Fractures is the musical moniker of Melbourne producer Mark Zito, who will make his highly anticipated live debut at the Workers Club later this month. Having blitzed the Triple J Unearthed charts with ‘Twisted’ earlier this year, Zito will launch the new Fractures single ‘Cadence’ with a four piece backing band at the show.
Your popularity was soaring earlier this year, can you tell us about the accident that forced you to put your music on hold for a while there?
It was a pretty unfortunate set of circumstances and the story itself is quite unspectacular. I’d been sick for a few days, was sitting down to read my stories and then next thing you know my head took over and I decided to stand up and subsequently faint. Then I woke up and my neck was a bit sore. Really not much to it but it seemed to do more than enough damage and as a result I was stuck in a halo for the better part of three months.
How has the fall and subsequent recovery period influenced your music?
It ultimately hindered the creative process both physically and mentally. Singing wasn’t really on the cards, purely because of the way my neck and throat were locked in so any attempts at making sweet, sweet melodies were stymied. I was also on a weight bearing restriction for a while there so guitars gathered dust and all I really had access to was my Midi controller and plug ins so I fiddled around here and there but the frustration of being so limited generally meant the process stopped short of anything substantial coming from it.
Obviously you were able to continue to make music as the recovery progressed, releasing a few great remixes and now the new single, but how was your output limited in the early stages?
I was lucky enough to have that Snakadaktal tune to remix thrown my way which was nice given the ground work of melody, general concept, etc, had already been fleshed out so that whole process of finding an initial idea is skipped and it became just a process of building on top of what was there. That’s really the only full-length creative output I had over the period, otherwise it was just snippets of genre jumping when I got truly bored.
The other remixes I’d been working on prior to the accident and I just cleaned them up and the same goes with the song. I don’t want to shatter the illusion that I crafted this song in the midst of my convalescence because it makes for a pretty heroic tale, but really, the bulk of it had been laid down prior to all the madness and it just needed tightening up which I was able to do when I was out of the halo but feel free to keep that to yourself…
Can you talk us through some of your feelings during the period, having had your career stalled at such an inopportune time?
Frustration comes to mind, it would have been a whole lot simpler if I’d just stayed sitting down on the day but you get over that eventually.
Compared to people with similar injuries I’ve had one of the easiest runs that you can imagine so I won’t spend much time complaining about the inconvenience factor and as for its timing, it was obviously lousy but I was still confident I had the songs up my sleeve that’d keep people interested so it was more about just biding my time until I could show people what else I had up my sleeve.
And I’m still confident that there’s a lot more ground to make up that I might well have already acquired had it not happened but I don’t think my music is linked to a particular time frame that will become out dated too quickly, hopefully not at all, so I don’t think my momentum has been irrevocably altered.
What have been some of the major inspirations for your song writing, musically and emotionally?
It’s hard to pinpoint one particular influence. It changes with each tune but the songs rarely form after some divine force inspires me, they tend to spawn from noodling with my keyboard plug-ins or on the guitar. Different sounds or textures will spark the idea and then it’s all about complementing it with something of a similar palette, I suppose. And every so often the beat will start it all, that’s typical of the more electronic sounding songs I’ve made.
The emotion of the song is usually brought on by the musical bed, which is always made before lyrics or melody for me personally.
I don’t have any specific drawing points when it comes to the theme or story for each song. It might just be a word I blurt out when I’m humming a melody and it sounds right and I build everything from that and it eventually forms an almost-cohesive collection of words but it’s rare that any life events have been chronicled within a song. Maybe, if anything, I draw on something I’m aware of having happened and try to write as though I were in the subjective viewpoint for one side of the story.
So the long awaited debut performance for Fractures is finally within sight, how are you feeling about the show?
Quietly confident. We’ve been rehearsing for long enough now and I’m just excited to get it out of the way, as bad as that might sound. It’ll be a bit of a weight off my shoulders and I think it’ll be a relief to be able to actually consider this whole project as having actually ‘launched’, beyond the confines of the internet anyway.
I understand you will be playing with a four-piece backing band on the night, who will be joining you as the onstage incarnation of Fractures?
I’ve got a bunch of guys, some I’ve known for a while and some more fresh-faced, filling out the back line. My brother, Andy, is on keys and BV’s, Will Luby is on lead guitar and BV’s. Marc Pellizzari is the drummer boy/man and Tom Fraser is the bottom end specialist on bass.
I guess you’ve had a long time to plan this debut gig, so what can audiences expect on the night?
I’m hoping people have explored what I’ve put out enough to realise that it won’t be a night of sombre electro-jams. There’ll be quite a disparity between the songs and it’ll be a great deal more dynamic than what it is on record, so I’m hopeful that people will be receptive to that and hopefully they are appreciative of the fact that it’s not all one-speed and one-trick.
How have you been able to build and hold such a strong fan base without playing live? Do you place special emphasis on having a strong online presence?
I don’t think I can take any credit for the people’s patience with me. I guess they liked what they heard and hung around for me and it’s pretty indicative of how influential the online aspect of the music industry can be so I’m definitely on board with it now. I wouldn’t say I’m the best at the online stuff – I rarely feel the need or have any desire to share with people what I’m doing, what I’m eating, shoe size, or anything like that so it’s been a bit of an adjustment having to motivate myself to try and converse with whoever’s got their eyes on me so it’s still a work in progress.
Can you let us in on any plans there may be for further releases in the near future?
Beyond the Worker’s Club gig, I think there’ll be a lot of forward planning for gigs in the new year in support of some sort of release.
I would have thought an EP will be due earlier on next year with any luck, time will tell.
Fractures Single Launch
Friday November 28th
Workers Club, Melbourne
Find tickets here.