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Kings Park's Morning Fuzz 'reborn' since band moved back to LI

Morning Fuzz, from left: guitarist Mike Cullari, singer

Morning Fuzz, from left: guitarist Mike Cullari, singer Frank Fussa, drummer Dan Leo and bassist Chris Johanidesz. Credit: Aaron Ideals Photography

Morning Fuzz, like a lot of Long Island artists, opted to launch its career in California, where much of the music industry is based these days and rents and rehearsal space costs are much easier to cover each month.

But, after a couple of albums, when singer Frank Fussa, bassist Chris Johanidesz and guitarist Michael Cullari found themselves stuck and in the midst of personnel changes, the Kings Park natives decided to come back.

“It felt better to regroup and come home,” Fussa says. “I don’t feel at home anywhere else.”

And Morning Fuzz’s return has greatly inspired them, reeling off a string of singles last year, leading to a creative momentum that continues with the new single “I’ll Be Around” (Morning Fuzz).

“It was like Morning Fuzz was reborn,” says Fussa. “It was like we were starting from scratch.”

Part of the energy comes from new drummer Dan Leo, who Johanidesz says “makes it more exciting to do everything.”

And the band hopes the uplifting rock anthem — produced by the great Lou Giordano, who has worked with everyone from Bob Mould and Paul Westerberg to Taking Back Sunday — will launch a new album later this year.

“That song put itself together really fast,” Fussa says. ‘It could be about relationships. It could be about a lot of things. Things are always going to be tough. A lot of people run away from their problems, but the best way is to push right through it.”

Fussa says the band is taking its own advice. “We have a new focus,” he says. “We’re doing what we love to do. We love playing.”

“We all want the same thing now,” adds Johanidesz. “And we’re doing something we haven’t done so much in the past. We’re playing new songs live before we record them.”

Counter to what many bands are doing in the current singles-obsessed music landscape, Morning Fuzz is eager to write and record a full album. “We just decided to go for it,” says Fussa. “We’re filming everything. We’re just going to keep pushing on that. We’re going to just keep working on a record.”

The band does have a follow-up to “I’ll Be Around” ready to go, though Fussa says they plan to wait a few months before releasing it.

“We lit the fireplace,” he says. “Now, we’re trying to keep the fire burning.”

Morning Fuzz plays The Rail, 281 W. Main St., Smithtown on Saturday, March 30, at 7 p.m. Contact The Long Island Sound at or follow @ndmusic on Twitter.

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