“Freedom Of The City”
…The Ups and Downs of a Record Deal…
By Adriana Rubio
Courtesy of The Fuse and Deuce Management & Promotions
The Fuse, previously known as “Lato”, a New Wave-Pop-Rock band from London started their first steps into the music industry in July of 2006. They have released a new record “Freedom Of The City” which is currently available to buy on CD Baby, iTunes and Amazon. But before getting into the exciting moment this band is having now, I want to highlight how passionate they are for the music they make and how much they trust themselves to keep going strong after all the ups and downs they went through over the years. I want to thank The Fuse leader Alex Lato for sharing the band’s story and also to Robert Saunders at Deuce Management & Promotions for providing album promo and pictures.
Ladies and gentleman please welcome THE FUSE…
ALEX LATO: Lead Vocals
JAKE BLAIR: Drums
MICHAEL VARNAVA: Bass
SIMON BOWKER: Guitar
Alex Lato and Jake Blair founded “Lato” in July of 2006. Michael and Kiki joined them soon after. With all the excitement of joining a band together they experienced the first thump down in November of the same year. “Lato” guitarist -Nick Sowden- left the band. But in a blink of an eye they got Simon Bowker in.
The year 2007 brought more ups than downs for these five musicians full of energy to record an album and tour. So, songwriting and rehearsals were number one priority to reach the goal. Michael Varnava wrote 3AM riff, which then the band developed into the song “3AM”. And in May the band heard that Russ Regan, CEO for the Record Company Velocity Entertainment, liked the song.
The band prepared for the most thrilling experience ever. Alex and Jake visited Velocity Entertainment and met with the Company CEO Russ Regan and Kent Jacobs -an important figure behind Death Row Records-. Band demo was given to them; they loved it and expressed a great interest in signing the band, which they actually did. According to the signed deal Velocity Entertainment agreed to promote the album after recording sessions, mix and mastering were done. Deadline to deliver the finished project was November.
Alex, Jake, Simon, Kiki and Michael arrived at Los Angeles with funding for recording sessions. But something unexpected shadowed the band’s joy. The van they were travelling in from San Francisco to Los Angeles broke down en route. They paid $4,500 to get the van repaired. Soon after, some recording issues made the project delayed and they missed the previously arranged November deadline. However, Russ Regan signed the unmixed record off after visiting the studio and talking to them. A preliminary deal was discussed and the company promised $250,000 to push the record. The band returned back home for Christmas to celebrate both the holidays and record deal.
Celebrations didn’t last for too long… in January of 2008, just a month after signing the record deal, they were told Velocity Entertainment's parent company pulled funding so Russ Regan was not able to fund Lato’s project. But despite the bad news, there was still a bit of hope. Velocity Entertainment dealt with a Canadian Fund Management for $4,000,000 funding for “The Red Letters”, a previously arranged project which in some way sounded promising for Lato… they were told: “If this project goes green, Lato album should get the funding”…
No green news for Lato, things turned worse for these five talented musicians. The boss of the Canadian Fund Management died of heart attack, and although they were a signed band, the Canadian boss’s wife refused to sign the cheque… It was rumored that the dead boss was having an affair and his wife discovered it. Record deal for Lato was terminated. They were in a desperate situation… no deal, no money, nothing. They returned back home in London on April 4th, 2008 to start all over again from the very beginning. They performed for an audience of only “three people” and after submitting their record to every single management company listed in the “Unsigned Guide” for months, it seemed that no one was interested in Lato.
They kept going and going… until they were offered a promotional song package from Deuce Management & Promotions which included radio play in November of 2008. They actually get airplay receiving great feedback from listeners; -the ball was running-, the band got tons of very good reviews and things seem to get better for the band from this point on. They played their first gig with a Coldplay cover band called “Coldplace” at Mr. Kyps in Poole getting an amazing response from the public and making 200 pounds in merchandising in January of 2009.
Lato reached an agreement with a Management Company in Camden Town in February and in May of 2009 the band opted for a new name to make a fresh start after everything they had experienced under the name of Lato and changed to THE FUSE. With a brand new name, The Fuse performed their first summer festival –the Ampfest- as an opening act for “Coldplace” in Yorkshire.
A year later, January of 2010, things were not working out with their Management Company so they decided to cut their ties with them and, through Bear Brown promotions the band toured with “Coldplace” in Holland reaching the greatest reviews ever since the first gig at Bibelot until the last show of tour where The Fuse started playing for zero people and ended up playing for hundreds and hundreds, plus sold out merchandising while listening to the massive crowd singing along one of their best hits: “Phantom”.
Blessing times for The Fuse finally! They have played for zero and three people in recent years, have been ripped off many times, and have lost everything except faith. They woke up from a bad dream to have the biggest moment of their lives supporting “UB40” and playing for 2,500 people. Here is an account of The Fuse live performances for your enjoyment:
Things are getting better and better for The Fuse since they now play for 3,000 people and are very much acclaimed in Holland and Germany. And in May of 2011 Deuce Management & Promotions and The Fuse agree to work together. They were first promoted by Deuce Management in November of 2008, and since then they receive regular airplay both under the Lato and The Fuse name and are currently “A” listed on the Deuce Radio Show http://www.deucemp.com/Deuce_Radio_Show.htm which is a weekly show featuring Deuce Acts and broadcast on 30+ stations worldwide as well as podcasted.
The Fuse’s new album “Freedom Of the City” proves the band’s passion for the music they make, letting behind -but not forgetting- all the stones they jumped out on their way to succeed. Since the album release, The Fuse have gone on to support UB40 in Holland, album tracks getting over 50,000 plays on YouTube, and diverse radio stations are now digging up on their distinctive sound. And as London, UK based artists they are ready to present “Freedom of The City” to Pretty Green, Liam Gallagher’s menswear label to play live gigs since two stores in London, one in Manchester and another in Glasgow provide live music from a host of well-known bands including unsigned acts every month.
For further information about The Fuse including recently announced gig dates in Germany and more can be found here: