Interview: Roger Clyne of The Refreshments

The Refreshments first hit it big in 1996 with the release of their album, Fizzy Fuzzy Big & Buzzy and its hit single “Banditos.” The success was short lived with the band disbanding in 1998. A decade and a half later, the band is reuniting for a performance at Circus Mexicus XXII. Lead singer, Roger Clyne was nice enough to sit down and answer some questions about their classic album, the reunion, and future plans.

So The Refreshments are reuniting for the first time in 15 years at this year’s Circus Mexicus, why now?

Personally, we wanted to put bad blood to rest. We left each other and our audience without good byes and without ceremony. Personally and artistically, I hope this brings us all some closure. I know that a lot of people who used to see us here in our home state are still in our audience and frequent our shows in Mexico. It’s a good time and place to come together, play a rippin’ show, and say thank you and goodbye to the audience we left hanging when we didn’t come back from our May 5th, 1998 show.

Who approached who about the reunion first?

I ran into Bryan on the road at a small club gig in Michigan. After soundcheck, we had a beer on board the bus, buried the hatchet, and invited him to play a couple of songs on stare. It was fun and felt good. A couple of years later, we were discussing the lineup for Circus Mexicus XXII and the Refreshments’ name came up. We followed up by inviting the guys to get together and play the opening hour of the show. Brian said “yes”, Buddy passed.

What song are you most looking forward to playing live again?

“Girly.” I’ve always loved Blush’s snotty little hook on that song. It’ll be fun to hear him jam it again.

It has been 17 years since your seminal album, Fizzy Fuzzy Big & Buzzy. How do you feel the album has stood the test of time?

That album still gets a lot of attention from our audience and I autograph a shitload of Fizzy Fuzzy Big & Buzzy to this day. We wanted to make an album that was timeless, something anyone could spin at anytime and hear great music, irrespective of the era; something that could resonate in 5, 10, 20 years or more. It’s amazing how time flies! I don’t want to sound self-aggrandizing, but we got lucky and I feel we caught lightning in a bottle.

What are your fondest memories from recording Fizzy Fuzzy Big & Buzzy?

I didn’t really have fun recording that album. It was a ton of work and long hours. I’m not fond of the recording process. For me it feels more like re-creation than creation. I get my kicks when I write and perform. Recording is derivative, almost secretarial in nature. During the recording of Fizzy Fuzzy Big & Buzzy, I was pretty unstable, fighting anxiety and depression. I was miserable and no fun to be around. But I do remember feeling really good when Brian and I finally nailed the intro to “Nada.” That was the hardest to sync because we did it live, together around one mic, and it took hours to get right.

There is uncited claim on The Refreshments’ wikipedia page about a new album coming out this year called The Dog and Pony Show. Is there a new album planned or is this information erroneous?

Ha! That’s not true but it does sound like a titled the Freshies would come up with.

Finally, is there a chance of a full Refreshments reunion tour or is this reunion really a one off?

I’m focused on making this show the best it can be. I don’t have any plans for the
Refreshments after that.