles name on the front head, and girls fainting- there’s no better job- ever!
Andy – I wanted to be Spiderman and catch thieves just like flies!

Who have you worked with musically that you feel you learned the most from?

Andy – That would be my dad. All those years learning to read music, understanding time signatures, keys, scales, etc. helped tremendously. I also learned his passion for music and attention to the dynamics of masterpieces.
Buzz – When my band AXXN was doing a demo album for Sony in 1992, we worked with Steve Adamek as a producer. he’s a legend, and a great drummer as well, (his band Bighorn did a world tour with Bon Scott era AC/DC!) he was a great mentor, for recording and thinking of drum parts in general.
Rob – Randy Knowles, he is a super talented musician but private musician. He doesn’t really release anything to the public. We ran a pawn (porn?) shop together and spent our days strumming away and crafting our skills.

Music, work, life obligations, how do you manage those?

Buzz – Like juggling 9 chainsaws all at once, just try not to get bit!
Andy – It always is a juggling act addressing the priorities at the moment. All too often, music is the last one on the list.
Rob – I have the best wife and family in the world. I could not do everything I love doing in life without Karen.

What is the most useless talent you have?

Rob – I can burp the alphabet, not something I want to share now but I have been practicing since the third grade.
Buzz – Probably recalling bits of music trivia, my brain is a wasteland of rock trivia
Andy – Singing People Are Strange by The Doors with a Russian accent.

Why does music matter?

Buzz – Music is all that hold many of us together and gets us through our day, or gets us through a rough patch- music is what feelings and emotions sound like.
Andy – Music can make most living things happier. That includes plants and animals studies have shown. Just yesterday I witnessed a homeless person hanging out at a local bar get joy from watching a local yacht rock band perform.
Rob – Music will always matter.
I’ve had tragedies in my life, as most people have, and music is the healer.
I went 3 years without playing a note and they were by far the darkest years of my life.
Music is everything to me, my guitar is my therapist.

Guys, thank you all so much for your time and honesty, NeHi wishes you all the best for the future and we hope to see you on stage soon.

You can check these guys out via the following links;

Oh, and next time I am in Seattle I will be looking for a couch to crash on 😀



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