Jerry Fuchs, drummer of the Juan MacLean, !!!, and Maserati died early Sunday morning after falling down an elevator shaft in Williamsburg the previous night.
He was 34 years old.
I can’t say I knew Jerry all that well, but I’ve interviewed him once, and I saw him play with the Juan MacLean three times. Live, he was an amazing drummer with ridiculous stamina and forearms of fucking steel, a guy who could pound the snare through the 20-minute duration of “Happy House”, then play a ten-minute encore. I’ve often blathered on, both in print and otherwise, about DFA Records’ game-changing bass-lines and beats, with drummers like Jerry Fuchs who could somehow manage with a drum kit what other bands might simply play a backing track for. He could play through 75-minute sets and keep the floor packed with dancing idiots like myself.
I interviewed him in Bushwick earlier this year in the run-up to the Juan MacLean’s spring tour. I’ve interviewed several bands, but none have ever been so pleasant, friendly, or unpretentious, and despite continually assembling a drum-set, and my obnoxiously taking flash photographs of their practice space, Jerry had kind words and some thoughtful tidbits on the history of the Juan MacLean.
Juan MacLean himself has had bandmates die before (Kurt Neimand of Six Finger Satellite), but none during a time in his life when he was more grounded or producing better music. I’ve listened to the Juan MacLean for half a decade, and my week has started off a little bit worse
knowing that they have a vacancy to fill.