San Diego tribute band appears on E! network music competition show

When+performing+onstage%2C+the+Fooz+Fighters+share+a+strong+resemblance+with+their+musical+inspirations.

Courtesy of Fooz Fighters

When performing onstage, the Fooz Fighters share a strong resemblance with their musical inspirations.

by Sara Rott, Senior Staff Writer

Projected across television screens all over the country, San Diego based tribute band “The Fooz Fighters” traded in live concerts for recorded performances. 

“The Fooz Fighters,” like the name can tell you, is a tribute band dedicated to “The Foo Fighters.” 

Members include lead vocalist Nicky Rich, guitarist Brent Wright, drummer Boll3t, bass and backing vocals Gui Bodi and guitarist David Tishenkel.

The tribute band rockstars competed on E! Network’s “Clash of the Cover Bands,” their episode will air Wednesday, Nov. 1o.  

The only band from Southern California to appear on the show, the band spoke about how the experience was surreal. 

“I can speak for everyone when I say this is something that we’ve never done before,” Rich said. 

Boll3t spoke about how every detail was taken into perspective, from the crew themselves to the sound quality, he enjoyed the professional side of the show. 

The premise of the 10-episode show is to showcase tribute bands in the same genre. Every week, two bands compete head-to-head against each other. The judges decide who reigns supreme that night, judging on vocals, appearance and overall likeability.

Meanwhile, they get to work with people in the business like Meghan Trainor and vocal coaches to get advice and become better performers.

“The Foo Fighters, a lot of them are shoe-gazers, except for the lead singer and the drummer,” Tishenkel said. ”The rest of the band is just there and don’t really step out front and we emulated that.”

Tishenkel explained how “Clash of the Cover Bands” wanted none of that and made them step out of that comfort zone. However, it was a lightbulb moment for them to step out every time they performed. 

Boll3t spoke about how the energetic stage presence the band portrays whenever they perform is a big part of their show.

“I think that’s where we concentrate more, we gotta keep the energy flowing,”Boll3t said. 

From their time on the show, Fooz Fighters learned there’s not just one person who carries the energy of a show, it’s about the whole band combining their energy. 

Rich spoke about how the whole experience was a show-up and wait kind of deal, where they would arrive at the studio with no prior knowledge of the schedule ahead. 

“There was this, ‘we don’t know what we’re getting into’ and that can be a little intimidating,” Rich said. “But we put on our big boy pants and went out there and did the best we could.” 

Many of the performers on the show were cover bands, which are very different from tribute bands. Unlike a cover band, which plays music in the style of various artists, a tribute band sticks to imitating the original performers in movement, dress, appearance and playing music note-for-note. 

Rich is the example in this case; he grew his hair out and got Dave Grohl’s exact tattoos to resemble the Foo Fighters’ lead singer. 

“It’s an interesting process, but I think whenever we take the stage wherever we are, we are ‘The Foo Fighters,’” Wright said. “The whole band puts their heart and soul into matching the energy.”

Besides performing in front of large crowds, they also take time for the fans, especially the younger ones. 

They are currently supporting a 10-year-old boy from Australia who had surgery for cerebral palsy. The little boy was a big “Foo Fighters” fan, even dressing like Dave Grohl. 

“His mother reached out to us and said he would love it if you played a song for him, so I sat down and played a song for him,” Rich said. 

The special moments shared between this band and their fans are so powerful. Although they may see themselves as only a cover band, their fans see so much more. 

Understanding this, the “Fooz Fighters” put their time and energy into replicating the real deal for fans. The band is more than happy to help raise awareness and perform at events for good causes. 

After the show, the band went on tour and performed in Colorado and Texas. 

“I think we played our best shows ever as a band, I’ll go off on a limb, at those shows,” Wright said. 

However, the band can’t help but agree that performing in San Diego has a special meaning. Either a sold-out show or close to it, nothing beats the fan base they have established here. 

Rich spoke about how after the taping of the show, COVID-19 issues canceled their shows at one of their favorite places in San Diego, the Belly Up Tavern. 

For the local scene, it’s a chance to see this cover band make its comeback after two years of no live performances. 

“That’s what makes this show so significant, a lot of the people here at home have not seen the transformation that we’ve gone through pre-COVID-19,” Rich said. 

“Fooz Fighters” are booked to perform at the Music Box on Nov 20 at 9 p.m. open to ages 21 and up.