The Phusion is a psychedelic funk & jazz rock outfit hailing from London, Ontario. With a mentality that emphasizes the plasticity of genre, these four musicians combine equal parts of mellow and awesome to create a smooth mix of ear pleasing tracks.
The Phusion also brings an energy that really carries on the live stage, as shown by a handful of recent performances. Already in 2011 they've taken 2nd place in the HYSTERIA Finals at the London Music Hall, even coming close to grabbing the Wildcard vote.
When you check out the band in action, it's easy to see why they've become fan favourites... their jazz influences allow them to give an illusion of effortless smooth funk. I'm particularly fond of the Manzarek-esque keys.
Ahead of their next big show, we sat down with the members of The Phusion to get to know them a little better...
So can you guys introduce yourselves? How does each individual fit into the band?
Wally Attard is the guitarist and brings a certain level of simplicity to the group that counteracts the over the top complexities of Tyse Burrows (Keyboards) and Daniel Diaz (Bass); but this simplicity allows the group to have a "catchy edge" and flair.
On that same level, Tyse and Daniel are phenomenal composers that can come up with interesting arrangements and time signatures that are intriguing for the listener. Daniel, with the 6 string bass in hand can create guitar parts and bass rhythms with ease while also coming up with variations of simple bass lines.
Jonathan Zarola is the drummer of the group, he views the world in colours and shapes and has a different perspective on music textures in general. He is constantly looking for inspiring rhythms and grooves that locks the band in, while also
giving the band the freedom to do as they please in the song.
What a lucid introduction! What is your band’s history?
It started with Jonathan, Wally and Daniel jamming with interesting sounds and textures with the help of Wally's amp during the summer of 2009. Tyse came into the fold during school when they were showing him the riff to Confuzed Funk. He clearly saw potential in this, and decided to join.
The name stems from our music's combination of styles: jazz, funk, rock etc. The "ph" was more or less used for aesthetics and to make the group seem "different". Constant practices and hard work have led us to winning the Battle of the Bands®.
So how would you describe your band’s sound?
Our sound is quite eclectic with various interjections of jazz, funk and rock. It can be described as alternative, in some respects, but the sound is constantly evolving.
So far, what has been the most rewarding thing about being in a band?
Being able to be creative and productive while having fun with material we're proud of.
Was there any particular event that made you want to pursue music full time?
Not really, the music gradually became more encouraging to play with longer arrangements and possibilities.
What other artists do you look up to?
We are largely influenced by Jazz, and Funk artists. Because of this, our main sound is instrumental, but the possibility of incorporating lyrics in to our song structure is not impossible.
The list of musicians that inspire us would be too long to list, but the main ones who have continually entered our improvisational soundscape are: Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Dream Theater, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Medeski Martin and Wood, Jimi Hendrix, Victor Wooten, Jaco Pastorius, Genisis, Pat Metheney and The Beatles... among many others who have been the main pioneers in the progression of music.
Have you found the music industry easy to get into?