Last month it was revealed that Hot Hot Heat vocalist Steve Bays was teaming up with Fitz and the Tantrum’s Jeremy Ruzumna and Erik Janson of Wilding for an energetic, synth-heavy, and ’80s-nostalgic project called Left Field Messiah, with their debut single “Fuzz Machine” proving an instantly catchy romp slightly outside the wheelhouse of any of the more indie rock–oriented musician’s day jobs. As Ruzumna notes, the song felt a little appropriate for the times, even if it wasn’t planned. “There was a feeling of chaos in the music when we did ‘Fuzz,’” he shares. “Little did we know that it would be released during one of the craziest times in history. The song is the perfect soundtrack for what is happening in the world right now.”
Today the trio are revealing a trancey video for the single created by Johnny Jansen, a friend of the band who took the song’s chaotic concept and ran with it. “‘Fuzz Machine’ has to be one of my all time favorite projects,” he confesses. “The LFM boys are a force of brilliance and it’s impossible not to sync up with their flow. They have a deep respect for the creative process and allowed me to explore crazy ideas with no boundaries. Combine that with a bomb track like ‘Fuzz Machine’ and I was set up to surprise myself with how far I could go down the rabbit hole.”
“Since I met Johnny ten years ago or so, I’ve permanently felt 10 percent less alone in the world, because I immediately knew he understood the obsessive tunnel vision that occupied most of my waking hours,” Bays adds. “Not only can he relate, but based on the pace of his output and learning curve, he’s actually worse—or better, depending on who you ask. (Mad respect to his wife and kids.) He’s an amateur shaman, but a professional collaborator. (Which is why we joke that he’s essentially in the band). The sad (or rad?) reality is…the sacrifice of sanity often delivers the most unexpected gems that only present themselves late at night, at the back of the subconscious mind…and can only be discovered if freedom to explore is publicly stated as paramount by everyone involved.”
He continues, “Which is why I love working with Erik and Jeremy so much…and why he’s one of the only people I know where I/we feel no anxiety about handing over the keys to the Maserati and saying, “Just do whatever buddy. Be free!” without concerns about what it says about our image. Even if he drags us through the mud of an experiment he was curious to try, but goes on to abandon, it’ll at least always end up a completely unique piece of entertainment, worthy of clicks…respectful of the viewer’s intelligence and time.”
Watch the visual below, and expect LFM’s debut In Praise of Bombast when it drops February 21.