The Story of Fuzzy Vandelay
Fuzzy Vandelay is a rock band from Northeast Ohio formed by Tich "Alex" Tichenor and Mason "The Bass Man" Bellamy in April 2022, but the story of America's Favorite Band begins long before that...
Alex Tichenor and Brock Burns started a (mostly) cover band in the mountains of Virginia in November 2016. They named their makeshift project Not Robots. Burns played lead guitar while Tichenor provided vocals and rhythm guitar. Shortly after Not Robots' conception, Mason Bellamy - who was friends with the duo - had joined the group as an outlet to play bass guitar.
It didn't take long for the men to begin writing original music and once they had amassed a sizeable arsenal of songs, they played out as much as they could, rotating drummers as they were available.
Around the time Not Robots started to find their sound, Brock Burns departed the band to focus on his family. Bellamy and Tichenor knew they had to carry on regardless, and so they did. Songs were re-worked to be approached with one guitar. Bellamy would play shows either on drums or bass guitar, depending on who the duo were able to recruit for gigs. Sometimes, the guys would rough it out as a two-piece without bass, as Tichenor and Bellamy fought their way into listeners' heads and hearts.
In 2018 Bellamy and Tichenor moved to different states: Mason to Georgia and Tich to Ohio. They had nearly a dozen songs written but no easy way to record them. And so in the summer of 2019, Tich made multiple trips to Georgia for the group to self-record, produce, mix, and release their own full-length debut album as Not Robots entitled Not Robots II. But living ten hours apart prevented them from playing out after the album's release.
Against all odds, the band hoped for a future where they would one day be able to write new material and play live music again...
Fast forwarding to 2021, Mason Bellamy moved back to his home state of Ohio and there, he would rejoin his partner and master of riffage Tich Tichenor. The two quickly began writing dozens of new songs. But with the passage of time, and musical growth, the group wanted to shed the (frankly awful) name Not Robots. They had become something else. Something they dubbed Fuzzy Vandelay.
Tich and Mason knew they had to play live shows again no matter what. They had put out an album; they had songs that captured what the band had always wanted to achieve musically. They had a standard and a vision. And so the next logical step was to find a drummer capable of playing the material live. After about a month of looking, the band found Ryan Bilikam, a tank on the kit, and snatched him up to play drums with them.
Fuzzy Vandelay debuted the summer of 2022 to enthusiastic reception and quickly became America's Favorite Band.